Life science & health

Energy & Health Campus in Petten strengthens cooperation and continues with area development

A new milestone for the development of the Energy & Health Campus (EHC) in Petten: nine parties with a vital role in sustainable energy or nuclear medicine signed the Energy & Health Campus Agreement Framework for the second time to maintain innovative strength and employment within these sectors.

Burgemeester van Schagen Marjan van Kampen – voorzitter EHC bestuurlijk overleg: “De afgelopen jaren is hard gewerkt aan het vormen van een sterke basis voor verdere ontwikkeling van deze campus in de Noord-Hollandse duinen. Dat heeft geleid tot het aanhaken van steeds meer partijen die geloven in de noodzaak gezamenlijk te blijven innoveren en investeren in een duurzame en gezondere wereld.”

Campus in the North Holland dunes

This broader signing by parties represents an important step forward for the EHC to grow into an attractive and inspiring campus in the field of sustainable energy and nuclear medicine. The companies on the campus in the Pettemer Duinvallei, namely NRG, Curium, PALLAS, TNO and the Joint Research Center (European Commission), are worldwide important players in their fields. “The more relevant parties participate, the more impact we can make together,” says Campus coordinator Baukje de Jong. “The first Agreement Framework expired in August this year. Based on what we have achieved together in recent years, the parties want to continue their collaboration in the coming years. The new Agreement Framework forms the basis for further administrative cooperation, the substantive elaboration of the Energy & Health innovation tasks and the positioning of the matching R&D facilities.

More visible, area development

Baukje de Jong continues: “We will also continue with the area development, the layout of the site itself. After a thorough planning phase, we are now moving towards more visible actions in the area. For example, there will be a wide range of new facilities on the campus from which campus companies can work together with relevant partners on breakthroughs in the field of sustainable energy management and medical isotopes.”

“We are also working on improving the infrastructure and accessibility of the campus and there are plenty of ideas for tackling joint campus activities together. There will also be a program that will connect the campus with knowledge and educational institutions in North Holland. We are also working on a plan for a public Experience Center. The latter is a long-cherished wish of all parties to create a multifunctional crowd puller in the village of Petten. Here, visitors can take an energy and health journey and learn all about the intelligent solutions and important work being conceived and carried out at the EHC.”

Clusters for energy and health

Baukje de Jong adds: “As the name suggests, we have two clusters on campus: one for ‘Energy’ and one for ‘Health’, with the focus areas energy transition and nuclear medicine respectively. The existing knowledge and facilities in the field of solar and wind energy, green hydrogen production, energy efficiency, biofuels and biomaterials in the Energy cluster will be supplemented with a new SolarLab and a Battery Testing Facility. Research into sustainable energy production will soon be conducted here in many different ways in collaboration with universities, other applied research institutes and the business community. The aim is to achieve a CO2-neutral energy system for the Netherlands by 2050.”

Promising developments in medical isotopes

The current High Flux Reactor already supplies 30 percent of the isotopes used for diagnosing patients with cancer and other diseases worldwide. About 30,000 people are examined every day with isotopes from Petten. In addition, treatments (therapy) with medical isotopes are becoming increasingly important. Baukje de Jong: ”The Health cluster in Petten is unique because the entire chain for the production and processing of medical isotopes is present at one location. This starting position offers opportunities for start-ups, small and large companies, universities and UMCs to achieve product development and production of medical isotopes more quickly from so-called joint processing facilities. In addition to the new PALLAS reactor, there will be a research facility, the FIELD-LAB, and a production facility, the Nuclear Health Centre. Through promising developments and close collaborations with medical institutions and the sector, nuclear medicine – and therefore patients worldwide – can rely on the continuous availability of a wide range of (new) medical isotopes from Petten.”

Collaborating parties

The partners from the Agreement Framework represent the triple-helix government, knowledge institutions and the business community, a proven fruitful combination. The parties that have signed the Agreement Framework II are: Municipality of Schagen, Province of Noord-Holland, Noord-Holland Noord Development Agency (NHN), NRG, TNO, Curium, Joint Research Center (European Commission), Pallas Reactor Preparation Foundation and Staatsbosbeheer. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy supports this initiative. EHC is made possible in part by subsidies from “De Kop Werkt!”.