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4 July 2023

New R&D scheme for high-tech companies

To stimulate innovation and accelerated development of new technologies for the Einstein Telescope, an R&D scheme will soon be launched for high-tech companies. €12,085 million is available for this purpose. That amount was allocated in 2022 in the second round of projects from the National Growth Fund.

About the ET valorisation programme
The scheme is part of the Einstein Telescope valorisation programme. Regional development agency (ROM) LIOF is in charge nationwide, also on behalf of the Ministries of EZK (economy) and OCW (including science) and Nikhef. With three service points at the ROMs in Brabant (BOM), South Holland (InnovationQuarter) and East Netherlands (Oost NL), a national connection is sought with high-tech ecosystems around the technical universities and consortia are built together with industry and knowledge institutions. 

R&D regulation frameworks
The scheme will be open to partnerships around five technology domains relevant to the Einstein Telescope. These domains are:
- vibration-free cooling
- vacuum technology
- vibration damping
- optics
- thermal deformations.
The consortia can consist of startups and SMEs, large companies (corporates) and knowledge institutions. By collaborating with these diverse parties, the scheme hopes to promote cooperation between different players in the innovation ecosystem and accelerate the development of breakthrough technologies. The scheme also hopes to promote applications and uses in other areas and sectors.

Dutch Minister Dijkgraaf of Education, Culture and Science: "The arrival of the Einstein Telescope will provide scientific breakthroughs in how the world looks at the universe. Building an underground advanced observatory for gravitational waves also requires new technological breakthroughs. This scheme helps ensure that companies can work with research institutes and universities to develop and accelerate the necessary technology and innovation. Moreover, it helps position the Netherlands even more as an international hub of technological progress."

Programme manager Jorg van der Meij (LIOF): "The fact that there will now be an extra stimulus specifically for high-tech companies is a very good addition to some extremely successful cross-border programmes that have already supported companies in developing innovative technologies for the Einstein Telescope. My colleagues and I think we can reach and facilitate interested companies well." 

The timeline of the scheme: general information will become available in July 2023, followed by the expected opening of the first call (call) in autumn 2023. Interested parties are encouraged to keep an eye on the announcements and guidelines for further details. They can also contact a business developer in various regions. More info can be found here.

About the Einstein Telescope
The Einstein Telescope will be an advanced underground observatory for gravitational waves. The border region of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany is an ideal location for this facility because of its tranquillity, stable soil, and strong ecosystem of knowledge institutions and high-tech companies. The location of this top facility will be announced in 2025 or 2026. European ministers are expected to decide on the location of Einstein Telescope in 2025.

About the National Growth Fund
With the National Growth Fund, the Dutch government is investing €20 billion between 2021 and 2025 in projects that will ensure long-term economic growth. These are targeted investments in two areas where there are the most opportunities for structural and sustainable economic growth: Knowledge Development and Research, and Development and Innovation. The underlying idea is that economic growth generates more income, allowing for continued investment in healthcare, education and the necessary measures to combat climate change.

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