The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) is making 870 thousand euros available for the next four years for the network of liaison officers who bring together major scientific institutes and Dutch industry.
This was decided shortly before the turn of the year. The ILO (industrial liaison officers) network is now supported by Nikhef and three more large NWO-I institutes with many technical needs: ASTRON, SRON and DIFFER. Research school NOVA and Nijmegen University’s HFML/FELIX facilities are also involved. The coordination of the network lies with Nikhef.
From research infrastructures such as CERN, SKA, ESA and ITER, the ILO network tries to identify Dutch technical companies that can and want to be involved in enabling research through collaboration or supplying components.
This involvement stimulates technology development among companies which in turn leads to innovations of existing products or even the creation of new products or services. In addition, the liaison officers identify the needs of the institutes themselves, for technology and knowledge from companies.
The liaison network regularly provides presentations and booths at technical fairs at home and abroad, where companies and science meet. This is done under the name BigScience.nl, also the website address.
Pen leader Jan Visser of the ILO network and Nikhef says he is extremely pleased with the EZK support. “Until now, a lot of things happened ad hoc, from grant to grant. With this support we can make a multi-year plan with which we can intensify our activities to connect more institutes and companies with Big Science organizations, for example, by bringing companies to important fairs and making the contacts.”