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Unique innovation programs for green mobility granted by the National Growth Fund

Written by Brainport Eindhoven

30 June 2023

Written by Brainport Eindhoven

30 June 2023

Under the coordination of RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development, a lot of work has been done in recent months to set up three innovation programs that have been submitted to the National Growth Fund. Two of the three proposals were approved on 30 June. The central government is investing €340 million in the projects. The total size of the two projects together is €876 million. 

These are proposals on the topics:  

  • Battery technology (Materials Independence & Circular Batteries)  - granted
  • Charging infrastructure (Charging Energy Hubs)  - granted
  • Hydrogen technology (Innovations and roadmaps for a profitable hydrogen chain in mobility)  - not granted

Strategic independence of scarce materials for batteries  

The Battery Competence Cluster – NL has drawn up a multi-year program Materials Independence & Circular Batteries with more than 60 companies and knowledge institutions. To make the Netherlands less dependent on scarce and critical raw materials for batteries and to capitalize on opportunities in the battery industry. The program focuses on sustainable and circular batteries, which are important for the mobility sector and for energy storage of renewable energy. The latter should ensure stabilization of the electricity network. The project has been awarded €296 million in funding. The total project size is approximately €800 million.       

Smart use of charging infrastructure as a solution for the overcrowded electricity network  

The electrification of the logistics sector is currently being slowed down. Sufficient charging infrastructure cannot be connected, due to congestion problems on the electricity grid. Heliox, in collaboration with DAF, Prodrive Technologies, Shell, Scholt Energy, Firan, ElaadNL, Dynniq Energy, TNO and 20 other companies and knowledge institutions, has drawn up a program to work together on the development of Charging Energy Hubs: decentralized (local) energy systems that form the connecting factor between customers and suppliers of electricity. By linking charging infrastructure, renewable energy sources, energy storage and other local consumers, local flexibility on the grid is created. This flexibility can be used when the electricity network can no longer cope with the power demand. This offers a solution for grid congestion as well as for the business case of investments in charging infrastructure. The project has been awarded of €44 million funding. The total project size is €76 million. 

Hydrogen technology as a solution for making heavy transport more sustainable  

The third proposal submitted, led by Bosal Nederland B.V., is the program 'Innovations and roadmaps for a profitable hydrogen chain in mobility' (H2M). The goal was to achieve a fast and smooth transition to emission-free heavy transport and local energy supply (minigrids). Unfortunately, the proposal has not convinced the National Growth Fund Committee and the parties are looking for alternative ways to bring important innovations around hydrogen to the market.  

National Growth Fund  

With the National Growth Fund, the government will invest € 20 billion between 2021 and 2025 in projects and programs that ensure sustainable economic growth. For the third round (2023), 4 billion euros will be available for both 'knowledge development & research' and 'development & innovation'.  The National Growth Fund is an initiative of the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate and Finance. They jointly manage the fund on behalf of the cabinet 

Next steps  

In the coming period, RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development will work closely with the project partners and the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) to get the projects started and to accelerate the transition to a sustainable mobility system.   

The committee's full evaluation, including the evaluation of the proposal, can be found here.  

Program office Green & Smart mobility   

RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development have joined forces in the Green & Smart mobility program office to implement the long-term strategy of the HTSM Automotive roadmap in various innovation programmes in collaboration with public partners, knowledge institutions and the Dutch automotive sector. The cooperation in and between the programs forms the basis for programmatically working towards the (climate) goals towards 2030 and 2050.

"We are very pleased with the awarding of these two projects that make an important contribution to the technological developments and international positioning of our Dutch industry," says Albie van Buel, managing director RAI Automotive Industry NL and Paul van Nunen, director Brainport Development.