National Growth fund proposal - round 3

Growing with Green Steel

The creation of a Steel for Sustainability Innovation Institute (S2i) to make the Dutch steel sector green.


The current method of steel production and use is not sustainable and has to become better.

This proposal tackles this issue.

Steel is indispensable in society, now and in the future.
Energy transition
The energy transition is not possible without steel.
Leadership in steel industry = strong future economy.
Green and integrated steel cycle = increased Dutch autonomy.
Environment & climate
Large contribution to environmental and climate goals.
Improved image of the steel sector = attracting talent.
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Optimisation of steel processing for use of energy and resources.

Supply and demand

Increased demand for steel, more than can be recycled.

Design and application

Design and application of steel products aimed at durability and recycling potential.


Reduction of CO2 and other emissions.

Energy consumption

Reduction of the total energy consumption for iron and steel production.

Endangered raw materials

Dealing with scarcity of specific elements.

Green steel

Society asks for "green steel" products.


Control of accumulation of alloying elements which limit recycling of steel.

What will this proposal do about it?

A Steel for Sustainability Innovation Institute will be founded which will research & develop the production of green iron/steel. Together with the Dutch industry, this will be rolled out before 2031. The focus is on:




System changes

Fundamental system and flow change.

Iron & steel production

H2 and other methods to reduce iron ore.


Product design for better properties, reuse & longer life.

Steel processing

Optmised energy use and less use of endangered elements.


Policy on recyclability for recovery.


Closed lifecycle

Closed lifecycle of steel-based products.

Reduction of Dutch CO2 emissions

Strong reduction of the total Dutch CO2 emissions.

Minimised energy and resource use

High quality products based on green steel, with minimal use of energy and resources and full recycling.

Maximum recovery

Maximum recovery of steel by design for recycling, and improved sorting & identification of scrap.


This growth fund proposal is subdivided into 5 themes which cover the full steel lifecycle, from production to recovery, but also the required system changes to accomplish this. Detail information can be found here.

System change​

  • Policy and social aspects
  • Education
  • Systems and environment
  • Digitisation
  • Infrastructure characterisation


  • Effects of replacing coal with hydrogen
  • Increased amounts of recycled material


  • New products based on “green” steel
  • Industrially relevant academic research


  • Properties of steel, durability, strength, etc.
  • Knowledge dissemination towards (potential) end users


  • Closing the value chain
  • Maximise recycled content
  • Scrap identification and sorting

Vision after 8 years

In 2031, the Dutch industry is leading in the area of sustainable steel

National growth fund - round 3

To make this possible, a long, stable investment has to be made in both research and setting up the necessary infrastructure and human capital. The National Growth Fund is a government initiative to invest in projects that improve Dutch earning capacity and ensure long-term economic growth.

For more information: National Growth Fund.

The deadline for submitting proposals was February 3, 2023, 5:00 PM.

The proposal has been submitted.

Current consortium

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