Dutch Technology Week 2016, Automotive Campus Helmond, Foto: © Bram Saeys
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Thanks in part to closer cooperation with FMEthe employers’ organisation for the technology industry, the Dutch Technology Week this year is bigger than ever. This is particularly visible in new events in Tilburg, Breda, Delft and Nijmegen, among others. “The heart of DTW, which this year will take place from 20 to 25 May, is still in Brainport Eindhoven, which is logical given the history of its origins, but the connection with other tech regions has been intensified,” says project manager Monique de Wit of Dutch Technology Week (DTW). “More and more organisations are finding us.”

With the slogan “Make Tech Yours“, FME and DTW have launched a campaign to make the Netherlands “tech-wise”. “The great thing is that this will help us make the week more ‘Dutch’.” At the end of the day, 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”.

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Large national events, with guests from all over the Netherlands, are also increasingly organising their meetings during the DTW. De Wit: “Immediately after the grand opening in the large halls of Brainport Industries Campus the annual event of the Technology Pact takes place. A great opportunity for the top industrialists in the Netherlands to become acquainted with BIC and the high-tech ecosystem of the Brainport region, as long as they have not already done that.”

New in this DTW edition is Female Tech Heroes on the High Tech Campus, the Smart Industry Zuid event, TNO’s Semicon innovation day in Delft and Startups-to-Watch, the annual event with which Innovation Origins puts the startups in the spotlights through the presentation of the Gerard & Anton Awards. In addition, due to the approaching European elections, there is a debate with politicians about innovation, digitisation and the skills needed for this.

“The Dutch Technology Week is there to show the positive side of technology as a problem solver.”

Monique de Wit DTW
Monique de Wit, foto © DTW

In addition to the new elements, there are, of course, also the more familiar successes. Monique de Wit: “Most important of them remains the High Tech Discovery Route. On the final day of the DTW, Saturday 25 May, the high-tech industry will open its doors to interested visitors at various locations. This year, this will take place both inside and outside Brainport Eindhoven. In addition to the five hotspots in this region – BIC, Strijp-T, Philips Best, Hapert and Helmond – we will also have discovery routes in Assen, Delft/Zoetermeer, Nijmegen, Oss and Tilburg. That’s really something to look forward to. And I am not the only one to think like this, because traditionally about half of our total visit comes this very day.”

The Discovery Route is, like previous years, all about collaborations. “Between companies themselves, but also between companies and educational institutes, which is very visible at BIC, for example. This discovery route is truly a connecting element. And events like “Game ON” in Breda or the ecomarathon and Technique Week in Oss then link up directly with it.”

De Wit is also proud to welcome Google with a mobile digital workshop where SMEs and small business owners can brush up their digital skills. “This also fits in well with the “Make Tech Yours“-efforts, which aim to make the Netherlands digitally wiser. To this end, an AI course, industry summits and various events for primary and secondary schools have been set up.”

Another permanent partner with whom the collaboration is extended is JetNet, the organization that aims to connect young people with technology. The well-known mbo-on-tech-tour visits to companies are returning, just like Night of the Nerds. “This event, which is mainly focused on primary schools, will have a brother: Mission Tech. And does that meet a need? “Yes, Mission Tech is as good as sold out!”

At the opening, on Monday 20 May, student teams will play an important role. InMotion from Eindhoven and Team Forze from Delft will get the stage, as will Tessie Hartjes, a former member of student team Blue Jay and currently responsible for sales at Lightyear. “Last year’s focus was on skills in general, now the future skills are on stage.”

What remains exactly as it was is QuizNightXL. “We could easily make this event in the Klokgebouw twice as big, but for now, we’ll leave it at the existing concept. That’s already super cool.”

All about the Dutch Technology Week can be read on the organisation’s website www.dutchtechnologyweek.com