This special edition of Link Magazine, High-Tech Northern Netherlands 2018, is a fine example of northern collaboration between the Innovation Cluster Drachten (ICD), Campus Groningen, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Region of Smart Factories (RoSF) and ENTEG to present the great recent developments in the northern high-tech ecosystem. And of course the plans for the future will be unfolded in various sections of this Link special!
Step by step, based on our northern DNA, we are building a fully high-tech ecosystem, with more and more companies joining in. This creates a clearer view of all the unique strengths that can be found in this region. This awareness instils confidence and pride in our qualities, which is sometimes necessary to entice top international companies to come to the Northern Netherlands. The recent TopDutch campaign, to invite Tesla to set up a new assembly plant here, was a good first step in this respect to show that the Northern Netherlands is an outstanding region for high-tech.
Other important steps have also been taken, including the start of the GEBC (Groningen Engineering Business Centre), the developments at the Campus Groningen, the fastest growing campus in the Netherlands, and the growth of the ICD (with a new, energetic chairman) to 19 high-tech parties. In addition, we have seen the start of new field labs, including 5Groningen as a test site for IoT applications, and new lectureships, such as Data Science at the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (under the inspiring leadership of Ioannis Katramados). And last but not least, the University of Groningen is developing new Mechanical Engineering Master’s tracks.
To further develop our region, it is crucial to attract talented professionals at different levels and to retain them over the longer term. To be able to retain talented engineers, we need to offer them the opportunity, among other things, to work on all the areas that matter to them in terms of the digitisation of the industrial sector (Industry 4.0). We must create these opportunities for talented professionals from the region and far beyond. Whether we do this through field labs, industry or digital hubs is of secondary importance.
Joost Krebbekx, guest editor in chief of this special edition and programme manager of the ICD
Photo: Peter Lieverdink