Recap NXTGEN Hightech Conference: ‘Bringing together the chemical and high-tech industries leads to intriguing developments.’


The first NXTGEN High-Tech Conference, held on March 12, 2024, at DeFabrique in Utrecht, was a pivotal gathering for innovation and collaboration in the high-tech sector. The conference provided a platform for knowledge exchange, inspiration, and networking among professionals, including a team from Brightsite led by Hans Linden.

The NXTGEN High-Tech conference, a hub for forward-thinking projects and initiatives in the technology industry, offered a comprehensive program with presentations that highlighted the future of agri-food, biomedical technologies, energy solutions, semiconductor technologies, and more. Particularly, the integration of composites and laser satcom systems demonstrated how smart industrial practices and systems engineering play key roles in advancing these areas.

Plasma in the spotlight

A highlight of the meeting was the pitch of two promising projects, including the Brightsite Plasma Project ‘Plasma Conversion of Methane’. Hans Linden, manager of Brightsite’s program line ‘Emission Reduction through Electrification’, shared his enthusiasm for the Plasma Project, aimed at the valorization of residual methane gas with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions. “We are very honored that we were able to present our work to the 500 attendees on the main stage, and the feedback was very positive. We also announced the establishment of our start-up Thoriant, which will bring the plasma activities of the Brightsite Plasmalab to the market. The name Thoriant has now been officially registered,” he proudly states the day after.

Repairable Phone

The Fairphone story, presented by founder Bas van Abel of the Dutch initiative, garnered a lot of attention. This inspiring session addressed the frustration with the short lifespan of phones and the impossibility of replacing parts oneself, which led to the creation of Fairphone. Linden: “Their self-developed phone, of which you can replace all parts and additionally comes with an 8-year warranty for updates, is the result of starting without knowledge but with sufficient means to realize your vision. Now, with the fifth generation of phones, Fairphone has become profitable. The story of their journey, full of obstacles and questions that a startup faces, is inspiring.”

“The equipment necessary for the transition in the industry, of course,
also needs to be manufactured.”
Hans Linden

Strong in High Tech

With more than 330 partners collaborating on over 60 projects, NXTGEN High Tech proves that the Netherlands has built a strong ecosystem in high-tech. Linden adds: “Bringing together the chemical and high-tech industries leads to intriguing developments in our project. We in the Netherlands have traditionally been strong in high tech; take ASML as an example. Equipment suppliers are crucial. Devising and developing new chemical processes so that climate goals are met is only half the challenge. The equipment necessary for the transition in the industry, of course, also needs to be manufactured.”

About NXTGEN Hightech

NXTGEN High Tech, a collaborative partnership with more than 330 project partners, aims to leverage this technological progress to address major societal challenges, thereby promoting a future-proof landscape of high-tech equipment. With a substantial investment of approximately 1 billion euros, supported by a contribution of 450 million euros from the National Growth Fund, the initiative seeks to stimulate the growth of the Dutch high-tech sector, with the ambition of making it a leading cluster in Europe and significantly contributing to the national GDP.