Welcome to the Northern Netherlands Digital Innovation Hub

Region of Smart Factories (RoSF) is being extended to serve as the Digital Innovation Hub for the Northern Netherlands. Before we reach that stage and in order to start our membership in the EU DIH community, we will inform you about our expanding Industry 4.0 community and our future programs shortly.


In The Netherlands, Industry 4.0 is called “Smart Industry.” The Netherlands has strong starting position (openness, innovation drive, connectivity) to become a leading economy in the digitalized society. We joined forces in the Dutch Smart Industry Agenda in order to realize the most flexible and digitally connected manufacturing industry in Europe (https://www.smartindustry.nl/english/). As part of the Dutch Smart Industry Agenda, 5 regional Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH’s) will be established in order to accelerate the transformation of the manufacturing sector towards the digitalize society.

In the Northern Netherlands, the DIH will be established by our official Smart Industry Fieldlabs (Region of Smart Factories, 5G Groningen, Technologies Added), the Innovation Cluster Drachten (IcD), employers organisations (FME and MKU), The Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands (NOM), the knowledge institutes (e.g. University of Groningen and Universities of Applied Sciences) and the regional authorities.

Our fingerprint

Smart Products in Smart Factory’s, to build up a strong and sustainable economy, to keep people at work and to solve societal challenges. That is our mission. As Region of Smart Factories, the Industry 4.0 community in the Northern Netherland is expanding and ready to guide the region to the age of digitalization. We see Industry 4.0 as the shortcut to handle the societal challenges that we have identified in our Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS).

Our community has developed some really interesting talents that will count in the near future. Take for example our expanding cluster of Smart Factory solution suppliers, mainly smart SME’s, specializing in critical competences like Smart Factory Architecture, big data and modeling, digital twinning and smart equipment. The Northern Netherlands is the second startup region in our country (next to Amsterdam), with a booming online sector and a strong focus on IT, data sciences and digitalization. If, as we expect, the future is about IT infrastructure (5g!), Artificial Intelligence and Industry 4.0 (smart products/smart factories) then the Northern Netherlands has the right building blocks to become a frontrunner in digitalized Europe.

Action lines

With the launch of our DIH, we will start a new program to accelerate digitalization in every corner of our economy, with the following tracks:

  • ‘Go Digital’ to get all companies to the stage of consciousness/competence with regard to digitalization.
  • ‘Play the Champions League’ to connect our frontrunners with the EU innovation programs and to share our competences with additional regions.
  • ‘Create & Share talents and competences’ by three regional demo factories annex skills labs.

DIH Services

The DIH/RoSF will be a non-profit service oriented competence center to accelerate the digital transformation (Industry 4.0) of the Industry in The Northern Netherlands. The following services are already in operation:

  • Providing information on Industry 4.0/Digitalization by conferences, masterclasses, publications etcetera.
  • Community building activities, for example the annual presence at the Hannover Messe and other events.
  • Consultancy to encourage and guide companies to develop a digitalization strategy. Output: a personalized roadmap (ist, soll, options and choices, implementation plan). This service is based on our own RoSF Smart Factory Maturity Assessment. This ‘self-made’ Maturity Assessment will launched as the official Dutch Industry 4.0 Assessment in March 18th 2019.
  • Service to support companies to become active in EU Programmes.
    Shared Facilities, accessible for SME’s to share manufacturing based on Industry 4.0 and to become familiar with Industry 4.0 technologies. The first shared facility (Technologies Added) is already in full operation. Two more will follow in 2019.

Some examples

The DHI/RoSF has already extensive experience in initiating and supporting digitalization transformation for manufacturing companies as well as initiating product development for new tools for smart factory Solution Providers. This first generation of transformation projects are now carried out by the RoSF-consortium, see these examples.


The DIH/RoSF is headed by professor dr. Jan Post (Philips, University of Groningen / j.post@philips.com). More info via Hans Praat (praat@nom.nl  ++31621518493)