Innovate faster with subsidies

Drones and other sensor-based applications have become indispensable in many sectors. With the further development and integration of robotisation, artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things, the number of socially and economically relevant applications will increase rapidly. The sector is developing at lightning speed and the potential for the Netherlands is enormous. But to make the most of it, it is essential to move fast.

Unmanned Valley is a field lab for sensor technologies and applications. It wants to bring together knowledge from the entire chain and help companies, research and knowledge institutions and governments to accelerate, grow and lead the European sector in innovations in the field of unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors.

The “Subsidy Scheme for Support of Innovative Companies in the Unmanned Systems Sector UMV” (in Dutch: ‘Subsidieregeling Ondersteuning innovatieve bedrijven unmanned systems sector UMV’) has been made possible by the municipality of Katwijk and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The aim of the scheme is to accelerate the development of promising innovations, to make the business climate of Unmanned Valley even more attractive and to create new high-tech jobs in the region.

A total of 150.000 euros is available for various innovation projects. Young companies with promising innovations in the field of unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors that want to develop further in Unmanned Valley can now apply for a grant of up to 25,000 euros. The amount of the subsidy depends on the activity budget in the submitted project plan. One of the conditions for the granting of a subsidy is that the applicant itself co-finances 25% of the project. Another condition is that the applicant performs (or plans to perform) its activities in Unmanned Valley.

The grant will be awarded for the period from 1 May 2021 to 31 March 2023.

Evaluation criteria
Applications will be assessed against the following six criteria:
• quality of the project plan;
• quality of the company;
• number of jobs;
• impact achieved by the grant;
• degree of connection with the ecosystem;
• and professionalism of implementation.

If the project plans are equivalent, or if there is a need for clarification, there is an opportunity to request that the project be presented to the Unmanned Valley management.

Assessment and award (see the subsidy regulations and the more detailed elaboration of the assessment criteria and parts of the project plan!) takes place on the basis of:
• order of submission;
• in the case of a large number of applications, the best scoring applications based on the set criteria;
• and until the grant ceiling is reached.

For submitting the application you can use the “Application form Subsidy Scheme for Innovative Enterprises in the Unmanned Systems Sector” (in Dutch: ‘Aanvraagformulier Subsidieregeling Ondersteuning innovatieve bedrijven unmanned systems Sector UMV’). You can download this form (in Dutch) below.

For more information
For more information see also the documents “Grant scheme for the support of innovative companies in the sector of unmanned systems” (in Dutch: ‘Subsidieregeling Ondersteuning innovatieve bedrijven unmanned systems sector UMV’) and “Evaluation criteria and parts of the project plan” (in Dutch: ‘Nadere uitwerking beoordelingscriteria en uitwerking onderdelen projectplan’). These documents (in Dutch) can be downloaded below.

For further questions or information, contact Louis Roxs (ERDF coordinator/project manager) at l.roxs[at]

Other schemes to promote innovation

Recently, partner organisations InnovationQuarter and Do IoT Field lab announced two voucher schemes that may also be of interest to companies in the field of unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors; the voucher scheme of the AgriTech-innovation programme and the Do IoT-voucher scheme. Unmanned Valley plays a role in both voucher schemes.