Paul van Gerven
4 July

In a third funding round of the National Growth Fund (NGF), the Dutch government has approved proposals from four high-tech consortia. The largest among them are SolarNL (receiving up to 412 million euros), which focuses on the development and industrialization of next-generation, fully circular solar technologies, and the Battery Competence Cluster (up to 296 million), which aims to do the same for batteries.

SolarNL consists of nine companies, six universities, four universities of applied sciences and two research institutes. Looking to bring back PV manufacturing to the Netherlands, the partners are working on advancing bulk silicon panels, pervoskite-based solar foils and PV technologies that can be integrated in buildings and other objects. These new solar products are designed to be fully circular and with manufacturing processes that emit relatively low CO2.

Circular solar panels
Credit: SolarNL

Likewise, and again focusing on sustainability and circularity, the Material Independence & Circular Batteries proposal spearheaded by the Battery Competence Cluster – NL aims for a prominent role of the Dutch manufacturing industry in the global battery supply chain. The focus is on material sourcing, development and industrialization of battery technology and manufacturing equipment, and large battery systems for transportation and grid storage. This project has 65 partners on board, ranging from startups to research institutes.

Other high-tech initiatives receiving funding in this NGF round are the 6G Future Network Services project (up to 203 million euros) and Polaris (low-volume, high-value RF systems, up to 102 million euros). In total, the government gave the go-ahead for 18 projects for a total of 4 billion euros, on top of the 7.8 billion euros approved in the previous two rounds. The NGF has 20 billion to invest.

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