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Speed reducers are used to ensure that the right amount of speed or torque by an (electric) motor is delivered for a specific application. IMSystems is one of the first companies that has been able to successfully apply the principle of frictional contact for speed reduction in a compact and lightweight gearbox, resulting in the Archimedes drive. The Archimedes Drive will know many applications in various industries, and especially in the robotized manufacturing industry.

We are convinced that the Archimedes Drive is a significant hardware breakthrough that allows robots to function optimally, with higher precision, less maintenance and at a fraction of the weight of competing drives – Jack Schorsch, founder and CEO of IMSystems

Industrial robots highly depend on the quality of gear teeth transmission. While software developments are moving rapidly, the lack of significant hardware breakthroughs is hampering robotic development. The Archimedes Drive is able to deliver the same amount of torque while being a fraction the weight of competing drives. Besides, it enables robots to operate with a much higher precision due to the lack of backlash traditional gear teeth do have. Furthermore, power transmission through friction nearly eliminates the need for lubrication, thereby lowering maintenance costs.

Jack Schorsch, founder and CEO of IMSystems: “The investment of UNIIQ will enable us to optimize our product more quickly, to ultimately get our product faster to market. We are convinced that the Archimedes Drive is a significant hardware breakthrough that allows robots to function optimally, with higher precision, less maintenance and at a fraction of the weight of competing drives.”

With the investment of UNIIQ the precision, reliability and lifetime of the Archimedes Drive will be tested in various setups. Following the technical validation, IMSystems expects in collaboration with leading robotics manufacturers to release a commercial product later this year. “And this focus on realizing commercial traction in an early phase is equally important”, says UNIIQs fundmanager Liduina Hammer. “We primarily invest in companies with pro-active teams that focus on both the technical and commercial part of their organisation”.

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Attractive business climate in the Netherlands

Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Eric Wiebes, commented: “The presence of foreign companies is important for our country. Some 1.4 million Dutch people have a job directly or indirectly thanks to these companies. The excellent annual NFIA results confirm that we benefit from a good investment climate. Our highly educated population, good infrastructure, pleasant housing and living conditions and competitive fiscal climate attract foreign companies and employees. For our future economic growth and employment it is important that the Dutch business climate remains attractive. We all benefit from that. ”

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, under whose responsibility the NFIA falls as well, commented: “The Netherlands has an attractive business climate, and the Dutch economy is in good shape. Also, with a view to Brexit, there is increasing interest from international companies to move activities to the Netherlands or to establish themselves in the Netherlands. It is therefore important that the NFIA, Dutch embassies and consulates overseas continue to put the Netherlands on the map abroad.”

Distribution centers and headquarters

Within the Invest in Holland network, the NFIA was directly responsible for 8,158 of the 12,686 jobs. In 2017, the NFIA registered 224 foreign direct investment projects for the Netherlands, corresponding to 1.23 billion euros in investments. The NFIA results show that most new jobs were created in distribution centers (1,864), at headquarters (1,345), in marketing & sales offices (1,316), R&D (1,259) and production sites (1,081). To illustrate, Netflix expanded its European headquarters in Amsterdam with a customer contact center of 400 jobs. Merck Performance Materials invested 15 million euros in its production plant for so-called liquid crystal glass in Veldhoven. Meanwhile, Japanese gelatin producer Jellice expanded its production plant in Emmen, resulting in 25 additional jobs.

US companies lead employment creation

As in 2016, the majority of ‘foreign’ jobs were created by companies from the United States. NFIA results for 2017 indicate some 2,516 jobs created by US companies, bringing 110 million euros in investments.  Companies from within Europe also provided a substantial number of jobs (2,879), including the UK (872). Japan and India provided 655 and 423 jobs, respectively.  Majority of jobs from foreign investments in 2017 came from creative industries such as fashion and entertainment & media (2,126). Additional jobs by sector include agrifood (1,788), IT (1,219), life sciences & health (600) and business services (457).


Within the Invest in Holland network, including West Holland acquisition partners The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter, special attention was on Brexit last year. The NFIA is in contact with more than 200 foreign companies that are considering a switch to the Netherlands in the wake of Brexit. Many companies choose to wait before they announce their plans for the future, due to the lack of clarity about the new relationship between the UK and the EU. In 2017, 18 companies made a Brexit-related move to the Netherlands. These re-locations accounted for 483 jobs and 19 million euros added to the Dutch economy. In these results, the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam is not yet included.


Source / NFIA

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Recordaantal buitenlandse bedrijven investeren in Den Haag

FMost investments are from China and the United States

With 14 companies, China proved to be the largest investor in The Hague again last year. However, the extra efforts of The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter to attract companies from the United States, the United Kingdom and India in particular paid off in 2017. Some 11 US firms chose The Hague as a base for business, while six companies from the United Kingdom invested in the city and no fewer than five Indian enterprises opened a new branch here.

Deputy Mayor Karsten Klein (Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health): “The Hague has made great strides in recent years to raise its international profile as an attractive business destination. New partnerships with the Indian states of Karnatarka and Telangana, as well as the collaboration between our acquisition partners and other partners within the city, have contributed to this. There has been an immediate and visible growth in investments from this country, which will ultimately result in more jobs for the city.”

Record number of foreign companies invest in The Hague

IT, Tech, Cybersecurity and Energy

The Hague is very popular with companies in the IT, Tech and Cybersecurity sectors. LeoSat, a US tech firm, opted for The Hague and starting in 2019 is slated to be the first company in the world to offer low-latency, long-distance data traffic using optical inter-satellite connections.

The Indian company Krypc Technologies, a fast-growing international supplier of blockchain platforms, and the US cybersecurity business Dtex Systems, which develops unique software for detecting threats from the inside and infiltration from outside, both chose The Hague as the location for their European headquarters. In addition, the Danish energy company Ørsted (formerly Dong Energy) chose The Hague as a base from which to prepare the construction of wind farms in the North Sea.

These developments serve to boost the city’s role in vital sectors, such as Energy, IT, Tech and Cybersecurity, and have a knock-on effect by making The Hague even more attractive to foreign companies looking to invest.

Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines (Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education):  “Our policy of stimulating the knowledge infrastructure as well as encouraging close cooperation between educational institutions and the business community are clearly having a positive impact. The focus on innovative economic sectors is already resulting in extra jobs. We are also working hard on strengthening the peace and justice and security clusters by internationally raising the profile of the city in these sectors and emphasising their economic added value.”

Blockchain platform provider KrypC Technologies opens its European office in The Hague

Krypc Technologies / from left to right: Mark Beermann, Danny Frietman (Enterprise Summit), Karsten Klein (Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health), Venu Rajamony (Ambassador of India), Ilja van Haaren (The Hague Business Agency), Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter) and Paul de Kroon (34 Capital).

International city of Peace, Justice and Security

More International organisations and NGOs are also finding their way to The Hague, international city of peace, justice and security. In 2017, the Department of International Affairs (Bureau Internationale Zaken, BIZ) in collaboration with The Hague Business Agency helped UN OCHA and International Alert set up office in The Hague.

UN OCHA is a data centre for collecting and analysing information on people affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises. The non-governmental organisation International Alert was established to help people in conflict zones find peaceful solutions.

Additional jobs for The Hague

The Hague’s appeal as a business city is increasing. In addition to the companies that were actively supported by the acquisition partners mentioned above, other international firms have also opted for The Hague. AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical firm with its international head office in the United Kingdom, moved 200 people from Zoetermeer to The Hague, while the British company Merlin Entertainments confirmed The Hague as the location for a Legoland Discovery Centre. This tourist attraction is expected to open its doors to the general public in 2019.

Cooperation in The Hague region

Attracting foreign investment is of great importance to The Hague as well as to the Netherlands. It contributes to economic growth and creates jobs. The 54 investment projects are the result of a joint effort by The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in association with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. As ‘Invest in Holland‘ partners, the two acquisition partners support the City of The Hague in profiling the region internationally as an economically attractive business location. Have a look also at the NFIA results 2017.

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The Netherlands in Top 10 in Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018

The human factor is the most critical resource for national competitiveness. Launched in 2013, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is a benchmarking tool for governments, cities, businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help design their talent strategies, overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace.

The annual index assesses policies and practices that enable countries and cities to attract, develop and retain both ‘technical/vocational skills’ and the ‘global knowledge skills’ associated with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

The GTCI 2018 edition found that the Top 10 countries have several key characteristics in common and share one major feature: they all have a well-developed educational system providing the social and collaboration skills needed for employability in today’s labor market. Other characteristics in common between the top-ranking countries include a flexible regulatory and business landscape; employment policies which combine flexibility and social protection; and external and internal openness.

GTCI 2018 - Top countries and cities ranking in talent competitiveness

The Netherlands ranks 9th

European countries continue to dominate the rankings, taking eight of the Top 10 spots:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. United States
  4. Norway
  5. Sweden
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Netherlands
  10. Luxembourg

Top 10 cities

In the cities portion of the index, eight out of the Top 10 ranking cities are located in Europe. As in the case of countries, over time, higher GDP levels naturally lead to higher technology penetration, creating ecosystems with better quality education, business, healthcare and infrastructure.

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Stockholm, Sweden
  3. Oslo, Norway
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Helsinki, Finland
  6. Washington DC
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. San Francisco
  9. Paris
  10. Brussels, Belgium

The Dutch cities Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam ranked respectively 11th, 27th and 34th.

Diversity for Competitiveness

In addition to the talent competitiveness ranking, this year’s report investigated the theme of ‘Diversity for Competitiveness’. The report found that diversity is not an end in itself, but must always be accompanied by a culture of inclusion in order to flourish and have real impact.

“Focusing on diversity and inclusion is crucial to overcome the fractures and inequalities of our age,” said Adecco Group CEO Alain Dehaze. “This means nurturing a culture of inclusion, starting at home and school, fighting bias and developing social and collaborative skills, which are key to unleash the power of work and will make the future work for everyone.”


Source / GTIC, Staffingindustry.com

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Dutch tech improved lives at largest electronics fair CES 2018

Holland Startup Pavilion

The Dutch delegation at CES 2018 was led by StartupDelta with HRH Prince Constantijn of Orange as its Startup Envoy. Together with DutchBasecamp they fully prepped the 53 entepreneurs for this highly intensive week and pitching their company to various stakeholders. And it has paid off!

CES  hosted about 185,000 visitors and the Dutch startups got a lot of attention, which was covered by various media. Here’s a media selection.

“The Netherlands is one of the most innovative countries in the world. Startups are the engine of innovation. Our goal is to give all entrepreneurs here a boost, by bringing them in contact with the tech world, large and international investors and corporates. This way these startups get the maximal opportunity to grow further and eventually conquer the world,” said Prince Constantijn.

West Holland at CES 2018

At world’s largest electronics fair CES also 7 West Holland based startups joined the Holland Startup Pavilion. Take a look at the full list of cool startups that represented the Netherlands at www.startupdelta.org.

  • Fizyr (Delft)
    Deep learning for vision guided robotics.
  • INVI (Rotterdam)
    Use the smell to repel – with the INVI Self-defense Bracelet.
  • Sense Glove (Delft)
    Sense Glove enables touch in Virtual and Augmented Reality. Their unique force-feedback system enables feeling the shape and density of virtual objects.
  • Solar Monkey (Delft) / InnovationQuarter portfolio company
    Software that enables solar to become the world’s leading power supply
  • Somnox (Delft)
    The world’s first sleep robot to improve sleep by breathing regulation, sounds, and affection. Sleep faster, longer and wake up naturally.
  • TiledMedia (Rotterdam)
    Stream Amazing Quality VR over Today’s Networks to Today’s Devices.
  • Travis Translator AI (Rotterdam)
    Giving you the Power to Communicate.

InnovationQuarter’s Willemien de Vogel-van Musschenbroek Greve joined CES 2018 to connect with interesting high-tech companies and attract them to the Netherlands. The majority of the companies focused on 5G, smart cities, smart homes, AI, IoT, AR and VR.

But how to find the most exciting technologies on 2,75 million net square feet of exhibit space? It’s impossible to talk to every exhibitor. A thorough preparation in advance made sure we picked out the most promising exhibitors to meet and to discuss the possibilities in setting-up or expand business to Europe’s mainland. Now we will follow up and hopefully welcome some new companies and distribution business to our region within the next years.

Dutch tech improved lives at largest electronics fair CES 2018

Startup Visa in the Netherlands

As an early adopter for new technology, the Netherlands is an ideal starting point to entrepreneurs, innovators and great minds who think on an international scale. The Dutch government made it easier for ambitious entrepreneurs from outside the EU/EEA to start a business in the Netherlands through what is called a ‘Startup Visa’. For a one year period, this visa grants you the possibility to start an innovative company in the Netherlands. CIC Rotterdam, YES!Delft, PortXL and Erasmus Centre. for Entrepreneurship (ECE) a.o. are facilitators for this Startup Visa.

CES 2019

Next year, the CES might benefit from additional Dutch knowledge on resilience! After all, the Dutch have some knowledge on coping with rain and making sure the business continues!


Source / StartupDelta / NLinSF

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ToxTracker is Toxys’ unique animal-free test system for identification of potentially carcinogenic properties of novel chemicals. ToxTracker combines multiple biomarkers to get mechanistic insight into the of action of (geno)toxic compounds. The assay not only includes markers for DNA damage, but also for a non-genotoxic mode of action, including oxidative stress, protein misfolding and cytotoxicity. The combination of multiple biomarkers results in a rich dataset and an extensive toxicological profile of the tested compounds tested.

Scheduled developments of ToxPlot

With the MIT grant, Toxplot will be further developed into a software platform that can be used by toxicology laboratories in the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics industry.  The developed ToxPlot software package will consist of:

  • ToxPlot analysis tools for hypothesis-free data mining and analysis of the rich datasets obtained by ToxTracker.
  • A ToxTracker database containing extensive (geno)toxicity data from a large set of reference compounds.
  • Quantitative modelling and visualisation modules for quantitative analysis of the toxic properties of compounds to improve human risk assessment.

Cross-sector collaboration

This project combines the innovative in vitro toxicity screening tool developed by Toxys and the unique bioinformatics expertise at Omnigen. The combination of these disciplines will allow users to extract the most information from the biological data, thus adding value and insight into how their compounds respond.

Omnigen’s experience in working with genetic data and developing analysis tools is essential to deliver an user friendly software package with the necessary analytical power to get the most information out of the rich data sets generated by using ToxTracker. This will allow Toxys to offer the ToxPlot software together with a licensing option to their unique ToxTracker assay.

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Forbes names the Netherlands No. 3 Best Country for Business

Forbes about the Netherlands

As the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, Forbes reports: “[the Netherlands] plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and low unemployment.” Holland was also among the best countries for technology and innovation.

Inside the Ranking

Forbes determines the Best Countries for Business by rating 153 nations on 15 different factors. Those include property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, infrastructure, market size, political risk, quality of life, workforce, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection. Each category is equally weighted.

In addition to the general list, the Netherlands also ranked highly among best countries for personal freedom, technology, innovation, and property rights.

Forbes has rated the business friendliness of the world’s biggest economies annually for the past 12 years. Have a look at the full report at www.forbes.com.


Source / Invest in Holland

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RoboHouse, smart industry fieldlab for advanced cognitive robotics applications

What to find in RoboHouse?

RoboHouse is RoboValley’s fieldlab where manufacturing companies and innovative organisations can discover the possibilities cognitive robotics offer, develop their own applications and test them in an industrial setting.

Why use RoboHouse?

The rapid developments in robotics will have a major impact on many sectors. A few organisations already make use of advanced robots, which apply artificial intelligence, are self-learning and can work autonomously. Machines that interact with their surroundings and can collaborate with people.

These cognitive robotics enable many new applications. Think of robots that can identify and process a variety of unknown objects and that can be deployed for order picking tasks in warehouses. Another example are inspection robots for remote and dangerous areas or production processes where humans and robots work together to solve complex tasks.

Most manufacturing companies are aware of the existence of these intelligent technologies and would like to gain practical experience with them. RoboHouse is the place where you can, in a practical way, learn to understand the potential – and limitations – of these robotics systems. A test facility to work on your own application and a place to train your employees to collaborate with robots.

RoboHouse will open its doors in the spring of 2018. Based on the campus of Delft University of Technology, RoboHouse offers direct access to the research of TU Delft Robotics Institute and industrial partners, such as ABB and Festo.

RoboHouse, smart industry fieldlab for advanced cognitive robotics applications

RoboHouse: discover, develop and test

What can you do in RoboHouse?

  • Discover
    Take a tour with your management through RoboHouse or book an inspiring hands-on workshop to understand how your organisation can implement intelligent robotics. Define the processes, products or propositions that will be impacted by robotics.
  • Develop
    Create your own advanced robotics application. Follow a course in RoboHouse. We will offer courses on a variety of subjects, for example applying TensorFlow (deep learning) in ROS (open-source Robot Operating System).
  • Test
    Find out how your idea or concept works by using the RoboHouse test centre. We offer various workplaces, well-equipped for different technologies (e.g. vision, grippers, navigation and interaction).

Become a partner of RoboHouse

Become a partner of RoboHouse

RoboHouse is an initiative of RoboValley, Festo, ABB, Exact, InnovationQuarter, TNO, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). They are open for new partnerships.

Do you share their mission to make the Netherlands leading in smart manufacturing? They’re up for a chat! Please contact the RoboHouse team at robohouse@robovalley.com.