You are here

Cleantech & Energy

With about 1,400 companies and organizations working in the area of Cleantech and Energy, East Netherlands has become a valued incubator for more sustainable products, processes and services.

  • Cleantech and Energy (in Dutch: ‘energie- en milieutechnologie’ or EMT) spans a range of efforts aimed at making economies cleaner, greener, and more circular.
  • The rapidly growing field includes everything from shrinking carbon footprints through smarter energy production, conservation, and distribution, to reducing waste, depleting less natural resource, and emitting less chemicals into the environment.
  • East Netherlands has created a vibrant network of knowledge-driven international players. The network, with both private and public players, has made the region a catalyst for additional investments and innovations.

East Netherland’s strategic position, between major urban centers in Holland and Germany, contributed as well. So did its multilingual, multinational work force, its low-cost business locations, and wholehearted support from governments at national and local levels. Oost NL welcomed most of the recent additions with tailored, hands-on support.

A growing club of Cleantech & Energy-related corporations

East Netherlands’ private players in Cleantech and Energy include everything from multinational corporations to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

At one end are global players such as

  • Akzo Nobel, BASF, Rabobank, Royal Haskoning, DHV, ABN AMRO, Tauw, Tempress and PWC. 

At the other end are smaller enterprises such as

  • HyET (improving fuel cell efficiency) and Vitens (supplying drinking water to 4 million people in Northeast Netherlands).

East Netherlands research universities

  • Radboud University (Nijmegen), a century-old general research university, has over 15,000 staff and 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university ranks in the top-75 globally in physical sciences and ; it includes the renowned Radboud University Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), which works on, for example, electron-correlated systems (such as solar cells), self-organizing molecules, and biomolecular systems in complex environments.
  • University of Twente (Enschede), a young, entrepreneurial engineering university, forms the core of Holland’s first innovative business campus. It has about 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 3,300 staff, who focus on areas that have major impacts on society: such as water security and green energy.
  • Wageningen UR, the largest agriculture research community in the world, ranks in the top-30 of life sciences universities globally. It has more than 6,000 staff and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students from over 100 countries. About 1,600 researchers and PhD students are working in fields such as biorefinery, biobased chemicals and materials, bioenergy, water recycling and a circular economy.
  • Utrecht University, one of Europe’s largest general research universities, dates back to 1636 AD. It is Holland’s highest ranking university with top grades across many disciplines. It counts more than 18,000 staff and almost 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Sustainability is one of its four main research themes, within which three areas are key: future energy & resources; healthy urban living; and water, climate & ecosystems.

Research institutes

  • Proximity to high-end public and public/private technology research gives companies access to the latest knowledge, infrastructure and collaborations. East Netherlands offers many such opportunities.
  • One example in energy and environmental technology is the Green Energy Initiative, a project of three leading research institutes related to University of Twente: MESA+ (focus on nanotechnology); the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT, integrating ICT and social science); and the Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS, researching governance and management of technological and social innovation). At present, the Green Energy Initiative focuses on energy from biomass; ICT & smart grids; and advanced materials.

Universities of applied sciences

  • Approximately 100,000 (under)graduate students train at universities of applied sciences across the region, such as HAN, Saxion, and Windesheim. Many of them follow curricula directly related to energy and environmental technology.
  • In the Centre for Biobased Economy (CBBE), Wageningen UR works with other education organizations on training the biobased economy experts of the future.