How do we involve the SME's in the Northern Netherlands into the large research projects of ASTRON?

Referring to LOFAR, ASTRON and her partners showed that it is possible to facilitate high tech startups as well as production facilities in the Northern Netherlands. LOFAR was a 'living lab' for the industry. New production techniques and innovative software were being developed and launched. LOFAR has been a successful scientific and economic cooperation between knowledge institutes and businesses.



Next target for ASTRON is the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a large worldwide project. Through the recent Koers Noord project "SKA NN" ASTRON has prepared the northern companies to take a role in the building of SKA. The following project, the "SKA TSM project" has contained two different technological challenges. In a shorter period of time, an in-depth investigation has been done on

a) research and development of new design methods

b) production processes for high tech sensor systems on a bio-based foundation.


SKA TSM has offered her project partners the possibility to take a major position in the Topsector High Tech Systems & Materials (HTSM). Cross-overs have been made between the northern ambitions in the bio-based economy and the existing strong partners of production technology, materials/chemistry and high tech electronics. Partners can together or apart use their knowledge to increase their economic position and open new markets.

SKA operates as economic driver and focusses on an ambitious "iconic" project that includes the development of advanced high tech sensor systems and materials. These systems and materials and their advanced production technology, are essential to facilitate northern companies a step ahead in other markets. Because of the development of these digital systems for SKA, the project partners generate knowledge and skills that allow them to develop and produce 4G telecom systems.

By researching sustainable materials, the partners establish their position in the growing market for ‘zero waste' electronics and sustainable casings. This development is of major importance in further developing sensor systems in the agrifood sector. Via the SKA TSM project the project partners and the associated partners have optimally benefit from the international SKA project in which ASTRON is involved.



Within the international SKA project, ASTRON focusses on the Big Data processing and so called Smart Antennas. The research on Big Data and advanced ICT is being done by DOME, the ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Technology. SKA-TSM concentrates on the Smart Antennas, specifically on LOFAR-like antenna-stations for SKA, to be built in Australia and South Africa.

The project SKA-TSM started in 2013 and succesfully closed on 31 March 2016, financially supported by Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland (SNN) and the Province of Drenthe. Cooperation partners within the SKA TSM are the knowledge institutes Stenden, Hanzehogeschool and ASTRON and the SMEs PEZY, Variass and Reijnen Sealing.


See also the Publications list.




Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2022 ASTRON