Joining SRON at Innovatiecluster Drachten

News | 26 March 2021

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The high-tech knowledge institute SRON has been involved in the Innovatiecluster Drachten (ICD) from the beginning of 2020, but the wish for a festive entry was canceled due to Covid-19.

Friday, March 26, 2021, the collaboration was officially recorded, although largely online, but certainly no less festive! 
Binne Visser, chairman of Innovatiecluster Drachten and Jan Geralt Bij de Vaate, manager Instrument Science Group SRON, were personally present at the signing of the cooperation agreement. Digital speeches were given by Paul de Rook (Alderman of Groningen), Robin Hartogh Heys van de Lier (Alderman Smallingerland) and Michael Wise (General and Scientific Director of SRON). 

X-ray telescope Athena
X-ray telescope Athena

Scientific research of the Earth and the universe
SRON 'Netherlands Institute for Space Research' conducts scientific research in the field of astrophysics, exoplanets, Earth observation and detection technology. The NWO Institute also develops instruments for space telescopes in those research areas. For example, with a new X-ray telescope they can make more accurate climate predictions in the future. 

As a national expertise institute, SRON provides advice to the Dutch government and coordinates national contributions to international space missions from a scientific point of view. Scientists report that it is special for them to have extensive contact with American colleagues at NASA.

Next generation of technology

After a word of welcome from Joost Krebbekx, program manager ICD, Michael Wise was able to introduce his company SRON through an interesting presentation. Wise, who previously worked at Astron, who is also a member of the Innovation Cluster, was therefore already well acquainted with ICD and therefore very pleased with the invitation to officially join the Innovation Cluster Drachten. He introduced SRON and the things they are working on through an interesting presentation. “We built things, but we also develop the next generation of technology,” Wise notes.

Dare to look beyond borders

“It feels strange to welcome someone who has actually been part of 'the family' for almost a year” says alderman Hartogh Heys van de Lier. “What I would like to give as an important message to ICD and SRON as a new member, that I am very pleased that the ICD started in and around Drachten, but that we as governments and certainly also in the business community have seen that none of us everyone can do it alone, but that we must dare to look beyond borders.”  

Bij de Vaate added: “Within the Innovation Cluster, SRON can carry out research projects together with local industry and universities or colleges.” “Students play an important role in this, both as executive researchers and as future colleagues. The cluster helps to connect teams, attract partners, exchange knowledge and make research methods available.

For example, SRON gains access to an advanced metal printer with which we can test weight-saving designs. The Innovatiecluster Drachten offers a platform where SRON as a high-tech user can innovate faster and has direct contact with the production industry and students who are interested in this.”

Solving social problems together

Alderman De Rook says in his speech “cooperation is a precondition in order to be able to solve social problems. This will only become more relevant in the future. We can no longer manage with a single innovation cluster. That is why I am very happy and grateful that we are increasingly successful in connecting the various innovation clusters in the Northern Netherlands. This is nicely illustrated by the celebration of this collaboration.”  

Joining SRON - Joost Visser signs cooperation agreement

Binne Visser concludes with a warm welcome to SRON as the 23rd participant of the Innovation Cluster. “Astron has a new brother” says Visser, given the close cooperation that already exists between these two companies. “As an innovative high-tech company, SRON is a great addition to our Innovation Cluster. A company that joins the world players in the field of fundamental research and what is happening in space.
The connection with the knowledge institutions fits in well with the ICD philosophy. SRON provides work to students for research projects in which a great deal of knowledge is gained. This in turn has a positive image and impact on the Northern Ecosystem,” says Visser. 

After these nice words, both parties sign the cooperation contract and it is concluded with congratulations from the digital attendees on behalf of all participating companies of the Innovatiecluster Drachten.

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