Dutch partnership focuses on new materials, technologies

Netherlands-based Advanced Materials Manufacturing Oost-Nederland (AMMON) features, among its members, TenCate, and will focus on bringing new materials and technology to market.

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Seven large companies in east Netherlands have formed industrial partnerships with the aim of accelerating technological innovations relating to new materials, products and systems and of rolling these out in international markets.

The promoter of this collaboration is the recently established foundation AMMON (Advanced Materials Manufacturing Oost-Nederland [East Netherlands]). After successful projects in 2010 (AMMON 1) and 2011 and 2012 (AMMON 2), in which Bronkhorst High-Tech, Pentair X-Flow, TenCate and Wavin agreed to firm industrial collaboration, it has now been decided to formalize the partnerships.

With the establishment of the AMMON foundation, the directors of Bronkhorst High-Tech, Pentair X-Flow, Reef, Sensata Technologies, TenCate, TKH Group and Wavin have endorsed the partnership. The executive board of the foundation and the Industrial Board will be chaired by Geert Braaksma, vice president Sensors Europe at Sensata Technologies.

East Netherlands has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech companies in The Netherlands. Many of these companies now face the challenge of making the transition from product to system innovation in order to assure their future earning power. This will require focused collaboration between companies in the field of system development, implementation and joint marketing. This was the reason for creating AMMON.

Braaksma explains: "Collaboration is the new form of competition. AMMON is creating a win-win situation for our country's economic driver. Various trends that challenge our society and economy make it necessary to accelerate the development of new product-market combinations at the interfaces of technologies. Close collaboration with universities and colleges is a precondition, since this is where the basics are laid for innovations within business and industry. In addition to good science or applied research, implementation-focused collaboration between companies is essential in order to produce tangible results. The role of provincial governments is of great importance and AMMON plays a pivotal role in this. This immediately delivers concrete products and production, which again boosts employment in the east of the Netherlands and also makes a greater contribution to the economic driver of our country and the gross national product."

On the basis of detailed analyses of the market, of competitors, technology surveys and existing production facilities (including OICAM, the Open Innovation Center Advanced Materials in Nijverdal, the Netherlands), new product/market combinations are initiated by the partners in AMMON. This leads to the formation of consortia that flesh out these concepts to produce professional business cases. Each AMMON process results in a tangible working system: the demonstrator. This is the basis for the final product design, which is aimed at high volume production. As the last step, AMMON guides and monitors the business plan as it relates to the market involved.

AMMON is currently conducting talks with various companies that would like to join this industrial partnership.