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Get in the Ring the Netherlands 2017

© Marco De Swart

Get in the Ring

Get in the Ring the Netherlands is organized by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) and supported by the City of Rotterdam and EY. The event took place for the fifth time in Rotterdam and is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, a week in which thousands of events take place worldwide that focus on entrepreneurship.

The startups are looking for customers and strategic partners for the growth of their company. ”There are a lot of opportunities for this during Get in the Ring Netherlands. The 70 multinationals and governmental organizations present are happy to be available as customers, suppliers or partners ” says Martin Luxemburg, director of the ECE. Based on requests from the startups, more than 600 speed dates with the participating organizations took place on Thursday. The effect of these conversations appears to be significant; 65 percent of the speed dates result in a follow-up conversation that in some cases even leads to a collaboration.

“It is still too early to say to which collaborations the conversations of this year will lead, but the City of Rotterdam is a nice example. Based on their participation with Get in the Ring last year the City of Rotterdam has started a project with a startup in solar panels that have been placed at test locations in the city” says Martin Luxemburg.

For the startups the speed dates were not the only activity; they were also challenged to qualify for the evening program to ascend the stage and to pitch their startup for a 700-strong audience (read: possible customers, partners or talent) in the ring. No competition without jury members, this year the Champion jury members were the founder of international software company WeTransfer; Bas Beerens, founder of scale-up YoungCapital; Rogier Thewessen, and entrepreneur Janneke Niessen.

Startups Kozie, LABFRESH en Convious winnen Get in the Ring Nederland

And the winners are…

The startups do not step in the ring alone, but will compete against an opponent in their own weightclass. Dementia technology startup Kozie took the win in the lightweight category against SeraNovo. Kozie develops multi-sensor technology that enhances the perception of people with dementia, so that demented people can recover memories from their childhood through a music pillow or music rug. The middleweight winner is LABFRESH after a strong pitch battle against Somnox. LABFRESH sells clothing of a special material that does not stain and smell. The heavyweight winner Convious offers a platform where people can buy tickets and determine the price themselves. Convious was in the ring against Felyx. The three winning startups receive a ticket to the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. In addition, they receive 1 year access to the EY Finance Navigator. This Finance Navigator is the first corporate startup of EY and was launched yesterday during the event.

Get in the Ring The Netherlands is part of a worldwide network of the Get in the Ring Foundation, which annually organizes 150 events in 100 countries. The winning startups of all these events worldwide will meet in Cascais, Portugal, from 30 May to 1 June, during the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. Entrepreneurs, investors and corporates can join the Global Meetup, which is entirely dedicated to establishing international connections.

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On the way to 3D flexible post processing

Post processing solution

Everyone loves the idea to be able to think up a product, draw it out, push the button and have a beautiful object. Unfortunately, in reality this rarely happens. The object still needs post processing, like removal of struts and polishing. This post processing is the most time consuming process in the chain and therefore a costly step, especially for 3D metal printing.

InnovationQuarter helped set up a consortium for tackling these challenges. After the approval of the EU Interreg 2Seas Programme at the end of 2016, 7 parties teamed up in taking the challenge to research, develop and implement an efficient and fast post processing solution:

  • University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam
  • RDM Makerspace
  • Hittech Multin
  • 3T RPD
  • TNO Innovation for life
  • University of Exeter
  • Argon Measuring Solutions

Challenges of post processing

Each partner having the skill and expertise needed in tackling the 4 main issues that characterize the challenge:

  • flexible clamping of the object during production and post processing;
  • scanning and mapping the object for compliance with the specs;
  • translation to the CAD/CAM interface; and
  • control the polishing the surface of the object.

A prototype of the final setup will be integrated and tested on the demonstrator cases provided by the 24 observer parties supporting the research. The ultimate proof of combining high tech and knowledge into a smart and reliable post production capability.

With its capability to print free forms at high speed, with no waste, on demand and on the spot, we’re moving from mass production to mass customization. This project can bring a revolution in the world of additive manufacturing.

This film gives you an introduction of the project:

Starting up

InnovationQuarter helped set up this project when Senior Business Developer Jacqueline Schardijn picked up the signal that organisations weren’t interested to invest in metal additive manufacturing technique because of the hickups of post processing. By connecting the right partners and creating the right setting of trust and motivation, Jacqueline saw the opportunity to apply this project into the EU Interreg 2Seas Programme. At the end of 2016 the EU approved the project. Jacqueline also linked 4 use case holders to the project to make sure end users are involved who can benefit from the results.

Interested in this project?

Visit the project at their stand at the RapidPro expo on 7 and 8 of March in Veldhoven, where you can hear all about this project.

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Burgemeester Jon Hermans-Vloedbeld van Noordwijk en Mark van Venrooij, Directeur Aerospace Systems NLR © Verkijk

“Dit is een geweldige toevoeging aan het regionale ruimtevaartcluster en mooie opsteker voor de ontwikkeling van de Space Campus Noordwijk”, aldus burgemeester Jon Hermans-Vloedbeld. “Naast ESA-ESTEC en het Galileo Reference Center is NLR nu de derde kennisinstelling binnen de gemeente Noordwijk op het gebied van ruimtevaart. Ik ben zeer verheugd dat NLR vanuit Noordwijk het aanwezige cluster actief kan bij staan bij de verdere groei van ruimtevaartactiviteiten op het park”.

De gemeente Noordwijk en de regionale ontwikkelingsmaatschappij InnovationQuarter hebben NLR ondersteund in het vestigingsproces.

NLR heeft een jarenlange track record op het gebied van onderzoek, ontwikkeling, testen en operaties in de ruimtevaart. Zo heeft NLR onder meer kennis, expertise en faciliteiten op het gebied van system engineering, aero(thermo)dynamica, geavanceerde structuren, warmtehuishouding, on-board elektronica en antennes. NLR zet dit in op het gebied van lanceervoertuigen, satellieten, payloads en onderdelen daarvan. Daarnaast heeft NLR veel expertise op het gebied van verschillende toepassingsgebieden van de ruimtevaart, waaronder aardobservatie en navigatie. NLR werkt onder andere mee aan de ontwikkeling en verificatie van het Europese GALILEO satellietnavigatiesysteem. Ook heeft NLR een breed scala aan faciliteiten voor het testen, verifiëren en valideren van nieuwe producten en toepassingen. Dit omvat het uitvoeren van environmental en structural testen, maar ook windtunneltesten en (microzwaartekracht) testvluchten.

NLR Noordwijk is gevestigd aan de Huygensstraat 44 op het Space Business Park © Verkijk

Burgemeester Jon Hermans-Vloedbeld probeert NLR’s Virtual Reality bril © Verkijk

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Nuon Solar Team wins 14th Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Nuon Solar team again World Champion

The Nuon Solar Team increased their lead over their major rivals, Michigan (USA), Tokai (Japan) and Punch Powertrain (Belgium), on the last racing day. Spare driver Tim van Leeuwen started the day in Nuna9. Race driver, Lisanne de Rooij, took over at the control stop and finished in Adelaide. Her fellow driver Sharon van Luik in Australia: “Of course, we were very nervous. Something can always happen. We were a bundle of nerves, you might say. But everything went great! Nuna9 reached a maximum velocity of 110 km per hour. And that solely with the energy the sun provides us with! ‘Ripper’ – as they’d say in Australia!”

Decisions worked out

This was the ninth time the Nuon Solar Team participated in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. They brought back the championship trophee six time to the Netherlands and were the runner-up twice. Nonetheless, the tension was great for the successful team, says team manager Sander Koot. “The new race regulations have resulted in a great variation of car designs. No one knew for sure which one would perform best. Fortunately, we choose a compact aerodynamic design and efficient solar panel.”

The Nuon Solar Team has convincingly won the 14th edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the worldchampionship solar car racing in Australia.

Successful overtaking actions

The team started the race on position 4, after a great qualification on Saturday. Driver Emma Vercoulen drove the Hidden Valley track in an impressive 2:14 minutes. Directly in the first day the team overtook the three competitors in front of them: Sydney, Punch and, ultimately, their long-time rival Tokai from Japan.

Mechanical issues on road

A broken part of the car suspension was the cause of some exciting moments on day 2. Race driver Sharon van Luik: “I was startled by this bang and thought it was a blowout. Unfortunately, I had to stop and witness how our competitor Tokai overtook us. Luckily, our support crew fixed the car very quickly and this enabled us continue the race within ten minutes.” After a short period of time, the team reclaimed its position as front-runner in the challenge.

Clouds and hard winds

The third and fourth racing days turned out to be strategically crucial, especially when the sun disappeared behind the clouds. Hard winds and even rain characterized this day. These conditions actually benefited the Nuon Solar Team; their design choices enabled them to extend their lead to 2 hours on the penultimate day. Aerodynamics expert Jasper Hemmes: “Nuna9’s compact, lightweight and aerodynamic design features enabled us to drive at a great speed. Due to this aerodynamic design, we were able to profit from the suction – caused by the wind.” Strategy analyst Stijn Burger elaborates: “Thanks to the information provided by our meteo-team we were able to maximize our energy incomes.”

The Nuon Solar Team wins 14th edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the worldchampionship solar car racing in Australia.


The Nuon Solar Team’s coach Marc Lammers – who coached the Nuon Solar Team during their race – is very much impressed by ‘his’ team. “One of their strongholds is that everyone’s familiar with each other’s strengths. One team member knows everything about tires, some else is an expert in the field of aerodynamics, and some other members know all the ins and outs of the solar panel and electronics. This team makes great decisions at the right moments; and they do it together. Their concentration is great, which results in a great team spirit. The latter has been translated into this fantastic outcome.”

RISKID, a portfolio company of InnovationQuarter, is proud partner of the Nuon Solar Team. They will keep supporting the team for the championship in two years.


Source / Nuon Solar Team

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With two world-leading universities on technology and business only 15 minutes apart it is a no-brainer to combine this mutual power into one programme. The joint programme consists of the existing Get Started programme offered by ECE and the Validation Lab programme from YES!Delft that have been running successfully for several years.

So what is the main difference between startups from Delft and Rotterdam? “The main difference we see is at the starting point of the entrepreneurial venture. Most aspiring entrepreneurs from Delft start off with a technological solution and seek for the right problem and market. Entrepreneurs from Rotterdam are good at building businesses, but ideas are mostly born by a personal frustration” states Martin Luxemburg, director at ECE. The purpose of the program is to guide these nascent entrepreneurs in the process of finding the right product-market fit with experienced coaches and mentors guiding them through this journey.

“If you would have taken a look at Coolblue or Rituals 10 years ago, you wouldn’t necessarily call them innovative. But taking a look at them now, these companies are leading scale-ups in the Netherlands, both disrupting their markets through business model innovation.“ This unique collaboration between YES!Delft and ECE will provide advantages for the high-tech startups to start their venture in a business-minded environment and vice versa.

EJ Lugt, director at YES!Delft sees other opportunities as well: “A potential spin-off of the program could be that teams from Delft and Rotterdam join forces. Research from the Erasmus University Rotterdam shows that the chances of success are higher when teams consist of people with different backgrounds.” Good examples are Senz Umbrella and Magnet.me, both consisting of founders from TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. “One of the side-effects of the program could be the creation of more of these mixed teams, and thereby increasing the likelihood of success of these startups. The expectation is that by educating the entrepreneurs in this way and connecting them to each other, they are better able to take on (social) challenges successfully and so contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals; one of the focus points of both universities.”

Source / YES!Delft

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West Holland's international business community joined InnovationQuarter's LINQ

On the menu

During the interactive breakout sessions, we showcased innovations of the West Holland based companies below. Click on the company name for additional information. Feel free to contact or introduce these innovative entrepreneurs to relevant (business) contacts.

  • Laevo’s innovative Exoskeleton
  • InteSpring‘s exobuddy for military of the future
  • LetsGrow, a smart platform to analyze cultivation related data
  • AvioniCS, autopilot technology on drones
  • IMSystems, groundbreaking development in speed reducer technology
  • Indymo’s submarine drone to monitor water quality
  • VSParticle’s nanoparticles, the building blocks of the future
  • De Kompaan, craft beertasting of The Hague’s award winning local brewery

For a LINQ recap in photos, please visit our online Flickr-page.

West Holland's international business community joined InnovationQuarter's LINQ

Let’s LINQ

InnovationQuarter’s mission is to strengthen the regional economy in West Holland by supporting and stimulating the innovation potential of this unique delta region. In close co-operation with all major corporations, educational and research institutions, and government organisations, we assist and support foreign companies like yours with their establishment, business expansion and relocation plans in our region.

And of course, we maintain in close contact with the 2,200 international companies that are already established here. Looking for collaborative contacts or in need of assistance? Get in touch with our team and we’ll introduce you in our extensive network.

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Dare2Cross Offshore/Energy Cybersecurity

Met een speciaal geselecteerde groep uit de offshore/energy en cybersecurity sector zijn nieuwe business kansen en mogelijke samenwerkingen verkend tijdens Dare2Cross Offshore/Energy meets Cybersecurity. Ongeveer 50 genodigden zijn op 28 september tijdens de internationale Cyber Security Week 2017 ontvangen door InnovationQuarter en mede-organisatoren KIVI, IRO, The Hague Business Agency, Gemeente Den Haag en HSD.

Offshore/energy sector kwetsbaar voor cyber crime

Een toenemend gebruik van visualisatie en big data verhoogt het risico op cybercriminaliteit in de olie- en gasindustrie aanzienlijk.
Uit een rapport van het Ponemon Institute blijkt dat ruim twee derde van de olie- en gasbedrijven vorig jaar door tenminste één belangrijke cyberaanval geraakt werden, terwijl veel andere incidenten ongemeld of ongemerkt zijn gebleven.

Volgens een expert worden cyberaanvallen in de olie- en gasindustrie steeds geavanceerder en kostbaar om te bestrijden: Deze aanvallen zijn niet alleen gerelateerd aan de verspreiding van malware, maar juist aan onbevoegd personeel dat toegang tot infrastructuur krijgt. De druk om zaken rondom cybersecurity goed te organiseren wordt daarom steeds groter.

Dare2Cross Offshore/Energy Cybersecurity

Delen of niet delen van informatie

Om bestand te zijn tegen cyber crime is samenwerking nodig. Echter zit het delen van ‘worst cases’ en kwetsbaarheden niet in onze natuur, zoals werd geconcludeerd tijdens het forum:

Sharing is not natural if it is not a best practice. Openness and collaboration is a must, but with who and how!

Reden om een select gezelschap uit beide sectoren bij elkaar te brengen rond vijf verschillende actuele thema’s en ze uit te dagen informatie te delen en uit te wisselen. De onderwerpen die aan bod kwamen waren:

  • het inzetten van cybersecurity oplossingen als enabler voor nieuwe toekomstige diensten om business te genereren;
  • samenwerking door de horizontale en verticale keten;
  • cybersecurity in de design fase van windturbines;
  • omgaan met medewerkers die ‘derailen’; en
  • het verbeteren van cyber resilience van bestaande netwerken en platforms.

Bijzonder aan deze bijeenkomst is dat al in de voorbereiding met veel verschillende organisaties is gesproken om tot passende cases te komen en de juiste personen bij elkaar aan tafel te hebben om deze cases te verdiepen.

Dare2Cross Offshore/Energy Cybersecurity

Grenzen verleggen tijdens Dare2Cross

Onder de inspirerende leiding van Ramon Vullings, cross industry innovation expert, zijn nieuwe kansen en oplossingen verkend en nieuwe contacten gelegd. Een forum met Bram Reinders (Alliander), Arthur van der Weerd (Hudson Cybertec) en Joep Brand (Shell) kreeg prikkelende stellingen voorgelegd als ‘Cyber crime is over-hyped’ en ‘Cyber crime should not be fought, better to be insured’.

Tijdens de breakout sessies werden de cases verdiept. Op basis van de unieke aanpak en oplossingen van bijvoorbeeld Hells Angels, Emirates, Google en andere inspirerende organisaties werden de aanwezigen geprikkeld verder te zoeken naar toepassingen voor de ingebrachte cases. Veel oplossingen zijn namelijk al bedacht door organisaties en worden toegepast in andere sectoren. Hoe kan je deze oplossingen door ontwikkelen naar oplossingen voor de eigen organisatie of sector?

De middag heeft de aanwezigen een hoop interessante nieuwe contacten opgeleverd. De organisatoren en case inbrengers verkennen samen op welke manier hier een vervolg aan gaat worden gegeven.

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Doing business in the Netherlands

Expat family: the Netherlands is the new hotspot

The business bank HSBC interviewed nearly 30,000 expats about their experiences with and wishes for working abroad. This shows that working in the Netherlands is pleasant, because there is a lot of attention for the family here.

More than three-quarters (76%) of expat parents in the Netherlands say the health and wellbeing of children is better than it was at home. expat parents also praise the quality of education and childcare, with 72% and 65% respectively saying it is better than at home.

Last year’s winner, Swedem, ranks as the secong best country to raise a family. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of expat parantes rate the quality of childcare better than at home and 71% said the process of arranging a scholl for their children was straightforward.

The Netherlands in Top 5 of most loved countries for expats

Family, money and society make happy

Furthermore, the HSBC Expat Explorer 2017 list looks at economic opportunities and whether life is also a little fun. Daily expat life within the walls of a compound is not really conducive to happiness. Being part of society and getting acquainted with locals is just as important.

The Netherlands scores high on these three criteria and is this years fifth country in HSBC’s survey, rising nine places in one year. Just behind Germany, but overtaking Canada, Australia and even Switzerland.

The Netherlands in Top 5 of most loved countries for expats

Low salaries, good career opportunities

In economic terms, the Netherlands is not doing all that bad. Starting a business is easy and is encouraged by the government. And the career opportunities in the Netherlands are good.

However point of attention are the salaries of expats. These are lower than in Thailand or Turkey, for example. Switzerland is the country for the big(ger) money, with an average salary for expats at $ 193,000.


Due to our strict bonus policy in the financial sector, the salaries are lower here. It is a common argument why big London banks consider leaving Amsterdam  after a Brexit.

And in regards to Brexit, the United Kingdom made a free fall on HSBC’s list placed at 22 last last year. The uncertainty for expats doesn’t do well for United Kingdom’s score, positioned in 2017 at 35.


Source / RTLZ / Dubai Chronicle

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Country Profile on the Netherlands While many countries have shifted in rank from the previous year, the Netherlands maintains its position as the 4th most competitive global economy in the 2017-2018 report. This comes as a result of top scores across three WEF subindexes, including top 10 ranks for institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation. The Netherlands scores especially high on the quality of its port infrastructure (#1), quality of air transport infrastructure (#4), quality of scientific research institutions (#4) and university-industry collaboration in R&D (#5). The Global Competitiveness Report in 2017 WEF published its latest Global Competitiveness Report on September 26, 2017. Released annually, the report is a comprehensive assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 137 economies. For the ninth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the world’s most competitive economy, ahead of the United States and Singapore. The Netherlands and Germany make up the remaining top five spots. The Netherlands previously climbed four places in two years before sustaining its current position. Hong Kong SAR (#6) advanced three places, while Sweden (#7) dropped one place from last year. Of the remaining three economies in the top ten, the United Kingdom (#8) and Japan (#9) each fell one place. Finland (#10) remains consistent. Source: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018

The Netherlands maintains its prominent position thanks to the support of a strong education system and high levels of tech readiness among businesses and individuals. Its innovation ecosystem is ranked 6th globally, putting Holland in an excellent position to develop new ideas and attract investment.

World Economic Forum The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018

Country Profile on the Netherlands

While many countries have shifted in rank from the previous year, the Netherlands maintains its position as the 4th most competitive global economy in the 2017-2018 report. This comes as a result of top scores across three WEF subindexes, including top 10 ranks for institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation. The Netherlands scores especially high on the quality of its port infrastructure (#1), quality of air transport infrastructure (#4), quality of scientific research institutions (#4) and university-industry collaboration in R&D (#5).

The Global Competitiveness Report in 2017

WEF published its latest Global Competitiveness Report on September 26, 2017. Released annually, the report is a comprehensive assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 137 economies.

For the ninth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the world’s most competitive economy, ahead of the United States and Singapore. The Netherlands and Germany make up the remaining top five spots. The Netherlands previously climbed four places in two years before sustaining its current position. Hong Kong SAR (#6) advanced three places, while Sweden (#7) dropped one place from last year. Of the remaining three economies in the top ten, the United Kingdom (#8) and Japan (#9) each fell one place. Finland (#10) remains consistent.

Source / World Economic Forum

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StartupFest Europe / CapitalFest 2017

StartupFest Europe

Startups are good for the economy. They take care of innovation and employment. In order to grow, startups include capital, knowledge and customers. That’s why Dutch StartupDelta started in 2016 with StartupFest Europe, a European festival where startups and scale-ups find funding to grow their business, meet launching customers and find inspiration from international topnotch speakers.

StartupFest Europe consists of a main event (CapitalFest) and a number of thematic events spread around The Netherlands. This years theme is ‘Global Challenges, Startup Solutions’. At different times during StartupFest Europe there are speakers and challenges about one of the global challenges.

StartupFest Europe connects startups from all regions and sectors, enabling the Dutch startup potential to be visible to national and international investors ~ Francis Quint, Head of InnovationQuarter Capital

Edible drones

During CapitalFest on September 27th in the Beurs of Berlage, Amsterdam, there will a large series of international top speakers on stage (as keynote speaker or participant in a breakout session). In addition, there is a special video message from Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba.

Some of the speakers are startup or scale-up with a strong focus on one of the world’s challenges. Like Boyan Slat. He is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, the company that develops technological solutions for floating plastic in the oceans. Slat started his business in 2013 when he was 18 years old. The Ocean Cleanup has collected $ 31.5 million in funding.

With its company Windhorse Aerospace Nigel Gifford develops edible drones that can be deployed in disaster areas. The drones can transport a few tens of kilos of aid goods in the future.

The Ocean Cleanup

Innovative translator

Tim Houter and his colleagues develop the solution for fast and safe transportation. Houters team recently became second in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition of Elon Musk. The first tests of the Delft Hyperloop are promising.

Vasco Pedro is the founder and CEO of Unbabel, a Portuguese startup that develops the best translator using both artificial intelligence and “real” people. The goal of Unbabel is to make people worldwide work together better and easier.

Eyewire is the company of Amy Robinson Sterling. Eyewire portrays the human brain through the use of an online game. By solving 3D puzzles, everyone can collaborate on visualizing the human neural network.

100 billion dollars

In addition to these five innovative startups, CapitalFest’s stage includes Deep Nishar, the world’s largest investor. Nishar (former vice president at LinkedIn) is managing director of The Softbank’s Vision Fund; The Vision Fund has invested $ 100 billion. CapitalFest gives two startups the opportunity to pitch their company at Nishar. Besides, all startups visiting CapitalFest get the opportunity to present their business to hundreds of other investors.

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IBM’s Global Location Trends Show Record Year for Inward Investment in the Netherlands

High ranking in IBM Global Location Trends

According to IBM’s annual report Holland’s inward investment increased approximately 10 percent, “Building on the significant momentum and growth seen in the previous three years.” Globally, job creation through foreign direct investments (FDI) also increased 10 percent, reaching its strongest performance in the past decade.

In addition, the Netherlands ranks No. 4 globally by average job value of investment projects. Finally, the Amsterdam-Rotterdam metropolitan area shows consistent growth and is a global top destination for foreign investors. This metropolitan area, the so called ‘Randstad’ includes the cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and their surrounding areas. The metro ranks No. 2 by number of projects.

Overall, access to “International markets and leveraging global supply chains are expected to continue to drive foreign investment,” said IBM. Each year the report analyzes the latest trends in corporate location selection, and where companies are locating and expanding their businesses around the world, creating jobs.

Recent investments in Holland

Contributing to growth of investment in the Netherlands are countless multinationals.

Just this summer, data center company Equinix and biofuels producer Renewable Energy Group expanded to Amsterdam. Australian space startup Fleet Space Technologies opened its European headquarters in Delft, Japanese biotech company Human Metabalome Technologies opened an office in the Leiden Bio Science Park and previously American cyber security company Dtex Systems sets up in Europe’s leading security cluster: The Hague Security Delta (HSD). Meanwhile, leading retailers Zalando and Bestseller United, based in Germany and Denmark respectively, joined the FashionTrade wholesale platform in Amsterdam.

In 2016, companies such as Google, Medtronic, Oracle, PVH, Grünenthal’s Innovative Medicines Unit, Carnival, Aegex, Coca-Cola, Danone, Can-Pack, Hikvision, HEAD Aerospace,  and more celebrated expansions and establishments in Holland.

FDI growth driven by manufacturing, logistics and ICT

IBM’s Global Location Trends 2017 reports manufacturing, logistics and ICT leading global foreign direct investment growth. These sectors align with key industries in the Netherlands.

Considered one of the most wired countries in the world, Holland is a hotspot for information and communications technology companies. Global IT companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Interxion, Infosys, Huawei, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon and Google invest in Holland for its unparalleled IT infrastructure.

Additionally, the Netherlands is a hub for foreign-owned logistics and distribution operations. Many multinationals choose Holland as their gateway to Europe to manage supply chain or grow e-commerce operations. Companies in a wide range of industries – from agrifood and life sciences to chemicals, maritime and IT – have also established advanced manufacturing operations in the Netherlands.

IBM’s Global Location Trends Show Record Year for Inward Investment in the Netherlands

Amsterdam/Rotterdam 2nd most attractive region

The Dutch region Amsterdam/Rotterdam (‘Randstad’) is the 2nd most attractive metropolitan region in the world for foreign investments, based on the number of projects. Also this becomes apparent in the IBM Global Location Trends Rapport 2017.

The attractiveness of the Amsterdam/Rotterdam region has increased in comparison to the report from 2016, when the same region was ranked 3rd in the IBM report. According to the IBM report, the Amsterdam/Rotterdam region shows consistent growth and has become a top destination for foreign investors, especially ICT companies.


Source / IBM Institute for Business Value / NFIA / Rotterdam Partners

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IRM Systems ontvangt kapitaal voor ontwikkeling van IRM Smart Pipeline Data en versnellen van internationale groei

Deputy Mayor Ferrie Förster from the City of Delft congratulates Rutger Schouten, founder and CEO of IRM Systems B.V.

Together with Rabobank and Brooklyn Ventures, InnovationQuarter with her IQCapital fund has completed this round to launch IRM Systems’ newest innovative product, ‘IRM Smart Pipeline Data’. ‘IRM Smart Pipeline Data’ is a software solution to support clients in predicting integrity and future failure optimally and extend the lifetime of their challenging pipeline systems whilst reducing total cost. Also, this round will support international expansion to IRM Systems’ strategic markets.

International growth & smart software

IRM Systems B.V. is actively looking to expand into to strategic markets beyond the Netherlands (Delft) and United Kingdom (Aberdeen) to amongst others USA (Houston), following their clients abroad. Secondly securing the integrity of pipeline systems’ in today’s climate of staff reductions at operators and ageing infrastructure, requires digitization and predictive data around integrity management – in particular for more challenging, or non-standard, pipeline systems. IRM Systems B.V. currently develops its smart software tool to accurately and optimally manage integrity and predict future failure on pipeline systems to further support its client base. Assisting clients to move to actually using data sets currently available on challenging pipeline systems allows these clients to increase integrity while reducing their overall cost.

IRM Systems ontvangt kapitaal voor ontwikkeling van IRM Smart Pipeline Data en versnellen van internationale groei

From left to right: Peter van der Poel (Smit en de Wolf), Karin Maliepaard (IRM Systems), Thijs Schaap (InnovationQuarter), Nienke Vledder (InnovationQuarter), Rutger Schouten (IRM Systems), Ferrie Förster (gemeente Delft), Ard Jol (Brooklyn Ventures), Francis Quint (InnovationQuarter), Hans Osnabrugge (Brooklyn Ventures), Thomas van Dusseldorp (IRM Systems)

An strategic next step

“IRM Systems is ready for a next major step. Combining regional growth initiatives in selected markets to IRM Smart Pipeline Data means that we leverage the specialist knowledge of our teams to serve more and more clients globally. That way we can reach true scale in the highly focused market segment of so-called ‘non-standard’ pipeline systems”, says Rutger Schouten, founder and CEO of IRM Systems B.V.

Hans Osnabrugge, partner of Brooklyn Ventures: “We are proud to see that the greenfield we started five years ago has grown into a global leader in its exciting niche. With this injection, the existing strong financial basis of IRM Group is leveraged to use our built knowledge and right to play towards a software solution, solving a global problem for non-standard pipelines. As Brooklyn Ventures it confirms our capabilities to globally scale startups and scale ups by our hands-on involvement.”

Unique combination of organic, international growth and innovative potential

Francis Quint, head of InnovationQuarter Capital: “With our investment in IRM Systems B.V. we aim to support successful entrepreneurs such as Rutger Schouten who built a flourishing high-added value business in Zuid-Holland (Delft) to enable their growth-ambitions. IRM Systems is a company with highly skilled employees in combination with innovative potential, through the development of IRM Smart Pipeline Data. InnovationQuarter is excited to support IRM Systems B.V. in its growth-ambitions”

Deputy Mayor Ferrie Förster from the City of Delft announced InnovationQuarter’s new investment at the Knowledge Expo Delft hosted at Buccaneer, center for innovation in energy and offshore in Delft.

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

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Dutch Windwheel ondertekening Green Deal

International eye-catcher

In mid-2015 the Rotterdam companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters presented the plan for the Dutch Windwheel: an iconic building that will not only contain residential units, but also an attraction. The radical design maximally embraces the possibilities of energy production and experience. It was designed for systematic innovation and reuse and will be built with materials sourced from the Rotterdam region. The philosophy behind the Dutch Windwheel has since reached all corners of the globe: it has received far-reaching international media exposure and was even featured on the Chinese news. By constructing a building as circular, sustainable and healthy as this while achieving the highest energy-producing capacity possible, the initiators expressed the ambition of equipping the Dutch Windwheel with advanced technological solutions, some of which are still in their further development stages.

Innovation partners

The development of these technologies is currently in the hands of an innovation consortium composed of Arup, Royal BAM Group, Deltares, Dura Vermeer, ECN, Eneco, Evides, Siemens, SPIE, TNO and the Windwheel Corporation (in which the Rotterdam-based companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters are represented). The goal of the consortium is to drastically improve the quality and sustainability of buildings through the use of climate architecture and advanced technology. The innovation partners are supported by InnovationQuarter, NBTC Holland Marketing, PNO and Rotterdam Partners.

Dutch Windwheel ondertekening green deal

New design

Based partly on the results obtained by the innovation consortium, giant strides forward have been made over the past few months in the iconic building’s design. The principal characteristics of the Dutch Windwheel have been preserved in the latest version of the plan, which was designed under the leadership of DoepelStrijkers and Arup. In addition to this, the building complex will still retain its original functions, including an attraction that consists of cabins (similar to those of a Ferris wheel) that will transport visitors to the highest point of the Dutch Windwheel. The construction aspects have been optimised in the design, and the circular principles for the use of materials and the climate, water and energy systems have been extensively worked out.

Public support

Various public-sector organisations embrace the consortium’s ambitions. The Dutch Windwheel is referred to in the regional Roadmap Next Economy as a supporting project for system breakthroughs The project has been proclaimed a regional ‘field lab’ and both the Rotterdam – The Hague metropolitan region and the Municipality of Rotterdam will be contributing to testing the innovations in the region, with a view to ultimately bringing these to the international market. By signing the Green Deal, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Dutch government will be endorsing the potential of the project for the regional economy and employment. The Green Deal comprises the starting point for an investigation into the project’s financial feasibility, its operational possibilities and site-specific requirements.

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The Netherlands Ranks No. 3 on the Global Innovation Index 2017

Global Innovation Index

Each year, the Global Innovation Index (GII) surveys some 130 economies using dozens of metrics that provide a high-level look at innovative activity. Its 81 indicators explore political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. The GII is co-authored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and French graduate business school INSEAD.

“Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth.”

Innovative Leader in Europe and Globally

Holland is one of 15 European countries among the top 25 global economies on the GII. A press release from WIPO notes, “Europe is particularly strong in human capital and research, infrastructure, business sophistication.”

In addition to ranking No. 3 overall on the GII, the Netherlands ranks first in the following categories: business sophistication, knowledge absorption, intellectual property payments, ICT services imports, and FDI net outflows.

Furthermore, Holland has strengths in human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and knowledge, technology and creative outputs, indicated the GII.

High Marks in Innovation

Besides ranking highly on the GII, the Netherlands leads other indexes such as the European Innovation Scoreboard and has innovation hubs across the country.


Source / InvestinHolland /WIPO

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TU Delft Research Exhibition

Due to TU Delft’s 175th anniversary this year, a total number of 175 projects were on display, giving visitors a taste of all the cutting-edge research and technology that is being developed in Delft. Research projects of all sorts, in a broad range of industries and phases were on display in stands all throughout the university library, with experts and researchers to answer any questions that visitors had.

Eric Smetink (KPN):

Good to see what is going on in this university. I think it is much more geared to finding solutions for real life problems and it also sparks creativity

The TU Delft Research Exhibition was a showcase of innovative ideas and projects, and was also very much about connecting university research with external partners. With more than 1800 visitors from over 400 different organizations, it was a very succesfull event.


On the first day of the event, InnovationQuarter and the TU Delft Valorization Team jointly organized a workshop for international companies that had already shown interest in exploring possible cooperation with TU Delft. Antal Baggerman (TU Delft) and Rinke Zonneveld (InnovationQuarter) gave a presentation on the strengths of TU Delft and the West Holland region as a whole.

This side event drew about 20 attendees, mostly high-level officials from American and Asian multinationals that have been present in the Dutch market for a while. After the presentations, the attendees were split up into smaller groups for a personal tour at the exhibition, to visit research projects that might have a link with the activities of their company.

We thank all the participants. We look forward to staying in touch and working together in the near future!