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Corona-OverbruggingsLening

On 7 April, the Dutch government announced that it would make €100 million available in bridging loans for start-ups, scale-ups, and innovative SMEs. These companies can submit an application for a Coronavirus Bridging Loan (COL) from 29 April. This facility was developed as part of an intensive collaboration between the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, joint regional development corporations and TechLeap.nl, and with the close involvement of Invest-NL.

Corona-OverbruggingsLening

Loans under favourable conditions

The government has asked the regional development corporations to grant these bridging loans under favourable conditions. These loans range between €50,000 and €2 million. Shareholders or other investors are expected to co-finance 25% of loans above €250,000.

A uniform interest rate of 3% will be payable on these loans, and the terms will be tailored to the target group. More information on the conditions is available at Q&A. The goal is to assess and deal with applications for less than €500,000 within four to nine working days and to reach a definitive decision on applications for more than €500,000 within three working weeks.

More information on the criteria and the application procedure is available at www.rom-nederland.nl/corona-overbruggingslening.
The COL must be seen as an emergency measure implemented in response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. This means that businesses must be able to demonstrate that, although they need a loan in the current economic crisis, they nevertheless have fundamentally sustainable and healthy prospects. Businesses must also have implemented the cost-reduction measures that may reasonably be expected of them at present.

Infographic Corona-OverbruggingsLening

Supplementary measures for start-ups and scale-ups

Start-ups and scale-ups are being hit hard by the coronavirus crisis: an inventory made by Techleap.nl revealed that 55% of businesses are faced with a fall in demand because they are losing existing customers or not winning new customers. Attracting the necessary new funding in the current conditions is a problem for this group, as start-ups, scale-ups, and other businesses without bank financing can at best make only limited use of measures previously announced by the government focused on companies with loan capital.

Ms Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, explains that

‘the government intends to make financial support more accessible to all businesses in these exceptional and difficult times. Start-ups and scale-ups are of great importance to the future of economy and our society: they provide tomorrow’s income and jobs, and their innovative products and services contribute to solving global challenges including, for example, the coronavirus crisis. This is why the government is now investing 100 million euros in bridging loans that will enable our growth businesses to get through these difficult months.’

Applications can be submitted from 29 April

Applications can be submitted to a special online portal from 9:00 AM on Wednesday 29 April. Only complete applications submitted online will be processed. Applications for funding to a maximum of € 5 million can also be submitted to this portal, which was developed in cooperation with TechLeap.nl. These will be examined jointly by Invest-NL and the regional development corporations.

Questions

We can quite understand that businesses and investors will have questions about the Coronavirus Bridging Loan. We have drawn up a comprehensive Q&A with all the details of the Coronavirus Bridging Loan.

Banner Corona-OverbruggingsLening

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Quantum Qutech Zuid-Holland

Quantum Qutech Zuid-Holland

Today, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven and European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel launched Europe’s first public quantum computing platform: ‘Quantum Inspire’. The platform was developed by Delft-based QuTech, a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO. Quantum Inspire makes the quantum computer accessible to everyone and is the first in the world to use a quantum processor made of scalable ‘spin qubits’.

Real quantum computing for all

With Quantum Inspire, QuTech aims to make quantum computers accessible to the market and society as quickly as possible. QuTech has launched a web portal at www.quantum-inspire.com, and Kees Eijkel (Director Business Development) said that it makes the new quantum technology a reality for a broad audience: “Our platform focuses primarily on training and education, and the development of applications, so that more people can use the quantum computer as it develops further and becomes more widely available. First-hand experience will allow the technology to be adopted more rapidly in society. Quantum Inspire is also  an important magnet for the ecosystem forming in Delft of knowledge institutions, companies and start-ups.”

Electron spin qubit

A quantum computer performs its calculations using quantum versions of bits – so-called ‘qubits’. As a world first,  Quantum Inspire contains a processor made of highly promising semiconductor ‘spin qubits’. Richard Versluis (Systems Engineer): “The electron spin qubit is made with the same technique as a classic transistor and is just as small. This makes it suitable for mass production. Our platform also provides access to a processor made of superconducting (transmon) qubits – a unique combination. Users can experiment with quantum algorithms and compare the processors.”

Key technology

The quantum computer is seen as a key technology, enabling radically new products and services. It has the potential to solve certain problems much faster than ‘classical’ computers will ever be able to achieve. Versluis said that one example is helping to unravel the complex behaviour of molecules for drug development: “Quantum computers calculate using the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics, so the qubits can be both 0 and 1 at the same time. This changes dramatically what we are able to achieve with some calculations.”

Quantum Flagship

The European Commission recognises the potential of quantum technology for society and launched a billion-euro program in 2016: the Quantum Technology Flagship. This large-scale European research programme is part of the ‘Technology Package’; a broad package of measures to strengthen Europe’s digital economy.

Mariya Gabriel (European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth): “Europe is in a unique position to lead the next quantum revolution. Harnessing the power of quantum technologies is key to building a smarter, more sustainable, and more secure European Union. The launch of Quantum Inspire marks an important step forward for European quantum, enabling our researchers to unlock the full potential of quantum technologies.”

National Agenda for Quantum Technology

The Netherlands has drawn up the National Agenda for Quantum Technology (NAQT). This agenda includes catalyst programs (CATs), whose goal is accelerating maturity of technology for application areas in market and society. Quantum Inspire will serve as the backbone of one of the CATs: the ambitious Quantum Computing and Simulation testbed. Last January, the Dutch government announced an initial investment of € 23,5 million to fund the high-priority actions in the agenda.

Ingrid van Engelshoven (Minister of Education, Culture and Science): “Quantum computing is a key technology for the future. The Netherlands is a scientific leader in this field. I am extremely proud of the researchers and engineers from Delft, who combine research with innovation, entrepreneurship and the training of talent. Quantum Inspire is a first step, the intention is to further scale up the platform within the Netherlands and Europe. Even in times of crisis, it is important to share knowledge and continue to work on tomorrow’s innovations”.

Stef Prinsen

Account Manager Digital Technology
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Tiler

The e-bike has been the best-selling bicycle in the Netherlands for over two years. However, there is no sustainable, user-friendly charging structure in place yet. Delft based tech firm Tiler has developed an innovative charging tile, which will allow e-bikes and other light electric vehicles like e-cargo bikes and e-steps to be charged wirelessly. Tiler has secured €250,000 from UNIIQ investment fund to scale up and further develop its charging tile. Jolanda Jansen, director of Rotterdam Ahoy, announced the investment on in a video message.

Tiler

The charging tile works through induction and is mounted in the ground, just like a paving tile. Charging starts automatically when an e-bike with a compatible kickstand is parked on the tile. An associated software platform for fleet management will eventually make it possible to check availability and charging status and to book and pay for charging. The platform will also facilitate linking with customer systems, the use of a Tiler app and GPS cloudlock for extra security. Tiler aims to boost wireless charging and green mobility.

User-friendly, sustainable and affordable

The innovative system, which has remarkably low purchase and maintenance costs, boasts many advantages over existing alternatives. Docking stations and e-bike charging stations are a lot more expensive, more susceptible to vandalism and take up more space on the street. Charging via a socket also has its disadvantages – each brand has its own adapter, which is vulnerable to cable breakage and corrosion. Because of the risk of explosion, an increasing number of companies are banning indoor charging of bicycle batteries. Firms are therefore keen to find a sustainable, user-friendly and affordable charging infrastructure for their fast-growing fleets of e-bikes. The Tiler wireless charging tile offers a solution to this problem.

Corporate market

Tiler was founded in October 2019, initially under the name Fesla Charge, by Christiaan van Nispen and Olivier Coops. Both entrepreneurs are experienced in founding and kick-starting tech startups. The TU Delft spin-off will use the investment to recruit talented staff, invest in R&D and scale up to the first production batch. Tiler will initially focus on the corporate market – businesses and organisations that encourage their employees to use bicycles more often. The number of companies with an e-bike leasing plan is expected to increase thanks to a new tax measure introduced this year.

Following successful testing of the prototype, Tiler will soon install the first charging tile at pilot customer Rotterdam Ahoy. Production of the tiles will start in the summer and the initial batch will come onto the market in September 2020.

Watch the video message here:

CEO Christiaan van Nispen:

“The current boom in light electric vehicles for corporate fleets can only succeed with a corresponding charging infrastructure. The hassle of an adapter with a cable, the installation of a bulky charging-station infrastructure or expensive maintenance due to corrosion will be a thing of the past with the Tiler tile. We’re going to build a great team to commercialise our solutions and bring them to market through partnerships and pilot customers. Without UNIIQ’s investment, this would not be possible.”

Hans Dreijklufft, UNIIQ fund manager at InnovationQuarter: “Tiler, a spin-off of TU Delft, is focused on the strong growth in electric mobility. The company’s smart charging tile with compatible kickstand is set to play an important role in e-bike charging. Having Rotterdam Ahoy as a pilot partner of Tiler emphasises Ahoy’s ambitions in this area and is a strong validation for the company. UNIIQ is therefore happy to support Tiler’s entrepreneurs accelerate the market introduction of their product.”

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Please contact us.

Hans Dreijklufft

Fund Manager UNIIQ
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Mapiq

Energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ, informal investors and existing shareholders are jointly investing €3.4 million in smart office software developer Mapiq. The Delft-based company will use the capital injection to scale up its software platform. Mapiq allows organisations to make more efficient and flexible use of their office space and facilities, thereby increasing employee satisfaction, saving costs and reducing CO2 emissions.

Mapiq
Photo Sebastiaan van Damme

Development of Mapiq

Mapiq was founded in 2013 by CEO Sander Schutte and CTO Jasper Schuurmans. At the time, the two founders, who had both been PhD students at Delft University of Technology, had already clocked up several years’ experience as entrepreneurs. Mapiq made its breakthrough a year later thanks to partnering with Deloitte, which rolled out the Mapiq platform in its energy-neutral office building The Edge in Amsterdam. Mapiq is now a frontrunner in the smart office market with national and international customers like PwC, AkzoNobel, Heineken, KPMG, ENGIE, Unilever and Microsoft.

This investment will allow Mapiq to continue its international growth acceleration and boost employment in the greater Rotterdam The Hague area.

Increased job satisfaction

As companies compete for the best talent, employee wellbeing is becoming an increasingly important consideration. In this respect, the workplace plays a vital role. From a nondescript location where people perform routine nine-to-five jobs, the office environment is undergoing a transformation into an inspiring meeting place where great results are achieved together – and where everything runs frictionless.

Mapiq’s smart office platform taps into the trend of activity-based working. Employees can easily switch between spaces and workplaces depending on the type of activity they are engaged in. Mapiq informs users about free desks, meeting rooms, lockers, the location of colleagues and other conveniences by means of an intelligent 3D card. Using seamlessly integrated data and technology, Mapiq then links employees to workspaces and facilities that suit their needs.

The system’s analytics platform provides predictive information and gives facility managers tools to further optimise capacity based on data insights. Mapiq enables employees to work more flexibly and share the office more efficiently. At the same time, the system makes offices future-proof.

Significant reduction in CO2 emissions

The innovative software is connects to IT systems of the customer, in combination with sensors provided by Mapiq (or other parties) as necessary. Mapiq developed both the hardware and the software, which are in compliance with the GDPR as well as ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 for quality and information security. Offered as a SaaS subscription, the monthly costs of the platform depend on the size of the office building.

Mapiq allows organisations to make data driven decisions on their housing and safe costs. Every square metre of office space accounts for around 70 kg of CO2 emissions annually. More efficient use means that less space is needed per employee, which results in a significant reduction in these emissions.

Sander Schutte, CEO of Mapiq:

“The role of the office is constantly evolving. Organisations can save money by using their expensive offices more effectively and by optimising space in the ‘war for talent’. Mapiq is indispensable for making offices more efficient and attractive for employees. This financial injection will help us accelerate our international expansion and strengthen our leading role.”

Rafael Koene, ENERGIIQ fund manager at InnovationQuarter: “We are very impressed with Mapiq and convinced that the company will achieve strong, profitable growth in Europe and beyond. It is our expectation that Mapiq will be a market leader in a few years’ time with a product that not only delivers a more pleasant and effective working environment but also reduces CO2 emissions substantially. ENERGIIQ has every confidence that these great ambitions will be realised.”

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Please contact us.

InnovationQuarter Mathijs van Rijk

Mathijs van Rijk

Investment Manager ENERGIIQ
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RoboCrops

The RoboCrops event, scheduled for April 23-24, has been postponed. However, various online workshops will take place on April 24 on the theme of ‘Robotics in the agricultural sector’.

RoboCrops

GreenTech cooperation

Due to the multitude of events that will be postponed to the autumn, we have chosen to collaborate with the GreenTech and also organize a one-day meeting in World Horti Center on Friday October 23. During the GreenTech in the RAI in Amsterdam (October 20-22), a Robotics themed area will be realized there. A substantial part of the tech programming of RoboCrops will take place there on Wednesday October 21.

More about the program at the GreenTech, in the World Horti Center and the hackathon in RoboHouse will follow soon. Youn can find current information at robocrops.tech.

Tickets already purchased are valid for the event on October 23. Participants who have already bought a ticket will be approached personally. If you have bought a two-day ticket, you will automatically receive a refund for one day. If you are not able to come on October 23, please contact events@innovationquarter.nl. 

Online workshops April 24

In this age of remote work, vital industries and new ways of working together, it is more relevant than ever. Now that life is a bit different than usual, there is more time to start talking to each other online and to delve into the opportunities for collaboration. We are happy to help you with this.

The workshops on Friday April 24 last two hours each and are organized together with TU Delft, RoboHouse and Wageningen UR. If you are interested in participating, please contact Liselotte.deVries@tudelft.nl and inform us of your 1st and 2nd choice. The aim is to create joint project ideas.

Schedule:

  • 9:00-11:00 CET – Biomechanical Engineering: “A biologically inspired soft tactile robotic harvester for secure and gentle grip of vulnerable crops”;
  • 11:15-13:15 CET – Precision & Microsystems + Micro-electronics: “3D sensor networks and applications for autonomous, wireless sensor systems”;
  • 13:30-15:30 CET – Cognitive Robotics / Learning & Autonomous Control: “Flexible and reliable control for autonomous robot operation in agri / horti”;
  • 15:45-17:45 CET – Precision & Microsystems: “Design of hygienic and adaptive machines and robots through elastic mechatronics”.

Platform RoboCrops all year round

With RoboCrops, we aim to create a movement to accelerate innovation in the greenhouse. This means that as an organization we work hard to build a platform in addition to the organization of the event, where growers, technical companies and other stakeholders can meet each other. We will publish a series of informative videos in the near future, the first of which can now be seen on our channel.

More information about this will be available on our website in the near future. We hope to see you again in good health. Until then, let’s not just wait but keep moving together. If you have ideas how to do this this please share them with us and others on LinkedIn.

More information

Please contact us.

Colinda de Beer

Senior Business Developer Horticulture