Smart Sustainable Industries

Working towards a smart, sustainable industry

Due to new production technologies and the ever more important position of IT in our society, our industry is changing radically. Within Smart Sustainable Industries, our researchers, lecturers and students at NHL University of Applied Sciences focus on the key question: ‘How can we use ICT to improve the manufacturing industry?’

NHL University of Applied Sciences answers this question by carrying out research, together with the work field, into innovative and sustainable solutions. Contact with the professional field is essential for this. Since 2016, the NHL has been a nationally recognised Smart Industry ambassador. This means that we work with many different partners, through practically-oriented research, on the Smart Industry agenda of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Searching for innovative solutions

These days, production occurs in on-off partnerships, where businesses use Big Data,  Internet of Everything, 3D-printing, robotics, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.  At the same time, we are confronted by an increasing scarcity of raw materials and capital, and see the labour market shrinking  ever further. These changes require innovative solutions.

The NHL contributes to the smart industry by working with researchers and students on technical and economic matters. We give form to this interplay between research, education and  the professional practice in workshops and field labs. Here we work with

a number of important partners such as the Innovation Cluster Drachten, Innovation Pact Friesland, the Leeuwarden municipality, the  province of Friesland, Frisian businesses and colleagues from education and knowledge institutes.

Research Groups

De Research group Renewable Resources (RgRR) houdt zich bezig met de verduurzaming van producten in algemene zin. Daarbij ligt de focus op de verduurzaming van de energieopwekking (wind en zon), gebouwen en mobiliteit. En last but not least richt Renewable Resources zich op het sluiten van de kunststofkringloop.

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There are seven Grand Challenges in Europa since 2014. These seven challenges form the research and innovation program HORIZON 2020. This way Europa wants to stimulate contributions to a smart sustainable and inclusive economy from a variety of experts. 

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New legislation and regulations are commonplace in the maritime industry. New regulations often give rise to innovative techniques, and form the foundation for environmental protection. The Maritime research group wants to develop applied research for the maritime sector based on this triangle. Our research is the basis for closing the gap between basic research and practical innovations in the maritime field.

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Continued growth in the areas of the economy and welfare requires not only innovation but also versatility. Businesses, organisations, as well as individuals must be able to respond quickly to the rapid changes in the market. And this is done by looking beyond the boundaries of one’s own field.

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Questions about Smart Sustainable Industries?

Frank Gort

Frank Gort - Program manager Smart Sustainable Industry

06 28285237 |

"As a program manager I connect strategic partners, corporate as well as government, with researchers and students at NHL. There are great fieldlabs, focused on technical and economic issues, where applied research and knowledge sharing come together in a stimulating learning environment for young professionals."