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The province wants to invest 17,5 million euros in the Brabant high tech industry the next four years. Suppliers, large manufacturing companies and knowledge institutions are going to have to work together more intensively to enable the sector to innovate faster. That is a proposal of the Provincial Executive. In the next few months, the Provincial Councils will make a decision about the implementation of the proposals.

“High Tech Companies in Brabant have a lead in the development of new products and new production processes, such as computer chips and 3D-printing”, says a spokesman for provincial executive Bert Pauli. “However, the current market demands bigger investments in innovation. The global competition is big, the industry is developing rapidly and the product lifecycle is getting shorter. Individual SME entrepreneurs don’t always have the financial possibilities to respond quickly to new opportunities. Collaboration with chain parties can help.” The millions of euros that are set aside by the province should be spent on that, according to Pauli.

The majority of this amount (11 million euros) is going to the “factory of the future”, which will soon be built near Eindhoven Airport. On top of that 4 million euros are spent for hedging real estate of this “Brainport Industries Campus“. According to the province it is the intention that 75 companies and 6 knowledge institutions will eventually work together on the renovation of the manufacturing industry.

The province wants to spend 2 million euros on the further development of the photonics industry. The spokesman: “The province is strongly committed to developing integrated photonics. This new generation of computer chips will enable the strong increase in data traffic in the future. Moreover, these chips are considerably more energy efficient than the common variations. Brabant has the international lead in this promising technology.”

With all these plans of the province, the focus is on the connection of the high tech sector with the agrifood sector and the smart usage of big data. This way the province wants to contribute to coming up with responses to disruptive forces in the traditional manufacturing industry. By supporting the sectors High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) and ICT in their innovation challenge, it is expected that the existing lead can be maintained. And that is necessary: “If this is not acted on accurately, opportunities will be missed and Noord-Brabant will fall behind.

The province distinguishes four program lines in the innovation policy:

  1. smart solutions: smart technologies ;
  2. smart industry: smart production facilities;
  3. smart cross-overs: slimme market applications;
  4. smart data: smart connections;

The four program lines should further strengthen the ecosystem because they are closely related. An integrated approach is a precondition, as is found. “An investment in just money is insufficient for the flywheel effect to be created that can improve the sector as a whole. This will have to be done by all stakeholders in the ecosystem together.”