Platform Beta en Techniek (PBT) and their subsidiary We Are Katapult is an independent organisation (foundation) created by the ministries of Economic Affairs (EZK), education (OCW) and Social Affairs (SZW) to support the implementation of national STEM strategies (currently: Technology Pact). Besides it’s coordinating role, PBT also develops and implements a wide variety of implementation programmes throughout the education chain. This includes the development, piloting and ongoing support of the Centres of Expertise (CoE) in higher education and Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in VET. Currently supporting over 300 public private partnerships between education institutions and 9800 companies, involving 84.000 students and 5000 teachers) through the Katapult network and direct support measures.
Since 2013 the Technology Pact coordinates all existing activities and initiatives. The Technology Pact is a joint initiative of central government, the organised business community, the trade unions, the education community and the regions. The objectives of the Technology Pact cover the entire education chain, from primary education up to the labour market. PBT has been tasked by government to coordinate the implementation of the Technology Pact in the Netherlands. PBT is also a founding member of the EU STEM Coalition, a network of similar organisations throughout Europe, and currently holds its secretariat. This network has contributed to the development and upscaling of new STEM strategies (e.g. Danish Technology Pact), organisations (e.g. Hungarian STEM platform) and programmes (e.g. Jet-Net pilots in Spain), including programmes based on the Centres of Vocational Innovation-model. In its recent Communication on a Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education, the European Commission stated that: “the Commission will launch an upscaled EU STE(A)M Coalition” based on the EU STEM Coalition network.