Paul van Gerven
13 April 2021

The Quantum Delta NL consortium and the AiNed program have been awarded 615 million and 276 million euros, respectively, by the National Growth Fund. Set up by the Dutch cabinet to boost R&D, infrastructure and education, the NGF has 20 billion euros at its disposal, to be invested in several rounds over the next four years. The investments in Quantum Delta NL and AiNed are part of the first round, which totaled over 4 billion euros.

Quantum Delta NL is a public-private partnership of tech companies, government agencies and all major quantum research centers in the Netherlands. It was launched in 2020 to coordinate and execute the Netherlands’ National Agenda for Quantum Technology, aiming to create a thriving Dutch ecosystem for quantum technology.

Quantum Delta
Credit: Marieke de Lorijn

The NGF budget will be used to scale up R&D, talent development, market creation and societal impact activities. “With this funding, the quantum industry in the Netherlands projects it will create 30,000 high-tech jobs and have a cumulative economic impact of 5-7 billion euros. According to a recent Boston Consulting Group report, the market for quantum could grow to around 300 billion dollars worldwide by 2050,” Quantum Delta NL writes in a press release.

“There’s no doubt that quantum technologies will have a profound impact on the world, transforming information and communication technology systems to deliver benefits for all of society. This investment in Quantum Delta NL’s ambitious program signifies the Netherlands’ long-term commitment to advancing the technology,” said Ronald Hanson, chairman of the supervisory board of Quantum Delta NL.

The multi-year AiNed program was initiated by the Dutch AI Coalition (NL AIC), set up to strengthen the Dutch position in AI. The more than 400 participating organizations are targeting applications such as high-tech and energy systems, mobility and healthcare. The NGF money will be used to recruit and maintain researchers, education and increase Dutch participation in European AI research programs, among other things.

Carlo van de Weijer, director of Eindhoven University of Technology’s AI institute EAISI and chairman of the Brainport AI Hub commented: “The funds that have now been granted will provide an impulse to further accelerate our cooperation. As a high-tech region, we’ve time and again proved capable of moving with new generations of technologies – from the glass-tube amplifiers and transistors to today’s chip machines. We’re leading the way in high-tech systems, medical technology and smart mobility. Artificial intelligence is the key for us to anchor that position for the future as well.”

The NGF also awarded funding to research into regenerative medicine (56 million euros), health data infrastructure (69 million), green hydrogen (338 million) and autonomous public transport in the Brainport region (30 million). Over 2.5 billion euros has been allocated to physical infrastructure projects.