Long term funding for WaterCampus Leeuwarden

WaterCampus Leeuwarden will receive more than €40 million from the so called National Growth Fund over the next 10 years. In total, the Dutch government today awarded €135 million for the Water Technology Growth Plan. In this plan, a broad national coalition will work for 10 years to capitalize on the global potential of the Dutch water technology sector, while securing national water availability.

This will significantly strengthen the national role and impact of the WaterCampus:

– Knowledge development through innovative collaboration between companies and universities runs in the Growth Plan through Wetsus. From the Growth Fund, € 35 million will be invested in the successful innovation program of this SBO institute. This is the final piece of the puzzle for Wetsus in its unique financing mix, in which synergy is brought about in the co-financing from companies, universities, the region, the EU, the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and now the National Growth Fund (via the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment). The knowledge foundation for the innovative water sector is thus assured for the next 10 years.

– The part of the program that focuses on translating new technology into entrepreneurship and export is coordinated by Water Alliance. An amount of €7 million has been made available from the Growth Fund for this purpose. Of this, €5 million will be made available directly to Water Alliance and €2 million will be available to companies through a scheme. For Water Alliance this means a strengthening of its national role as facilitator in entrepreneurship, business development and export. Several programs will be rolled out over the next 10 years for this purpose.

– The work package aimed at the availability, training and further development of young and older talent for the sector is partly implemented by the Centre of Expertise Water Technology (in cooperation with colleges such as NHL-Stenden and Van Hall Larenstein). In the coming months a division of tasks and budget will be made for this in consultation with the other parties in this work package.

The above activities are part of the Water Technology Growth Plan. Here 600 partners are working together on an integrated knowledge and innovation program to solve social challenges and achieve economic impact. The program covers the entire innovation chain, from scientific research via demonstration, implementation and export to new entrepreneurship. Budget for the Water Technology Growth Plan had already been reserved by the Cabinet in April 2022, on the advice of the NGF Advisory Committee.

Below the WaterCampus press release that went out:

The National growth fund invests in water technology sector and sustainable water availability
A consortium of approximately 600 parties will invest € 342 million in the development, growth and export of the water technology sector and, in connection with this, the sustainable availability of Dutch water through the Water Technology Growth Plan. The plan covers a period of 10 years. Funding from the National Growth Fund (NGF) has been allocated for this purpose. Today, on the advice of the NGF advisory committee, the Cabinet decided to invest an amount of €135 million in the Growth Plan. The remaining funds will be contributed by companies (€106 million) and decentralized governments and knowledge institutions (€101 million).

In April 2022, the NGF Advisory Committee had already reserved the allocated €135 million based on a precursor to the now-approved plan. Following the committee’s suggestions, the consortium has been working on an improved proposal in recent months. Compared to the earlier submission, among other things, more focus has been placed on national earning potential.

The collaboration behind the Growth Plan is unique in width and scope and the potential is great, the advisory committee recognizes. Dutch companies are developing products, processes and services that can be sold worldwide in markets where water quantity and quality issues are at play. Those markets are practically everywhere. For example, the World Economic Forum has named water scarcity as one of five greatest threats to global prosperity for eight consecutive years. The great economic opportunities in the necessary availability of sufficient clean water are still being realized too little and too slowly for various reasons.

The Water Technology Growth Plan contributes to reducing the barriers to innovation and bringing these pioneering technologies to the market. In doing so, the Growth Plan gives an important boost to the sector’s innovative strength, growth and export volume. The plan covers the entire ecosystem from knowledge to skill to doing business: from research to further development, validation and scaling up to first demonstration application by (private and public) launching customers, with flanking coordination within the sector and with other sectors. The Growth Plan secures the flow of Dutch companies to the global market and thus offers economic added value for companies in Dutch water technology.

In this way, it focuses on growth in earning capacity and labor productivity, both for the water technology sector and for water-using sectors. At the same time, the innovation and valorization required for this leads to a water transition that ensures sufficient clean water and greater security of supply for all users (households, industry, agro, nature). An essential condition in the business and residential location climate.

National Growth Fund
The National Growth Fund (NGF) is an initiative of the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate and of Finance. The fund aims to make public investments that contribute to the sustainable earning capacity of the Netherlands. The NGF was set up in 2020 and is intended for one-time public investments. With the NGF, the government is allocating €20 billion for projects between 2021 and 2025. These are targeted investments in the areas where the most opportunities exist for structural and sustainable economic growth, namely: knowledge development and research, development and innovation.

More information (Dutch):