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ATV and InnovationQuarter’s investment in IMSystems will help further accelerate the development of their revolutionary technology in robotics. IMSystems’ Archimedes Drive takes a leap forward in transmission systems. In contrast to conventional gears, which rely on cogs with fragile teeth to produce torque, IMSystems came up with a design that harnesses traction.

ABB will be joining this round, through its venture capital unit, ATV, to provide funding and expertise to the growing company. The regional economic development agency for Zuid-Holland, InnovationQuarter, will continue their contribution in IMSystems following its initial seed investment in 2018.

“I am delighted to have next to InnovationQuarter ATV on board. The investment will allow IMSystems to grow and move to the next stage of development,” says Jack Schorsch, CEO and founder of IMSystems.

“The previous investment round has shown that we were able to increase the lifetime of the drive from just a few minutes to a few weeks. With this round we will be able to go from weeks to years, and prepare the Archimedes Drive for commercial use to enable lighter, more agile, and more accurate robots.”

First breakthrough in transmission systems in 60 years

It was in 2016 when PhD student, Jack Schorsch, grew frustrated with the inadequacy of off-the-shelf transmission systems available for the robot he was designing at Delft University of Technology. Which led him to his idea for a stronger, lighter, more accurate alternative: the Archimedes Drive, a design that harnessed traction. This innovation meant the first breakthrough in transmission systems since sixty years.

Old transmission systems are why humans still manufacture your smartphone

IMSystems’ patented Archimedes Drive marks a leap forward in robot transmission systems. Automated production lines are becoming more commonplace in most manufacturers, but the broader deployment of industrial robots is hampered by existing mechanical components, namely the transmissions.

The gears that enable robotic arms to swing, pick, lift, and place are bulky, heavy, and the cause of backlash. (This is an undesirable staccato jolt caused by the small clearance between the teeth in conventional gears.) These limitations in accuracy have an impact on safety, which means that industrial robots are usually consigned to cages. It’s also one of the reasons why it’s a human rather than a robot that manufactures your smartphone, and also why surgical robots are the exception rather than the rule. The Archimedes Drive therefore paves the way for operations without a surgeon present and for co-operation between humans and robots, so-called ‘cobots’.

IMSystems’ Archimedes Drive is a product of the Dutch province Zuid-Holland’s entrepreneur-centric network that fosters innovation. The Drive was invented at Delft University of Technology, commercialized at startup incubator YES!Delft, and is now being developed for the international robotics market at RoboValley,” says Rinke Zonneveld, Director of InnovationQuarter. “We are proud to be working with Jack and his team in realizing their goal of smaller, lighter, and more accurate industrial robotics.”

Hannes Sibbel

Investment Manager
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CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe)

On the 9th of December 2019 The Hague hosted the launch of the headquarters for the world’s largest AI research network CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe). CLAIRE was established in response to the pressing need for excellence in AI research and innovation that ensures that Europe remains competitive in AI and its applications. With CLAIRE, European partners are raising the bar significantly in terms of investment in talent, research, technology and innovation in AI.

CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe)

“CLAIRE is the world’s largest network of AI research laboratories, and we are very happy and proud to have our headquarters in The Hague. Considering The Hague’s reputation as the city of Peace and Justice, The Hague, and the Netherlands in general, are an ideal home base for CLAIRE, which will shape the way AI is used in Europe. The Netherlands is a hotbed for AI research and innovation in Europe, and home to a large number of internationally leading experts in AI.”, says Dr. Holger Hoos, Professor of Machine learning at Leiden University and the co-initiator of CLAIRE.

The CLAIRE headquarters in The Hague will support CLAIRE activities in Europe, coordinating the work of existing CLAIRE offices in Prague (CZ), Saarbrücken (DE), Rome (IT) and Oslo (NO), as well as offices soon to be opened in Brussels (BE), Zürich (CH), Paris (FR) and Cork (IE). The CLAIRE office in The Hague will also place special focus on AI in the public sector, AI computing and data infrastructure, and the development of a focus on AI for social good.

CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe)

CLAIRE & InnovationQuarter

With the establishment of CLAIRE, the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area is strengthening its position as a “real life testing ground” for AI. This region has a unique position because excellent academic knowledge is concentrated here with promising areas of application for AI. Consider, for example, contributing to the energy transition in the port area, solving global food problems with horticulture and working on life sciences & health technology of the future. InnovationQuarter will be involved in Claire as a partner for developing use-cases in collaborative projects with businesses and knowledge institutes.

InnovationQuarter is currently working on an economic exploration of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Zuid-Holland, which will be completed early next year. For this we are in full discussion with companies and knowledge partners in the region. Ultimately, we aim to identify opportunities for collaboration on the implementation of AI in practice, and what knowledge and expertise (public and private) we already have in-house for this. When we start working on this next year, CLAIRE can play an important role.

Find additional information about this initiative at CLAIRE.

Would you like more information regarding the AI ecosystem in our region?

Get in touch!

Stef Prinsen

Account Manager Digital Technology
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Over 80% of all space activities in the Netherlands take place in the province of Zuid-Holland. For this reason, InnovationQuarter presented the Noordwijk-Leiden-Delft-The Hague region as Space Cluster Holland during the Space Tech Expo in Bremen from 19 to 21 November 2019.

A number of distinct space activities from the region were highlighted in the booth: Space Campus Noordwijk was presented by the new director Esther Peters, Rahul Shirke explained the extremely heat-resistant composite material of Delft-based start-up ARCEON, and the Delft university student team of ‘VSV Leonardo da Vinci‘ promoted their Cubesat project, intended for educational purposes.

The regions of Bremen and Zuid-Holland launched a Joint Action Agenda which strengthens cooperation between the space ecosystems in both areas. It defines common challenges and themes on which the regions shall focus in the coming years. Subsequently, during round table discussions between German and Dutch companies and institutes, topics of mutual interest like lightweight materials & structures  and the use of VR/AR in space engineering, were discussed.

Representatives from the Province of Zuid-Holland, Space Campus Noordwijk, ATG Europe, ARCEON and InnovationQuarter at the Space Cluster Holland booth

The presence of many regional exhibitors, such as Airbus, Airborne, ISISpace, Celestia STS, Hyperion, MetaSensing, TNO and the student rocket team DARE (Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering) shows that the space cluster in Zuid-Holland plays a prominent role in the international space industry. Many of them were also speakers during various workshops, including other representatives from the region like GTM, SkyGeo and Dawn Aerospace.

At the Space Cluster Holland booth visitors were welcomed to take a photo of themselves on the moon. In front of a green screen and by using the self-service camera of Rotterdam-based start-up BLNDR, over 500 visitors flew to the moon to take their picture. Some of them even managed to plant the Dutch flag!

Bert Klarus (Business Development) en Niels Krol (Foreign Investments) van InnovationQuarter

Due to this year’s great success, the exhibition organization has decided to organize Space Tech Expo in Bremen annually, instead of every two years. In addition, a NL Space pavilion will be organized in 2020, in which the Dutch, and mostly Zuid-Holland-based, space industry can promote themselves jointly to the international space community. Brochure 10 Reasons Space.

Interested in collaborating with or joining the space cluster in our region?

Get in touch to discuss opportunities in the greater Rotterdam - The Hague region.

Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace
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RoboCrops is a key event that seeks to accelerate the development of robotics in greenhouse horticulture with hackathons, presentations and matchmaking. The global leaders in the field of robotics in this sector will be gathering in the Netherlands on 23 and 24 April for the first edition.


The annual event brings high-tech companies and universities together with growers and investors in the Westland and Delft. Professionals and students will be challenged to the limit in the extensive programme packed with hackathons, informative sessions and matchmaking which are taking place simultaneously at World Horti Center Naaldwijk and RoboHouse/TU Delft.


Acceleratng robotics

The aim of RoboCrops is to speed up the development of robotics in greenhouse horticulture. RoboCrops therefore focuses on both the hardware – sensors, robot arms, grippers, autonomous vehicles – and the decision-supporting software required to control the robots. Robots or robot components can be classified into three areas during RoboCrops. These are “Sense” (sensors with which the robot observes the environment), “Think” (processing the data from sensors, often using Artificial Intelligence/Augmented Reality) and “Act” (performing an action, such as cutting leaves or picking vegetables or cut flowers).

Growers, tech companies and students

Growers can attend a programme at World Horti Center on 23 April which will provide them with an extensive and in-depth presentation of the latest developments in robotics for greenhouse horticulture. Tech companies and universities will be able to demonstrate what the technical possibilities and challenges are on 24 April.

On both days students will be working in RoboHouse in Delft during a major hackathon organised by TU Delft and WUR. During that hackathon they will apply their expertise to various challenges, and thereby help accelerate developments in the field of robotics. On 24 April they will be pitching their hacks to a professional jury at World Horti Center. The programme also provides opportunities for matchmaking between various parties.


RoboCrops is an initiative by InnovationQuarter, Province of Zuid-Holland, World Horti Center, TU Delft, Greenport West-Holland and RoboHouse Delft.
For more information please contact info@robocrops.tech.

Do you have any questions?

Feel free to contact us.

Colinda de Beer

Business Developer Horticulture