© Raskerart
Author profile picture

In our Sunday newsletter, we, as editors, reflect on the past seven days. We do this on the initiative of our cartoonist Albert Jan Rasker. He chooses a subject, draws a picture, and we take it from there.

At our office, we often talk about the train. I travel from Amsterdam to Eindhoven several times a week, which sometimes goes smoothly. But, wondered colleague Mauro (from Italy), how bad does the NS do? Elcke dove into the issue and investigated whether we are more on Albert Jan’s cartoon’s left or right side.

Eventful week

Otherwise, it was an eventful week for the tech sector after an eventful week. Techleap’s annual report was released Wednesday at The State of Dutch Tech conference in The Hague. The report contains mixed conclusions.

  • On the one hand, the Netherlands has one of the most robust tech ecosystems in the world. For the second year, the Amsterdam Delta was named the best startup ecosystem in the EU.
  • At the same time, investments in the past year declined by 25 percent, and the scaled-back expat scheme, postponement of the National Growth Fund, and talent shortage are worrying the sector. Companies and knowledge organizations are sounding the alarm: if the Groeifonds is postponed, the innovation climate will receive an additional blow.
  • ASML topman Peter Wennink criticized politicians on Wednesday—five of the six guests canceled the Techleap conference at the last minute.

Innovation in construction

Colleague Linda Bak dove into the construction sector this week. This sector can use innovation like no other. The Netherlands must build one million homes and make 2.5 million homes more sustainable by 2030. At the same time, the renovation of bridges, tunnels, and locks costs €2.3 to €2.6 billion annually. This is a big task in a sector with huge personnel shortages.

  • You can read about how 4TU.Bouw contributes to that enormous task in Linda’s interview with the institute’s old (Max Hendriks) and new (Frank van der Hoeven) scientific director.
  • The construction industry is working towards a clean, circular, and future-proof living environment. Technologically, a lot is already possible, but how do these innovations end up in practice? Linda asked Huub Keizers and Goedele Geuskens of TKI Bouw en Techniek how they plan to do this.
  • A cool milestone for the Dutch construction sector. With 133 meters in the air, the Netherlands will have the tallest wooden building in the world by 2030.

Did you read our latest magazine on energy storage yet? Subscribe here to receive the next editions of our magazine automatically in your mailbox.

Here’s what else stood out this week:

And here you find all the other articles we made for you this week. Have a nice Sunday!

Aafke Eppinga
editor-in-chief Innovation Origins