Dutch hi-tech companies exhibit at CERN

Twenty-seven Dutch companies will present the state of the art of their technological developments at the industrial exhibition Holland @ CERN from 8 to 11 November. The exhibition is designed to help strengthen the ties between fundamental science and Dutch industry.

The exhibition, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and organised by the Netherlands National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef), in cooperation with the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), the FOM Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, and Dutch Scientific, an association of manufacturers of scientific equipment, will be held in the Main Building from 8 to11 November. “The last Holland @ CERN exhibition took place fifteen years ago”, says Robert Klöpping from Nikhef, Dutch Industrial Liaison Officer for CERN and Purchasing Advisor for Grenoble ESRF. “This kind of event is very important for Dutch industry as it allows us to show what Dutch companies can do and gives firms the opportunity to network directly with CERN experts in order to tailor their products to their demands”.

The participating companies are those that have been collaborating with CERN and ESRF in the past five years. “They include firms whose activity is in fields of mutual importance for CERN and industry, such as precision mechanics, cryogenics, magnets, computing, measuring technology, engineering, optics, simulation, etc.”, explains Klöpping. 

With the aim of allowing CERN to take full advantage of Dutch industry's ability to design and invent new processes and technologies, Holland @ CERN is not simply set up to sell equipment, but also to establish an efficient cross-fertilisation between fundamental science and industry. A series of technical and scientific seminars will be organised in parallel with the technology exhibition. “There will also be an All Dutch Night, during which the companies can informally meet Dutch people working at CERN and ESRF”, says Klöpping. The official opening ceremony will be held on 9 November in the Council Chamber, and will be attended by Sigurd Lettow, CERN Director for Administration and General Infrastructure, Harald Reichert, Director of Research at ESRF, Jos Engelen, Chairman of the Dutch NWO, and Boudewijn van Eenennaam, Dutch UN Ambassador.

“We would like to organise Holland @ CERN every two or three years, which might be possible, provided that the Ministry continues to support us. Of course, return on the companies' investment will be a crucial issue in this respect”, Klöpping concludes.

by Roberto Cantoni