Working visit to the Northern Netherlands

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1 European Commissioner Johannes Hahn Working visit to the Northern Netherlands Thursday 19 July 2012

2 2 Contents Foreword 3 Programme 4 Participants 7 Practical information 11 Northern Netherlands region 13 Subjects 1 Radio Astronomy 17 2 Healthy Ageing 19 3 Energy 21 4 Water technology 23 5 De Alde Feanen National Park 24

3 3 Foreword Dear Mr Hahn, We are delighted to welcome you to the Northern Netherlands. The European budget of million enables us to run the Northern Operational Programme; which would not be possible without this European funding. For the three Northern provinces Drenthe, Fryslân and Groningen, united in the Northern Netherlands Provinces (SNN) this European programme is the primary instrument for the realisation of our joint economic objectives. For some years now we have been doing this by concentrating our attention on those projects and sectors we consider to be really important. For example in the fields of water technology, energy, sensor technology, agribusiness and healthy ageing, which are abundant in the Northern Netherlands. European Structural Funds make a real difference in our region. After 2014 we really want to continue realising our ambitions. On 28 March 2011, under the guidance of my colleague Max van den Berg, we were pleased to present these five clusters to you. Now you can see the results of our approach yourself. In consultation with you we have designed this programme to include themes such as radio astronomy, healthy ageing, energy and water technology. We are delighted to show you what our region will contribute to the EU2020 strategy. In this programme brochure you will find both practical and substantive information. Each section of the programme is explained in brief. We are looking forward to meeting you on 19 July Yours sincerely, Jacques Tichelaar SNN chairman

4 4 Thursday 19 July 2012 Programme 08:00 Breakfast session with SNN executive committee - De Havixhorst Welcome and introduction by Jacques Tichelaar, SNN chairman (15 min.) Northern Netherlands Collaboration by Undersecretary Dr Oliver Liersch from the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport (10 min.) Meeting with European Commissioner Johannes Hahn (25 min.). 09:00 End of breakfast session SNN executive committee 09:05 Photo moment in front of De Havixhorst 09:15 Bus departs to Astron RADIO ASTRONOMY 09:50 Arrival at Astron, start tour Guided tour by Prof. Michael Garrett, general and scientific director of ASTRON (25 min.) Oude Hoogeveensedijk PD Dwingeloo 10:20 End of Astron guided tour 10:30 Bus departs to ERIBA (UMCG) During the bus trip: presentation by Harry van Dorenmalen, Country General Manager IBM Netherlands & Chairman IBM Europe HEALTHY AGEING 11:30 Arrival at ERIBA Guided tour by Prof. Gerald de Haan, director of ERIBA (European Research Institute on The Biology of Ageing) (25 min) Antonius Deusinglaan 1 Building 3226, entrance: revolving door at front of new building 9713 AV Groningen 12:00 Lunch in the university medical centre Groningen (UMCG) 13:00 Bus departs to Suiker Unie

5 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 5 ENERGY 13:15 Visit Green Gas Hub on the Suiker Unie site Gerrit van Werven, director of Energy Valley, and Bram Fetter, plant manager, will show the Green Gas Hub (25 min.) Hoendiep EG Hoogkerk 13:45 Bus departs to Hotel Restaurant Princenhof During the bus trip: Water Alliance presentation by Jan Bargboer (15 min.) WATER TECHNOLOGY 14:40 Hotel Restaurant Princenhof, Wetsus presentation Presentation of Wetsus knowledge institute by Johannes Boonstra, general director Wetsus (25 min.) Piet Miedemaweg TJ Earnewâld 15:15 Press moment in Hotel Restaurant Princenhof Press moment at the same location as the Wetsus presentation (15 min.) 15:30 European Commissioner Hahn and Queen s Commissioner Jorritsma in solar boat 15:30 Cruise round De Alde Feanen Reception for guests on board Piet Miedemaweg TJ Earnewâld 15:45 Start cruise Word of welcome and speech on Northern cooperation by John Jorritsma, Queen s Commissioner for Fryslân (10 min.) Speech by European Commissioner Hahn (15 min.) 17:40 Back in Earnewâld European Commissioner Hahn first to disembark and departure to Schiphol 17:45 Departure Hahn to Schiphol

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7 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 7 Participants Johannes Hahn European Commissioner for Regional Policy Dr. Oliver Liersch Lower Saxony Secretary of State for the Economy, Employment and Transport Jacques Tichelaar Queen s Commissioner in the Province of Drenthe and SNN chairman Henk Brink (VVD - Dutch Liberal Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Drenthe Ard van der Tuuk (PvdA - Dutch Labour Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Drenthe John Jorritsma Queen s Commissioner in the Province of Fryslân Hans Konst (PvdA - Dutch Labour Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Fryslân Sietske Poepjes (CDA - Dutch Christian Democratic Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Fryslân Max van den Berg Queen s Commissioner in the Province of Groningen

8 8 Participants Mark Boumans (VVD - Dutch Liberal Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Groningen Wilma Mansveld (PvdA - Dutch Labour Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Groningen Piet de Vey Mestdagh (D66 - Dutch Democratic Party) Member of the Provincial Executive, Province of Groningen Cees Bijl Mayor of the Municipality of Emmen Sicko Heldoorn Mayor of the Municipality of Assen Peter Rehwinkel Mayor of the Municipality of Groningen Rob Engelsman Director of SNN Prof. Michael Garrett General and Scientific Director of ASTRON Harry van Dorenmalen General Manager IBM Netherlands & Chairman IBM Europe

9 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 9 Professor Dr Gerald de Haan Director of ERIBA Folkert Kuipers Dean of the Medical Faculty and Executive Board Member of University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) Professor Dr Sibrand Poppema President of the University of Groningen Jan Sikkema Business Development Director UMCG Gerrit van Werven General Director, Energy Valley Bram Fetter Plant Manager, Suikerunie Jan Bargboer Manager External Affairs, Wateralliance Johannes Boonstra General Director, Wetsus

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11 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 11 Practical information Accommodation Chateau hotel and restaurant De Havixhorst De Schiphorsterweg AC De Schiphorst Route From Zwolle: Take exit De Wijk (exit 24, N851) from the A28. At the roundabout turn right, towards De Wijk. After 1.1 km turn right into the Schiphorsterweg. After 1.4 km bear left. SNN Contacts Rob Engelsman Tytsy Willemsma Sigrid Tersteeg Danny Kerstholt Rebecca Krüders Bus On Thursday 19 July a bus will take the company to the various locations. Boat The jetty will depart from and moor again in Earnewâld. Hotel Princenhof Piet Miedemaweg TJ Earnewâld The jetty is located to the right of the hotel.

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13 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 13 Northern Netherlands region Europe 2020: the framework in which the European Commission describes the situation and challenges for the European Union. These challenges are very diverse. An economy lagging behind in innovation and competitiveness, depopulation of rural areas, decreasing and ageing population, good and sustainable health care, social exclusion in villages and cities. These are challenges that have priority within Europe But the European Commission also underlines themes including the interests of cities as economic engine, collaboration between boarder regions, protecting unique natural assets and landscape quality and the development towards a low carbon economy. A glance at the Northern Netherlands shows that the threats and challenges of Europe 2020 are clearly recognisable here. Although for certain topics, not with the extremes experienced in other parts of the European Union. But, in general terms, the Northern Netherlands more than matches the profile that Europe 2020 describes. It is a proposition that we will explain in more detail. Demographics: declining birth rates, ageing population and changing health situation One of the key developments coincides with the declining birth rates and ageing population. The composition of the Northern Netherlands population is changing radically. A decrease in the number of young people up to 20 years of age (-0.88%) and a decrease in the age category years (-0.82%). The age category 65 years and older is increasing by 4.4%. The population is therefore ageing rapidly, while the population growth is at a virtual standstill. Of the provinces, Drenthe is aging the fastest. North East-Groningen is one of the major areas of population decline in the Netherlands. The changing demographics have consequences for social and economic developments. Maintaining employment, regional labour market policy, maintaining participation, good and affordable healthcare and the quality of life in the rural areas are all under pressure. Population growth and decline are close: more than two-thirds of the 1.7 million inhabitants of the Northern Netherlands lives and works in the urban areas. In the four large cities the total population increased by 8% between 2000 and The rural areas therefore present the greatest demographic challenge. Demographic developments will influence the health situation in the North of the country. This hardly differs from the national average, according to figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) about the number of hospital admissions and visits to GPs, but is also apparent from figures regarding chronic illnesses. As the population grows older, healthcare requirements also alter. Considering the increasing ageing population and the rise in age-related (chronic) illnesses, this is a dominant topic in the North. Another aspect is that due to the demographic change a shortage of healthcare professionals will arise. Economy: the Northern Netherlands to catch up The Northern Netherlands has been working consistently on strengthening the regional economy for some time. And not without results. The deficit with the rest of the Netherlands as a whole has not been completely eradicated, but it is now smaller. Consider unemployment, level of education and work participation, for example. Economic growth in the Northern Netherlands in 2010 was 1.7%; on a par with the national average (1.8%). The GRP (gross regional product) per capita (excluding mining and mineral extraction) at 26,713 in 2009 continues to lag behind the national average of 33,445. The GRP development in the period shows less strong growth than the Netherlands as a whole (28% versus 31%). In 2009, 15,600 households had already had an income under the low income limit for 4 years or more, 10.6% of the national total. This corresponds to the percentage of the total population. Employment in the Northern Netherlands grew slightly in Between 2000 and 2010, the number of jobs grew by 9%, close to the national growth of 10%. The motor function of the large cities is undeniable. With 27% of the inhabitants and 19% of the workforce, the four cities Assen, Emmen, Groningen and Leeuwarden, are responsible for more than 40% of the jobs. The level of education in Northern Netherlands is lower than average: the share of high-qualified employment is 27% compared to 33% for the Netherlands as a whole. In 2011, unemployment in the Northern Netherlands was higher than the national average (6.2% versus 5.4%), but from 2000, the gap is becoming smaller.

14 14 Unemployment among young people is still above the national average. The gap between the qualifications of (early) school leavers and the training qualifications requested by employers in the Northern Netherlands threatens to widen. The added value of the northern economy is 8% of the total for the Netherlands with a population share of 10.5%. A key characteristic for the northern economy is the over representation of SME in all sectors and business classes: 95% of the business community is formed by SME. The region boast only a few large companies (and head offices). The share of businesses in agriculture and/or fishing as well as industry is above average. Similar to the nationwide trend, the relative importance of agriculture and industry is diminishing and the importance of business services, education and healthcare increasing. Regional top sectors: engines of innovation One of the means of measuring the innovative capacity of the business community is to consider the extent of R&D investments. Between 2003 and 2007, the scale of R&D expenditure (investments in employees) in the Northern Netherlands increased by 18%. A considerable rise, but lower than in the Netherlands as a whole (21%). That is also visible in the share of innovative companies in the Northern Netherlands SME. In 2010 this was 25%, for the Netherlands as a whole, 31%. A company is considered as an innovative company if it has conducted product or process innovation in the past three years. A contribution to the innovative strength in the Northern Netherlands is expected in particular from five clusters: energy, sensor technology, water technology, healthy ageing and agribusiness. These are directly linked to the national top sectors. Energy The Northern Netherlands has a leading role in the field of renewable energy and climate policy. This is due to the concentration of the gas industry and a growing position in electricity generation. With more than 400 companies, 30,000 direct jobs and an added value of around 1.5 billion the energy sector is strongly represented in the Northern Netherlands. Sensor technology (high tech) Northern Netherlands is building an international position in the development of sensor technology. Approximately 175 sensor technology companies employing some 2,000 people are located in the Northern Netherlands. But as enabling technology, sensor technology is strategically important for a much larger number of companies. The sector is good for an added value of some 100 million. Water technology The top of Dutch expertise on water technology is located in the Northern Netherlands. 150 companies are active in the water technology sector which provides about 1,000 jobs. Together they realise 150 million in added value. Wetsus, a Technology Top Institute (TTI), is a multidisciplinary collaboration between 90 companies and 16 universities. Healthy Ageing The broad Northern Netherlands healthcare sector consists of 6,000 companies with 100,000 jobs and is good for a turnover of 5 billion. The sector is characterised by an integrated approach to growing old healthily and the involvement of the entire healthcare chain: prevention, healthcare providers, researchers, insurers, professional organisations and companies. Innovative SMEs, national and multinational companies are active the region. Agribusiness The Northern Netherlands is strongly committed to the relationship between the agricultural sector and the agro industry. The agricultural sector is strongly represented in the Northern Netherlands and indispensable for the agribusiness. With 6,000 companies, 15,000 jobs and an added value of approximately 1.3 billion, agribusiness is very important to the Northern Netherlands. Various specialised knowledge institutions (Dairy Campus, Van Hall Larenstein, green AOCs) are present in the region and there is a strong industrial market due to the presence of the chemical industry and biomethanol and biorefinery factories. Nature, landscape and environmental qualities Aspects on which the Northern Netherlands differentiates itself from the rest of the Netherlands include the relatively low population density, a large number of villages with less than 1,000 inhabitants and a proportionally large acreage of agricultural land, good for a significant share of the Dutch agricultural production. The trend to scaling up, the relatively strong dependence on income support as well as the ageing population and succession situation make the northern countryside vulnerable. The level

15 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 15 of amenities as well as the social structure are under pressure. In contrast, the region still has its original natural quality. Various nature areas in the Northern Netherlands are part of Natura Furthermore, many areas are also designated as National Landscape: Lauwersmeer, Schiermonnikoog, De Alde Feanen, Drents-Fries Wold, Dwingelerveld and the stream and esdorp [village with farms centred around a square/church, surrounded by fields on the inside and heathland on the outside] landscape Drentse Aa. In addition, the region has the contiguous wetlands, such as the Eems-Dollard area, the Lauwersmeer, the Drentse stream valleys, the Frisian Lakes and the Wadden Sea. Cultural landscapes can be found in the secluded landscape of the Frisian forests and the southern Westerkwartier (wooded banks and canals), the Frisian-Groningen terpen and wierden [man-made elevations] area and the small-scale stream and esdorp landscape in Drenthe. The arable areas of Oldambt and the mining colonies in Groningen and Drenthe are typical for the Northern Netherlands. The landscape values and the natural qualities make the Northern Netherlands an attractive tourist region. SNN The provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Fryslân work together in the SNN. The partnership was established in 1992 designed to strengthen the economic position of the provinces by bundling resources. The cooperation is defined in the form of a joint venture. Since 2007, the four large cities Groningen, Leeuwarden, Emmen and Assen have played a significant advisory role within SNN. The SNN manages the operational programme for the Northern Netherlands. Operational Programme Northern Netherlands (EFRO) Budget for the North million. 130 projects have been realised within this current programme. Key figures Operational Programme Northern Netherlands (ERDF) Budget Committed Realised ERDF million million* 39.9 million Total investments million million million Target value Committed Realised Number of jobs created (in FTEs) 2,500 9,974 1,065 Private follow-up investments stimulated ** million 6.5 million Number of supporting SME companies 1,000 5,158 1,921 Number of collaborations between companies and knowledge institutes Number of R&D projects * Because on average subsidies granted are higher than budgeted, at programme level more is allocated than is available in the budget. ** No target value was determined in advance for this indicator.

16 Subjects 1 Radio Astronomy 2 Healthy Ageing 3 Energy 4 Water Technology 5 De Alde Feanen National Park

17 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 17 ASTRON makes discoveries in radio astronomy happen 1 Radio astronomy (ASTRON) ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Its main mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen, via the development of new and innovative technologies, the operation of worldclass radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. Engineers and astronomers at ASTRON have an outstanding international reputation for novel technology development, and fundamental research in galactic and extra-galactic astronomy. ASTRON designed, developed and built the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT), the world s largest low-frequency radio telescope. It operates LOFAR along with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), one of the most sensitive cm-wave telescopes in the world. Engineers at ASTRON are developing new technology that will increase the field of view of all the Westerbork antennas by a factor of almost forty. This means that astronomers need much less time to acquire far more information about a larger part of the sky. This technology will also be used for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). ASTRON hosts JIVE (the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe) and the NOVA Optical/ IR group. ASTRON employs about 165 staff and is an institute of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the largest science funding body in the Netherlands. The International LOFAR Telescope The International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) is a pan-european collaborative project led by ASTRON. Combining thousands of simple dipole receivers with powerful digital signal processing and high-performance computing, LOFAR can rapidly survey wide areas of the sky, looking in multiple directions simultaneously. LOFAR observes at relatively unexplored low radio frequencies, thus opening up a new window on the universe for astronomers. Forty LOFAR stations are located in the Netherlands. A further eight LOFAR stations are located in Germany (5), England, Sweden and France. The largest distance between these antenna stations is about 1500 kilometres, which allows astronomers to observe in even greater detail still. The Square Kilometre Array To probe deeper in the early universe and to verify the fundamental laws of physics, new and even larger radio telescopes are needed. Astronomers around the globe are working together to realise this Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA will have elements in South Africa and neighbouring countries as well as in Australia and New Zealand. European countries are playing a key role in SKA, and the Netherlands is - through ASTRON - a major partner. Together with scientists and industry, ASTRON is preparing the Dutch knowledge contribution for SKA. With the LOFAR telescope and the development of aperture arrays, the institute has a strong position in the international SKA programme. Furthermore, ASTRON aims to become the primary European SKA Data and Expertise Centre. Technology transfer ASTRON designs its projects in such a way that it involves commercial partners as much as possible in the development of new instruments and innovative high-tech systems. Partnerships in large development projects form the main pillar of our valorisation strategy. Involving private companies (techno-starters, SMEs and large multinationals) in large astronomical instrumentation projects has proven to be an extremely effective way of valorising ASTRONs expertise and research output. Strengthening the competitive power of companies in the R&D phase, allows them to successfully tender in the production phase. More importantly, it provides them with new skills and tools, permitting these companies to compete and operate in new and more lucrative market segments. Collaboration with techno-starters in various phases of a project has often given them a kick-start, and with ASTRON as a launching customer they enjoy the benefits of a strong network and reference point. Technology Transfer within ASTRON also concentrates on imparting ASTRONs expertise via innovation projects and consultancy. Companies can hire the measuring facilities in ASTRON s Dwingeloo laboratories. The technology developed for radio astronomy can also be applied outside of science, for example in radio communication (police, fire brigade) and security (RFID, radio-frequency identification). Even wireless internet (WiFi) originated in radio astronomy. Relevance to the region We observe the universe, we collaborate on a global scale, but we are firmly connected to the Northern Netherlands. ASTRON has been instrumental in getting the Sensor Peak organised, helped to

18 18 establish the Hanze Institute of Technology and recently started a large public-private partnership with IBM Research, leading to the ASTRON & IBM Centre for Exascale Technology in Dwingeloo. This centre will become a focus for R&D in Big Data, firmly connecting with the other regional innovation programmes. Although economic and societal impact is hard to quantify, some key figures can be given: Jobs created by LOFAR: Business creation in LOFAR: 50 new jobs directly 5 start-ups 150 new jobs in follow-up projects 50 companies involved 500 new jobs indirectly in 1 new university of applied sciences 1 new knowledge institute Investments triggered by LOFAR: Total private investment in LOFAR: 8.4 million Total investment volume in follow-up projects: 200 million Funding directed to the Northern Netherlands through ASTRON in the period : National funding/contracts: 18.7 million (+ 3.5 million JIVE) EC grants: 7.6 million (+ 7.0 million JIVE) Export LOFAR stations: 6.6 million Long-term vision ASTRON wants to maintain its position within the worldwide top 3 in radio astronomy institutes. In an increasingly global playing field, this will require us to collaborate even more strongly at the European level. We will have to strengthen our fundamental research and grow further into an international centre for LOFAR and the SKA. ASTRON wants to expand its potential to collaborate with industry in publicprivate partnerships. Radio astronomy has extremely challenging technical requirements, and is thus highly relevant for high-tech industry. As we proceed from LOFAR to SKA, new opportunities are opening up and a broader range of industrial partners becomes interested in collaborating with us. ASTRON wants to increase its relevance for Europe, for the Netherlands and for the Northern region. We are actively involved in defining the smart specialisation strategy for the region, bringing to the table our international profile and network, our facilities and our R&D experience high-tech systems and big data.

19 Working visit organised for European Commissioner Hahn 19 2 Healthy Ageing HANNN stimulates the economic developments of the North Netherlands by connecting knowledge institutes, companies and governments around knowledge in the field of disease and health. The number of elderly continues to grow, in Europe, in the Netherlands, but primarily in the North Netherlands. Greying of the population is occurring earlier there than in many other regions. That demands new and smart solutions to improve the quality of life of the ageing person and to minimise the social burden for health. The North Netherlands has the knowledge, experience and urgency to be a leader in innovation and research in the field of healthy ageing. That is why HANNN was established. The knowledge and development cluster in the field of staying healthy longer. Dozens of companies, knowledge institutes and governments have combined forces in HANNN to collaborate on solutions based on knowledge in the field of disease and health. HANNN focuses on the following key areas: Life Sciences, Medical Technology, Food & Nutrition, Care & Cure and Healthy Lifestyle. The key areas partially overlap, and it is especially in the cross-overs where innovations develop. The added value also lies in the integral, multidisciplinary approach to the topic. It has acquired an unique position. HANNN s goal is: realise innovations and fundamental breakthroughs that will fundamentally improve the conditions for healthy ageing and stimulate economic activities in the region as a result. HANNN acts as an umbrella in all this. It offers separate initiatives a bridging perspective, puts them in a North Netherlands strategy and provides a supraregional podium. HANNN stimulates, accelerates, connects HANNN began at the start of The initiative was supported by the University of Groningen, the Groningen University Medical Centre, all higher education institutes in the North Netherlands, the relevant regional and local governments, ten companies and the NOM. In two years time, various subclusters under the HANNN umbrella were created with the European subsidy obtained via SNN. There are now over 100 organisations working intensively together in this field (triple helix). Examples of these clusters: Food Circle; Food for Healthy Ageing, in which 14 organisations collaborate to use knowledge about disease and health to develop healthier nutritional components, Springboard, in which over 60 companies collaborate to exchange relevant knowledge in the field of Medical Technology, LIMIS, Leeuwarden Institute for Minimal Invasive Surgery, a partnership to train e.g. surgeons in laparoscopy, Northern Drug Targeting & Delivery Cluster, in which we help 8 companies to form a relevant cluster or chain with others, The Zorg Innovatie [care innovation] Forum, in which 20 organisations in the Care & Cure sector work together to improve the processes in health care, SPRINT (Smart mobility devices with improved Patient prosthesisinteraction) and CMI-nen (Center for Medical Imaging North East Netherlands), Centers of Research Excellence which are models of collaboration with the University of Groningen and companies in Twente. Various companies have chosen to establish themselves in the North Netherlands because of the express emphasis on Healthy Ageing and the associated developed infrastructure. Examples include the investment of over 30 million in production facilities for the nutritional supplement company CSK in Leeuwarden and the subsidiary of the Turkish company Alvimedica in Assen, where several dozen employees with high levels of knowledge are now working. Other great examples are the company IMDS in Roden that has grown in a few years from 4 to 52 employees. And there are many more examples available. By choosing an integral approach to the knowledge of disease and health, an unique headstart has developed in knowledge that can be implemented throughout Europe. A collaboration has been arranged with North German organisations, but also more widely with the clusters in ScanBalt, a cluster organisation located around the Baltic Sea involving over 2600 companies, 1100 academic institutes, 250 hospitals and 120 investors in 12 countries. Contact has also been made with several clusters in Southern Europe. Due to recent developments, the North Netherlands has put itself forward as a model region in Europe in the field of Active & Healthy Ageing. In various fields of knowledge in Healthy Ageing, the experts from the North Netherlands are contributing to the distribution of knowledge about Healthy Ageing and the economic potential it has in Europe.

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