Northern Connections

Living Lab Alkmaar

09 August 2017 - Published by Rikke Schak Toustrup-Jensen
Alkmaar is a partner in the the Northern Connections project. Their living lab Alkmaar helps business partners to bring their innovative energy solutions to the (international) market and helps them find qualified labor force. Living lab Alkmaar also creates more high level jobs and sustainable energy solutions. Learn more about Alkmaar in this article and 3 short movies.

Living Lab Alkmaar is an innovative energy ecosystem which consists of 4 parts: an Energy Innovation Park which offers companies in the traditional, green and other innovative energy sectors the space to grow. The Energy Innovation Park has an industrial smart grid under construction and is home to many innovative companies, including a waste, energy and raw material plant as well as a fuel station for biofuels. There is an Expertise Center for innovative green gas research and demonstration projects from biomass: InVesta. And an incubator for sustainable energy: IDEA. And brand new: TerraTechnica for the connection of higher education to the energy transition issues and energy companies.

During the first half year of the Northern Connection project, living lab Alkmaar has been supporting the valorisation support system in order to prepare SME’s and knowledge institutions in finding partners abroad for business development and R&D in order to advance the energy transition. We have been developing an open environment in order to support the commercialization of technical knowledge. This is a coproduction of business, knowledge, education and governmental partners in the field of innovative applied energy. To facilitate innovative ideas and bringing the products to the market an incubator on sustainable energy (IDEA) is developed.

On the other hand we worked on a partner search for those willing to be involved in the production of Green Gas, bio fuels and bio chemistry based on the highly efficient innovative technology of biomass gasification and super critical water gasification. The value chain is not yet established, as this is a new technology. In order to commercialize this technology, we need to organize the chain and develop economies of scale. Therefore, a state-of-the-art environment is under construction where consortia can demonstrate their breakthrough technologies and where to find technical, financial and organizational support, as well as support on finding new (international) partners for top the bill Research and Development programme ( Also the Energy Innovation Park (EIP) has been promoted.

Therefore the following activities have been elaborated:

  •  As part of the Green Deal with the Dutch national government a lobby has been started for political support in achieving appropriate financial instruments for the innovative production of Green Gas based on different types of low grade biomass (like organic waste, low quality wood, sewage sludge) in order to be competitive with fossil fuels.

Furthermore a website of the incubator IDEA is developed:

  • An article has been written for the Business Park Magazine about the Industrial Smart Energy Grid in Alkmaar and how to organize the business and valorisation; Northern Connections is promoted.
  •  4 match making events took place in order to:
    - facilitate business partners with innovative ideas
    - bring together partners for organizing the energy supply chain for more sustainable transport fuels like hydrogen and bio-LNG and connecting partners in the Industrial Smart Grid.
  •  A new political agreement has been signed, called TerraTechnica. TerraTechnica brings together education and knowledge institutions, business partners and governmental organisations, binding their forces in filling the gap between the Inholland University of Applied Sciences (Alkmaar) and the business partners for innovative energy solutions. 

Learn more about the prospects for Alkmaar sustainable projects in this brochure