National Growth Fund gives impulse to making the economy more sustainable with innovative chemistry

On Thursday 14 April, the cabinet took over the advice of the independent committee of the National Growth Fund to invest 5 billion euros in 28 projects that should strengthen the economy in the longer term. The ChemistryNL Top Sector has been involved in 6 submitted proposals, as co-leader of GroenvermogenII and Sustainable MaterialsNL and as a supporter, advisor of the other proposals.

Jacqueline Vaessen, Chair of the Top Sector ChemistryNL:
I am pleased that the government is showing with these awards that the use of innovative chemistry cuts both sides. On the one hand, the chemical industry is building on its strong role for and major contribution to the Dutch economy. On the other hand, it honors the fact that chemistry is crucial for the societal challenges we face, such as a circular economy that is less dependent on fossil raw materials. I congratulate all accepted proposals and look forward to their results.

GroenvermogenNL will receive € 500 million through the grant from GroenkrachtII to accelerate the creation of a green hydrogen ecosystem in the Netherlands. That amount is in addition to the 338 million that GroenVermogenNL received in the Growth Fund grants in 2021. The program focuses on the objectives of the Climate Agreement. The committee has confidence in the consortium that has been set up to contribute to the energy transition and greening of the industry.

The Duurzame MaterialenNL proposal connects three material clusters in the Netherlands: energy materials, construction materials and circular plastics. The investment from the National Growth Fund in the project is a maximum of €220 million for the circular plastics part. The National Growth Fund committee sees this submitted proposal as a strong combination of social benefits and a significant economic boost for the Netherlands.

Zelfdenkende Moleculaire Systemen aims to apply ‘Big data’ to complex molecular systems to form the international vanguard in ‘Big Chemistry’. The project is led by a top scientific consortium in collaboration with the German Max Planck Institute. The investment of the Growth Fund is a maximum of € 97 million.

The Biotech Booster proposal focuses on increasing the yield of scientific research and on strengthening the biotech ecosystem. According to the committee, biotechnology is a key technology in which the Netherlands has excellent credentials, which is why the Growth Fund is investing a maximum of € 246 million.

PharmaNL will structurally strengthen Dutch competitiveness with technical facilities for startups in the pharmaceutical industry and guarantee the development and availability of critical medicines. The investment of the Growth Fund is a maximum of € 80 million.

Oscar van den Brink, director of ChemistryNL:
The investments of the National Growth Fund will be given even more power and impact because they will be doubled (order of magnitude) through financial input from the business community. I think it’s great to see that chemical companies and knowledge parties with different expertise are tackling the major societal challenges together with other sectors. And that this therefore recognizes that such challenges also entail opportunities for social, scientific and economic value creation.

National Growth Fund
The National Growth Fund was launched in 2020 with the aim of strengthening the sustainable earning capacity of the Netherlands. Together with initiators, the National Growth Fund invests in projects that meet the highest standards to ensure sustainable economic growth in the longer term. Until 2025, the cabinet is allocating a total of € 20 billion for the National Growth Fund. This concerns targeted investments for knowledge development and research, development and innovation. In this second round, 37 projects were submitted via various ministries. 28 proposals were able to convince the advisory committee with a solid substantiation and have now been approved.


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