The municipality of Katwijk

Katwijk is a coastal municipality with character. Where people with different beliefs live and work together in good harmony. Primarily, it is famous for its beach, but it is also famous for its fishing history, its football, the theatre hall of the Soldier of Orange and its ornamental plant cultivation, which is an important carrier of the Katwijk economy. Katwijk aims to grow whilst preserving nature, heritage, and traditions. Katwijk is a society with an innovative character.

“The former Valkenburg naval air base is a unique location for Unmanned Valley. There are opportunities here for the emergence of a sector with high quality employment that is new to the region and can give an enormous economic boost. Research shows that this development could eventually create around 2,000 jobs in Katwijk itself. And that it offers opportunities for all kinds of work, from practical to theoretical. As a consequence, there is good cooperation between the province, the Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency, and the municipality. Which is important for Katwijk, important for the regional economy and, in the long term, important for the Netherlands.”

At the former Valkenburg naval air base, the municipality of Katwijk is developing an innovation test environment called Unmanned Valley, in the area of unmanned systems (such as drones), sensor technology and big data analysis.

Central location
The Randstad area lacks enough locations to develop and especially test sensors and unmanned applications. The Valkenburg location offers the perfect opportunity for this. One aspect is the access to the many knowledge networks in the immediate surrounding area: Leiden University, ESA-ESTEC, TNO and TU Delft. It is also a unique location because of the possibility to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight with a flight corridor to the sea.

Katwijk founder and board member of the Unmanned Valley Foundation
Delft University of Technology, and the municipality of Katwijk have together set up the Unmanned Valley Foundation to enable companies, research and knowledge institutions and authorities to remain at the forefront of innovation in the area of robotics and unmanned systems.

More information: