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Netherlands Academy of Engineering Formally Launched. Topexperts science and industry united

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Today the Netherlands Academy of Engineering (NAE) has officially been launched with a call to submit names for nominations for the appointment of Fellows of the NAE. The 4TU.Federation, together with the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science and Economic Affairs contribute financially to realise the establishment of the NAE.

Engineering, human centric design, and the underlying technical sciences, will clearly have to be at the heart of innovative solutions for most of the pressing societal challenges and transitions – ranging from climate change and care for the environment, to safeguarding equitable access to energy, water, food, and healthcare. The NAE, as the national academy of engineering of the Netherlands, will unite the top experts active in technological sciences and applied engineering research and development from scientific, governmental, and industrial organizations in the Netherlands. The Fellows of the NAE will be selected following a thorough nomination and evaluation process, conducted by an independent committee. The installation ceremony of the NAE Fellows will take place in the autumn of this year.

So far, the Netherlands did not have a publicly funded, independent national academy of engineering, bringing together the leading experts and innovators from science and industry in an association of Fellows and Young Engineers, motivated to making a difference through active thought leadership and participation in creating plans for action, and formulating independent advice.

Recognizing its value for the Netherlands both nationally and internationally, following an advice by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), the Minister of Education, Culture and Science and the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate are jointly granting EUR 500.000 annual funding over a nine-year term. During these years, the NAE will further evolve its organization. The 4TU.Federation will contribute EUR 0.6 million to the establishment of the NAE. The NAE will seek to obtain matching funding from key players in the ecosystem - knowledge institutions and industry. 

"The Netherlands is strong in the field of applied science and engineering. Yet our country still lacked an organization that brought together experts from science and industry. Until now. It is precisely the social tasks - think of climate and energy transition, for example -that require solutions that often technical scientists and engineers can reach faster in a joint effort", said Robbert Dijkgraaf, minister of Education, Culture, and Sciences.

Micky Adriaansens, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate adds: "The Netherlands is a rock-solid knowledge-based country. But we do not sufficiently succeed in converting our scientific position into innovative technological products and services. The NAE can play a

valuable role in actively bringing technical sciences and (manufacturing) industry, including technological startups and scale-ups, closer together. This is good for solving societal challenges as well as for strengthening our economy.”

Vinod Subramaniam on behalf of the 4TU.Federation: "The establishment of the NAE, recognizes the importance of

the engineering sciences in addressing key societal transformations, in collaboration with other disciplines. The NAE can help address the much needed further strengthening of our human capital and knowledge base in engineering and represent the Netherlands

engineering community in an international context."

"Together with many of our stakeholders, we are convinced that the Netherlands Academy of Engineering can play a unique role as spider in the web of Dutch engineering science and the corresponding Dutch technical innovation ecosystem in its international context,

by offering a forum for constructive debate, orchestrating where needed the pivot to action, and offering advice on urgent strategic challenges and needed improvements in our innovation system”, said Henk van Houten, chair of the founding Board of NAE.

NAE's ambitions

The NAE aims to foster a climate of multidisciplinary collaboration between knowledge institutes, governmental bodies, and industry (multi-national companies, SME’s, start-ups, and scale-ups). It will stimulate integration of technological scientific knowledge, know-

how and insights, collaboration and exchange of expertise and ideas, sharing of infrastructure, tools, and platforms and removing barriers that hinder the seamless translation of knowledge and insights into practical technological solutions to the benefit of society.

Issues to be addressed will include systemic improvements of the knowledge and innovation ecosystem such as strengthening and recognition of foundational technical sciences and the related human capital, valorization and attracting venture capital funding for startups and scaleups, effective Public Private Partnership orchestration and financing.

The NAE will also address specific innovation strategy issues and initiatives to be taken, such as how to best support the societal transitions through engineering-based innovation, in collaboration with social sciences and how to position the Netherlands in the context of emerging developments such as the European Chips Act and other European and global themes like data access, cloud sovereignty, and the AI Act.

More information

More information about NAE: Contact: Anouk de Vlieger,, 06 50637943.

Contact NAE Fellows: Annelies ten Have,

Photo: NAE Board; Inald Lagendijk, Sjoukje Heimovaraa, Henk van Houten, Eline van Beest, Ton van der Steen. © BarbraVerbij