NEDS 2020 Digital

9, 18 & 19 November 2020


Widespread appreciation has been expressed for the first digital edition of the NEDS 2020 Digital. This year the event took place in a fully digital environment but was nevertheless well able to bring government, industry, and knowledge institutions together. The concept was different this year with a special day dedicated to Startups and several sessions over two days. This made it possible to facilitate a large number of digital breakout sessions for and by both government and industry. A way to organize a hybrid NEDS is already being looked into for the coming year.

Digital Startup Day

The kick-off took place on 9 November with the start-up day with the participation of 20 start-ups selected by Defense and NIDV. Several break-outs were organized in collaboration with various innovation hubs from Defense, Police, and Institute for Physical Security. 209 people attended different sessions. The Public Awareness Campaign ultimately resulted in 3 nominated startups (X-systems, Dynaxion, and Quinteq Energy). Hans Hillen, chairman of NIDV, announced the winner of Dynaxion at the NEDS main event.

Many sessions during the NEDS

The ‘traditional’ NEDS took place on 18 and 19, during which approximately 33 breakout sessions took place, partly from the recording studio of the Bolidt Innovation Center in Hendrik Ido Ambacht. Many (technical) lessons from the start-up day were included, making the event very smooth. Substantially strong sessions that explicitly drew attention and led to a lot of interaction. During these breakout sessions, five professors gave a presentation.

The resilience of the Golden Triangle

The resilience talk during the main stage event with 386 followers was the highlight of the NEDS. Under the leadership of moderator Roderik van Zwitserland, the panel members were Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard (director of DMO), Mr. Jan Christiaan Dicke (commissioner of military production), Mr. Harold Kokelkoren (CEO of Ilias Solutions), and Colonel Diane Verweij (DOSCO). The commanders of the Royal Navy, Royal Army and Royal Air Force, Police Service Center, and the CEO of Thales Nederland also contributed and discussed the sustainability of their organizations during the Covid pandemic in interviews on location.

The words of State Secretary of Defense, Barbara Visser, were followed by the presentation of the JGM Thesis Prize by Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Onno Eichelsheim. First Lieutenant Lonneke van Bemmel of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee was eventually declared the winner with her bachelor thesis on “Brain Peace”.

Digital success

A total of 998 people participated in the NEDS 2020 Digital, which was made possible in part by the affiliated partners Thales, TNO, Ilias Solutions, the Defense Materiel Organization, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The fact that Bolidt agreed to set up its Innovation center as a studio just under 3 weeks before the event has earned a lot of respect. The intention is to have the NEDS2021 take place in a hybrid form in November 2021.

Watch the Main Stage Event