Message of the CEO
A year of new impetus
2012 was the year in which ECN actually started implementing its new strategy of ‘developing technology with and for the market’. In January we started with a new organisational structure in which the departments of program development and business development are important bridgeheads. The culture in our organisation is also changing and the attitude of mind is much more entrepreneurial and result-oriented.
Last year, the establishment of the Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKIs) offered ECN an immediate opportunity to prove itself as an attractive partner and important link in the chain between science and industry. This went extremely well, thanks to the hard work of many ECN colleagues. On 1 April, the then minister, Maxime Verhagen, signed the innovation contracts between businesses, knowledge institutes and government. ECN is playing an important role in various TKIs, in the Top Sector Energy as well as in energy topics of the other top sectors.
In 2012 we made many new contacts and found new roles in which we can deploy our expertise. For example, in September we organised an introductory day titled ‘business from energy technology’, which was enthusiastically attended by 120 entrepreneurs. We stationed a ‘man in Brussels’ to ensure close involvement with the European research agenda. We presented ourselves as supplier of thorough and expert due diligence advice for venture capitalists in energy technology.
Goodbye and hello
We said goodbye to Ruud Lubbers as chairman of our Supervisory Board. We are very grateful to him for the enthusiasm with which he has dedicated himself to ECN and NRG for seven years. We appreciate the willingness of Aad Veenman to act as interim chairman of the Supervisory Board until 1 March 2013. In November 2012, we welcomed Niels Unger as the new director of ECN subsidiary NRG. With his impressive track record in energy and technology management, Niels Unger has got what it takes to help NRG proceed on the ambitious pathway it has chosen.
The economic downturn has also impacted the market for clean technology, particularly in the field of solar energy. Still, the national and international ambitions remain high as ever. The Dutch government is targeting 16 per cent renewable energy in 2020 and a fully sustainable energy system in 2050. These are ambitious targets. But ECN is ready for them.
Chief Executive Officer ECN