Join us in the ‘digital twinning’ project on ‘future mobility and logistics’

Join us in the ‘digital twinning’ project on ‘future mobility and logistics’

Stimulation of practice-oriented research 


The government takes the initiative to stimulate the practice-oriented research at the hbo’s. A subsidy has made this possible. With this so-called SPRONG subsidy (Stimuleren van Praktijkgerichte Onderzoeksgroepen) the hbo academies can start up research activities with industry. This is the perfect moment for the automotive and logistics programs of Fontys Hogescholen and the Hogeschool Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) to start up the SPRONG research group on the theme ‘virtual test environment’, the so-called ‘digital twins’.  

Autonomous driving and logistics 

Autonomous driving is a development with great impact on the public transport sector and the logistics of freight. Examples are autonomous logistics centers and public transport without drivers. To test autonomous vehicles it is necessary to use virtual environments and to gain experience with innovative/autonomous vehicles and to carry out simulations. This is a chance for both the academies and the industry: industry can with the help of the academies perform simulations. Students and research groups stay up to date with innovations by the practice-oriented input by industry. That is why we are going to set up a SPRONG research group on Digital Twinning. 

Focus of the SPRONG research 

ACE takes the lead in setting up the SPRONG research group with the automotive and logistics programs of both Fontys Hogescholen and HAN, with industrial partners and the government. The focus of the group is: 

The development of a common effective practice-oriented toolkit 

Topics are:

  1. Management and/or development of virtual test environments (‘Digital Twins’) for automotive research on (integral) vehicles and a selection of ‘Living Labs’
  2. Implementation and creation of an open environment, where vehicles (for automotive, logistics) can be connected. 
  3. Translation of the Digital Twin results to practice. 

Is your business focused on simulations, digital twins, with implementation of innovative technologies in vehicles and/or do you want to verify your simulations? Then you can get some help in this SPRONG research group: trainees, graduates, teachers and researchers of the participating academies can be involved. Also research groups of the academies with specialised knowledge can be consulted. 

How does the SPRONG subsidy work? 

For the SPRONG subsidy only academies can apply. For the first four years the government has a budget of 1 million euros. After that, application for another million euros for four years is possible (together eight years). 

Important conditions are:

  • The subsidy has to be used for investments on the conditions of the set-up of a good practice-oriented research program. The research itself is excluded.  
  • The subsidy will cover a maximum of half the costs of the whole project. So 50% has to come from the organisations involved in the project.
  • Co-financing from the academies, governments and industry is possible. A mix of co-financing is important to demonstrate the strength of the research group. 
  • There are two ways to participate for government and industry: 
    • By cash money, split up in four to eight years; 
    • By in-kind contribution of personnel or by contribution of a physical research environment.