Today, ASTRON officially joins the Innovation Cluster Drachten (ICD). ICD is an internationally active ecosystem of collaborating high-tech companies and knowledge institutes operating at the forefront of innovation and competitive on the global market. Chairman of ICD Kor Visscher is proud: “What we can learn from our new scientific partner reaches beyond stars and planets.”
Published by the editorial team, 29 September 2017
ASTRON has a special place in the High-Tech Systems & Materials (HTSM) industry. With knowledge, technology and development, the Institute makes astronomical research possible. ASTRON regularly publishes new discoveries that give a better understanding of the universe. Within the HTSM Top Sector, ASTRON brings knowledge in the area of Big Data handling, algorithmic and cyber-physical programming. Kor Visscher is happy to include ASTRON in the ICD: “ASTRON is highly internationally oriented and is in close contact with business, both in the Netherlands and abroad. ASTRON is a wonderful addition to our cluster.”
Working at ASTRON means, according to Head of Research & Development Gert Kruithof, contributing to the development of groundbreaking technologies. “Scientists make use of our world-wide radio astronomy facilities. That’s how they do fundamental research. Our engineers and astronomers have an excellent international reputation in the field of technological developments and fundamental research in astronomy.” ASTRON operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, one of the most sensitive telescopes in the world and LOFAR (Low Frequency Array). Kruithof: “This telescope will shed new light on the universe by measuring at the lower frequencies (30-220 MHz).” LOFAR is an important scientific and technological precursor of the next generation radio telescope – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – a global project in which ASTRON plays a leading role.
Together with companies in the north of the Netherlands, ASTRON is also building an instrument for a Chinese satellite. “We do this in close cooperation and interaction with the industry. We explicitly do not buy any product, but bring together knowledge and technologies to make the best instrument together.” In addition to companies from Northern Netherlands, ASTRON works with companies from Ireland, Poland, Latvia and China. “As a member of the Innovation Cluster Drachten, we hope that our drive for innovation will get a further boost,” says Kruithof
With the accession of ASTRON, Innovation Cluster Drachten connects 17 highly innovative high tech companies in Northern Netherlands.