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At the end of 2019, the vision for Nanotechnology into the future was presented by the nanotechnology ecosystem consisting of NanoNextNl, MinacNed and NanoLabNl. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an English-language update was published containing the contribution that nanotechnology is making to the solutions to the Corona crisis. Enclosed you will find this update 2020. With this Nano4Society forms a solid basis. Now is the time to take the next step towards the future of collaboration and making this vision concrete. Download the NanoVision 2030 (in PDF)

The nanotechnology roadmap is now being updated with input from industrial and scientific partners. MinacNed, NanoNextNL and NanoLabNL are working together on this and will take your input with them to develop the nanotechnology roadmap in an update that will be presented at the end of October.

Key technology

Nanotechnology is not a stand alone technology, but contributes to solutions for technical and societal issues. This makes nanotechnology as a key technology very important for other technological developments within the societal themes. As a key technology, there is in many cases overlap in the technology domain with other roadmaps. We ask you to name the nanotechnology therein in order to be able to clarify the interaction between the various roadmaps. Nanotechnology is often an enabling part of the solution and will be more “inside” the solution.

The project team for the roadmap will meet this week to identify where nanotechnology can contribute. In October, the project team will present the roadmap update, and we need your input for that now. We now ask you:

Where does nanotechnology contribute as a key technology to the solutions in your sector or more specifically in your company?

We will send you a questionnaire that will ask for input from your company or institution. This information will be treated confidentially and processed in such a way that it cannot be traced back to your authority. The information is important in order to be able to clarify the impact of investments in key enabling technology nanotechnology on the quality of life (societal challenges) and the economy (earning capacity).

Send your own answer to this question to roadmapinput@minacned.nl and contribute directly to the future of nanotechnology. Your input is of great value to provide a clear picture of where the sector is now and where we can grow, collaborate and excel in the future.

The deadline for input is September 28, 2020. Send your input to Ronny van ‘t Oever, chair of the roadmap Nanotechnology at roadmapinput@minacned.nl.

Twents initiatief ‘Viralert’ richt zich op samenwerking in strijd tegen coronavirus

De beste manier om uit deze crisis te komen, en op een eventuele toekomstige crisis voorbereid te zijn, is samenwerking. Bedrijven en instanties hebben elk hun eigen specialisme en door deze te bundelen kan er sneller en efficiënter worden gewerkt. Niet ieder voor zich, maar allen tezamen een maatschappelijk probleem oplossen, dat is hoe er in Twente gewerkt wordt. Ronny van ‘t Oever, CEO van Micronit Microtechnologies, wilde iets betekenen tijdens de coronacrisis en zag hoeveel kennis en kunde er bij bedrijven en kennisinstellingen ligt. Micronit heeft zelf ook deel van de oplossing in handen. Daar moest wat mee gedaan worden, vond Ronny. Want bij het samenkomen van verschillende expertises kan het verschil gemaakt worden. Op deze manier is platform ‘Viralert’ in het leven geroepen. Twentse bedrijven als Micronit, Demcon, LioniX International en VyCap werken samen met kennisinstellingen uit Enschede, Wageningen, Nijmegen en de rest van Nederland. Maatschappelijk belang is de motiverende kracht, dit gaat voor de partijen boven het eigen economische gewin.

Viralert

Het Viralert initiatief bestaat inmiddels al uit 19 partners uit het bedrijfsleven en een aantal kennisinstellingen uit heel Nederland, waaronder de Universiteit Twente (UT). Het platform is opgericht door Ronny van ‘t Oever, directeur van het in Twente gevestigde Micronit, en Per Slycke, voormalig medeoprichter van het Enschedese bedrijf Xsens. Micronit is een Enschedees bedrijf dat microfluïdische chips ontwikkelt die gebruikt worden bij testen om te bepalen of iemand corona heeft, en bij onderzoek naar het virus. Andere Twentse partners binnen dit samenwerkingsverband zijn o.a. Demcon, expert in mechatronica, robotica en tijdens de coronacrisis bekend van onder andere hun beademingsapparatuur. Ook LioniX is Twents, ze zijn gespecialiseerd in fotonica en micro-nanotechnologie. De kracht van het platform ligt hem in een bundeling van verschillende organisaties met allen hun eigen specialisatie en discipline.

Motivatie

“Wij zijn bereid om te delen en niet voor het voor ons economisch beste scenario te gaan, maar voor het scenario waarbij wij meer efficiënt kunnen samenwerken en we sneller vooruit kunnen. Dat is wat wij binnen Viralert hebben afgesproken, daar maken wij ons hard voor”, zegt Arne Leinse, directeur van LioniX International. Alle partners binnen het initiatief scharen zich achter het maatschappelijk belang, andere belangen zijn daaraan onderhevig. “Alles binnen Viralert draait om samenwerken. Nederland heeft een levendige biomedische industrie met een enorm innovatiepotentieel. Het is eigenlijk niet meer dan logisch om bij een dergelijke crisis de koppen bij elkaar te steken om iets te ontwikkelen dat helpt”, zegt Ronny van ’t Oever. Viralert hoopt dat de overheid gaat zien dat dit soort samenwerkingsverbanden het waard zijn om in te investeren. “Momenteel richt de overheid zich nog te veel op het opschalen van bestaande testen in plaats van de ontwikkeling van innovatieve sneltesten”, zegt Arne Leinse.

Bron: Twente.com

Lees ook het interview met Ronny van t Oever over Viralert.

Ronny, can you tell us something about your history with nanotechnology?

My passion for micro- and nanotechnology was sparked almost 25 years ago when I started my education at the University of Twente. During the course of my studies, I applied microtechnology to create a tool for DNA stretching experiments in a microfluidic device. By the end of my education, I developed the ambition to bring products with micro- and nanotechnology to the market.

When a few years later MinacNed was founded, I decided to become a member. Based on that relationship, I was asked to join the board. And a few years later, I became the president of MinacNed. I consider it an honour to be part of this board as I believe the society as a whole will benefit from micro- and nanotechnology. To make a success out of a product and the industry behind it, you need to work together with others. This is exactly what MinacNed facilitates. It brings together companies and institutes working in microsystems and nanotechnology. By working together, the chances to make a difference in the field are increasing.

Twenty year celebration of your company Micronit

In 2020, Micronit will celebrate its twenty year anniversary. As a microfluidics specialist, the company focusses on health and life sciences. Microfluidics is an important enabler of many techniques in medical research, like blood analysis. Next to that, it is also vital in for instance the unraveling of the human genome. In the long run, I strongly believe in point of care, which means bringing the lab to the patient, instead of the patient to the lab. Workflow integration of lab equipment – in other words, taking different steps of a lab research process and integrating them into one device – will result in a next generation of equipment with ease of use and increased data quality. All these processes are only possible because of the current status of micro- and nanotechnologies in the Netherlands.

What challenges and hardships have you faced and conquered in your experience as entrepreneur? What advice do you want to give companies attending iMNC19?

I think the best advice I can give technology companies is to always focus on the customers. In the end you can’t sell technology as such. Secondly, I would advise them to interact with the customers. Also make sure you talk to your customers in parallel to the technology development. By keeping in touch, you can do the right finetuning along the way. There’s nothing more devastating than having a ready product that won’t sell because it just isn’t functional for the intended customer. In the early days I was hesitant to call customers and ask them for advice. But at a certain point, after realizing how important it is, it became my second nature. Because in the end, a company without customers is not a company.

Last advice: a great place to learn from other entrepreneurs and meet potential customers is the iMNC19!

What kind of change have you experienced in microsystems and nanotechnology in the past twenty years?

I think a lot of things have changed in the past twenty years. The readiness level on average has dramatically improved. With this I mean: twenty years ago, the challenges were on the engineering level (‘how can we make this device work?’). As for now, we operate more solution-driven (‘how can we put our technology in use to solve this problem for this market?’). There are more players in the field and together we have matured. More players means a fuller but also ‘richer’ market with more segments represented that are complementary to each other. This way, the impact the technology as a whole can make, only gets bigger. Our market has grown substantially. In my view, most microtechnology related markets grow 10-20% on average on a yearly base. There are not many worldwide markets that grow that fast.

What are the current developments in micro- and nanotechnology and which companies can you name that are really innovating?

I think all of the members of MinacNed are contributing to new developments. Nanotechnology as key enabling technology has a lot of different appearances. If you combine nanotechnology with light, you call it photonics. Combining nanotechnology with quantum physics, creates quantum computing. Combine nanotechnology with fluids and cells, and you have organ-on-a-chip. The possibilities of exciting innovations in nanotechnology are endless, provided that we keep working together and investing in it. MinacNed serves as an excellent platform for this.

What makes MinacNed unique?

MinacNed is Netherlands-based, but internationally orientated. Almost all MinacNed-members are already working internationally or have plans to do in the short term. MinacNed has created an ecosystem that knows how to bridge the gap from research to market ánd has knowledge about how to bring products to the international market. All nano-oriented SME’s that are united in MinacNed, are key to this.

Let’s look five years ahead. From the point of view of your twenty years of experience in micro- and nanotechnology: what can we expect in 2024?

What I have noticed, is that at the moment there are a lot of companies in the scale-up phase. This unique development can also be witnessed by current data that show that micro- and nanotechnology is growing faster in the Netherlands than worldwide. If we keep investing in these technologies, I think this growth might even accelerate. Besides that, in 2024 the amount of products that are really on the market will have grown substantially and with this, the added value of the industry will have grown significantly.

The iMNC19 is around the corner. Why should companies attend the conference?

It’s a great place to get a good view on the state of micro- and nanotechnology in the Netherlands. Besides that, it provides excellent international networking opportunities. Overall, it is a great place to do business and make connections. The most important part to me personally: it is simply a lot of fun to be among people that share the passion for nanotechnology.

Every week we will give you a sneak peak into the international MicroNanoConference 2019.  This week we will talk with Schroën…

Karin, can you share with us what you do at MinacNed?

I have joined the board of MinacNed in 2015. First as a regular member representing academia. More specifically Wageningen University where I work. After 2 years I took over the role of treasurer, and I’m still in that function now. Besides my activities for the board and being involved in strategic research programs such as NanoNextSteps I’m also active in the Programme Committee which is involved in organizing the IMN19. Being a part of the board has really helped my development on technology development. MinacNed is a lively community with a big drive to make a difference and I enjoy my participation in that eco-system.

You are one of the speakers at the iMNC19. What will you be talking about?

I will discuss the work that we do at Wageningen University within the food process engineering group. I will show how we apply insights obtained at micro- and nanoscale . This to make better and healthier food products that fit within the sustainable development goals of the UN. For example you can think about the use of plant based proteins, that in essence are more sustainable then their animal / dairy base counterparts, but that have less high technical functionality. We have developed microfluidic tools with which we can test the technical functionality using highspeed imaging. This allows us to look at functionality within microseconds, and sometimes even faster, which is also very relevant for processes as they occur in large-scale processing equipment. Based on these insights we can either up-scale microfluidic devices , redesign current processes making them intrinsically more sustainable.

How is you work at the university aligned with microsystems and nanotechnology?

The topic is very much in the core of the work that we do within the food microtechnology group. In itself the approach that we have chosen is a very exceptional one within the field of food striving for mechanistical understanding. Because of this, it also attracts a lot of attention. To share an example: on September I presented our work as one of the plenary speakers at ICEF, the largest world food conference in Melbourne and the audience was amazed about the options that now are within reach. Even more on how that can contribute to more sustainable food production.

What can visitors expect at your speaking session?

They will be exposed to a completely new way of looking at food and food production and how this can be used to make our future more sustainable! Besides this, I will also try to link to some of our future research ideas on how to investigate technical functionality and also digestive functionality, and links to organ on chip technologies to maybe establish food that is intrinsically healthy, possibly even at the level of individuals. I always like to think that if people can eat themselves healthy, this would reduce the burden on health care a lot and thus greatly contribute to the economy. Obviously also micro- and nanotechnology for health hold great importance, but I see options to add a different dimension using these technologies for e.g. screening of ingredients, and food product design.

The title of the conference this year is: Where science meets industry..what’s your take on that?

What I truly hope will happen is that there is going to be mutual inspiration. As an academic researcher I always hope that the things I investigate are going to be useful for society as a whole! Being active in the field of food also implies that if I can come up with new concepts… that can have a huge effect on the world that we live in. On the other hand, I am not ultimately equipped to bring these findings to the market because start-ups are of essence in that process or a larger company that can embrace that technology. At the IMNC, all parties that are needed to bring scientific discoveries to the next level are present, and I hope to be part of the inspiration needed to make the world a more sustainable place for generations to come!

What do you want visitors and exhibitors to still remember and take home after the conference?

Because food is not a standard topic for micro- and nanotechnology, I hope that the visitors will be fascinated by what this field has to offert and the extent to which our technology can contribute to the production of healthy, and sustainable food. What I hope is that the vastness of food production remains in visitors’ minds and that even small changes will have a great effect on the world that we live in.

Meet Frank van de Scheur.  He is the Department Head, MEMS & Micro Devices at Philips in Eindhoven. His background in Chemical Engineering is a valueable contribution to the MinacNed board which he has been a part of since 2016.

How did you get involved with MinacNed? “ I was asked to take the vacant seat of my predecessor as department head and I have been a member of MinacNed board since 2016 and I have also taken moderator roles in several MinacNed meetings.” Most recent Frank was the moderator of the MEMS & Photonics Innovation Event on October 29th in Amersfoort.

What’s your input from a company side to the work of MinacNed?“Microsystems and nanotechnology is the core technology for my department in Philips. As a large company, Philips takes responsibility to help build the ecosystem in the Netherlands. Philips is a globally operating company which has an international scope.”

What’s your take on the eco-system of microsystems & nanotechnology in the Netherlands, from a science and industry side? “There is a good basis with several organizations supporting the science and industry side. Too much fragmentation is not very helpfull in a small country like Holland. I think we must join forces if we want to win internationally. Therefore I am a strong supporter of an initiative such as Nano4Society, where MinacNed and Nanonext.nl cooperate successfully.”

iMNC19 is titled ‘Where science meets industry’ –  What can visitors and exhibitors expect? “ MinacNed has a good mix of members from business and academia. Vistors can expect a program focusing on creating value in the industry based on world class technologies from universities. What I want vistors to get from iMNC19 is fresh inspiration and new ideas to develop their business and/or research. I want people to get nsight that true cooperation in networks is essential and indispensable to win over the competition in microsystems and nanotechnology.”

Intriged about how Philips Innovation Services works? Click here for more information.

During the track Nano4security Jaap Knotter, lector at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences and also working at the National Police Academy, will hold a talk about the use of nanotechnology. With the chair Advanced Forensic Technology Knotter and his colleagues develop new techniques to use nanotechnology for forensic purposes in an attempt to solve crime cases faster.

 By: Dimitri Reijerman

His aim for attending and speaking at the international MicroNano Conference is clear: “What I’m trying to do is building a bridge between fundamental knowledge, developed at the classic universities during the years, and the application of these techniques in the security domain, in particular for investigation purposes. I hope that during the conference new consortia will stand up and say: we might have developed new technology that might be useful for the police and others.”

Knotter is, as an expert in forensic technology, always searching for new techniques and methods, both in prevention and investigation cases. He explains: “There are reactive and proactive Investigations. Reactive investigations start at the crime scene after an offense has been committed. Detectives will start collecting evidence, but finding the right traces afterwards can be really hard.”

Crime scenes

And that’s not only because crime scenes are tough, Knotter says: “A crime scene is continuously threatened with contamination, while detectives also feel the constant pressure of time. And there’s also the fact that in many cases you have to search for very tiny pieces of evidence. There isn’t always a puddle of blood or a loaded weapon laying around at a crime scene. Criminals try to conceal their crimes with contra strategies. But with nano technology, like lab-on-a-chip-technology, you can start the analysis right away on the crime scene. This makes it possible to make much faster a substantiated decision for which trail to follow. Rapid analysis on the crime scene is one of the most crucial technologies investigation services need.”

A time stamp on evidence is also crucial: “You need trusted answers on that questions. When did this incident happen? When did the victim die?” Nanotechnology could help with quantum dots, modified nano particles, Knotter says: “These particles could be attached to the biomarkers in a piece of evidence. The quantum dots will give a certain amount of reflection, which could, after measurement, say something about the age of the evidence.”

Pro-active

Knotter also thinks nano technology could play a role on the pro-active side of police work: “Take  the production of narcotics as an example. During the production of synthetic drugs al lot of chemicals go up in the air. With very sensitive detectors we might be able to pin point production facilities. Nowadays there are no commercially available detectors on the market which can trace XTC-production, but it’s certainly technically possible, like ring resonators or using golden nano particles.”

While Knotter is very enthusiastic about the technological possibilities nowadays, he emphasises that many innovative products and techniques are not being used in the forensic field: “Companies shouldn’t just release new products, they need to go to the end users and say: how do we implement these? And end users should be more active in the development stages of these products. I hope this conference can help to work better together. Let’s build new coalitions.”

Bedrijven, kennisinstellingen en overheden gaan in 2020 gezamenlijk voor bijna vijf miljard euro investeren in het vernieuwde topsectoren- en innovatiebeleid van het kabinet. Daarvan komt 2,05 miljard van bedrijven en 2,85 miljard uit publieke middelen. Vanuit private partners uit de ict-sector komt nog eens 59 miljoen. De totale investering in innovatie is verdubbeld ten opzichte van vorig jaar (2019). Toen bedroeg het innovatiebudget nog 2,4 miljard euro.

Dat staat in het kennis- en innovatieconvenant 2020-2023 (KIC), dat door staatssecretaris Mona Keijzer (Economische Zaken en Klimaat) naar de Tweede Kamer is gestuurd. In dat convenant is een overzicht gemaakt van de voorgenomen budgetten die de partners willen bijdragen aan vier opgestelde maatschappelijke thema’s, te weten: energietransitie en duurzaamheid, landbouw, water en voedsel, gezondheid en zorg en veiligheid. Voor deze thema’s zijn kennis- en innovatieagenda’s (kia’s) voor de komende vier jaar opgesteld. Binnen het kennis- en innovatieconvenant wordt in 2020 specifiek aandacht besteed aan sleuteltechnologieën zoals kunstmatige intelligentie, fotonica, nano en quantum. Hier wordt naar verwachting één miljard euro in geïnvesteerd. Hoe het bedrag wordt verdeeld, is afhankelijk van de behoefte van bedrijven en de kansen die onderzoekers zien.

Uitdagingen

Volgens Mona Keijzer laat het KIC zien dat meer dan 2.200 bedrijven, kennisinstellingen en overheden samen gaan investeren in Nederlandse innovatie. ‘Alle partijen die nodig zijn voor innovatie zijn aangesloten: van onderzoekers tot ondernemers die deze innovaties ontwikkelen, en van investeerders tot overheden, die hen daarbij ondersteunen. We hebben jaarlijks vijf miljard euro tot 2023 om met slimme technologieën grote maatschappelijke uitdagingen aan te pakken: Nederlandse oplossingen voor internationale, maatschappelijke uitdagingen. Zo werken we aan het veiligstellen van onze banen en inkomsten in de toekomst.’

‘We hebben jaarlijks 5 miljard euro tot 2023 om met slimme technologieën grote maatschappelijke uitdagingen aan te pakken: Nederlandse oplossingen voor internationale, maatschappelijke uitdagingen. Zo werken we aan het veiligstellen van onze banen en inkomsten in de toekomst.’

De overheid laat weten dat er in 2020 ‘een groot aantal nieuwe partners’ zich aansluit bij het KIC. Dat varieert van andere ministeries, provincies en regionale ontwikkelingsmaatschappijen tot kennisinstellingen, universiteiten en hogescholen. Het KIC brengt hun investeringen in innovatie samen om economische kansen te creëren.

Maatschappelijke missies staan centraal

Voor een klimaatbestendig, waterrobuust, duurzaam, gezond en veilig Nederland zijn grote en kleine oplossingen nodig. Van de nieuwste wetenschappelijke inzichten en sleuteltechnologieën tot praktische en menselijke oplossingen in design en gebruik. Missiegedreven innovatiebeleid stelt de maatschappelijke uitdaging centraal. Hierdoor groeit de impact op de maatschappelijke uitdagingen. Verder versterkt het de Nederlandse concurrentiepositie en een duurzame economische groei.

Sleuteltechnologieën

Sleuteltechnologieën vormen een apart thema binnen het KIC. De verwachting is dat de totale investering in deze veelbelovende technologieën voor 2020 zal uitkomen rond € 1 miljard. Dit bedrag biedt mogelijkheden voor het invullen van de al gepresenteerde Nationale Agenda’s voor onder andere artificial intelligence, fotonica en quantum-, en nanotechnologie.

Verder ligt de focus op gezondheid, zorg en veiligheid. En op sleuteltechnologieën, zoals AI (kunstmatige intelligentie, red.), fotonica (lichttechnologie, red.), nano en quantum (computertechnologie, red.) en het economisch verdienvermogen van sectoren.

Veel nieuwe partners zijn meer regionaal georiënteerd en maken het daarom makkelijker voor het midden- en kleinbedrijf om aan te sluiten bij onderzoek en ontwikkeling, stelt EZK. Het mkb is daarom onmisbaar in het innovatieproces, benadrukt het ministerie. ‘Zij zorgen ervoor dat onderzoek zijn toepassing vindt in concrete producten en diensten.’

Nano4society

MinacNed en NanoNextNL hebben samen het programma nano4society ingediend en zullen in december de nationale agenda nanotechnologie presenteren. Informatie over PPS-en en calls zullen gedeeld worden via de social media kanalen van MinacNed en NanoNextNL.

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