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ROCKET - a story of success
Significantly more innovative strength for companies in the German-Dutch border area through the Interreg VA project "ROCKET"
The developments in the eleven innovation projects vary from project to project, but their impact on economy, science and society is high. In the “VALIDIS” project for example, nanotechnology is utilised to develop needles with which insulin can be injected into the skin surface to accelerate absorption into the bloodstream. The intended end result is a technology that will further improve the quality of life of diabetic patients.
Another project called “SuperSurf” focused on improved inspection and detection methods for the production of fuel cells. The project was awarded the German-Dutch Business Prize 2019 by the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce as the best cross-border project of the year and focuses on production-accompanying online measurement technology for detecting irregularities in hydrogen fuel cells at nanoscale. These increasingly accurate detection capabilities will improve fuel cells and further enhance the possibilities for using hydrogen as an energy source.
Nine other projects have been implemented just as successfully. The spectrum ranges from new materials for DNA recovery and analysis in criminal cases and new coating technologies for more efficient, flexible solar cells, innovative production methods for components made of high-strength aluminium alloys for extreme lightweight automotive applications, up to gas chromatography for the continuous detection of hazardous gases in pipelines.
After more than four years of successful cross-border research and development cooperation, the final event of the Interreg VA project “ROCKET” took place on Thursday, 27 February 2020 at the DRU Cultuurfabriek in Ulft. The ROCKET Core Partners – Oost NL, Holland Semiconductors, Novel-T, NanoMicroMaterialsPhotonics.NRW state cluster (NMWP.NRW) and innos - Sperlich GmbH – were able to welcome not only the innovation project partners but also numerous stakeholders from science, economy and politics: almost 90 guests joined the event to learn about the innovative results of the innovation projects and to exchange experiences at the project exhibition – besides a summary of the ROCKET project and an outlook on future activities. In total, 92 companies were supported for a period of four years. The overall aim is to enable Dutch and German companies in the border region to cooperate more closely and effectively, to make the regional ecosystem more competitive and future-proof and to increase the innovative strength of all companies and institutes involved.
Thus, the event not only offered the opportunity to gain particularly deep insights into the projects and gather first-hand information, but also to develop new ideas for cross-border cooperation, to expand the network and to gain an overview of the fields of activity of various companies and research institutions located in the border region.
But also outside the circle of participants, the project has also received a lot of positive feedback in the EU – for example, the European “WATIFY” project or the InterregEurope project “KissMe” highlighted it as a paramount example for the regional promotion of key technologies. This motivates the core partners of the Interreg VA project ROCKET, but also of the follow-up project “ROCKET Reloaded”, to continue to implement the concept and the knowledge gained into joint projects in the future.
“ROCKET” stands for RegiOnal Collaboration on Key Enabling Technologies and promotes cross-border cooperation between industry and science in the German-Dutch border region between the North Sea and the Lower Rhine to strengthen research, technological development and innovation. It is focussed on key enabling technologies (KET) such as nanotechnology, microsystems technology, micro- and nanoelectronics, advanced materials as well as photonics. The ROCKET project is part of the INTERREG programme Germany-Netherlands (Interreg VA) and is co-financed by the European Union, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ministry of Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development of Lower Saxony and the Dutch provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland. Find further information online at www.rocket-innovations.eu
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