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InnovationQuarter today commended Booz Allen Hamilton’s growing footprint in the Netherlands, expanding its presence in The Hague. The Netherlands is the cyber security capital of Europe and offers a conducive cybersecurity cluster, which is represented by The Hague Security Delta. Booz Allen and InnovationQuarter celebrated this expansion at the Dutch Pavilion during the RSA conference and exhibition in San Francisco.

 

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen is a global technology and management consulting firm, employs more than 27,000 employees globally with expertise in analytics, digital solutions, engineering and cybersecurity. Founded in 1914 and headquartered in McLean, Virginia, the firm has more than 80 offices worldwide.

Booz Allen employs continuous cyber innovation, sophisticated tradecraft, and top talent to deliver results. Booz Allen’s diverse clients span Fortune 100, Global 2000 companies, and nearly every U.S. federal and security agency. Based on a 2019 Frost & Sullivan report, Booz Allen is North America’s largest cybersecurity provider. Whether helping to understand and reduce risk posture or creating advanced algorithms to detect and stop attacks before they spread, Booz Allen supports its clients’ most critical cyber challenges.

“The cyber threats facing organizations today and the malicious actors intent on doing harm can reach beyond borders in increasingly sophisticated ways,” said Booz Allen executive vice president Bill Phelps, leader of the firm’s U.S. Commercial business. “We are proud to grow our global footprint with a talented security team in The Netherlands that will put regional expertise to work for clients, leveraging Booz Allen’s world class cyber trade-craft and building on our long tenure serving clients across Europe.”

Support from Dutch partners

When considering the Netherlands as a destination for business expansion, the Invest in Holland network is available for support. The network is a collective of Dutch agencies promoting the country, including the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) with 26 offices abroad and 12 Dutch regional partners. InnovationQuarter is the regional economic development agency for the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area and got in touch with Booz Allen through NFIA’s Atlanta office. After establishing customers and bringing in key management, Booz Allen decided to find the right office location with the help of InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency. The Campus of The Hague Security Delta soon proved to be the preferred office location as it serves as the physical meeting place for the cybersecurity industry. The cluster provides access to market, innovation, knowledge, capital and talent.

“We warmly welcome Booz Allen in the Netherlands and on the Hague Security Delta campus in The Hague” said Philip Meijer, Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity at InnovationQuarter. “The company is a great fit to the local cybersecurity ecosystem, where the balance between cyber security and privacy is well organized. The lessons learned are particularly well developed in the context of The Hague Security Delta.”

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In 2019, InnovationQuarter helped a record number of 56 domestic and foreign companies set up or expand in the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area. Last year, our region attracted mainly high-tech firms like DuPont Industrial Biosciences, IDE Group and Cybexer. In addition, another big company, Zalando, opened a large distribution centre. The 56 companies will over the next three years generate more than 2,700 jobs and invest €424 million in the region. These results represent an all-time high in InnovationQuarter’s six-year history.

Life sciences, high-tech, IT and cyber security strongly represented

In the past year, we welcomed mainly leading-edge, technologically advanced companies to the greater Rotterdam – The Hague region. A notable development was the large number of firms in the life sciences and health (LSH) sector. While most of these companies were newcomers that set up business in the region, some expanded their existing facilities or activities. These organisations operate in both medical technology as well as in biopharmaceuticals. Several companies that provide services to others in the LSH sector, such as the use of AI in medicine research, also established themselves here.

Many IT and high-tech companies expressed growing interest in setting up in our region too. Other leading clusters in our region also continued to attract attention: the cyber security cluster of The Hague Security Delta, the horticulture cluster in Westland and, more recently, the region’s aerospace cluster, which is attracting increasing interest. Both startups and established businesses seek to join these strong sectoral clusters and are attracted by the availability of talent in our region.

Merle Maigre, executive vice president for government relations at Estonian cyber security company Cybexer: “This region possesses a high level of knowledge and expertise. It attracts a lot of talent and the Dutch government is highly experienced.” Maigre considers the support of InnovationQuarter and The Hague Security Delta to be extremely valuable for accessing relevant networks and information about the local ecosystem.

Murray Davidson is chief technology officer at Cybexer and regards The Hague as a key security hub: “In this respect, the Netherlands and Estonia are a perfect match. Both countries have an outstanding reputation in cyber security and are very mature and forward thinking in this area.”

Here you can read the full interview (dutch).

New geopolitical reality and changing geo-economic landscape

In 2019, there was a sharp rise in investment projects from the UK, partly due to ongoing concerns surrounding Brexit. Before, most of the companies we assisted were from the US and China, but last year the UK assumed the leading position. There was also an increase in the number of investment projects from other countries, such as India, Turkey and South Africa; these projects are becoming more diverse. We are seeing an increase in applications from Israel and Japan as well. There are various reasons for these trends, such as political uncertainty and the fact that many countries are experiencing renewed economic growth.

Scaling up international marketing, promotion and appropriate services

To put the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area more prominently on the international map, we launched the website investinrotterdamthehaguearea.org at the end of 2019. We will scale up marketing efforts during 2020 to attract even more companies. This will strengthen the clusters in our region, create high-quality jobs and bring in investments.

Chris van Voorden, head of foreign investments at InnovationQuarter:

“We see, in our extensive contacts with international companies, that they are increasingly looking for a well-developed ecosystem. Our services therefore focus not only on finding a suitable office or factory location but, more importantly, on accessing the right network, technology and talent – and, of course, the market. And this is precisely what the greater Rotterdam – The Hague region and InnovationQuarter can, to an ever greater extent, offer these companies. Indeed, the results for 2019 show that this is a winning strategy.”

Results vital to both regional and national economies

Attracting and retaining foreign investment is of great importance to both the Netherlands and the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area, not least in terms of economic growth and job creation. The 56 foreign companies supported in 2019, for example, will, by their own estimate, provide 2,810 jobs within three years: 2,764 of them new and 46 retained. In addition, these firms are jointly investing €424.2 million in the region.

Successful national and regional cooperation

Strong national and regional collaboration is part of the reason for the success of these 56 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 with Rotterdam Partners and The Hague Business Agency on both strategic and operational levels since 2014.

Want to know more?

Please contact us.

Chris van Voorden

Director Foreign Investments
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More and more companies are opting for the Netherlands because of Brexit. Even now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union, and has entered a transition period, uncertainty about the economic new relation and the now unforeseen effects on international business remains. As such, the Brexit-related work of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and its regional partners is still increasing. 140 Brexit companies have now chosen for our country since the Brexit referendum. 78 of these 140 companies made their decision in 2019. Media companies Discovery and Ridley Scott, credit rating agency AMBest and Life Sciences & Health manufacturer Shionogi were amongst the companies choosing the Netherlands because of Brexit. Together, these 140 companies expect to create more than 4,200 direct jobs and 375 million euros in investments in the first three years.

The 78 companies that opted for the Netherlands because of Brexit are an important part of the 2019 annual results of Invest in Holland. A total of 397 international companies chose to move to or expand in the Netherlands last year. These companies expect to create more than 14,000 direct jobs and invest 4.3 billion euros in the first three years.

More companies are looking into a Brexit-related transfer

The number of Brexit companies that are focusing on the Netherlands still continues to grow. The NFIA is talking to 425 Brexit companies about a switch or expansion to our country, up to 175 from the beginning of 2019. This includes British companies, but also American and Asian parties that are reconsidering their current European structure due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit. Each of these companies has unique concerns about access to the European Market. This may involve the possible barriers to trade or off specific products or services, administrative barriers or extra procedures, access to international talent for research & development or the loss of European innovation funds.

Jeroen Nijland, NFIA Commissioner and Chairman of the Invest in Holland collective: “2020 will be an important year for these companies. Much will depend on the specifics of the future arrangements in the relation between the UK and the EU. The impact of this will vary from sector to sector and the pressure to reach agreements will be high this year. We see that uncertainty is still increasing at many companies. They are waiting to make investment decisions until more is known about the impact of these new economic agreements on their business operations. On the other hand, more and more companies are not waiting. They opt for the certainty and security on the European Market that the Netherlands offers instead. With an English-speaking population, the excellent connections to the UK and the EU by road, boat, train and plane and our strong digital infrastructure, choosing the Netherlands is an attractive alternative.”

Keeping access to the European Market from the Netherlands

The companies mostly find their origins in the services sector, for example Fintech, IT, and the Media & Advertising industry. They choose our country because of necessary EU permits, access to the European market and the ability to attract European talent. This includes European headquarters, research & development facilities and service centres. Given the nature and activity of these companies, the majority opt for the Randstad near Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Nineteen companies from the Life Sciences & Health sector have opted for the Netherlands due to Brexit. The arrival of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is often part of the reason for choosing our country.

NFIA Commissioner Nijland: “Although Brexit is difficult to predict in the short term, we know for sure that this will have major consequences in the long term. Brexit is and remains an undesirable development, certainly for the Netherlands. But with the continuing uncertainty, it is understandable that internationally operating companies are looking for alternatives on the European Market that offer them prospects in terms of goods, services, personnel and capital. The Netherlands offers a stable port in turbulent times for the international economy.”

Chris van Voorden

Director Foreign Investments
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€1 mln. voor HR Tech startup Equalture die teams optimaliseert door diversiteit

Rotterdam startup Equalture has secured a €1m investment from InnovationQuarter and 4impact. The investment will enable the company to expand its team and scale up its customer base. Equalture provides SaaS recruitment solutions for fast-growing companies. By predicting the success of each applicant, it can objectively determine best-fit candidates for a position and optimise a diverse team composition. Equalture was founded by twin sisters Charlotte and Fleur Melkert.

€1 mln. voor HR Tech startup Equalture die teams optimaliseert door diversiteit

Better hiring decisions thanks to artificial intelligence

Equalture aims to help build top performing teams by predicting optimal composition and preventing ‘bad hires’. Their recruitment solution ensures an unbiased selection of candidates by using algorithms, gamification and artificial intelligence to predict the success of a candidate in a given position and within a team. In addition to the usual criteria of education, work experience and competencies, cognitive skills are also tested to evaluate personality and cultural fit.

On average, the success rate of the hiring process is around 25%. The remaining 75% of people hired turn out to be a mediocre to poor match within a role or a team. A poor hiring decision can cost a firm 1.3x the annual salary per employee, plus the delays in successfully fulfilling the position.

Promoting diversity through fact-based recruitment

Diverse teams, in terms of skills, backgrounds, personalities, gender and other factors, generate on average 19% more turnover than homogenous teams. As Equalture’s algorithms are unbiased and allow for blind recruitment, subjective characteristics that often unconsciously influence the selection process are eradicated. This objective hiring helps employers achieve diversity in their teams and grow their company.

The self-learning nature of the algorithms used to create the Equalture software solution ensures that the quality of the matching profile constantly improves and results in a more efficient and accurate hiring process. Moreover, the inclusion of gamification in the first step of the application process makes this an innovative recruitment experience for applicants. These neuro-assessment games map a candidate’s skills, intelligence and personality traits. To help predict a good cultural fit, the team which the recruited candidate will join is also tested, mapped and included in the score of the matching profile as are relevant industry benchmarks.

Equalture is the second recruitment sector company that Charlotte and Fleur Melkert have co-founded. The sisters launched Equalture during their studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Since successfully optimising its software for upscaling, the company has expanded to five countries and has seen its customer base grow rapidly.

Charlotte Melkert, CEO of Equalture:

“The investment by 4impact and InnovationQuarter will enable us to achieve our international growth targets. We are delighted that both 4impact and InnovationQuarter have placed their confidence in us. Due to the combined experience of these funds, we now have the necessary tools to turn our ambitions into results.”

€1 mln. voor HR Tech startup Equalture die teams optimaliseert door diversiteit

Liduina Hammer, head of investments at InnovationQuarter: “It’s great to see two young entrepreneurs having such an impact by applying AI to recruitment, enabling their customers to select job candidates without bias. Among other things, this helps promote diversity within the labour market. With this investment, InnovationQuarter is also contributing to the objectives of the FundRight statement signed on 19 May to boost women-led entrepreneurship in the Netherlands.”

Ali Najafbagy, 4impact managing partner: “Equipped with a highly scalable SaaS model, Equalture contributes to three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: gender equality, decent work and economic growth and reduced inequalities. It’s an excellent combination of tech4good, which we at 4impact strongly endorse, and a win‑win for both companies and candidates. 4impact has a unique background in the HR industry and we are incredibly enthusiastic about Equalture’s exceptionally driven and ambitious team.”

€1 mln. voor HR Tech startup Equalture die teams optimaliseert door diversiteit

FundRight ambassador His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn van Oranje:

“Equalture helps strengthen diversity by eliminating implicit hiring biases in selection algorithms. Techleap.nl congratulates our #FundRight partners InnovationQuarter and 4impact on this investment.”

Want to know more?

Please contact us.

InnovationQuarter Angela Pellaupessy

Angela Pellaupessy

Senior Investment Manager
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On 4 February 2020 InnovationQuarter and Cleantech Scandinavia signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to intensifying the collaboration between the Nordic and Dutch cleantech ecosystems in the coming years. The collaboration is focused on supporting Dutch and Nordic companies in entering and accelerating their activities in each other’s markets, either for international collaboration, trade or establishment.

Cleantech Scandinavia and InnovationQuarter, together with their respective partners, have regularly partnered up to boost collaboration between the Dutch and Nordic cleantech ecosystems over the past year. In 2019 the organisations co-organised the Sustainable Building and Energy Systems Mission to Boston, and were involved the Dutch-Nordic Business Event connected to the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. During these events it became clear that a joint Dutch-Nordic presence helps businesses make more impact when entering a foreign market, but also that there is a lot of interest among entrepreneurs and clusters to increase innovation and business collaboration between Dutch and Nordic cleantech players.

To boost such collaboration, InnovationQuarter and Cleantech Scandinavia organised the Nordic Business Day on February 4 2020, where Dutch and Nordic entrepreneurs, clusters and governmental organisations exchanged market information and business experiences in the fields of smart & sustainable building, mobility and life sciences and health.  Moreover, they took this event as an opportunity to formalise and commit to a multiyear collaboration to connect the Nordic and Dutch cleantech ecosystems by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The goals of this MoU is to set up a multiyear collaboration (2020 – 2022) to connect the Nordic and Dutch cleantech ecosystems in order to

1.       Promote collaboration between The Nordic and Dutch cleantech ecosystems, as well as the various players within them.

2.       Support Dutch and Nordic companies in entering and accelerating their activities in each other’s markets, either for innovation, trade goals or establishment in respective markets.

3.       Investigate possible future collaboration to target other foreign markets.

Cleantech Scandinavia and InnovationQuarter intend to realise the above in various manners:

1.       Sharing of relevant market information;

2.       Support each other’s network in entering their respective markets. For example by providing introducing companies to potential partners (matchmaking), guiding small groups of entrepreneurs in their respective regions, providing soft-landing services, etc.;

3.       The organisation of various events in the Netherlands and the Nordics each year. These events will either involve bringing over a delegation to each other’s region, or be focussed on informing the ‘home market’ on the opportunities that exist in the other region.

4.       Supporting Dutch and Nordic entrepreneurs in jointly entering foreign markets.

What’s coming up in 2020?

As part of their collaboration Cleantech Scandinavia and InnovationQuarter have the intention to contribute to the  following events:

1.       Dutch Sustainable Building Mission to Stockholm from 20 to 24 April (sign up before February 27, click here for more information and registration)

2.       InnovationQuarter visits Energy Capital Day in Lund 12 – 13 May.

3.       Dutch-Nordic Cleantech mission to Boston – to be held in Boston in the autumn of 2020

4.       Dutch/Nordic event at the Smart City expo in Barcelona in November 2020

5.       Participation of Nordic Cleantech delegation at Cleantech Summit in Rotterdam in November 2020

Interested in participating in any of the above events?

Or curious to learn more about the collaboration between InnovationQuarter and Cleantech Scandinavia? Get in touch!