Rotterdam boosts green, smart innovations through SES programme

Rotterdam boosts green, smart innovations through SES programme

ROTTERDAM, 12 July 2023 – The municipality of Rotterdam bolsters its commitment to a cleaner and smarter future as it funds four trailblazing sustainability projects through its Smart Energy Systems (SES) programme.

Funding smart and sustainable innovations

Today, the SES programme issued financial grants to four new innovations. The programme supports entrepreneurs who develop solutions aimed at creating a cleaner, smarter, and more efficient energy system in the city and port.

Alderman Chantal Zeegers (Climate, Building and Living) stated, “Utilising this new knowledge is essential to achieving our ambitious climate goals and accelerating the energy transition. I am pleased that four more innovation projects can benefit from the subsidy. The chosen entrepreneurs demonstrate that Rotterdam is actively working on intelligent, innovative energy systems and out-of-the-box solutions.”

SES subsidy recipients for 2023

The new sustainable innovations receiving the SES subsidy in 2023 include:

  1. Zero Emission Fuels – MethaGIS: Zero Emission Fuels (ZEF) is developing microplants to convert solar energy directly into sustainable methanol. This technology could be broadly applied to large-scale solar panel systems, like those implemented in countries such as Morocco and Chile. The sustainable methanol could be used, for instance, as eco-friendly fuel for shipping and energy provision.

  2. Flying Fish – Feasibility study Foiling Demonstrator Nieuwe Maas: Flying Fish is developing hydrofoils to make emission-free boating faster and 80% more efficient. Hydrofoils lift the hull out of the water at sufficient speed, reducing resistance. Watertaxi Rotterdam is partnering in the project.

  3. Hygro – Charlois Hub, iBundle & satellite: Hygro is researching the feasibility of a hub for the compression and distribution of hydrogen for heavy road transport. This is a chain innovation in the field of hydrogen and can contribute to Rotterdam's objectives.

  4. RABLE – Solar-on-parking-places: RABLE is developing a solar carport, an overhead cover for parking areas, based on the RABLE technique, a smart self-supporting system for solar panels. This innovation should make it easier and more appealing to implement solar carports.


The Smart Energy Systems programme

Since 2020, the city of Rotterdam has been encouraging smart and sustainable innovations through the SES programme to speed up the energy transition. The grant amount is up to €100,000 per participant. The aim of the subsidy is to support the further development of innovations and stimulate business activity and employment in the Rotterdam region.

In the previous four rounds, 27 innovations have already utilised the subsidy. The SES programme now includes a total of 31 innovation projects. The municipality is contributing to the development of, among others, a digital tool for optimising the heat network, a battery that stores solar and wind energy and produces hydrogen, and large-scale energy storage in the port linked to the hydrogen infrastructure.

For more information about the SES programme, visit

Affordable meals for Rotterdam's elderly: Expansion of care restaurants

Affordable meals for Rotterdam's elderly: Expansion of care restaurants

ROTTERDAM, 12 July 2023 – As part of an ongoing commitment to community care, Rotterdam is expanding the number of care restaurants (zorgrestaurants) in its neighbourhoods, aiming to offer more accessible, affordable meals for the city's senior citizens.

Subsidised expansion of care restaurants

The city council has pledged over €2 million in subsidies over the next few years to facilitate this expansion, with an emphasis on providing spaces for older residents to socialise and participate in community activities. While some initiatives currently exist across different Rotterdam districts, the council, composed of the mayor and aldermen, intends to substantially increase this number.

One of the first beneficiaries of this program is the neighbourhood centre, Huis van de Wijk ‘Het Lage Land’. A grant from the city council enabled the purchase of kitchen equipment to facilitate cooking for large groups, thus making it possible to host regular cooking activities for seniors.

New neighbourhood restaurant launched

Huis van de Wijk 'Het Lage Land' saw the recent inauguration of a new community kitchen, 'Kookstudio Het Lage Land', on 7 July, in the presence of local residents and Alderman Ronald Buijt.

“With this subsidy, seniors can meet and enjoy meals together at more locations in the city, which are affordable and healthy,” said Ronald Buijt, Alderman for Care, Elderly and Youth Care. “This way, we tackle loneliness among the elderly,” he added.

How the subsidy works

The subsidy aims to stimulate and support the establishment of new care and community restaurants and aid in the growth of existing ones, thereby creating more accessible locations where seniors can have a conversation and enjoy healthy, affordable meals.

Only care and community restaurants that host dining activities for the elderly at least twice a week can apply for the subsidy. The subsidy can be used for purchasing kitchen equipment, training staff, setting up efficient marketing and communication, and much more. In addition, start-up community kitchens can provide local residents with vouchers for a free trial meal.

The subsidy scheme will run until 2026, with €450,000 available for 2023, €680,000 for 2024, and €530,000 for the period from January 2025 to December 2026.

Application process

Applications for the 2023 subsidy can be made online. On the website, more information about the terms and conditions, as well as the application process, are also available.

Location details and directions

The newly opened 'Kookstudio Het Lage Land' is situated in the heart of the 'Het Lage Land' district, a lively neighbourhood popular among locals for its communal spaces and events. To reach the location, you can easily use public transportation or cycle, as per Rotterdam's sustainable transport guidelines.

2024 Tour de France Femmes begins in the Netherlands

2024 Tour de France Femmes begins in the Netherlands

ROTTERDAM, 10 July 2023 – Marking a significant moment in women's cycling, the 2024 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will start in the Netherlands, crossing through Rotterdam, The Hague, and Dordrecht.

The commencement in the Netherlands

Three stages of the prestigious race will take place on 12 and 13 August 2024 in these regions. The first leg commences in Rotterdam, concluding in The Hague, while the second stage begins in Dordrecht and finishes back in Rotterdam. In the afternoon, there is a time trial scheduled in the centre of Rotterdam. Full route details will be unveiled in Paris on 25 October.

Women's cycling has seen rapid growth in recent years. The 2022 launch of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift met significant success, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors alongside a vast television audience. Dutch cyclists demonstrated their prowess in the initial edition, securing six of the eight stage victories.

Marion Rousse, director of the event, explained the decision to host the first foreign start of the world's largest cycling race in the Netherlands. “Given the country's influential role in women's cycling, it was a logical choice,” Rousse noted.

A collaborative endeavour

Rotterdam, The Hague, and Dordrecht anticipate jointly delivering a unique cycling event, aiming to foster local pride and international attention. Furthermore, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift is expected to enhance the sports policy of the three cities.

Rotterdam's ambition

Rotterdam's Alderman for Sports, Faouzi Achbar, expressed his pride at the city's involvement in the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. “Rotterdam aspires to be a leader in mobility and equality. Hosting the start of the Tour offers a unique platform to advance these ambitions,” Achbar shared.

The Hague's connection

The Hague, as the finishing city for the first stage, is closely involved in the event's organisation. Sports Alderman, Hilbert Bredemeijer, noted the importance of both men's and women's cycling. “We aim to create a popular celebration along the route and further stimulate sports participation,” Bredemeijer mentioned.

Dordrecht's pride

Marc Merx, Dordrecht's Alderman, expressed confidence that hosting the second stage's start will inspire more citizens to embrace cycling, both recreationally and competitively.

Getting to the event

For those planning to attend the event in Rotterdam, the city is conveniently accessible via train, bus, and car, boasting a robust public transportation system. The city centre, where the time trial takes place, is a bustling area brimming with shops, eateries, and cultural sites.

Rotterdam invests €5 million in school healthcare teams

Rotterdam invests €5 million in school healthcare teams

ROTTERDAM, 7 July 2023 – The government of Rotterdam has announced an investment of €5 million to enhance the services of school healthcare teams across the city. This investment is aimed at providing increased support to students requiring care, by expanding the reach of these teams and enhancing the effectiveness of existing ones.

Rotterdam increases funding for school healthcare teams

The investment will enable the setup and continuation of school healthcare teams (schoolzorgteams) in a total of 125 schools across Rotterdam. At present, nearly 80 primary schools are benefiting from these teams, which offer swift and effective support to children with healthcare needs.

These healthcare teams are typically composed of various experts from within and outside the school, including an internal supervisor (intern begeleider or IB'er), a school contact person from PPO (Passend Primair Onderwijs), and a school social worker. Youth-specialised staff from municipal district teams are also included, particularly in neighbourhoods where families and children need support the most.

Emphasising healthcare in schools

Since the coronavirus pandemic, Rotterdam has been focusing on providing additional healthcare services in schools. The aim is to mitigate as much as possible the impact of this period on children and adolescents. Funding from the National Education Programme (NPO) has been utilised to increase aid and care in schools via staff from district teams. In addition, numerous tutors have been employed to provide extra guidance in language and arithmetic.

However, now that the utilisation of NPO funds has come to an end, the city is allocating €5 million to continue and increase the deployment of school healthcare teams.

Quotes from the municipality

Said Kasmi, the city's Alderman for Education, is confident in the strategy. "In Rotterdam, we see the positive consequences of this approach," he noted. "Thanks to the close cooperation within school healthcare teams, children and families can receive the right help and support more quickly."

Faouzi Achbar, Alderman for Welfare, shared his satisfaction with the progress so far. "Healthcare professionals in schools want to be able to discuss children's care with the district team more quickly and easily," he stated. "Organising the district teams closer to the schools creates better contact between parents, school, and social workers. This helps to prevent issues more quickly and reduces the need for children to require more intensive help."

A future focus for the municipality

The municipal government emphasises the importance of ongoing investment in measures that yield long-term improvement. This includes more capacity for school social work, focus on the socio-emotional development of children, and investment in measures to relieve teachers and allow them to concentrate on their core tasks.

"In the 2025/2026 school year, we aim to provide support to at least 100 primary and secondary schools where the need is greatest," Kasmi stated. He explained that this could be achieved in various ways, including the deployment of tutors, mentors, preventive youth work at school, and smart organisation with art subject teachers.

For more detailed information and practical stories, visit

Rotterdam burn centre reports rise in summer burn injuries

Rotterdam burn centre reports rise in summer burn injuries

ROTTERDAM, 7 July 2023 – As the warmest June on record sees a surge in barbecue-related injuries, Rotterdam's burn centre is urging residents to exercise caution. The centre, along with its counterparts in Groningen and Beverwijk, has reported an influx of patients suffering from severe burns, primarily caused by unsafe barbecue practices.

Rise in Burn Injuries

The three Dutch burn centres (brandwondencentra) have been treating a significant number of patients with severe burns, most of which are attributed to typical summer activities. Barbecuing has been identified as the leading cause. According to Kiran Baran, a burn specialist at the Red Cross Hospital, the use of flammable liquids to ignite barbecues is a common and dangerous practice.

Barbecue Safety Warning

The burn centres, in collaboration with the Dutch Burn Foundation (Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting), are advising the public to use firelighters (aanmaakblokjes) for a safer barbecue experience.

Summer Burn Hazards

Every year, people sustain severe burns from incidents that are unique to the summer season. These include accidents involving hot metal slides, gas mishaps on boats, and, of course, barbecues.

Burn Centre Statistics

The burn centres have already treated 11 adults and 3 children with severe burns this year. Many of these patients were injured while using flammable liquids during barbecuing. Often, it is the family members or friends of the person using the flammable liquid who are injured.

The Tip of the Iceberg

Ymke Lucas, a burn specialist at the Maasstad Hospital's burn centre in Rotterdam, suggests that the actual number of burn victims is likely higher. The centre only sees the most severe cases, and does not have data on patients treated in hospitals without a burn centre.

Safe Barbecuing Practices

Lucas advises that safe barbecuing can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. However, she warns against the use of flammable liquids to speed up the ignition process. These include substances like spirit, bio-ethanol, petrol, white spirit, and fire gel.

Directions to Maasstad Hospital

The Maasstad Hospital is located in the Zuid district of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport or car. The area is well-served by local amenities and is just a short distance from the city centre.


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