What are the opportunities of using satellite data for the security of the Netherlands? And how can we strengthen the collaboration between the Ministry of Security and Justice, knowledge institutions and businesses? Those are the questions that were at the base of the Satellite Observation programme of the Ministry of Security and Justice –managed by the Innovation Team of the Ministry and HSD as programme partner. The programme started in 2015 and today, during the ‘Satellite Applications, The Next Level’ event at the HSD Campus, the outcomes were celebrated with all the involved organisations. The programme has resulted into concrete research and innovation projects, with funding, ranging from detection of drugs waste and production facilities, quicker detection of wildfires, augmented reality solutions for police officers and the military and observing unexpected movements in the areas around prisons.
A New Approach to Innovation
Bertwin Lussenburg (Innovation Team Ministry of Security and Justice) explained: “The ministry –supported by the Top Sector Policy– has started to focus more on cooperating with the private sector for so called key-technologies, like spacecraft, and on using these technologies for societal challenges.” This innovation programme started with a so called Technology Café, in September of 2015, where businesses, knowledge institutions and government got together to discuss the potential of satellite data technology. At the start of 2016, the programme management team organised 5 brainstorm sessions. As a result of these sessions, 10 use cases that had the potential to result in innovative applications of space technologies, were identified. For each case, a consortium was formed by government services, including: the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), Public Prosecution Service (OM), National Police, Netherlands Fire Service and the Custodial Institutions Agency (IND). In June 2016, a 'technical dialogue' was held, discussing each case with the support of knowledge institutions. At the end of October 2016, the Ministry organised an open and non-committal market consultation at HSD. In the process, five other ministries became actively involved as well: Defence, Economic Affairs, Finance, Social Affairs and Employment, and Health, Welfare and Sport.
Involved knowledge institutions include: TNO, TU Delft, KNMI, NLR Netherlands Aerospace Centre. Richard Franken, Executive Director of HSD: “I find it very positive that knowledge institutions, businesses and government organisations have worked together with the Ministry of Security and Justice to come to real innovations and that HSD has been involved as programme partner”.
An important aspect of the innovation programme has been the open dialogue between the ministries and the suppliers of technologies. Using a ‘Small Business Innovation Research Programme’, the Ministry was able to challenge the market to develop innovation solutions for societal challenges. Businesses with the best offers got the opportunity to conduct feasibility studies and to further develop their products and services. This innovative procurement has proven to work well. That is why, in October 2017, the innovation programme will start using a new procurement instrument: the Innovation Partnership (Innovatiepartnerschap).