In a move designed to intensify and accelerate technology innovation between the Netherlands and the United States, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the US Embassy in the Netherlands have announced the formation of High Tech Connections (HTC). The initiative is dedicated to promoting technological exchanges and pioneering new business matchmaking opportunities between the companies, institutions and universities of the two countries. The HTC's joint organizers and charter members are 10 leading US and Dutch high technology companies: ASML, Cap Gemini, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NIB Capital Private Equity, Oracle and Philips.

According to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the most important pillar enabling future economic growth is innovation. HTC's mission is to allow each country to draw upon its respective strengths to develop and deliver new products, services and technology gains essential for future growth in the digital era.

To this end, January 2004 sees the HTC Silicon Valley Forum in San Jose, CA, hosted by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and the US Ambassador in the Netherlands, together with the charter-member companies. The event features keynote speeches by top corporate executives, as well as breakout sessions in the three strategic fields of nanotechnology, embedded systems and broadband.