EGEN supports top innovations in mobility


Recently the results were announced of the RDM grant round for the Dutch mobility sectors. A committee of experts made a selection of eight projects. The experts of EGEN’s Transport Team collaborated on no less than four of the eight winning proposals. A result we are proud of! In this article we would like to tell you more about these top projects.

Funding impulse for the mobility sectors

RDM (in Dutch: R&D Mobiliteitssectoren) is a grant scheme for R&D in the Dutch mobility sectors. The scheme, which dates from May 2021, aims to get the stalled R&D investments in the automotive, aviation and shipping sectors going again. This is necessary, because the COVID-19 crisis caused a drop in demand and a decline in turnover in these sectors, and many companies were forced to cut back on their R&D investments. Because cutbacks in R&D could jeopardise our country’s international leading position, the Cabinet decided on a one-off funding impulse of 150 million euros.

Project proposals could be submitted from 17 May to 17 August 2021. A committee of experts selected the best projects from all the submissions. At the end of November, the winners were announced. And as mentioned, no fewer than four of the eight successful applications were drawn up with support from EGEN and PNO (both part of the PNO Group).

Below, we tell you a little more about these fine projects.

Project 1: ‘Green Transport Delta’ for electric transport

This project focuses on new innovations in the field of electrification and battery technology for (heavy) road vehicles. This development requires an ‘integral approach’ to R&D in the Dutch battery value chain. The project therefore represents a consortium on four main topics in the value chain: battery production, battery management systems, charging infrastructure and battery recycling.

The consortium consists of 28 parties, led by VDL Nedcar (initiator). Among the other partners are Heliox, NXP, TNO (the Dutch organisation for applied scientific research), ELEO, DAF, Lightyear, Cleantron, Scholt Energy, Eindhoven University of Technology and Maastricht University. The grant application was guided by a collaboration between PNO and Brainport Development, and made it to first place in the ranking of selected projects!

Project 2: ‘Green Transport Delta’ for hydrogen

This project focuses on innovations in the field of hydrogen, an important technology that can help make the mobility sectors more sustainable. More specifically, it involves the further development of three promising hydrogen technologies: hydrogen combustion engines, fuel cells and a ‘new generation’ technology for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. The project is a cross-over between two sectors, as it involves hydrogen innovations for both freight transport and shipping.

The project is being carried out by a Dutch consortium consisting of twenty partners, with DAF Trucks as the principal. Other participants include: Bronkhorst, Bosal, DENS, DLS, Koedood, MTEE, NPS Diesel, Resato, Vialle, VDL, VSL, TNO, Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Groningen. The grant application was entirely written by PNO, and the project development/coordination took place in cooperation with RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development. The assessment committee placed the project in second place of winning projects!

Project 3: BrightSky innovates the Dutch aviation sector

Large international airports like Schiphol in Amsterdam are an ideal testing ground for technological innovations. This is what the BrightSky project is all about: making the Dutch aviation sector more competitive at and around the airport, through technical innovations in the fields of maintenance, security and airport systems. The grant application for this project was fully guided and prepared by EGEN’s Transport Team. The BrightSky application was honoured with a grant of approximately 25 million euros.

Project 4: A strong maritime hydrogen economy with SH2IPDRIVE

This project concerns an ambitious cooperation between 25 companies and knowledge institutions from the Dutch maritime sector. The focus is on the introduction of hydrogen as an alternative energy carrier for shipping, and the development of new propulsion and energy systems for ships based on hydrogen. At the same time, SH2IPDRIVE lays the foundation for a strong maritime hydrogen economy in the Netherlands, to gain a leading position in Europe and the world. The application was a collaboration between PNO and EGEN’s Transport Team, and was honoured with a grant of approximately 25 million euros. See also the press release on this project.

Other projects

The four other projects that were selected for a grant are also definitely worthwhile, and we would like to mention them briefly here. They are:

  • Thermoplastics for Sustainable Aviation (lightweight materials for small aircraft);
  • MENENS (a project about methanol as a sustainable alternative fuel for ships);
  • LNG-ZERO (technologies to significantly reduce emissions from LNG-powered ships);
  • Composite tank for aviation (a lightweight fuel tank for liquid hydrogen).

The eight selected cooperation projects involve a total of 109 companies and 27 research institutions.

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