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Idris Oncology one of first companies to receive free human tissue through Codex4SME’s

The Leiden based biotechnology firm Idris Oncology is one of the three SME’s in Europe to receive human tissue through the Codex4SME’s consortium, in order to help them progress their diagnostic product towards clinical application.

Read our story on the transition to personalized medicine here! (in Dutch)

“It is always hard for SME’s to obtain human samples of any kind,” says Idris CEO and founder Hans Peter Mulder. “That’s why we are so happy with the support from Codex4SME’s and its regional partner InnovationQuarter. What has really speeded Idris’ product development is the fact that Codex4SME’s also covers the costs and assists with the supply form BioBank Graz. This way we can treat cancer better.”

“I’m very happy that Idris was one of the first to obtain these free samples* as it will help making cancer treatment to become more personalized,” says Stéfan Ellenbroek, senior business developer Life Sciences and Health at InnovationQuarter. “There are currently a couple of other Zuid-Holland companies in discussion with the BioBank Graz for prospective tissue collection, but I also urge the rest of the ecosystem to check out this nice chance as the vouchers for free samples are limited in amount. Any companies with questions can contact me!”

Idris Oncology one of first companies to receive free human tissue through Codex4SME’s

*Costs covered through the Codex4SME’s Inttereg NWE grant. All tissues are obtained with informed consent.

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Australian product innovation agency IDE Group recently opened its new European headquarters in CIC Rotterdam, from where it will serve its European partners. IDE Group has a solid track record in developing MedTech innovations in partnership with various associates such as Bayer and ResMed. Rotterdam’s central location in Europe and its access to top talent made it a logical, strategic choice for IDE. During the LSH010 breakfast in the Rotterdam Science Tower, IDE Group received a cornerstone to commemorate the opening of its office. The stone was presented on behalf of Alderman of Economic development, Barbara Kathmann as well as collaborating partners InnovationQuarter, Rotterdam Partners, NFIA and Life Sciences & Health 010, all of which supported IDE Group in setting up the new headquarters.

Nederland, Rotterdam, 28/03/2019
LSH010 Ontbijt in de Science Tower.
foto Jan de Groen

Enabler and accelerator of MedTech innovations

IDE Group was founded in Sydney (Australia) in 2003 by Richard Sokolov and George Sidis. The agency partners with larger MedTech companies to accelerate product innovation and currently has 50 employees.

While major medical device companies are not lacking in good ideas or funding, they are often incapable of changing gears quickly and unable to develop solutions that fall outside of their current systems and procedures. IDE therefore works with these parties to complete product development successfully and within agreed time frames.

Incubator for new innovations

IDE assists startups and facilitates the transfer of knowledge and technology from universities and hospitals. The agency provides a team of experienced designers and entrepreneurs who help develop products and then build companies around them. This is also how the new business Atomo Diagnostics, founded by John Kelly and IDE, came to be. The medical startup shook up the market for diagnostic testing with a new, user-friendly HIV test that makes accurate diagnostics available at extremely low cost. This attracted the attention of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and an HIV self-test was subsequently developed in collaboration with both these organisations. IDE is a partner throughout the entire development process, which involves building a business and supplying a product.

Alderman of Economic development in Rotterdam, Barbara Kathmann: “Rotterdam is growing economically, and the digital services economy is playing an important role in this. The arrival of IDE in Rotterdam underlines the innovation climate of the city. Newly established, progressive entrepreneurship is good for the economy of the city and given the background of IDE, I assume that they will be a good link between Rotterdam’s talent, innovations and entrepreneurship.”

Close to high-quality talent

IDE works closely with technical universities in the Netherlands and has several Dutch staff on its Australian team. In addition, the company has direct contact with clinical experts and various professionals at Erasmus University Medical Center, which is a source of ideas for new application directions based on clinical practice. These collaborations make Rotterdam a logical destination for IDE’s European headquarters. The city’s central position and the excellent infrastructure, linking Rotterdam with the rest of Europe, also means it’s the ideal location from which to grow the agency’s European business.

Willem Mees van der Bijl, director of IDE Netherlands, says: “As a TU Delft graduate, I know the merit of the university’s technical education programmes as well as how much they are valued by companies around the world. Great new ideas come from Erasmus University Medical Center and YES!Delft is the place to find the right entrepreneurial people. I’m very excited about this collaboration!”

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It was the pedometer that gave him away. Tennis coach Mark de J. was suspected of killing entrepreneur Koen Everink. De J. claimed that at the time of the murder he was being held in a back seat, but his pedometer told a different story. Just one example of digital evidence helping to solve a case. Hans Henseler and Carl Tinker of Magnet Forensics expect this type of information will in future be part of all police investigations. It is therefore high time that not only digital forensics specialists but also regular investigators had the opportunity to review digital evidence. Magnet’s intuitive assessment tool – Magnet REVIEW – makes this possible.

What makes Magnet Forensics so innovative?

“What makes Magnet REVIEW so good is that the tool works intuitively,” says Carl Tinker, sales director at Magnet Forensics. “For instance, anyone can order a football shirt on Amazon. You select the correct size and the right colour, team and fabric. Magnet REVIEW is equally user-friendly. In the left column, investigators can click on e-mail, chat, photos and documents. It lets them easily examine the digital evidence and assess its relevance to the case.”

Tinker adds, “When digital forensics first emerged, a group of experts sat in a corner and that’s where you would send the digital evidence. Nowadays, these experts still unlock the raw data, but the detectives are the ones that assess the evidence because they have knowledge of the suspects and the timeline of events.”

In 2018, the Canadian company Magnet Forensics acquired the product Tracks Inspector as well as the team of the Dutch firm that went by the same name. Tracks Inspector had, among other things, developed the well-known chatbot Sweetie for researchers at Terre des Hommes. With Magnet Forensics, Tracks Inspector has now become Magnet REVIEW.

How has InnovationQuarter contributed to the establishment of Magnet Forensics in The Hague?

“About 20 months ago when in Canada, we met Chris van Voorden, head of Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter,” says Carl Tinker. “Chris told us about the soft landing programme that InnovationQuarter organises in conjunction with the Canadian embassy. This initiative is for Canadian companies that want to become acquainted with the West Holland ecosystem.”

Tinker explains that Magnetic Forensics was at the time still thinking of the United Kingdom as the location for its EMEA headquarters: “Although we had clients in the Netherlands, we did not have any strategic contact until Chris and account manager Philip introduced us to the Ministry of Justice, potential partners and The Hague Security Delta. We then started scratching our heads because access to the European market is much better from the Netherlands than from the UK. And Brexit was coming too.”

So, the company decided to settle in The Hague.

“InnovationQuarter made us feel that there really was a support structure for us here,” says Tinker. “We were introduced not only to strategic partners and government bodies but to various commercial leads as well. For example, it was at an event recommended to us by InnovationQuarter that we met our Romanian partner. We are now doing substantial business with them.”

What is the social impact of Magnet Forensics?

Magnet Forensics began life on the work floor. The Canadian police officer Jad Saliba, who himself has a background in IT, was disturbed by the fact that his colleagues worked so little with digital evidence. Digital specialists were overloaded and investigators had not mastered the complex digital forensics tools that were available.

Saliba therefore built a tool that allowed non-technical colleagues to analyse digital evidence. His company, Magnet Forensics, now employs 220 people. But in his heart, Saliba is still a law enforcement officer with a strong social mission: seeking justice and protecting the innocent.

What does the future look like?

“We want to grow,” replies Hans Henseler, co-founder of Tracks Inspector and now director of Magnet REVIEW at Magnet Forensics. “We hope to increase our turnover fivefold, but we are also growing in terms of staff: this year, we will go from five to nine FTEs. And if we add staff for support and training, we need to think along the lines of 12 employees in total.”

Henseler lectures on digital forensics at Leiden University of Applied Sciences one day a week. He says, “What Magnet does will only become more relevant over time as there are many things that people are quite poor at but which machines excel at. You cannot stop the current trend.”

Wat kunnen wij voor u betekenen?

Neem gerust contact met ons op.

Martijn van Hoogenhuijze

Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity
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In 2018, InnovationQuarter helped 53 (foreign) companies to open an office or expand their activities in West Holland. This included many advanced, technological companies such as GenScript (China), Magnet Forensics (Canada) and GE Healthcare (US). These enterprises are expected to create or retain more than 1,100 jobs and will invest €214 million in the region. The 53 firms represent a record for InnovationQuarter across its five-year history. In 2017, 50 foreign companies established themselves in the region with the agency’s assistance.

United States and China strongly represented, Canada on the rise

Most foreign companies that made a new or additional investment in West Holland in 2018 came from the United States (11) and China (11). This is in line with the trend of recent years, with most firms hailing from these two countries.

However, Canadian companies are increasingly aware of InnovationQuarter and West Holland as a relocation destination. In 2018, four firms from Canada chose to establish a base in the region with the agency’s assistance. One way by which InnovationQuarter supports these companies is through soft landing initiatives, organised in close collaboration with the Canadian Embassy and other parties. A very promising enterprise now established in The Hague thanks to such a soft landing programme is Magnet Forensics, a cybersecurity company from Toronto with a focus on digital forensic research.

Carl Tinker, sales director at Magnet Forensics, says:

Initially, we had the UK in mind for our EMEA headquarters. That was until InnovationQuarter introduced us to the Dutch Ministry of Justice, numerous potential partners and The Hague Security Delta. As the Netherlands offers much better access to the European market than the UK and with Brexit coming up, we decided to base ourselves in The Hague.

We interviewed Magnet Forensics for our annual report, TerugblIQ 2018. Here you can read the article!

Advanced technology sectors

Companies that have opted for the West Holland region are highly innovative and technologically advanced. They especially operate in the life sciences, (cyber) security, high-tech and IT, sustainable energy and horticulture sectors, in line with and as a valuable addition to the top-quality ecosystem that our region offers in these areas.

Chris van Voorden, InnovationQuarter’s Director of Foreign Investments and Internationalisation, says:

We have extensive contact with international companies and it is clear they are increasingly seeking a well-developed, regional ecosystem. For this reason, our service is not simply focused on finding the right location for an office or factory; it’s much more about accessing the relevant network, technology and talent. West Holland is increasingly able to offer access to these resources and our 2018 results clearly show our efforts are paying off.

Arrival of the European Medicines Agency

With 13 companies, life sciences is the best represented sector among the enterprises that InnovationQuarter supported last year. This sector encompasses both biomedical and medical technology firms. One of the reasons for the strong interest in the region from foreign biomedical companies is the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) relocation to the Netherlands as a result of the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union. The EMA is a significant addition to the country’s life sciences and health ecosystem and helps make the Netherlands an attractive location for international companies in these sectors.

There is significant interest not only from biomedical companies but from medical technology businesses as well. GE Healthcare’s new base in Rotterdam and that of 10x Genomics in Leiden are examples of this.


The political uncertainty surrounding Brexit has been an important factor in many companies’ investment decisions. Firms expect Brexit to have a major impact on their operational management and are therefore taking precautions to mitigate its effects. For now, this mainly involves changes to international legal structures and the transfer of certain business activities. Companies that are highly dependent on the logistics chain are also taking precautionary measures.

The extent to which enterprises expect to be affected by Brexit varies from sector to sector and uncertainty regarding the shape that Brexit will take remains an issue. Many companies have thus indicated that, while they are considering various scenarios, their final investment decisions will be postponed until there is more certainty regarding the future relationship between the UK and the European Union.

Results significant for both regional and national economies

Attracting and retaining foreign investment is of great importance to both the Netherlands and the West Holland region, not least in terms of economic growth and job creation. The 53 international companies supported in 2018 will, by their own estimate, provide 1,113 jobs within three years: 853 of them new and 260 retained. In addition, these firms are jointly investing € 214 million in the region.

Successful national and regional collaboration

Strong national and regional collaboration is part of the reason for the success of these 53 investment projects. At the national level, InnovationQuarter works closely with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) – an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy – and is a partner of the Invest in Holland network. At the regional level, InnovationQuarter has worked closely with Rotterdam Partners and The Hague Business Agency on both strategic and operational levels since 2014.

Wat kunnen wij voor u betekenen?

Neem gerust contact met ons op.

Chris van Voorden

Director Foreign Investments
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WestHolland launched as composites hotspot during JEC World in Paris

Dutch composites industry

The unique ecosystem for composites & new materials in West Holland was presented in the Holland Pavilion of industry association CompositesNL. Besides the academic knowledge & research, application development and original equipment manufacturers present in our region, special attention was given to SAM XL.

Fieldlab SAM XL

The Smart Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) XL fieldlab will open in 2019 and serves as a research and testing facility for automated composite technology solutions; like the automated manufacturing of thin-walled aerospace structures or thick-walled structures for wind turbine blades and bridge decks. Partners in this fieldlab, like TU Delft, GTM Advanced Structures, Fokker/GKN Aerospace and KVE Composites were also present at the fair. And with showcases from Inholland and Airborne Composites, the West Holland ecosystem was strongly represented.


Here are 10 reasons Why West Holland is the hotspot for composites. Download the infographic via this link or request a hardcopy via communicatie@innovationquarter.nl.

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InnovationQuarter investeert in marktleider in zonnepanelen-software Solar Monkey

Solar Monkey brings international solar panel market ahead

Solar Monkey delivers B2B software for the design of solar power systems as well as remote performance monitoring services. This enables installers to remotely design and offer solar power systems with confidence. Solar Monkey’s products stand out by their great ease-of-use, as well as their unique and accurate yield calculations developed at the TU Delft. Clients experience efficiency gains in their sales process as well as a higher conversion rate of their leads. “I cannot imagine having to work without Solar Monkey anymore,” says Danny Holtrigter at Feenstra. At the same time, the care-free monitoring service gives PV-owners the ease-of-mind that their system is performing up to spec.

Market leader in The Netherlands

The company already serves hundreds of installers in The Netherlands, who combined represent the leading market share of installations. Solar Monkey now intends to enter into international solar markets, as  part of its mission to accelerate the adoption of solar power. Solar Monkey has already made headway in Belgium, in response to customer demand. Other countries beckon, especially those where installers still have to resort to using manual methods for delivering designs and proposals.

CEO Jan Pieter Versluijs: “This funding round enables us to gain a critical competitive edge as we venture abroad. We want to deliver maximum value to our new partners, so every dime goes into improving our product and telling our story.”

4impact and InnovationQuarter invest in impact

To fund their outreach and product development, Solar Monkey has raised the necessary capital in a round led by 4impact in combination with the existing investors InnovationQuarter and an informal investor. The equity round totals over EUR 1 million. The funds will be used for the development of new features and international products, team expansion and the international roll-out. Aside from a strong financial backing, the investors provide international networks and expertise that will help drive the international strategy.

Accelerating the much needed energy transition

For 4impact, a tech and impact focused venture capital fund, the investment in Solar Monkey marks their second investment in March. “Solar Monkey has shown incredible traction in the rapidly growing solar industry. We see the efficiency they provide through their advanced software with easy user interface, which helps to accelerate the much needed energy transition. The opportunities for the company are tremendous and we look forward to working with its driven team and existing investors to see the business expand both locally and internationally”, says Pauline Wink, Managing Partner at 4impact.

Team shows great complementary qualities

InnovationQuarter, a VC fund for the South-Holland region, was an early investor in the company, together with an informal. “We have supported Solar Monkey from a very early stage, and we are extremely satisfied with the progress so far. The founding team has shown a combination of technical, commercial and managerial skills that is the foundation of its success. Together with our partner investors we look forward to help expand this success into new markets”, says Francis Quint, Head of Capital at InnovationQuarter.

Solar Monkey will be present at the Solar Solutions trade market from 19-21 March 2019, where they will launch a sneak preview of what can be expected in 2019.

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Picture credits: Prof. Sankai, University of Tsukuba / CYBERDYNE, INC

Improving and potentially recovering patient mobility

The Cyberdyne HAL systems work best when used for the purpose of medical treatment, such as for improving ambulatory function after spinal cord injury or stroke. In many diseases that have caused motor dysfunction, bio-electrical signals can still be detected, enabling the HAL to help the wearer complete the movement they intend to make. In response, the body’s sensory system can send back information about the movement back to the brain. Therapy with HAL has demonstrated to improve the function of impaired limbs even after wearing the device and is starting to be adopted by hospitals around the world, in some instances covered by health insurance.

There are also multiple HAL variants designed for different purposes such as a HAL designed to protect workers from back injuries, or a HAL designed for the elderly to maintain their body functions.

Improved diagnosis through photoacoustic imaging

In addition to its HAL systems, Cyberdyne develops medical diagnostic devices and has recently been focusing on the development and clinical translation of its proprietary LED-based photoacoustic imaging technology. Photoacoustic imaging is a novel medical imaging modality which is heading towards clinical translation. Cyberdyne’s LED-based multispectral photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging system (Acoustic X) offers strong potential in diagnosis and monitoring of e.g. peripheral vascular diseases, skin cancer, rheumatoid arthritis with unprecedented structural, functional and biochemical imaging capability.

The company, which also has subsidiaries in Germany and the United States,  collaborates with renowned research labs around the globe (University of Twente, University College London, Kings College London, Michigan University, Harvard Medical School etc.) to identify and explore clinical and pre-clinical applications of this novel medical imaging modality.

Dr. Mithun Kuniyil Ajith Singh, head of Cyberdyne Rotterdam: “As a company with unique products like HAL and Acoustic X, we look forward to tackling and solve social issues using technological innovations and grow in parallel. Since the Netherlands is a country with an excellent LSH community, we believe that we fit into this cluster perfectly.”

Chris van Voorden, head of Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter: “We welcome Cyberdyne to Rotterdam. With its unique expertise in the fields of robotic exoskeletons and new imaging technologies, Cyberdyne will both benefit from and strengthen the local MedTech cluster. Rotterdam’s vibrant entrepreneurial community is an ideal place to successfully grow the business and serve the European and US market”