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High-tech company ROCSYS has secured a €200,000 investment from UNIIQ to help further develop its technology to enable unmanned charging of electric vehicles. Bas Vollebregt, Delft city councillor, announced the investment at the opening of the ROCSYS public test facility at the Green Village in Delft.

ROCSYS is developing a ‘soft’ robotic arm and computer vision technology to enable the fully automated charging of electric vehicles. As this operation does not require human input, plugging and unplugging will become faster and safer; for instance, high voltages can be used safely during the automated charging of commercial vehicles. Of course, this will be convenient for drivers of electric cars. But it will also benefit operators of fast-charging stations and owners of commercial fleets, comprising trucks, buses and industrial vehicles, as they will be able to make optimal use of their assets.

With its technology, ROCSYS is making significant improvements to electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The company’s innovation gives the energy transition an important boost and paves the way for future developments as autonomous driving and parking.

Patented soft robotics and computer vision technology

What makes ROCSYS’ automatic charging solution unique and distinctive is the use of soft robotics and computer vision technology. This combination guides the plug to the socket of the electric vehicle, after which the soft robotics enable the vehicle to be scanned as it were before the plug is finally plugged in. The soft nature of the robotic arm also allows the system to absorb shocks, such as when the driver gets in or out of the car. In addition, the system sees and ‘senses’ when a person puts their hand against the plug. The ‘soft’ robotic arm stops moving and, unlike standard robotic arms, does not continue on its path. This makes the system completely safe for users.

An experienced team of serial entrepreneurs

ROCSYS was founded by a team of experienced entrepreneurs with highly complementary skills and strengths: Crijn Bouman (co-founder of Epyon, a fast-charging station company based in Delft), Joost van der Weijde (PhD candidate in soft robotics and co-founder of SpringScan) and Kanter van Deurzen (co-founder of Fizyr, a Delft-based computer vision technology company). The team, therefore, has a solid technological foundation as well as access to a very broad network in the industry.

The functionality of this technology has already been proven in a controlled lab environment in Robovalley. The UNIIQ investment will be used for the next stage of development, which involves testing and optimising the automatic charging technology in the real-life setting of the Green Village field lab.

Wat kunnen wij voor u betekenen?

Neem gerust contact met ons op.

Suzanne Kroeze

Business Analist UNIIQ
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ENERGIIQ investeert in Involtum

Energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ and existing shareholders are jointly investing €1 million in Involtum. The Rotterdam-based scale-up will use the funds to accelerate the development and roll-out of its activation and payment platform for electrical charging points and other power supply facilities. The platform makes it possible to conveniently pay for the temporary use of electricity in places such as car parks, ports and event locations. The power points replace environment polluting engines and generators, thereby significantly contributing to the reduction of CO2 and particulate matter emissions as well as noise. Berend Potjer, the regional minister for energy for the Province of South Holland announced the investment at the Prinsjesfestival in The Hague.

ENERGIIQ investeert in Involtum

Photographer René Zoetemelk

Ports and cities are becoming increasingly cleaner

Refrigerated trucks spend a lot of time parked at roadsides or in service stations and keep their cargo cool by using diesel generators. Similarly, while in port, sea-going vessels and river cruise boats also use generators for their power supply.

However, to reduce noise and limit CO2, particulate matter and NOx emissions, governments in Europe are setting stricter rules on the use of diesel generators.
In 2012, Rotterdam-based Involtum began providing electrical power at truck stops. Drivers of refrigerated trucks are able to preserve their cargo at these sites without having to use environment polluting diesel generators. Involtum has continued to develop its power activation and payment transaction platform and it is now available for many other applications.

Easy payment for temporary use of electricity

Today, the platform allows people to pay for the temporary use of electricity at various locations, including car parks, campsites, festival grounds, marinas and seaports. One of the latest applications allows payment by smartphone for the use of Miele washing machines at launderettes. Involtum offers providers of shared facilities a total solution: the platform, back office and call centre services, payments channel, apps, websites, portals and required hardware.

Important contribution to energy transition

Involtum will use the investment by ENERGIIQ and its shareholders to expand the platform and stimulate further growth. Involtum founder and CEO Maarten Hektor: “The investment will enable us to give a boost to sales and marketing. It will help us expand in Europe and further develop our services in Germany, Austria and the UK as well as in the Netherlands.” By unburdening electricity providers, the platform will allow decentralised power supply facilities to be set up at more locations, thereby making an important contribution to the energy transition.

Berend Potjer, the regional minister for energy for the Province of South Holland, says:

“The transition to sustainable energy does not have to be difficult. The Rotterdam-based scale-up Involtum is showing the way by helping skippers of inland vessels and truck drivers switch from environment polluting diesel to clean electricity. Thanks to Involtum’s expertise and endeavour, diesel fumes at events, car parks and quays may soon be a thing of the past. Isn’t that what we all want? I for one certainly do. That’s why I am happy to announce this investment.”

Rinke Zonneveld, the executive director of InnovationQuarter, is very happy with the investment: “Involtum is a Rotterdam-based company that is leading the way in developing new business models for IOT applications. ENERGIIQ regards Involtum’s platform as a simple and scalable solution to reduce the use of diesel aggregates. An easy-to-use app will allow barge skippers and truck drivers to access power supplies in ports and at service stations, thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions.”

Want to know more?

Please contact us.

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Last week Toronto based MaRS and InnovationQuarter signed an MoU, signifying the start of a collaboration. The two organisations will explore options for setting up a market expansion programme in support of cleantech businesses looking to set foot on the ground in the market accross the ocean.

The common goal of MaRS and InnovationQuarter is to set up a reciprocal program that enables entrepreneurs and innovators in the cleantech space to gain access to the Dutch or Canadian market for companies looking to accelerate their growth in the region across the ocean. This  program will assist growth-stage cleantech ventures with market expansion through partnerships and funding opportunities in either the Toronto or the West Holland region.

MaRS works with startups and scale-ups and offers a range of services that help founders increase revenue and fuel their competitive advantage. With an extensive network that spans over 1,200 companies across the country, MaRS can help turn breakthrough ideas into products and services with global impact. MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub occupying 1.5 million square feet in downtown Toronto. It is a diverse community of more than 120 tenants, including research labs and global tech companies, each selected to create a community that is collaborating on real solutions to important problems.

The collaboration will give Dutch companies access to the services of MaRs, such as advisory support and connections to talent, access to investors as well as connections to partners.

InnovationQuarter will assist Canadian cleantech companies in their business expansion into Europe and accelerate their growth. This collaboration should result in a market expansion program similar to previously set up programmes, such as the BOSteRDAM program, which is set up in collaboration  with Greentown Labs in Boston. Here foreign companies are offered the opportunity to spend two weeks working in our region, engaging with locals as a local.

The specifics of the collaboration will be determined by both MaRS and InnovationQuarter over the coming months. If your company is considering expansion to the Canadian market, please get in touch, we would be glad to discuss the possibilities the collaboration can offer.

Interested in joining this program?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Loek Becker Hoff

Senior Account Manager Cleantech
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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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High pressure on shipping to reduce air pollution

On average, seagoing ships consume 30,000 litres of fuel oil a day, which amounts to 40-50% of a ship’s total operating costs. The maritime industry is under pressure to greatly reduce air pollution and international requirements for monitoring and cutting CO2 emissions in the industry have recently been tightened. New regulations, effective from January 2020, will result in an expected 70% increase in fuel costs as many ships will have to switch to cleaner, more expensive fuels. Legislative authorities have also imposed designated emission-controlled areas (ECA) for shipping.

Monitoring, analysing and optimising fuel efficiency

Delft startup We4Sea analyses and reports fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions from seagoing ships based on a unique Digital Twin concept. The collected data is analysed and then used to minimise fuel consumption. Ship speed, draft and water depth form part of the analyses as well as wind, waves and currents. The ships are monitored remotely using simulation models. Unlike its competitors, We4Sea can do this without hardware by using the Digital Twin.

As the only company with this technologyWith this software-only technology, We4Sea can therefore provide extremely accurate calculations of a ship’s fuel use and emissions to parties that do not have direct access to the ship, such as charterers and providers of ship finance. For a ship with average fuel consumption, savings can easily add up to thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions and tens of thousands of euros a year.

1 miljoen ton CO2 besparen in de scheepvaart - ENERGIIQ investeert in We4Sea

In 2016, Michiel Katgert and Dan Veen founded their company We4Sea – incubated as part of YES!Delft’s Port Innovation Lab growth programme – based on the conviction that ships should operate more efficiently and sustainably. This investment will enable them to accelerate the development and roll out of their platform.

Dan Veen, CEO and co-founder of We4Sea:

We’re proud of the growth achieved in recent years, but there’s still a wealth of opportunities that will help us improve our product, connect with more customers and expand the market. This is in line with our mission to prevent one million tonnes of CO2 emissions from shipping.

Nienke Vledder, ENERGIIQ fund manager: “ENERGIIQ is delighted to congratulate We4Sea with the growth investment it has secured through Mainport Innovation Fund II, angel investors and ENERGIIQ. We4Sea’s Digital Twin offers customers transparency in fuel consumption, helps them drastically reduce CO2 emissions drastically and leads to significant cost savings.”

ENERGIIQ is the energy fund of the province of Zuid-Holland and is managed by InnovationQuarter.

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Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy: “These results once again confirm that foreign companies are important to our globally operating country. Around one million people work for foreign companies in the Netherlands and an additional half-million work indirectly for these companies as suppliers, particularly in SMEs. Due to the growing international uncertainty surrounding Brexit and changing global trade policies, the importance of a good Dutch business climate for all of us is continually increasing.”

The work of the NFIA falls partly under the responsibility of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag: “The impending Brexit and tensions around international trade provide opportunities for Dutch companies. Our companies are innovative, flexible and adapt to this changing market. Furthermore, the Netherlands’ position as a stable economic hub is also attractive to foreign companies. This position will only be further strengthened. It is positive that this is reflected in the approximately 10,000 newly-created jobs in 2018.”

These results once again confirm that foreign companies are important to our globally operating country – Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy

From headquarters to R&D

The NFIA is responsible for 8,475 out of the 9,847 jobs created by the Invest in Holland network. In 2018, the NFIA managed to attract 248 foreign investment projects to the Netherlands, which collectively account for 2.76 billion euros in investments. The annual results also show that the majority of new jobs are created within headquarters (2,259), followed by marketing & sales offices (1,834), distribution centers (1,053), service centers (977), production sites (884) and R&D locations (755). As illustration, sports media company DAZN established a development center in Amsterdam, Giant and Timberland expanded their European distribution locations (in Lelystad and Almelo respectively) and Mitsui Chemicals committed to producing plastics at the Chemelot Campus in Limburg.

The majority of ‘foreign jobs’ are, as in 2017, created by US companies. In 2018, this accounted for 3,185 jobs, with a total accompanying investment of 1.19 billion euros. Following the US is the United Kingdom (1,596 jobs), then China (614 jobs), Japan (580 jobs) and Germany (300 jobs).

More Brexit companies

In 2018, the Invest in Holland network brought 42 companies to the Netherlands as a result of Brexit, accounting for 1,923 jobs and some 291 million euros in investments. Companies signaling expansion of their offices in the Netherlands partly due to Brexit , include the Japanese investment bank Norinchukin and media company TVT Media. Financial services providers MarketAxess and Azimo, and maritime insurer UK P&I all announced office openings in our country last year,  due to  Brexit as well. The relocation of the European Medicines Agency(EMA) to Amsterdam, also supported by Invest in Holland, is included herein. In 2019, several companies, including Discovery and Bloomberg, have already announced their intention to invest in the Netherlands because of Brexit.

The number of companies relocating activities to our country due to Brexit has grown compared to 2017, during which 18 companies made a Brexit-related move to the Netherlands. Additionally, the NFIA is talking with more than 250 foreign companies considering setting up operations in the Netherlands following Brexit. These are predominantly British companies, but also American and Asian organizations that are reconsidering their current European structure due to uncertainties caused by Brexit. These include companies in the financial sector, media and advertising, life sciences & health and logistics. In addition to the Netherlands, these companies are also investigating options in other countries, including Germany, France and Ireland.

Since the establishment of the Invest in Holland network in 2015, the NFIA and its regional partners have attracted 1,402 companies to the Netherlands. This has resulted in a total direct inward investment of 8.1 billion euros and the creation of more than 43,000 jobs in the Netherlands. In addition to the NFIA, the Invest in Holland network comprises the regional development agencies: NOM, Oost NL, North-Holland North, amsterdam inbusiness, InnovationQuarter, The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners, Invest Utrecht, BOM, Invest in Zeeland, LIOF and HIDC.

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The bio-based solutions created in Leiden will have a direct impact on some of the most pressing societal issues of today: reducing food waste; reducing the environmental impacts of livestock farming and improving animal health; producing renewable fuels; and lowering environmental impacts in the textile and laundry industries.
The capacity of the new site in Oegstgeest will double the potential for growth of the current employee base, with the potential of creating an additional 100 jobs at the facility, including research and development, application development, marketing, sales and customer service. The building will serve as the new EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) headquarters for DuPont Industrial Biosciences.

“Our Leiden scientists have been developing innovations that enable our customers to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their processes and products for many years,” said Simon Herriott, Vice President & Global Business Director for Bioactives at DuPont. “This new facility will enable our teams to do even more – to improve the pace of biotechnology and the speed with which we can deliver it to market. The ecosystem of talent, academia and community we find in the Leiden Bio Science Park is ideal for our work and for keeping us globally competitive.”
“Oegstgeest is pleased with DuPont establishing a site in our municipality. With DuPont building this facility in the Oegstgeest part of the Leiden Bio Science Park, organizations such as Corpus, Hilton and Avery Denison will be joined by an esteemed neighbor,” commented Jan Nieuwenhuis, Alderman Economic Development and Bio Science Park of the Executive Mayor and Aldermen of the city of Oegstgeest. “We are pleased to welcome such an internationally oriented, science-driven and socially responsible company as DuPont into the region, which undoubtedly will impact local job development.”

DuPont has partnered with Dutch developer and construction company Dura Vermeer on the building in Oegstgeest, which will cover 7250 square meters, a doubling of the capacity of the current facility for the business. The project will receive a BREEAM “Excellent” rating – an impressive measure of a building’s sustainability and environmental footprint. The construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

“The design is in the service of the employees,” said Director Peter Krop of Dura Vermeer. “Ultimately, it is about creating the right inspiring and flexible working environment. We are proud to be able to add DuPont to our customer list.”

The construction marks an important milestone in the growth of the company, with the new site in Oegstgeest being an important hub for business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Source: DuPont Industrial Biosciences

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Boston Rotterdam market expansion program

The launch of the BOSteRDAM follows the MoU Greentown Labs and InnovationQuarter signed in November 2017. Through the BOSteRDAM Cleantech Link, both organizations will closely support entrepreneurs in gaining access to leading cleantech clusters overseas by drafting a tailor-made two-week program for each company. The program will provide startups with full immersion in the overseas ecosystem, including local market knowledge, introductions to companies, government organizations and strategic partners, networking opportunities and a temporary office space, facilitate the realization of a successful foreign market entry strategy. BOSteRDAM is open to startups, scale-ups and corporates, and runs until July 2019.

The BOSteRDAM cleantech link was launched during an offshore wind mission of Dutch entrepreneurs to Boston. ’The offshore wind delegation took a tour of Greentown Labs and spent time with Josh Groleau of Pecos Wind Power and Ravi Paintal of Autonomous Marine Systems. Given the two companies’ areas of expertise and the wind markets they’re pursuing, the delegation enjoyed spending time with the entrepreneurs at Greentown Labs!

The delegation also heard from Professor Eric Hines of Tufts University, who talked about the general Massachusetts offshore wind ecosystem and the leadership of academia in the rising industry.

Greentown Labs invited Saitec, a startup from Spain working on floating offshore wind in Massachusetts, to present about their work and how they’ve entered the New England market.

Boston Rotterdam Cleantech Link market expansion program

Finally, Greentown Labs’ Executive Vice President Mark Vasu, and InnovationQuarter’s Senior Account Manager, Loek Becker Hoff, presented the BOSteRDAM program to the delegation and members of the Greentown community.

Loek met with several member companies at Greentown Labs and the rest of the delegation continued on to the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. Palmos and Root AI, both Greentown Labs member companies, visited the Netherlands over the summer and were able to reconnect with Loek. OffGridBox and Next Rung Technology spent time discussing their European expansion strategies with Loek.

Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs, shares “Greentown Labs is eager to welcome startups from the Netherlands to our cleantech community. We’re excited to provide them with the resources and network they need to expand their operations in the United States and we see great synergies between our ecosystem and InnovationQuarter. Some of our entrepreneurs have already taken advantage of the wide array of resources and connections InnovationQuarter has, and we’re exited to see many more utilize the BOSteRDAM cleantech link!”

Rinke Zonneveld, Director of InnovationQuarter is very happy with the program, “The greater Rotterdam area houses amongst others the largest port of Europe, one of the best tech incubators in Europe, the first CIC operations overseas and loads of opportunities in the field of energy transition, circular economy and high-tech solutions for a sustainable future. More over The Netherlands is the ideal stepping stone for American entrepreneurs who want to do business in Europe. We are ready to welcome”.

BOSteRDAM cleantech link is supported by YES!Delft, Buccaneer, CIC, ACTION Innovation Network and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the BOSteRDAM website or contact Anne de Vries (+31 6 2254 6065 / anne.devries@innovationquarter.nl), Project Associate Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter, or Benny Kim (bkim@greentownlabs.com), International Partnerships Fellow at Greentown Labs.

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Founded in 2012, Exasun started the production of Back-Contact-on-Glass solar panels in The Hague in 2016, after four years of research and development. Local production in the Netherlands is made possible by automated manufacturing of its smaller solar panels, thereby minimizing transport-related CO2 emissions. As the first company in the world, Exasun combines the best cell technology – Back-Contact cells – with special components for an extensive life. In 2016, Exasun was the first manufacturer globally to bring its Back-Contact-on-Glass solar panels on the market. Thanks to the longer lifespan and higher yield of the Exasun panels, their costs of electricity (€ ct / kWh) are the lowest on the market.

Panels, tiles and roofs

Besides solar panels, Exasun makes solar roof tiles. These come in black and orange-red and can be installed between existing roof tiles, which is a quintessential characteristic of Dutch homes. Another product is an entire solar-panel roof, used in newly built homes. These are both more efficient and nicer-looking alternatives for traditional solar panels.

It took four to five years of research and development to get this head start, said Michiel. Now, Exasun will use the investment to introduce a fully automated production line later this year, with a five-fold increase in production capacity. Capacity will be scaled up further in 2019.

“We’re very enthusiastic,” said Mark Weustink, head of ING Sustainable Investments. “Exasun offers an aesthetically and economically attractive solution to putting homes and buildings in the Netherlands and Europe on more sustainable footing.”

“Exasun’s integrated PV-panels provide a perfect solution for the increasing demand for PV-technology within the built environment” says Nienke Vledder, fondsmanager of ENERGIIQ. The panels have a high yield, a longer life expectancy, have great aesthetics and an easy installation system. These advantages advance the adoption of sustainable solar energy induction, which fits perfectly within the objectives of ENERGIIQ.”

Source: Parts of this article were borrowed from an article in The Financial

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Drecht Cities International

CEO Rientz Willem Bol (left) explains Bolidt’s transition plan to international companies from the Drecht Cities region

An impulse for international interaction

In addition to a number of local executives, the group consisted mostly of directors of foreign-owned companies from the Drecht Cities region and Dutch companies with a large international footprint. The aim was to promote interaction among these companies and to improve contacts with local and regional government.

After short introductions from Drecht Cities, InnovationQuarter and Deal, the CEO of Bolidt, mr.  Rientz Willem Bol, gave an insight into the ambitious plans he is carrying out to prepare his company for the future. A four-year transition plan is currently underway and causes an notable cultural change within the company. According to Bol, the company must abandon its’ traditional ways of operating, to stay ahead of global competition. Therefore Bolidt is now focusing on a future in which co-creation, innovation and customer experience are key, with the highlight being the completion of an Experience & Innovation Center in the spring of 2019.

The enthusiasm of mr. Bol inspired and motivated some of the participants to implement his fresh ideas within their own organizations. In addition, relevant business contacts were made during the networking part afterwards.

The international ecosystem in Drecht Cities

The Drecht Cities region is home to around 150 companies that are owned by foreign multinationals. In addition, hundreds of Dutch companies from this region are active in international markets and many SMEs and startups have international ambitions. Drecht Cities, InnovationQuarter and Deal assist regional businesses with their internationalization goals, for example by organizing international trade missions. In addition, InnovationQuarter and Deal actively attract new (foreign) companies to this region in order to draw new investments and create more jobs.

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Innecs Power-systems-haalt-ruim-4-mln.-op-voor-uitrol-energieconversiesystemen-002-989x450

Energy savings, CO2 reduction and attractive payback periods

Innecs started out as an engineering consultancy in 2004 and aimed to develop its own products. It has since developed three extremely efficient and robust devices: a low NOx burner (the BoilerBurner), a small steam turbine (the SteamExpander) and a small gas turbine (the PowerBurner). By applying extensive knowledge of turbine technology with smart control systems, Innecs has created premium products that can be used by a wide industrial audience. The smart design and modular production process keeps the purchase price down without compromising on quality. This, combined with the energy savings, results in attractive payback periods.

Industry bears a great deal of responsibility for achieving climate goals, and energy efficiency is the obvious way to give shape to the energy transition in the coming years. -Reidar Koolen, CEO of Innecs Power Systems

Made in Holland

Innecs Power Systems devices are an appealing example of advanced industrial products developed and produced on home soil. The extra bonus is that the Innecs products generate energy locally, thus enabling industry to make a substantial contribution to the energy transition. As industry is responsible for 68% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands*, it is important to develop industrial applications for energy reduction: this is where genuine gains stand to be made in energy transition.

Reidar Koolen, CEO of Innecs Power Systems: “Industry bears a great deal of responsibility for achieving climate goals, and energy efficiency is the obvious way to give shape to the energy transition in the coming years. For our customers, the return on investment is and always will be their main consideration when investing. Innecs therefore regards it as its mission to provide affordable energy efficiency so that the energy transition is financially attractive and thus embraced.”

Innecs Power-systems-haalt-ruim-4-mln.-op-voor-uitrol-energieconversiesystemen-989x450

Finindus Investment Director Hans Maenhout: “The Innecs team has succeeded in developing, with relatively modest resources, no fewer than three high-tech products. The pragmatic design means that their solutions often have payback periods of less than three years, in some cases even less than two. This makes the technology very attractive to larger industrial clients too. It is not surprising, therefore, that international clients have also found their way to Innecs.”

ENERGIIQ Fund Manager Nienke Vledder: “Innecs Power Systems is an innovative company with its production and development based in the Netherlands. It aims to provide affordable technology that helps industrial clients increase their energy efficiency and make environmental gains. I am confident that it will achieve its goals, and we are glad to support the company in its further growth with this investment from ENERGIIQ.”

Director of BOM Brabant Ventures Miriam Dragstra: “Innecs Power Systems is not just accelerating the energy transition today but is also experiencing wonderful development as a future-oriented business. BOM looks forward to the international growth of this fantastic tech business.”

*Source: http://staatvan.zuid-holland.nl/Paginas/Factsheets/CO2-emissies.aspx

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InnovationQuarter Jaarverslag 2017, de TerugblIQ

More collaboration and more implementation strength

Collaboration has been key to the success of InnovationQuarter since its inception in 2014. As the regional development agency for West Holland, InnovationQuarter works to strengthen the innovation eco system by working with companies, knowledge institutions, cluster and delta organisations and incubators, as well as financiers and investors, top sectors and government agencies. The aim is a West Holland ecosystem that helps parties to find each other easily, stimulates cross-pollination between the strong regional clusters, facilitates the growth of innovative firms and attracts foreign companies.

InnovationQuarter was evaluated in mid-2017. The evaluation report concluded: “With the arrival of InnovationQuarter, our implementation strength in terms of structurally strengthening the economy and stimulating innovation has increased considerably, and collaboration in West Holland has grown rapidly.”

More results

InnovationQuarter exceeded its ambitious objectives for 2017 in all areas.

  • InnovationQuarter Business Development achieved 56 business cases and innovation projects with an investment volume of €23 million. InnovationQuarter worked with several hundred companies on these partnerships. These were often trend-setting, cross-sectoral projects focusing on the transition to the ‘next economy’.
  • InnovationQuarter Foreign Investments helped 50 foreign companies to establish themselves, move to or expand in the region. Within three years, these enterprises expect to create 1,204 extra jobs in West Holland and invest an additional €78.4 million. Since InnovationQuarter started out in 2014, the number of foreign companies landing in West Holland has increased by no less than 76% (*), partly due to the joint efforts of our acquisition partners.
  • InnovationQuarter Capital invested in 23 companies during 2017. While IQCapital was responsible for 14 investments, UNIIQ funded the other nine. As a result of these investments, the amount of additional capital attracted to the region was €44.6 million. The companies in the agency’s portfolio expect to create 348 extra jobs over the next three years. What is remarkable is that IQCapital and UNIIQ were the most active investment funds in the Netherlands in 2017. Moreover, ENERGIIQ, the West Holland energy innovation fund, was launched in September 2017.

In addition, InnovationQuarter not only supports entrepreneurs based in the region to achieve their internationalisation ambitions but also serves as the link between the ‘top sector policy’ of the national government and the regional business community. Moreover, InnovationQuarter presents West Holland as a unique delta region, a 24/7 real-life testing ground for promising innovations.

“In everything we do as a regional development agency, we try to maximise our added value. We do this by drawing on the combined strength of various networks, knowledge sources and expertise”, says Rinke Zonneveld, director of InnovationQuarter. “This means we are more than a connector and a catalyst, more than an acquisition agency and more than an investor!”

 

Jaarverslag InnovationQuarter 2017: Meer samenwerking, meer uitvoeringskracht, meer resultaat in Zuid-Holland

Shareholders InnovationQuarter receive the first copy of TerugblIQ, the InnovationQuarter 2017 Annual Report.

Roadmap to the Next Economy

InnovationQuarter’s annual report gives a voice to entrepreneurs who make use of high-impact, leading-edge technologies: business people at the forefront of innovation and for whom collaboration is key for the future.

Rinke Zonneveld: “In light of our ambition to tackle important social issues in fields such as healthcare, security and energy, these are the entrepreneurs we like to help. This enables us to bring the ‘next economy’ closer within our region. This year, InnovationQuarter and our many partners will provide a strong boost in this area by assuming responsibility for launching the Roadmap for the Next Economy.”

* This concerns the projects completed by the regional acquisition agencies Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Busines Agency and InnovationQuarter in collaboration with the NFIA (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency).

TerugblIQ – InnovationQuarter 2017 Annual Report

Curious about our results? View the InnovationQuarter 2017 Annual Report below (in Dutch). Would you like to receive a hard copy of the Annual Report? Send an email with your contact details to: communicatie@innovationquarter.nl.

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Battery development can’t keep up with market demand

Better and more compact batteries are instrumental in allowing technological breakthroughs in various sectors. Further development and adoption of wireless technology and electric vehicles largely depends on current battery performance. It is therefore crucial to improve both battery capacity and cycle life. However, the battery industry has proven able to only incrementally improve the current lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) year-on-year. The bottleneck lies in the fact that the negative electrode of the battery, the anode, is currently made of graphite. Graphite is limited in the amount of lithium ions it can bind, thereby limiting battery energy density.

Greatly increased battery capacity due to LeydenJars silicium anode material

LeydenJar replaces the graphite anode with a 100% silicium anode. This leads to a tenfold increase in the capacity of the anode, which is currently the bottle neck to improve the energy density of the cell. The industry has been experimenting with replacing the graphite anode with silicium for years. The problem with the material, however, is that it swells and shrinks upon charging and discharging, making it unsuitable for use in a battery. Silicium therefore currently only makes for a small part in the battery anode composition.

This round of funding allows us to take significant steps in improving lithium-ion batteries over a short time span, making use of a process that is fit to use in current Li-ion battery production facilities – Christian Rood, founder LeydenJar Technologies

Technology from the solar cell industry is key in realizing 100% silicium anodes, and superior battery capacities

LeydenJar has found a way to buffer the shrinking and swelling of the silicium by giving the material exactly the right level of porosity. The material was originally developed by ECN for application in solar cells, but proved to be more fitting in batteries. The utilized plasma process (“PECVD”), which was also developed by ECN, deposes the silicium directly and with the right morphology, allowing for mass production of the anodes.

Over the past year, LeydenJar tested the pure silicium anodes in coin cells, a small battery format. The test results are promising to the extent that several parties are interested to incorporate the material in their test programs. This active market interest is illustrated by the fact that LeydenJar won the BMW Startup Challenge, a competition for innovative startups that help shape future worldwide mobility.

Proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ, BOM Brabant Ventures and private investor Energy Professionals now invest a lump sum of € 550.000. The funding adds to the TKI-subsidy the company raised with partners TU Delft and ECN in the final quarter of 2017, and a subsidy of Metropole Region Eindhoven. With this capital injection, the company is able to further development of both the anode material and the PECVD production process. Research and development activities take place in both the province of Zuid-Holland (material engineering) as the province of North Brabant (process- and machine engineering), covering the regions where respectively UNIIQ and BOM Ventures/Metropole Region Eindhoven are active.

The current round of funding allows LeydenJar to develop a battery prototype fit for use in consumer electronics, an important milestone on the road towards developing superior batteries with applications in energy storage and electric vehicles.

Christian Rood, founder LeydenJar Technologies: “272 years after invention of the Leyden Jar, another Dutch invention will greatly impact energy storage solutions. In our development trajectory, we work closely together with top notch Dutch and German research institutes, the European battery industry, and our financial partners. This round of funding allows us to take significant steps in improving lithium-ion batteries over a short time span, making use of a process that is fit to use in current Li-ion battery production facilities.”

Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ fund manager: “UNIIQ invests in promising and innovative technological ventures in the proof-of-concept phase. The transition towards renewable energy is a relevant theme, and one of the focus areas of the Province of Zuid-Holland. We are pleased to be able to support further development of LeydenJar’s technology, thereby realizing our first investment in this domain.”

“BOM Brabant Ventures, the venture department of the Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij, is pleased to invest in an early-stage company developing groundbreaking technology for optimizing energy storage”, says senior investment manager Jurgen van Eck. “In the development of the anode production process, the company will make optimal use of the strong machine- and manufacturing industry that is so characteristic for the region of North-Brabant, to ultimately contribute to the transition towards sustainable energy.”

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Sterke groei buitenlandse bedrijven in Zuid-Holland / RDM Rotterdam
RDM Rotterdam

Most investments are from China and the United States

Most foreign companies that made a new or expansion investment in West Holland in 2017 came from China (27) and the USA (21). In recent years, the majority of firms investing in the region have come from these two countries.

Chinese companies that have set up business in West Holland include Nuctech (a security company with its European head office in Rotterdam), Astronergy (marketing and sales office for solar panels in Zoetermeer) and ZoneCom (active in the gaming sector, with its European head office in The Hague).

Major names from the US include Cisco (establishment of a local branch in The Hague), Rambus (expansion of its office and activities in Rotterdam) and DXC Technology (new Dutch head office in Rijswijk).

Sterke groei buitenlandse bedrijven in Zuid-Holland / Skyline Den Haag
Skyline Den Haag (© Arjan de Jager)

New countries of origin, new sectors

What is striking about the figures for 2017 is the strong growth in the number of companies from India and South Africa. Eight companies from India and five from South Africa chose West Holland as their base in the Netherlands.

Also noteworthy in recent years has been the growing presence of firms active in the Next Economy. This includes a significant number of young tech companies that have made West Holland their base due to the region’s strong innovation ecosystem. No fewer than 27 of the 115 newly-established foreign firms in 2017 operate in the high-tech and IT sectors, followed by 14 in the maritime/offshore sector, 11 in life sciences & health and 10 in safety & (cyber)security.

Investor Relations programme: 289 companies visited

In addition to attracting new companies, The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter also actively support foreign firms that have already set up business in the region. This is part of the national Investor Relations programme, which is partly financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Region (MRDH) and the Province of Zuid-Holland. In 2017, the three acquisition partners visited a total of 289 companies through the programme.

Sterke groei buitenlandse bedrijven in Zuid-Holland / Leiden Bio Science Park
Leiden Bio Science Park (© Hielco Kuipers)

Successful cooperation on acquisition in West Holland

Attracting and retaining foreign investment is of great importance to West Holland and the Netherlands, not least in terms of economic growth and job creation. The 115 international companies supported in 2017, for example, are expecting to create 1,986 new jobs within three years and to secure 366 existing jobs. These companies are jointly investing 543.79 million euros in the region.

The 115 investment projects are the result of a joint effort by the regional agencies Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in association with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and strong clusters such as Medical Delta, Maritime Delta and The Hague Security Delta. The acquisition partners have been collaborating closely since 2014, both strategically and in practice, and have achieved great success. Over the last three years, the number of projects implemented in cooperation with the NFIA has risen by no less than 76% (*). Moreover, 31% of all foreign companies that established themselves in the Netherlands during 2017 opted for West Holland, well above the region’s share in the national economy. In 2014, it was 20%.

 

* This concerns the projects completed by Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in collaboration with the NFIA (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency).

 

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YES!Delft en UtrechtInc bij internationale top universitaire bedrijfsincubators

World Top Business Incubator

This year, UBI global defined 4 categories. YES!Delft and UtrechtInc were respectively ranked 2 and 10 in the category: World Top Business Incubator – Affiliated with University. In 2015 YES!Delft ranked 9th on the global list.

This result proves that our programs really are of world class. With our Discovery Track, Validation Lab and Accelerator program we help startups grow successfully within 9 months from business idea to investor-ready.
~ EJ Lugt, Managing Director at YES!Delft

UtrechtInc

UtrechtInc also maintains a top position on the international international list by UBI Global and is glad to receive this recognition. Managing Director Jorg Kop: “We offer supporting programs to researchers of Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht to bring research to the market. This way, we contribute to the valorization of scientific knowledge and making this publicly accessible.” Since 2009 the incubator supported 184 startups.

Proud

Startup Envoy Prince Constantijn at StartupDelta congratulates YES!Delft and UtrechtInc. “Incubators and accelerators can play a crucial role in the valorization of scientific data and supporting academic startups. The universities of Delft and Utrecht must be proud of the successes of YES!Delft and UtrechtInc, who are contributing immensely to the Dutch startup and scale-up ecosystem.”

Research

Every two years UBI Global, a renowned Swedish research- and advicebureau in the field of business incubation, conducts research amongst 500 incubators and accelerators in over 70 countries. An example of a selection criteria are the accessibility to capital and economic impact of the incubators. In 2016, the 259 participating programs supported over 10.000 startups in total, research shows. The total number of employees was 72.000. In the past 5 years, the startups raised a total of 4,7 billion euros and had a total of 3,2 billion in revenue.

The ranking list was announced at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto (CAN). Curious for the entire global ranking? Please visit www.ubi-global.com.

 

Source / YES!Delft