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University of Waterloo and Brainport Eindhoven are taking the next steps to bring new nanotech to Dutch and European markets

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) at the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) and the economic development agency of Brainport Eindhoven in the Netherlands have taken another step towards bringing Waterloo’s top nanotechnology innovations to the EU market.

The City of Waterloo and Eindhoven embarked on a strategic partnership in 2014 which paved the way for this historic agreement that aims to foster rapid commercialization and support early start-ups from WIN. It is natural for the two cities to come together for this – in 2011, Eindhoven was named the world’s smartest community by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), an honour Waterloo received in 2007.

“With this partnership, we are bringing in other high-tech firms within the Eindhoven ecosystem,” said Johann Beelen, international business development manager for Brainport Development.

“We’re pleased to welcome both HighTechXL and PhotonDelta to the relationship with WIN, further expanding the involvement of companies here in the Netherlands with the exciting work coming out of the institute.”

“This partnership will allow our UWaterloo researchers and affiliated spin-off companies to access the high-tech sector in the Netherlands and eventually reach the EU markets,” said Sushanta Mitra, Executive Director of WIN and Professor at the University of Waterloo.

Although WIN is spearheading this new endeavour, it is open broadly to the University of Waterloo community.

The first step the parties will take together is to organize a $90,000 joint innovation partnership competition to support early stages of applied research that can be developed to become commercially viable technologies. A maximum of three projects will be awarded, and each will have a Principal Investigator from WIN and a partner from the Brainport ecosystem.

“We look forward to establishing a robust pipeline of knowledge economy between Canada and the Netherlands,” said Mitra. “Thanks to all of our partners for coming on this journey of innovation with UW.”

“The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy fully supports this type of cooperation, and our Netherlands Innovation Network stimulates international collaborations between companies, research institutes, and public authorities in the fields of innovation, technology, and science. This new strategic cooperation between the Canadian and Dutch ecosystems on nanotechnology and photonics is a perfect example of such international collaboration on innovation and will foster more cooperation in this field. I trust a large number of partnerships will form between the existing companies and startups in the Canadian and Dutch ecosystems, both in R&D and commercial. I congratulate all parties involved in this MoU: the University of Waterloo, the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, PhontonDelta, HighTechXL, and Brainport Eindhoven.”
Focco Vijselaar, Director General for Enterprise and Innovation

Brainport Development

The economic development agency of Brainport Eindhoven is an innovative ecosystem in Southeast Brabant, consisting of a strong high-tech manufacturing industry, an extraordinary design sector and a unique cooperative model. The knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry is characterized by small-scale production of technically complex products. Brainport Eindhoven also has a vibrant creative industry, with a unique cooperative model which offers lots of opportunities for innovative startups of all kinds.

“With this partnership, Brainport Eindhoven: “Home of pioneers,” will strengthen their ecosystem with global partners. We herewith support our SMEs and two important tech incubators and clusters, HighTechXL and PhotonDelta, and welcome future Canadian companies. Let’s create successful stories and new businesses!”
Paul van Nunen, director Brainport Development


A national foundation headquartered in Eindhoven, PhotonDelta is tasked to accelerate the growth of the integrated photonics industry. This is achieved through investments in photonic innovations for next generation applications. PhotonDelta is an ecosystem that brings together companies, universities, research institutes, investors and governments that contribute to the uptake of integrated photonics in products and solutions. Together, they form a commercially successful value chain at the heart of Europe that is able to design, develop and manufacture innovative solutions that will help overcome today’s societal and technological challenges.

“The acceleration of solutions based on integrated photonics is crucial to manage today’s societal challenges. PhotonDelta is excited to expand the integrated photonics ecosystem and create new businesses based on the innovative intellectual property from Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology together with Brainport and HighTechXL. We are looking forward to this promising collaboration with which we will speed up the adoption of integrated photonic solutions in the world.”
Ewit Roos, CEO PhotonDelta


HighTechXL is a deep-tech venture builder also based in Eindhoven. Building upon promising technologies and strong entrepreneurial teams, ventures are created that have a positive impact on grand challenges the world faces today. HighTechXL closely collaborates with the unique Brainport ecosystem and partners across the globe. To achieve this impact on society, entrepreneurial talents are empowered and inspired to reach their full potential and inspire others to do the same.

“Teaming up with the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and its ecosystem is a first-rate opportunity to build more impactful deep-tech ventures as we unite technology and entrepreneurial talents from Canada and The Netherlands,” said John Bell, CEO HighTechXL

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) is Canada’s largest nanotechnology institute committed to United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals. WIN is a global leader in discovering and developing smart and functional materials, connected devices, next generation energy systems and therapeutics and theranostics. These discoveries by our scientists and engineers are fundamentally changing our world and helping solve some of humanity’s most pressing issues.