The project promotes cooperation between industry and science in the German-Dutch border region to strengthen research, technological development and innovation
The project "Regional Collaboration on Key Enabling Technologies" (ROCKET) is an umbrella project within the INTERREG Deutschland-Nederland program. It promotes cooperation between business and science in the German-Dutch border area between the North Sea and the Lower Rhine to strengthen research, technological development and innovation. Key enabling technologies (KETs) such as nanotechnology, microsystems technology, microelectronics and nanoelectronics, innovative materials and materials, and photonics provide the technological basis for the answers to global challenges. ROCKET aims to develop, promote and implement cross-border innovation projects in the fields of health, energy and production. It will evaluate project ideas by means of feasibility studies. Targets are the acceleration of knowledge transfer for the development of up to 40 marketable, KET-based products as well as the building of a cross-border network with a large pool of high-tech SMEs. ROCKET will increase the competitiveness of SMEs, promote growth and job creation. To meet the individual requirements of the involved project partners there are five cluster and networks from both sides of the Dutch-German border (Oost NL, BCS Netherlands, NovelT, Cluster NMWP.NRW and innos - Sperlich GmbH) as personal contact persons and consultants available. Feasibility studies involve at least two SME partners (cross-border). The lead of a feasibility study lies with a SME.

Resources needed

Cluster, networks and associations from GER and NL forming the project consortium, which is present in the different regions as well as thematically interdisciplinary. ROCKET receives financial support under the INTERREG program from the European Union and the INTERREG partners.

Evidence of success

In April 2016 ROCKET started with 4 approved cross-border “Pioneer-Innovation Projects”: (SAIL PRO (production), Antibacterial Materials (health and production), SuperSurf (energy and production) and Fast-Pharma (health). From April 2016 until October 2017 three calls for proposals have been published. 17 cross-border feasibility studies and innovation projects with 70 companies, research Institutes and universities have been initiated in total with an overall budget of 10 mio. euro.

Difficulties encountered

With ROCKET the threshold for SME Participation in funded projects was lowered. The project offered optimal integration of SMEs that „go cross-border“ with their innovation activities for the first time. Feasibility Studies were a fruitful first step for new collaborations. The project pitches at Ju

Potential for learning or transfer

The holistic project approach in the support of companies (especially SMEs) before and during the application of innovation projects with a cross-border consortium and during the subsequent project duration ensures a successful implementation.
Interreg V A regions exist in many cross-border regions in the European Union. In principle, a transfer of this funding scheme to other regions is possible.
Main institution
Cluster NMWP.NRW
Düsseldorf, Germany (Deutschland)
Start Date
April 2016
End Date


Dirk Kalinowski Please login to contact the author.