Industrial Liaison Officers-netwerk

The Netherlands participates in international Big Science organisations such as the particle accelerators at Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). For the international Big Science projects, infrastructure, equipment, instruments et cetera need to be developed and constructed and Dutch companies can tender for these projects. The mission of the Dutch Industrial Liaison Officers is to support the Dutch high-tech industry in acquiring orders for these Big Science projects.

NWO and ILO-net

ILO-net is the partnership of Dutch Industrial Liaison Officers (ILO's) who are employed by national research institutes and universities. The initiative for this network came from the NWO institutes. The activities of the ILO network tie in with NWO’s ambition to increase public private partnership in research and to strengthen knowledge utilisation. NWO therefore provides ILO-net with financial and personnel support for practical and organisational matters so that the network can carry out its tasks more effectively.


The acquisition of high-tech orders for Big Science projects is important for the continuity of Dutch industry and for the high-tech industry in general. It also benefits science because it makes it easier for researchers to gain access to highly qualified companies. The scientific institutes and the companies involved get to know each other, exchange knowledge and work together.

Big Science projects are superb incubators for innovation for which broad collaboration between science and industry is needed. For example, satellites for earth observation and telecommunication and a range of medical diagnostic equipment and therapies have been invented due to collaboration between industry and science. Winning Big Science tenders is far from easy. ILO-net especially supports high-tech SMEs in this.

ILO-net facilitates:

  • Dutch high-tech SMEs being better informed about important orders that can be tendered for;
  • Industry choosing a strategy that enables it to better respond to the continuity offered by Big Science in challenging, pioneering work;
  • Science being able to gain easy access to highly qualified companies by organising events where companies and science can meet each other;
  • SMEs with less international business experience also being able to be more closely involved in Big Science projects.


ILO-net organises and coordinates Dutch participation in network events, such as Holland pavilions at scientific conferences with a trade fair where ILO-net facilitates the presentation of Dutch companies.

Examples are:

  • the annual International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC)
  • almost every year a special Dutch Trade fair at a foreign Big Science Institute: Holland@CERN (2010) and Netherlands@GIANT (2013)
  • Hannover Messe in April 2014
  • Industry days

Further ILO-net organises trade missions and exhibitions for Dutch high-tech companies at foreign Big Science projects. The aim is twofold: introducing Dutch companies to the possibilities offered by foreign Big Science facilities and at the same time informing purchasers and scientists about the expertise of Dutch high-tech companies.



Gerard Cornet
ILO-net coordinator
Sorbonnelaan 2
3584 CA Utrecht

Kirsten Soekhoe-Verkaik
Back Office Manager ILO-net
Laan van Nieuw Oost-Indie 300
2593 AC Den Haag, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 703 44 05 65