Over six days, around 37,000 people visited one or more of over fifty events during the sixth edition of Dutch Technology Week. There were both public events as well as sessions for visitors with more specific interests, such as students and professionals.
On Tuesday 16 May, there was a special day for secondary school students (VO day). 80 HAVO 4 students went to Brainport Eindhoven for talks with young professionals from the high-tech sector. In the afternoon, the Night of the Nerds Technology Festival was on the agenda. During the event, over 4000 participants (between 14 and 19 years) were treated to the latest digital and technological developments.
On Wednesday 17 May at the High Tech Campus, the Eindhoven Student Symposium was organized by the students of Business Core Eindhoven, with the theme ‘Smart City’. On Thursday 18 May, it was the MBO students’ turn: 250 students from Summa College, ROC De Leijgraaf, and ROC Ter AA went on a business visit to tech companies. It became a day that gave a number of students some concrete results: they secured internships.
Primary school pupils from groups 7 and 8 also got their fill in Helmond, Hapert, and the High Tech Campus Eindhoven: at these locations, there were special days for primary education. And something special: on Friday and Saturday, the FIRST tech challenge, an international robotic competition for young people between 12 and 20 years old with more than 500 participants and their fans from 10 different countries, was held in the Klokgebouw in Strijp-S.
Apart from youth and students, there was also, of course, a lot of attention for the professional during DTW. Engineers, designers, teachers, entrepreneurs, start-ups & scale-ups, investors, and other visitors with technology-related professions were included in social issues such as healthcare, energy/sustainability, and mobility during various events. This year, a strong connection was also made between the three core economic areas of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Brainport Eindhoven, and was actively collaborating with FME (Dutch employers’ association in the tech industry). This resulted in, among other things, a number of FME network meetings in the country.
The week was traditionally concluded with the High Tech Discovery Route on 20 May. At five locations in Brainport Eindhoven, and four in Northern Netherlands, top technology companies gave a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into their organizations. A day for young and old, for professionals and amateurs. There was a lot to see, to do, to experience: control a robot, an introduction to 3D printed food, appreciate an F16 close-up, work with the latest VR technology, innovations for personal healthcare. In short: an inspiring day for young and old.
One of the organizers from the location Helmond – De Peel is Pim van de Mortel. More than 50 companies took part in the High Tech Discovery Route and received over 3500 visitors throughout the day. Van de Mortel says: “It is special that today we can make such an amazing connection between technology, De Peel and Brainport Eindhoven. This is also certainly the result of clear cooperation between all parties.”
Cap on student numbers
The re-introduction of a cap on student numbers for technical studies was also a topic that was discussed during the week at various events. The central question was: how is it possible to talk about a cap on student numbers in such a promising direction as technology? In the words of Frits van Hout, board member of ASML and chairman of DTW: “Someone who has completed a technical education, at any level, is in high demand in the labour market. Not only with technology companies but also with banks, consultancy firms, the care sector, the education sector. Technology is everywhere and we need people everywhere who know how technology works, and how to use technology to make your work even better.”
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