TO2 Top Sector Policy

Government, companies and knowledge institutes recently signed an innovation contract for the nine top sectors. TO2 – the federation in which six applied knowledge institutes are bundled, signed the innovation contract together with ECN, TNO, Deltares, Marin, NLR and DLO.

Michel Peters, NLR’s general director: ‘The innovation contract intensifies the connections within the ‘golden triangle’ of companies, government and knowledge institutes, such as NLR. The Netherlands, with its open economy, benefits from these good connections – good connections via air, within the aviation and aerospace sector, between transport sectors, and thus also in the ‘golden triangle’. In this way we can provide key contributions to the strengths of companies and government.’   For innovations in the aviation and aerospace sector, NLR, as a knowledge supplier, is affiliated with the top sectors High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) for aeronautics, space and conservation. In the Top Sector Logistics, NLR is connected to the social theme Mobility. In the social theme Defence, NLR continues to work on innovative solutions for the Ministry of Defence. Thus, our knowledge base is maintained and well-positioned.

Top consortium for knowledge and innovation (TKI) Entrepreneurs and researchers collaborate on innovative products in the Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI). The Cabinet intends to support this consortium, allocating 90 million euros pre year to TKI, starting in January 2013. NLR plays an important role in TKI’s back office for ‘aviation and aerospace’.

Top sector HTSM Within the top sector HTSM, TKI ‘aviation and aerospace’ has identified five innovative themes in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance sector, and research and development will be pursued in this area in the years ahead. The themes are: aerostructures, engine subsystems and components, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul), aircraft systems and future concepts. Examples include projects such as new and smart materials for making aircraft lighter and stronger, for lowering maintenance costs by introducing smart health monitoring concepts, and the supplying of innovative products in the area of electric energy generation and distribution within the aircraft. All of these are methods by which aircraft become more sustainable and safer, and are areas in which Dutch companies can strengthen their competitive positions. The HTSM roadmap is available on

Top sector Logistics The societal demands placed on the NLR by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the area of Mobility is coupled with the Top Sector Logistics, in order to offer as much knowledge and, especially, innovation as possible to the various top teams. In this program, research is being conducted to improve aviation safety, to reduce environmental impacts and bolster innovation in the area of Air Traffic Management. Here, NLR works in the national and European context, in order to arrive at a robust, safe, and sustainable air transport system.

Top sectors In 2012, the national government allocated approximately 981 million euros to the various top sectors. The nine top sectors are: AgroFood, Starting Materials and Horticulture, High Tech Systems, Energy, Water, Chemistry, Creative Industries, Logistics, Life Sciences & Health. In these top sectors, great attention is devoted to linking economic opportunities to social challenges in the form of public-private partnerships.

More information: read the government press release.