Unique sustainable mobility innovation programs receive funding from National Growth Fund

Under the coordination of RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development, a lot of hard work has been done in recent months to set up three innovation programs submitted to the National Growth Fund. On June 30, it was announced that two of the three proposals were approved. As a result, the central government is investing €340 million in the projects. The total size of the two projects together is €876 million.

Unique sustainable mobility innovation programs receive funding from National Growth Fund

These are proposals around the themes: 

  • Battery Technology (Materials Independence & Circular Batteries) - granted
  • Charging infrastructure (Charging Energy Hubs) - granted
  • Hydrogen technology (Innovations and roadmaps for a cost-effective hydrogen chain in mobility) - not granted

Strategic independence of scarce materials for batteries

The Battery Competence Cluster - NL has developed a multi-year Materials Independence & Circular Batteries program with more than 60 companies and knowledge institutes. The aim is to make the Netherlands less dependent on scarce and critical raw materials for batteries and to cash in on opportunities in the battery industry. The program focuses on sustainable and circular batteries, essential for the mobility sector and energy storage of sustainably generated energy. The latter should provide power grid stabilization. The project has been awarded €296 million in funding. The total project size is around €800 million.

Smart deployment of charging infrastructure as a solution to the congested electricity grid

The electrification of the logistics sector is currently being held back. Sufficient charging infrastructure cannot be connected due to congestion problems on the electricity grid. Heliox, in collaboration with DAF, Prodrive, Shell, Scholt Energy, Firan, ElaadNL, Dynniq Energy, TNO, and 20 other companies and knowledge institutes, among others, has set up a program to work together on the development of Charging Energy Hubs: decentralized (local) energy systems that are the connecting factor between electricity buyers and suppliers. Connecting charging infrastructure, renewables, energy storage, and other local consumers creates local flexibility on the grid. This flexibility can be deployed when the electricity grid can no longer cope with the demand for electricity. This provides both a solution to grid congestion and the business case for investment in charging infrastructure. The project has been awarded €44 million in funding. The total project size is €76 million.

Hydrogen technology as a solution for making heavy transport more sustainable

The third proposal submitted, with Bosal Nederland B.V. as the lead, was the program 'Innovations and roadmaps for a cost-effective hydrogen chain in mobility' (H2M). The aim was to achieve a fast and smooth transition to emission-free heavy transport and local energy supply (mini-grids). Unfortunately, the proposal failed to convince the National Growth Fund committee, and the parties will look for other ways to get key innovations around hydrogen to the market.

National Growth Fund

With the National Growth Fund, the government is investing €20 billion between 2021 and 2025 in projects and programs that will ensure sustainable economic growth. For the third round (2023), €4 billion is available for both 'knowledge development & research' and 'development & innovation'. The National Growth Fund is an initiative of the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate and Finance. They jointly manage the fund on behalf of the government.

Next steps

In the coming period, RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development will work closely with the project partners and the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) to get the projects started and accelerate the transition to a sustainable mobility system.

The committee's full evaluation, including the evaluation of the proposals, can be found here.

Green & Smart mobility program office

RAI Automotive Industry NL and Brainport Development have joined forces in the Green & Smart Mobility program office to implement the long-term strategy of the HTSM Automotive roadmap in various innovation programs in cooperation with public partners, knowledge institutions, and the Dutch automotive sector. The cooperation in and between the programs forms the basis for programmatically working towards the (climate) goals towards 2030 and 2050.

"We are very pleased with the award of these two projects, which make an important contribution to the technological developments and international positioning of our Dutch industry" said Albie van Buel, managing director RAI Automotive Industry NL, and Paul van Nunen, director Brainport Development.