Although the core of the Dutch Technology Week is still located in South-East Brabant, it has ceased to be the Brainport Eindhoven party that it once was at the start, eight years ago. With events in places like Tilburg, Oss, Delft and Assen, the DTW already has a pretty national feel. And not only with a coincidental tech event that gets a DTW stamp for the occasion. By way of illustration, let’s take a look at the plans in the regions of Breda and Arnhem/Nijmegen.
In Western Brabant, the regional development agency REWIN is the initiator and implementer of the regional economic programme on high-tech maintenance. The aim is to make the sector “grow and make smarter”, and to better match technical education and the labour market to the needs of the manufacturing and maintenance industry. And that fits in very well with the goals of the DTW, say Yvette Estourgie and John de Ridder of REWIN. “For example, we are setting up projects on aerospace, robotics, composites, maritime technology, remote sensing and unmanned flying. These are all themes that fit in perfectly with the DTW.”
There is also the “Growth SME” programme, in which REWIN wants to give West-Brabant SMEs a helping hand, for example in innovation, financing issues, industrial collaborations and expansion plans. “The Human Capital Agenda plays a crucial role in both high-tech maintenance and growth of SMEs: how can we find sufficient new employees for the companies in West-Brabant? Taking part in DTW is the perfect opportunity to introduce young people to the sector in a fun way, and to make them aware of schooling and career in this direction.”
Game On and guest lectures
Seeing, doing and experiencing technology is the idea behind the FME technology manifestation Game On region West-Brabant which takes place on 20 and 21 May. During these two days, 1,300 secondary school students (class 1 and/or 2 vmbo, havo and vwo) from the West Brabant region will come to the ice rink in Breda. They can experience hands-on how fun and promising (working in) the technical sector is. Some 40 West-Brabant companies have already agreed to cooperate.
On 21 May, three engineering companies from the municipality of Oosterhout (Gefco Benelux, West Brabant Techniek en Straaltechniek) will provide a lesson for 1st-year students of Hanze College in Oosterhout, a school with education from basic vocational (with LWOO), via vocational training to GL/TL level. “We aim to expand these activities next year if it is successful.”
Nijmegen and Arnhem
The Arnhem/Nijmegen region is also new to the DTW programme. For example, Industriepark Kleefse Waard in Arnhem offers a look into the future on 23 May with The Future of Us. Various frontrunners in the energy transition will present their innovations and well-known speakers will talk about special developments. Among others: Ruud Koornstra (National Energy Commissioner), Jan Jonker (Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Radboud University Nijmegen) and Jan Douwe Kroeske (Summerlabb). The latest innovations in hydrogen, social sustainability, circular economy, mobility, energy storage and biomass can be watched on the Inspiratieplein.
On 25 May, Nijmegen will take part in the High Tech Discovery Route. At Radboud University and Novio Tech Campus, the doors are open to parents with children and professionals. Visitors to the Radboud University’s Huygens building will be able to do their own experiments. Isolating DNA, travelling to the stars, programming a robot, tasting nitrogen ice creams, printing a pancake or shooting a bow in Virtual Reality.
The Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN) shows how to produce oil from paper residues. There are guided tours to the NMR laboratory and the greenhouse complex. There will also be interesting lectures on topics such as climate and biodiversity, molecular machines, robots and safeguarding Dutch plant species.
At Novio Tech Campus there are many innovative Health and High Tech companies. Building M is dedicated to the High Tech Market, with demonstrations by Ampleon, Novioscan, PinkRF, MACOM, Microbit and many others. In addition, drones from BlueJay fly, there is a Lego Mindstorm and you learn about the High Tech past of the campus in the Novio Experience Museum. Every hour there are guided tours with product demonstrations at engineering companies NXP, Sencio and Nexperia. The EPR building shows how to connect people, equipment and data systems.
For project manager Monique de Wit, the expansion of the DTW is a long-cherished wish. “All these new initiatives are helping us to make the Dutch Technology Week more Dutch.” At the bottom of the line, the central message remains the same, emphasizes De Wit: “The Dutch Technology Week is there to show the positive side of technology as a problem solver.”