APG is to work alongside other companies and knowledge institutions on practical applications of blockchain, artificial intelligence, and technology which contributes to reducing carbon emissions. APG will be earmarking a significant part of its innovation budget for this in the coming years. Developments in these fields are advancing at lightning speeds, and hold great promise for society. The insights and experiences acquired along the way will contribute to further improvements in APG’s operational management. The projects will be conducted on the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen.
Gerard van Olphen, APG CEO: “Blockchain’s inherent promise, artificial intelligence and the effects of climate change will all exercise significant influence on the future of APG, the commercial world and society. By investing substantially now in such technical innovations, entering into partnerships with companies, start-ups and knowledge institutions, APG is contributing to the strength, synergy and speed needed for the Netherlands soon to be a leading player. Participants in affiliated pension funds will also benefit from this. So I am extremely proud that we are taking a first step in this direction here today.”
APG has put together a special team for the execution and supervision, led by Joep Beukers, Director of Innovation at APG. This team will ensure that smart applications will be developed on the campus for a range of sectors, in line with the chosen spearheads. For blockchain, this will include applications for the financial sector, logistics, the property sector and the medical field. The aspiration is to evolve into the European breeding ground for blockchain applications. A variety of companies will collaborate, making a contribution to the center. Research and study programs of several scientific institutions will also be used, including Dutch knowledge institution TNO and BISS (the Business Intelligence & Smart Services Institute). Finally, start-ups and scale-ups will be recruited, with a range of facilities being made available to them on-campus. This aspiration and working method also applies to applications involving artificial intelligence and climate solutions.
Consultations have taken place on the spearheads, among others with the Fintech representative in the Dutch cabinet, Willem Vermeend, who believes these innovations are vitally important for the Netherlands’ smart industry and the country’s financial sector. From his position as Endowed Professor of Smart Industry at the Open University in Heerlen, he will take on chairmanship of the project’s advisory and program board.