The decision by the Dutch government to stop extracting natural gas from the Groningen gas
field will have major economic implications for the Northern Netherlands. To tackle these
challenges, the four largest Northern cities have started a trajectory with the
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). The main goal of this trajectory is
to develop a concrete Action Roadmap that prepares the Northern economy and labour
market for the upcoming energy transition.
To help us draft this Roadmap, we have invited experts from regions that faced similar
economic transitions to inspire us with their lessons learned on December 3rd.
On December 4th, while the Northern stakeholders work together on drafting the Action
Roadmap, we will organize site visits for our international guests to some very innovative
projects related to the Northern Netherlands in transition. We are pleased to hereby invite you
to attend both days of this two day conference. In this invitation, you will find the program and
some practical information.
Tuesday December 3.
13.00 – 14.00 Walk-in and lunch
14.00 – 14.15 Welcome by Deputy Mayor of Leeuwarden Friso Douwstra
14.15 – 14.30 Introduction by acting Director-General Charlina Vitcheva of the JRC
Ms. Vitcheva will describe the context of the trajectory and elaborate on how the JRC can
contribute to a successful Northern Netherlands in transition.
14.30 – 15.00 Interview with the JRC
Chairman Femke Wolthuis will interview researchers of the JRC and asks them about the
trends in the energy sector and the economic impact that the closing down of the gas fields
will have on the Northern Netherlands.
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee break
15.30 – 16.30 Presentations by international experts
During this section international experts from other regions in transition will present their lessons
learned to the audience.
Regions that have been asked to share their knowledge include:
- Heerlen (Netherlands) Mining industry
- Eurométropole Lille (France) Textile industry
- Oulu (Finland) Nokia
- Upper Nitra (Slovakia) Coal industry
16.30 – 17.00 Interview debate with international experts, politicians of the Northern
Netherlands, Northern stakeholders and representatives of the European
17.00 – 18.00 Networking drinks
19.00 – 21.00 Dinner for international guests
The dinner will be hosted by the cities of the Northern Netherlands
(Assen, Emmen, Leeuwarden and Groningen)
Wedsnesday December 4.
10.00 – 15.00
Site visits based on individual preferences
Please let us know which sites indicated below you prefer to visit. Based on the collected preferences we will develop a tailor-made program:
1. Energy Campus - Leeuwarden
On the Energy Campus Leeuwarden companies, knowledge institutions and the government work together to accelerate the energy transition. The campus facilitates companies that produce sustainable energy, innovative start-ups and works in close collaboration with knowledge institutions.
2. Blue Energy Afsluitdijk - Friesland
The Blue Energy Theme focuses on the development of a sustainable technology for electricity generation by using the salinity gradient between river water and seawater. On-site tests for Blue Energy are done at De Afsluitdijk together with the company REDstack and research centre WETSUS
3. Watercampus - Leeuwarden
WaterCampus Leeuwarden is the meeting point of the Dutch water technology sector and has the ambition to play a sector uniting role for the rest of Europe as well. WaterCampus stimulates cooperation between (inter)national businesses, knowledge institutes and governments within the water technology sector, in order to create synergy for world class innovation, education and entrepreneurship.
4. EnTrance - Groningen
EnTranCe, the Centre of Expertise on Energy, speeds up the transition to clean, renewable and affordable energy. Scientists, students, businesses, authorities and social institutions all come together to share their knowledge. Focus is on developing the innovations that are much needed for the energy transition and strengthen the regional knowledge economy.
5. Hydrogen Valley Northern Netherlands – Groningen
Hydrogen Valley Northern Netherlands is a partnership to turn the region into a hydrogen-based region. Excess renewable electricity will be transformed to hydrogen and then stored. The stored energy will be used by consumers in different applications: industry, mobility and in domestic use. It acts as an enabler for a zero emission society. Implemented already in hydrogen busses, waste trucks and hydrogen filling stations.
6. Environmental Education Centre – Assen
The city of Assen developed an environmental education centre for their inhabitants, based on a circular concept. The program includes offices, exhibition spaces, a restaurant and facilities for the neighbouring children’s farm. The ecological approach is visualized in the integration of the surrounding landscape and the building, minimizing it’s footprint. The setup is like a termite hill providing natural ventilation just by set up with ground pipes and a solar tower.
7. The Smart Energy Region Emmen – Haren (EMS-Germany)
With the Smart Energy Region, the municipalities of Emmen and Stadt Haren (Ems - Germany) have developed the energy system of the future by means of smart links between the regional energy systems and exchanging energy across the border.
Stadsschouwburg de Harmonie, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Ruiterskwartier 4, 8911 BP Leeuwarden
To register, please email Ewout Oppers at the municipality of Leeuwarden:
For more information please check: