METIP: New innovation center in Den Helder

Last Thursday, 19 November 2021, the physical location of Maritime Emerging Technologies Innovation Park, or METIP for short, was officially opened in Den Helder.

The opening took place in the presence of Deputy Zita Pels, Mayor Jan de Boer, Alderman Kees Visser, Director of Development Corporation NHN Thijs Pennink, Commander Peter van den Berg, Director of Integral Operations and Administration at the Royal Netherlands Navy and Director of Willemsoord B.V. Ariane Hoog.

METIP is the new innovation center where companies, governments, startups and knowledge institutions work together on innovative applications in the maritime, marine and offshore industries. These include drones and other unmanned and automated systems, sensor technology, artificial intelligence and the development of virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) for games and training purposes. Over the next three years, METIP aims to grow into a recognized knowledge and development center, where joint efforts are made to develop, test and demonstrate innovative applications.

METIP open innovation project

METIP distinguishes itself by focusing on the concepts of ‘maritime, marine and offshore’, linked to issues in the field of technology. These are submitted by (networks of) companies and organizations that act as launching customers. METIP links companies and organizations to knowledge institutes, training institutes and technology companies. The organizations then form a ‘METIP open innovation project’. Students and young talent are involved in the implementation. The main objective is to create knowledge-driven activity and jobs for the region.

Opportunities in the field of energy transition

The large-scale development of offshore wind farms and other renewable energy sources, the existing offshore oil and gas extraction and the production of hydrogen and underground storage of CO2 requires an integrated approach and integration of the various systems for energy extraction, and handling. In particular, offshore logistics plays an important role in the safe and efficient operation of the offshore energy system. Here ’emerging key’ technologies play an important role. Den Helder has been the offshore service, transport and logistics hub for energy extraction in the North Sea for decades. METIP reinforces this hub.

METIP's first partners

The Simulation Centre Maritime (SIMCENMAR) of the Royal Netherlands Navy is among the first partners. SIMCENMAR creates training programs with the use of modern serious gaming applications, virtual and augmented reality and simulation software. It is establishing itself with its game development studio ‘XR-Campus’ in Section 51, of the METIP location on Willemsoord Den Helder.

Other organizations, companies and startups that have now linked up with METIP are the drone companies Airhub, Deck180, Doosan Mobility Innovation and DroneQ Robotics, the startup company E-magine that is developing an extended reality education platform, BooomTag that applies ‘near field’ communication technology and the Clusius College Schagen with its engineering and technology lab. The business clusters Digital Focus Group / Energy Reinvented Community and the Offshore Wind Innovation Center have entered into a collaboration.

METIP calls on entrepreneurs, startups, companies and organizations to come up with initiatives aimed at the application of emerging key technologies in the maritime, marine and offshore domain. To do so, please contact Esther Lunenborg ( or John Spee (