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Digital Industry & Technology

A strong and divers business community that works closely with internationally recognized knowledge institutions in the region. That is the strength of the East. As a result, East Netherlands has a highly innovative manufacturing industry, an advanced medical sector and the global foundation for smart food production.

The key technologies that make this possible are developed here in the East Netherlands. The region is great in small things, with a European top position in nanotechnology, photonics and the semicon industry. In the coming years, East Netherlands will be investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI). 

Innovation agenda East Netherlands

The digital transition is one of East Netherlands spearheads for the coming years. Within this broad domain of Digital Economy and Industries, we focus on five more specific sub-themes. 

Smart Industry

The manufacturing industry is a strong sector in East Netherlands with many jobs. The digital transition of this industry is necessary to remain competitive and future-proof. This makes it one of the spearheads of the region. On the one hand, we do this by stimulating top research into the latest technological innovations and, on the other, by inspiring and stimulating the wider business community to embrace existing innovations.

Strengthening a sector and its chains requires this two-track policy.
All projects within this theme focus on the development of new technology or the implementation of existing technology in processes. These different tracks reinforce each other. We mention a number of projects for inspiration.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is one of the building blocks for innovations in the coming years. It is a key technology for improving medical data analysis, precision agriculture and implementing flexible production lines, among other things. The application opportunities in East Netherlands with this technology are so great that it has been designated as a separate strategic priority for the East Netherlands. For example, more than 350 companies in East Netherlands are actively working on AI applications in the fields of Health, Smart Industry, Food and Energy. At the regional knowledge institutes, more than 500 scientists and PhD students are researching the possibilities of AI.

Digital Business

The digital transition is creating radically different business models. Technological developments form the basis for new chains, processes and propositions. Digital Business is cross-sectoral and therefore offers opportunities for companies in different sectors. Companies in, for example, retail, construction, logistics, culture and manufacturing need to explore new possibilities and share practical examples with each other in order to make the most of the opportunities that digitisation offers. From questions about the value of data to new processes for co-creation through the chain. By investing in projects that make entrepreneurs think about their own business model and inspiring them with other success stories, companies are taken by the hand in the digital transformation.


Now that everything and everyone is becoming digitally more connected, vulnerabilities are a greater risk. Research shows that the vast majority of companies are insufficiently prepared and do not have their digital security in order. By investing in public-private partnerships, we are working to raise awareness and develop technological inventions to reduce these risks.

Key enabling Technologies

Investing in key enabling technologies (KETs) is investing in the future. KETs provide the foundation for further innovations. The developments are relevant to every sector and field of application. Relevant for Digital Economy & Industry are, among others, the projects on semiconductor industry, sensor technology and robotics, integrated photonics and nanotechnology and 6G. 


"The digital transition of this industry is necessary to remain competitive and future-proof"

"The digital transition of this industry is necessary to remain competitive and future-proof"