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Invest in Holland op primeur GFIA in Europa-980x450

Networking opportunity

The fair focused on the entire spectrum of topics relevant to the agriculture industry, including climate change, biotechnology, IT, big data, machinery, horticulture, energy and water management.

InnovationQuarter participated in events at the Invest in Holland pavilion, which attracted many visitors. It was an excellent opportunity to establish and strengthen links with international companies in the horticulture and agriculture sector. Enterprise Europe Network organised a matching programme to help participants form new contacts.

Workshops on Dutch innovations

Invest in Holland’s collaborating partners invited innovative Dutch companies and knowledge institutions to demonstrate the Netherlands’ strengths in agri-food and horticulture during the Invest in Holland workshops. The ‘Dutch innovations in the dairy sector’ workshop provided an opportunity for experts from industry and government to speak about various topics, including innovations that allow milk to be concentrated on the farm to avoid unnecessary water transport. Beladon, from the province of South Holland, gave a presentation on the Floating Farm. This farm is being built in Rotterdam and will produce and treat fresh milk close to consumers in the city centre, thereby reducing transport and making logistics more efficient. A transparent, environment-friendly farm that floats on water, visitors will be able to gain insight into the entire milk treatment process, animal welfare and high-tech robotics.

During the workshop ‘Innovations with impact, the Dutch approach’, Wageningen Campus described how the Campus ecosystem had been developed. The ecosystem facilitates cooperation between researchers and entrepreneurs, who gain access to cutting-edge research infrastructure and are able to successfully develop new ideas. Finally, Invest in Holland explained how it can help international companies benefit from this Dutch agri-food ecosystem.

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In 2015, a preliminary inter-laboratory validation study already indicated an excellent transferability and reproducibility. Now, in a large international validation study, together with seven expert laboratories, Toxys is determined to confirm the outstanding performance and added value of the ToxTracker assay. The validation study is initiated in parallel to the recent  initiatives towards the European Center for Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and should contribute to regulatory acceptance of the ToxTracker assay.

About the study

The consortium of consists of 7 multinational corporations in the field of health care and consumer products, the pharmaceutical industry and international CRO’s with additional support provided by several experts in the field of genotoxicity and cancer hazard assessment. In accordance with the OECD guidance document on the validation of new test methods, the ToxTracker assay will be installed in each of the participating laboratories. After a technical training , each lab will independently test a significant selection chemicals for their hazardous and genotoxic properties.

The results from the participating labs will use to determine the transferability, intra- and interlab reproducibility. The outcomes from this international study will be published at the end of the project. Giel Hendriks:

We are very proud to bring together such a strong consortium with key opinion leaders in our field and demonstrate the reproducibility and predictive capacity of our ToxTracker assay in this extended study.

About ToxTracker

ToxTracker is an unique, stem cell-based reporter assay for genotoxicity and cancer hazard assessment, that combines multiple biomarkers to get mechanistic insight into the of action of genotoxic compounds. A major advantage of ToxTracker is that it not only includes markers for induction of DNA damage, but also reporters for a non-genotoxic mode-of-action like oxidative stress and protein damage. All these types of cellular damage have been associated with increased cancer risk.

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Investing in growth strategy

The Series C financing round will contribute to Airborne’s full automation and digitization of composite manufacturing of goods that require less weight and higher strength from an array of industries.

In many markets like Aerospace, Automotive, Oil & Gas, Consumer Electronics and Sporting Goods, lightweight and durability are key industry drivers. Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite materials offer the potential to address these needs. SABIC’s composite thermoplastic solutions coupled with Airborne’s know-how offers the unique opportunity to realize the mass production of lighter and stronger applications in a more cost effective way.

Digital infrastructure for thermoplastic composite automation technologies

Airborne is a technology leader in the design, production and industrialization of advanced composite products for aerospace and marine sectors. Airborne is on a growth path to become the leading platform in composite automated manufacturing technologies. With the new investment, Airborne will implement the digital infrastructure that will serve as a backbone for thermoplastic composite automation technologies.

An important next step

“A radical increase of the level of automation and digitalization as well as the availability of information throughout the supply chain will be a crucial success factor in the composites industry. Combined with the integration of information from material to product, this is the core of Airborne’s strategy. Joining forces with SABIC is an important step towards our new strategy becoming a frontrunner in automation and digitization of composite manufacturing. Attracting the world leading advanced chemicals company to invest in Airborne is a great confirmation of our strategy. We are very enthusiastic about the added value SABIC will bring to our company’s development and disruptive innovations,” said Arno van Mourik, Founder and CEO of Airborne International.


Maintenance and repair activities in Woensdrecht

Miriam Dragstra, director BOM Capital comments: ”We are very pleased with SABIC as additional shareholder and key partner and customer in the further development of Airborne International, and in particular its composite automation agenda which is a key example of how Manufacturing 4.0 will be implemented and which will enable complex composite products to be made at very low cost and with high flexibility. This strategy will also facilitate strong cost reductions in the maintenance and repair activities in Woensdrecht, which is a major growth core for the company. BOM is therefore pleased to support the company further in this C round along with the other existing and new shareholders.”

Hidden innovative potential of Zuid-Holland

Francis Quint, Head of Capital, InnovationQuarter, remarks: “The commitment of a global leading chemical company such as SABIC and existing shareholders confirm first of all Airborne International’s automation and digitization strategy to expand the reach of composites beyond traditional industries but also re-emphasizes the hidden innovative potential of our region, Zuid-Holland. InnovationQuarter is honored to support the completion of this Series C round.”

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union


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Zuid-Hollandse ondernemers geven visitekaartje af tijdens missie in Zuid-Duitsland

Economic mission to southern Germany

The trip was in line with the aspirations of InnovationQuarter and its partners to strengthen ties between West Holland and southern Germany. The large turnout of both Dutch and German companies at the different events demonstrated great mutual interest. As a result, in the coming years InnovationQuarter aims to organise regular internationalisation activities focused on the technology clusters in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Zuid-Hollandse ondernemers geven visitekaartje af tijdens missie in Zuid-Duitsland

Personalised medicine

In collaboration with local partner organisations Bio-M and Bioregio STERN and supported by NBSO Stuttgart, mini-conferences were held in Munich and Stuttgart. These gatherings offered a mix of short substantive contributions, pitches and one-on-one matchmaking discussions. In Stuttgart, for example, Carin Huibers (global platform leader parenterals at Janssen Biologics in Leiden) shared her vision of international developments in the biopharmaceutical industry, and a carefully prepared matchmaking event for all delegates and potential German business partners also took place.

The matchmaking event in Stuttgart received special praise. According to Arie Baak of Euretos, “It exceeded our expectations.” If you would like to find out why Dutch and Germans businesses get along so well in the biotechnology field, you can listen to the podcast (in Dutch) on Duitslandnieuws.nl.

Zuid-Hollandse ondernemers geven visitekaartje af tijdens missie in Zuid-Duitsland

Cyber security – ‘solutions for Industry 4.0 and corporates’

Cyber security is a hot topic in Germany. In light of German investment in Industry 4.0 and the associated rise in the digitalisation of manufacturing, cyber security solutions are becoming increasingly relevant. Traditional manufacturing companies, however, do not possess the necessary expertise themselves to implement these solutions.

Delegates interested in the theme ‘cyber security, solutions for Industry 4.0 [German smart industry, ed.] and corporates’ took part in a special theme-based programme aimed at generating exposure for Dutch developers and suppliers of cyber security solutions in this area. Individual companies were given ample opportunity to promote themselves and engage in one-on-one discussions with potential partners. Jorrit van der Walle, CEO of Audittrail, participated in this programme and said:

Thanks to InnovationQuarter’s cyber security mission, I have gained many new insights into the southern German market.

The programme also afforded German participants and members of the delegation the chance to put forward various important points. For example, Evert Driehuis of Securelink in Sliedrecht (one of the leading cyber security companies in Europe) made a valuable contribution, as did Ruben van Vreeland of BitSensor (a promising startup in Eindhoven) and Professor Pieter van Gelder of Delft University of Technology and the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) Centre for Safety & Security.

To provide insight into what Dutch cyber security entrepreneurs are looking for in Germany, Duitslandnieuws.nl has published an article featuring interviews (in Dutch) with participants from three companies that were involved in the two-day mission: Software Improvement Group (SIG) in Amsterdam, Compumatica in Uden and Onegini in Woerden. These security companies are also affiliated with The Hague Security Delta (HSD), Europe’s leading security cluster.

Germany places high value on safe browsing online, but why is it lagging in this area? Dutch and German participants offer their opinions in this podcast (in Dutch) on Duitslandnieuws.nl. You can also read the SecureLink report (in Dutch) for more information.

Zuid-Hollandse ondernemers geven visitekaartje af tijdens missie in Zuid-Duitsland

Economische Programmaraad Zuidvleugel (EPZ)

Companies that took part in the mission were accompanied by a strong delegation from EPZ, the regional economic board. Under the leadership of Ab van der Touw (CEO of Siemens Nederland) and Adri Bom-Lemstra (member of the South Holland Provincial Executive), EPZ delegates participated in a specific programme that focused on knowledge sharing, cooperation and strengthening ties with important existing and potential partners in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Over the two-day period, the delegation visited various companies and organisations, including Siemens, the Technical University of Munich and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria. Delegates also spent time at Bayern Innovativ, the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Bavaria and the Ministry of Economic Affairs for Baden-Württemberg and Fraunhofer. Representatives of these companies and organisations met with the delegation to discuss topics that included public-private cooperation in science, innovation and professional education. These representatives also made considerable contributions to the two main business programmes.

A series of events was jointly launched at the invitation of Ab van der Touw: workshops at the Siemens head office in Munich, a lecture by Carin Huibers during the personalised medicine event in Stuttgart and the King’s Day reception at the Netherlands Consulate in Munich, sponsored by EPZ. This traditional networking reception was attended by more than 500 Dutch and German visitors from Munich and the surrounding area and generated valuable exposure for the West Holland region, the businesses taking part in the mission and the Netherlands as a whole.

You can read more about the mission on Ron Bormans’ blog (in Dutch) (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) ‘Kein jugendlicher ohne Talent’ (No Youth Without Talent), a theme-based visit to southern Germany to share information with businesses and higher education about Industry 4.0 and what it means for educating young people.

Peter Vermeij, Nederlandse Consul-Generaal in München, opent Koningsdagviering op Schloss Nymphenburg

Peter Vermeij, Dutch Consul-General in München, opens celebration King’s Day at Schloss Nymphenburg

The mission received invaluable support from various partners

As InnovationQuarter received invaluable support from many partners in organising this mission, we would like to express our gratitude to the following.

  • The Dutch support network in southern Germany: the Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSO) in Stuttgart and Frankfurt as well as the Netherlands Consulate in Munich.
  • Enterprise Europe Network (Chamber of Commerce of The Hague and Bayern Innovativ) for matchmaking.
  • The German cluster organisations Sicherheitsnetzwerk München, Bio-M, Baden-Württemberg International, BW-Connectec and Bioregio STERN for their extensive preparation and for inviting German counterparts to meet with our delegation.
  • The Hague Security Delta and Medical Delta for creating appropriate buzz across Dutch networks.
  • The City of The Hague for sponsoring the King’s Day event in Stuttgart.
  • EPZ for sponsoring the King’s Day event in Munich and for accompanying the business delegations.
  • The Hague Marketing for bringing a touch of ‘The Hague’ to the King’s Day reception in Munich.
  • Tothem, our PR & Media partner for this trip.
  • Our regional partners Oost NV and BOM as well as Amsterdam Trade and Rotterdam Partners for promoting the mission within their networks.

Peter Vermeij, Nederlandse Consul-Generaal in München, opent Koningsdagviering op Schloss Nymphenburg

Upcoming events and plans

In keeping with its internationalisation programme, InnovationQuarter aims to strengthen economic ties with various key regions abroad. Together with its regional and national partner organisations, InnovationQuarter will focus intensively on economic missions, trade fairs, technology roadshows and soft landing programmes in the coming years.

A number of activities related to the broader context of the recent mission to southern Germany are scheduled for the coming weeks and include the following.

  • From 20 to 22 June, a business trip to MT-Connect in Nuremberg. This international trade fair is aimed at manufacturers, suppliers and R&D organisations in the medical technology industry. The lead partner for this event is Brabant Development Agency (BOM), and this year’s theme is ‘Digitalisation of Healthcare’.
  • From 26 to 29 June, the Digital Health & Smart Devices business trip to the UK. This trip is being organised in association with Health + Care, the UK’s largest integrated healthcare event. Our colleagues from East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NV) are to act as lead partner for this event with InnovationQuarter providing support.
  • From 13 to 16 November, participation in the pavilion and/or the business trip to Medica, the largest medical technology trade fair in the world, to be held in Düsseldorf. Taskforce Health Care and our colleagues at Oost NV will soon provide additional information about this event.
  • A visit to one of Germany’s largest cyber security exhibitions, the IT-SA, which is becoming increasingly global in its outlook. More information is available from NBSO Frankfurt.
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Above European average

Holland ranks above the European average in all five DESI categories. The country is particularly a leader in fixed broadband, with fast broadband access available to practically every Dutch household. The Dutch are also very well-connected in terms of number of citizens using the internet and their range of online activities. The Digital Economy and Society Index also notes progress in business digitization, ranking sixth in integration of digital technology. In digital public services, the Netherlands ranks third in the EU.

Information technology hotspot

As the most connected country in Europe, the Netherlands is a hub for leading information and communications technology companies. In fact, 60 percent of all Forbes 2000 companies active in the IT industry have already established operations in Holland.

Global IT companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon and Google have operations in Holland. Businesses such as these take advantage of the country’s unparalleled digital infrastructure and tech-savvy, English-speaking workforce.

For the full annual report from the European Commission that identifies the Dutch as leaders in digital progress, please visit www.ec.europa.eu for more.

Bron: InvestinHolland.com / EC.Europa.eu