State Secretary Keijzer on a high-tech safari

News | June 20, 2018

Of course the Secretary of State hear the story of the successful collaboration between the now 18 high-tech companies in the Northern Netherlands. A collaboration that, according to Mayor Tom van Mourik van Smallingerland is important for retaining top companies for the region. “In addition to the direct business results, the innovative climate is essential for the existence of these companies in our region. In practice, these self-creating SMEs, which also export their products worldwide, turn out to be of unique and distinctive quality. That in turn makes it attractive for other companies to establish themselves in the area.” 


And as it should be, a visit does not stop at presentations alone. Gerrit Baarda, founder and owner of ZiuZ, demonstrated the IRIS drug scanner and told the story behind this innovative medical device. Developed within the field lab of the Region of Smart Factory (RoSF), in close collaboration with high-tech partner Variass, it is also produced in the Northern Netherlands and is now sold all over the world to pharmacies, hospitals and doctor's practices. "Thanks to IRIS, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare providers can provide patients with the right medicines with certainty," explains Baarda. The device checks the contents of medicine bags quickly and safely. "A medicine bag issued by IRIS contains exactly the right medication and amount that a patient should take at a given time."

EDU Robotics

Of course it came project EDU-robotics discussed. On the basis of the educational technology project for all Frisian primary schools, Keijzer was explained how important the collaboration between business and education is. The State Secretary found the network of knowledge institutions in the Northern and Eastern Netherlands with the high-tech companies to be an interesting collaboration. 


The working visit was concluded with a tour of the Variass production location in Drachten. Here showed owner and director Henk Smid the route to error-free production, with special attention to the self-developed soldering cobot. Working side-by-side with an employee, this robot solders highly specialized electronic components. In the meantime there was lively discussion with the State Secretary.