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06 May 2021

Unmanned Valley launches subsidy scheme for further development of promising innovations

300,000 euros accelerated funding available for start-ups and scale-ups at Unmanned Valley

To accelerate the development of promising innovations in the field of unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors, Unmanned Valley – the field lab for sensor technologies and applications at the former Valkenburg naval air base, 16 kilometers north of The Hague in the Netherlands – is launching a subsidy scheme. Start-ups and scale-ups can apply for a grant of up to 25,000 euros.

A total of 300,000 euros is available for various innovation projects. One of the conditions for granting the subsidy is that the applicant itself co-finances 25% of the project. The subsidy scheme has been made possible by the municipality of Katwijk and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Drones and other sensor-based applications are indispensable in many sectors. The industry is developing rapidly and the potential for the Netherlands is huge, but to take full advantage of it it is essential to act fast.

Innovate faster for impact
“Innovative ideas from young companies need to become successful practices, relevant and applicable, and thus create value more quickly,” says Theo de Vries, Unmanned Valley programme manager. “With this scheme, we are planning to make greater use of the innovation power of start-ups and scale-ups and accelerate sensor-based innovation and thus also make the business climate of Unmanned Valley even more attractive and create new high-tech jobs in the region.”

“Companies should demonstrate the feasibility and viability of their intended further development and what tangible returns can be expected. This means that the assessment of the project plan is of great importance. But, if the application fits within the set conditions concerning innovative strength, job creation and strengthening the business climate, this scheme can smooth the financing needs of start-ups and scale-ups and create room for them to innovate and grow.”

Other schemes to stimulate innovation
In conjunction with other initiatives, the grant scheme contributes to the strengthening and renewal of the economy in general, the broader Dutch aerospace industry and the drone and sensor-based sector in particular.

Recently, partner organisations InnovationQuarter and Do IoT Field lab have also announced two new voucher schemes that will stimulate collaboration between young tech companies and end users, and are also interesting for 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 has a role in both voucher schemes.

Unmanned Valley and 2021
Unmanned Valley is an initiative of Delft University of Technology and the municipality of Katwijk and has been made possible by contributions from the Dutch central and regional government and Climate Change and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

In 2020, the first companies – all active in aerospace, drones and sensors – moved to Unmanned Valley. In 2021, the focus will be on further developing the location and test facilities and strengthening the link between the business community, educational institutions, knowledge institutions and government. In time, Unmanned Valley should grow into a seedbed for high-tech activity.


More information about the new subsidy scheme for innovation can be found on the special page “Faster innovation with subsidies”.