After seven years, Economic Board Groningen's successful 5Groningen programme will be continued from 1 January 2023 by the new Innovation Centre Connected Solutions (ICCS). This will be under the leadership of Tineke Kroontje of the Hanze University of Applied Sciencesl. ICCS is the new innovation centre in the Northern Netherlands for innovations and knowledge development for applications with the latest (wireless) communication technology.
The ICCS Innovation Centre deploys the latest (wireless) communication technology to share, stimulate, initiate and facilitate innovations and knowledge development. The geographical scope is being broadened here to the Northern Netherlands and beyond. ICCS will cooperate as much as possible with the national 5G hubs, the AI hub, ASTRON and the Wireless Datalab, the TechHub, IT hub, Smart Industry Hub and the knowledge institutions in the Northern Netherlands at MBO, HBO and WO level.
This will make ICCS a centre for innovations where (SME) entrepreneurs and organisations can work on their digital transformation. Together with its partners, the innovation centre will develop solutions for mobility, energy transition, agriculture and healthcare with the use of the latest communication technologies to sustainably boost livability and broad prosperity in the Netherlands. ICCS welcomes students from MBO, HBO and WO, innovative companies, non-profit organisations and regional governments in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe to participate.
Over the past seven years, Economic Board Groningen's 5Groningen programme has, among other things, provided a testing ground for SME entrepreneurs in North and Central Groningen. With the support of the 11 programme partners, more than 50 entrepreneurs together carried out 40 pilots and several prototypes were developed and tested. More than 250 students from MBO, HBO and WO carried out assignments with 5G and competed with each other in three 5G Student Battles for the best 5G innovations. All with the aim of making SMEs and organisations leaders in their sectors using 5G. The 5G connectivity programme, in which entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations collaborated with experts to test applications of 5G, will have a sequel due to its success.
Peter Rake, 5Groningen programme manager at Economic Board Groningen: "I am extremely proud that our 5G living lab, which has gained national prominence and become a fixture in the regional ecosystem for digital innovations, will continue in the form of the innovation centre."
All existing partners, consisting of Economic Board Groningen, KPN, Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur (formerly Agentschap Telecom), VodafoneZiggo, TNO, Huawei, University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Dell Technologies, VMware and SURF, are eager to initiate this continuation. They are therefore all also involved in the Innovation Centre Connected Solutions (ICCS).
Tineke Kroontje is the new programme manager of ICCS at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. She took over from Peter Rake from 1 January 2023. Tineke Kroontje: "The start of the new ICCS marks the next step: from experimental garden and pilots to a structural centre for research and experiments in a modern facility. I see it as a great challenge to shape this in the coming years."
Taking the lead in the ICCS is the core coalition of Hanzehogeschool, University of Groningen, TNO, Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur (formerly Agentschap Telecom) and Economic Board Groningen. To ensure a smooth transition and completion of the current ongoing pilots in the 5G living lab of the 5Groningen programme, the ERDF grant for the associated 5G living lab has been extended until May 2023.
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