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Nederland 2e plaats innovatiefste landen ter wereld

Nederland 2e plaats innovatiefste landen ter wereld

The Netherlands has climbed one spot to the no. 2 ranking in the 2018 Global Innovation Index (GII). Switzerland retained its number-one spot and rounding out the top ten are: Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.

Each year, the GII surveys some 130 economies using dozens of metrics that provide a high-level look at innovative activity. Its 81 indicators explore political environment, education, infrastructure, and business sophistication. The GII is co-authored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and French graduate business school INSEAD.

Holland’s triple helix approach scores strongly

The GII attributes Holland’s second-place ranking to its “strong, interlinked business sector that collaborates well with universities.” It also emphasized the fact that Holland’s business sector is internationalized via IP licensing exports.

In addition to ranking No. 2 overall on the GII, the Netherlands ranks first in the following categories: logistics performance, cluster development, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.

Eleven of the top 20 ranking countries are from Europe. In 2018, China broke into the top-20 ranking for the first time while the USA dropped back two places to no. 6.

Nederlands 2e plaats innovatiefste landen ter wereld

The importance of climate-friendly innovation

The theme of the 2018 GII edition is “Energizing the World with Innovation,” looking at the need for expanded innovative work in climate-friendly green technology amid rising energy demands worldwide.

“Innovation is clearly necessary to address the energy/environment equation, but let us keep in mind that such innovation cannot be only technological,” said Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices. “New social, economic and business models are required, including through efforts to promote smart cities, mobility solutions based on shared vehicles – and a global citizenry with better information on the impacts of various energy policies.”

About the GII

Published annually since 2007, the GII is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world. Policymakers, business leaders and other stakeholders use the GII to evaluate progress on a continual basis.

Source: WIPO

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Smart Yields Selects The Hague as its European Headquarters

Smart Yields uses IoT to help small-and-medium-size farmers to farm smarter. Smart Yields connects farmers, their communities, municipalities, universities and agricultural researchers through crowd-sourced data gathered from a network of integrated agricultural sensors. The raw data covering everything from soil health to inputs such as water, energy and nutrients is translated by Smart Yields into actionable insight for the benefit of farmers.

In the United States the company has – amongst others – successfully brought its IoT solution to the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, where it is helping with the prevention of crop loss due to late frost.

Smart Yields is hosting its first-ever European stakeholder event at The Hague on July 11, 2018. The company is part of West Holland’s growing agro-technology and social-impact movement, supported by InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency.

“The Netherlands is changing the way small- and medium-size farmers monitor and cultivate their crops, and we want to help bring those innovations to the world, aligning their farming frameworks with other global best practices,” said Vincent Kimura, CEO of Smart Yields.

Smart Yields has partnered with Salt Farm Texel, an “open-air lab” researching crops that are resistant to high-salinity growing conditions. Saline soils are a pressing agricultural issue due to changes in climate and sea levels. Smart Yields technologies will be used to monitor soil moisture, salinity and other conditions, with the goal of expanding to thousands of farmers in areas like Bangladesh. Using Smart Yields’ big data network, Salt Farm Texel can establish remote monitoring stations, allowing it to seamlessly work with farmers from around the globe. Smart Yields is also launching a partnership with Sensoterra, an Amsterdam-based leader in low-cost, soil moisture monitoring hardware. Smart Yields will pair its data platform and easy-to-use mobile interface with Sensoterra’s wireless hardware.

This global expansion lays the groundwork for Smart Yields’ development of regional Centers of Excellence to share and refine best practices across the agricultural sector – from agronomy to sustainability to workforce development. Smart Yields plans to host an international farmers meeting in the Netherlands next year.


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Dutch delegation to India seals agreement on soft landing support in Karnataka for Dutch startups-980x450

In response to increased interest by Indian Safety & Security entrepreneurs in expanding or relocating to the Netherlands, InnovationQuarter joined the High tech / Cybersecurity delegation of the largest Dutch economic mission to India ever. During the trip, InnovationQuarter had the opportunity to invite current investors and prospects to several Trade Dinners and to a lunch organized by The Hague Business Agency with the Mayor of The Hague.

After two days in New Delhi, the Hightech/ Cyber delegation went to Bangalore where InnovationQuarter was offered Soft Landing Support for Netherland Startups by Karnataka’s Technology Incubators. The letter of support for the Soft Landing Programme is the result of previous meetings between government officials of the State Karnataka, the City of The Hague and InnovationQuarter.

Dutch delegation to India seals agreement on soft landing support in Karnataka for Dutch startups-002-980x450

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MOU on Shore Power Study Signed between Heerema Marine Contractors, Eneco and Port of Rotterdam

Purpose of the Partnership

The main objective of the consortium is to perform a feasibility study to realize a shore power connection in the Calandkanaal, providing sustainable power for offshore vessels. The order of magnitude of the connection is 20MVA. It is envisioned that large offshore vessels, while moored at the Calandkanaal, will be fully powered by green electricity while operating inshore. The use of shore power for moored vessels at this scale is an industry first in the world.

Accelerating the Energy Transition

Connecting Heerema’s fleet to the grid by sustainable energy will provide a significant reduction in terms of emissions and noise. Due to the fact the diesel generators will be switched off shortly after the vessel is moored, nearly all emissions – CO2, NO­X, SOX and PM – will be eliminated in the channel. In addition to the emissions saved, noise generation will be reduced significantly too. In the future, more vessels could be connected to the grid to further reduce the (carbon) footprint. Naturally, this is pending the outcome of the feasibility study.

The Signing Ceremony

Despite many challenges, all parties have a profound drive to make this development a reality. During the signing ceremony at the Port of Rotterdam, the parties highlighted the sustainable potential for the region that this project brings.

Yvonne van der Laan, VP Industry & Bulk Cargo Business, opened the ceremony with the words: “The energy transition coalition is high on the agenda of the Port of Rotterdam. This feasibility study for green shore power is a potential big step in making the infrastructure of the Port of Rotterdam more sustainable. It is a positive development that this is done in a consortium with Heerema, Eneco and the Port of Rotterdam. The energy transition requires many steps to be taken, with many partners to accomplish.

Katja Langen, Director Business Development of Eneco expressed that “Eneco would very much like to determine how green wind energy, produced on location, can be coupled with shore power solutions. Potentially, mobile energy solutions could be developed. The answers on how to achieve this exactly, and the challenges this project brings, will have to be thought of in cooperation with Heerema and the Port of Rotterdam, together.

On behalf of Heerema, Saskia Rijtema, COO, signed the MOU. “Heerema is a family company, where values play an important part in the way we run our business. Reputation, safety and sustainability are of key importance. This is shown in our new build vessel, the Sleipnir, which is currently under construction and can operate using LNG. We are thankful to make this step forward with these partners, and grateful to realize our shared ambitions in terms of sustainability.”

Heerema, Eneco, the Port of Rotterdam and other partners in the consortium will jointly pursue additional partners and subsidy/grant providers that can assist and facilitate in this feasibility study phase. The addition of other marine partners who are interested in mooring in the Calandkanaal could potentially be beneficial to the development of shore power in the Rotterdam area, as risks will be reduced for all parties involved.

Rinke Zonneveld, CEO at InnovationQuarter: “We endorse the development of shore power in the region. We are involved in the consortium formation of this initiative, specifically on the required public-private partnership. We also support this initiative from the Roadmap Next Economy – the inspiring vision from our region on the big transitions we face – and from the Regional Investment Platform.”

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Cargo bikes without a driver (Droids) and drones in the sky that pick up cargo from a smart hub and then deliver it to your doorstep. According to Geeba this will be the solution to the expensive last stage of local delivery within cities. This newest innovation aims to disrupt last-mile logistics and is to cut the expenses for e-commerce companies significantly. Two companies, originally from Qatar, bundled their forces in a joint venture: Geeba. Airlift provides the autonomous surface vehicles, N-gon supplies the drones for transport through the air, and Geeba develops the blockchain technology that will connect all the autonomous vehicles through an online platform. The droids are expected to have a radius of 35 kilometers with a speed of 25 km/h and a maximum cargo load of 40 kg.

There is room to experiment in Holland

Airlift and Geeba chose The Netherlands to develop their innovation for a reason. “In Qatar there is not much room to experiment,” says Geeba CEO Ahmed Mohamedali. “As a startup you have to go through a rigmarole to get approval for testing your product.” In Holland, especially West-Holland, the government is more lenient towards innovation and experiment. “For instance, the process of getting approval for the testing of our vehicles from the government runs smoothly. Furthermore, West-Holland has a strong robotics and blockchain ecosystem, and the connection to the rest of the European market is strong. Those were the motives for us to establish our offices here,” according to the CEO of Geeba.

Rotterdam as a business location

Ahmed Mohamedali had good reasons for choosing the city of Rotterdam with its strong tradition in manufacturing. Both the Geeba and the Airlift offices are based in the Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC). Airlift and Geeba both received a startup visa, a temporary residence permit for ambitious starters from abroad. The visa is valid for a maximum of one year. During this next year Airlift will get the opportunity to further develop their business and innovation in cooperation with Geeba and with help from their facilitator CIC.

The companies have been assisted by the Invest in Holland partners the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), InnovationQuarter and Rotterdam Partners.

Future plans

Airlift is aiming to deploy more than 100 of its robots and smart hubs within the next 9 months. For this the team needs to grow to 19 engineering and business employees. Geeba is planning to double the team – which currently exists of 10 different nationalities – in the next year, to be able to further develop the blockchain technology needed for the logistics and launch the commercial pilot in the Netherlands.

Tombstone voor Geeba en Airlift Systems in CIC Rotterdam | © Verkijk

Tombstone voor Geeba en Airlift Systems in CIC Rotterdam | © Verkijk