Digitalisation and sustainable energy in the province Groningen

By Chris Champion posted 25-06-2019 21:29


The province of Groningen in the Netherlands is working on two crucial pillars of their economic policy: digitalisation and a sustainable chemical industry

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Groningen holds a key position right at the heart of the global digital transformation of society and the economy through:

• A vast innovative digital community that acts quickly

• Excellent cooperation between knowledge and research institutes as well as government and entrepreneurs

• Know-how and activities in diverse specific areas

Groningen is the digital frontrunner of the Netherlands in a variety of fields and in some cases we are European leaders: 5G, , big data, e-health, cyber safety, start-up-scene and quick Internet connections. In addition, they are a living lab in diverse digital terrains, experimenting with new digital technologies in a responsible way. Science, economy and government work closely together in the quest for the application of new digital technologies to solve societal issues.

From this starting their region can play a major role both in taking on those challenges at a national level as well as living up to the ambition of making the Netherlands Europe’s digital trailblazer.

Commitment to green development and green jobs

Groningen can contribute a great deal to sustainable energy supply, realizing a green chemical industry and achieving climate goals. Why?

• At this stage, our region provides of the total Dutch energy requirements; it delivers 15% of basic chemical production and 60% of Twaron polymers (plastics)

• The Delfzijl Chemical Park and the more advanced, smaller chemical industry at the Groningen Campus make us an attractive base for premium chemistry

• They have space for growth and sufficient agricultural areas

Groningen is highly ambitious when it comes to transition. They aim to have substantially completed the move to the use of sustainable resources by 2030. In order to achieve this, they are focusing on sustainable growth and jobs. The Delfzijl Chemical Park is at the core of efforts to make the chemical industry in our province green. This is where energy and IT meet and therefore it provides excellent opportunities for employment and sustainable development - opportunities, which are relevant from a national as well as a European perspective.

Not without reason - and with pride - Groningen bears the title European Demonstration Region for Biobased Economy and Green Chemistry

The connection

The connection between the digitalization and green chemical industry pillars provides considerable added value in three contexts:

1. Saving energy. By means of IT applications, they can introduce savings in energy and energy balance much quicker. Smart process applications and investments can result in up to 30% power saving

2. Producing efficiently and effectively. IT procedures are essential in effective and efficient production as well as in minimizing errors and waste

3. for encrypted processes and cyber safety. Large-scale usage of IT in energy production/storage/balance and in production processes demands a high level of encrypted processes (e.g. ) and cyber safety.

Groningen has an international reputation in this area through its knowledge institutes and IT-businesses.

A new long-term base for the European manufacturing industry is being created through investment in innovation and applications in the fields of sustainability and digitalisation. And it all starts in Groningen!

Patrick Brouns
Regional minister Entrepreneurship and Innovation Provincie Groningen

A full copy of their booklet can be downloaded here.