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To strengthen cooperation between the space sector in the regions of Bremen and Zuid-Holland, SpaceNed, Province of Zuid-Holland, Aviaspace Bremen and the state of Bremen launched an action agenda at the Space Tech Expo Europe in Bremen. They were supported in the preparation of the action agenda by InnovationQuarter and Bremen Invest. The action agenda stems from agreements made during the space mission to Bremen in March 2019, in the presence of the King and Queen.

Enhanced international cooperation

The Zuid-Holland and Bremen regions both have a strong space sector. Better cooperation between the regions is favourable for the innovation climate and the economic strength of space companies. The action agenda contains agreements on cooperation actions until 2023, aimed at the described mutual challenges for the space sector. Agreements include a trade mission from Bremen to Zuid-Holland in 2020, joint Research & Development projects and strengthening of business and research relationships. Thematically, the cooperation focuses on, among other things, earth observation, lightweight materials and VR / AR in space applications.

The action agenda was presented by Hans-Georg Tschupke (Director of the Department of Innovation and Industry at the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Bremen) and Wiebe Brandsma (Director of Economy and Society at the Province of Zuid-Holland) together with Jeroen Rotteveel and Holger Oelze (the chairmen of SpaceNed and Aviaspace, respectively).

Jeroen Rotteveel: “A good neighbour is better than a distant friend; [Dutch proverb] that is why it is so logical to strengthen the ties with Bremen”. Hans-Georg Schupke adds: “This Action Agenda was not established because the governments are so keen; there are common interests and there is enthusiasm among companies and knowledge institutions for cooperation. ”

Companies and knowledge institutions from Zuid-Holland and Bremen immediately got to work at the Space Tech Expo in two round table discussions to further explore and work out collaborative activities. Then there was room for mutual acquaintance between companies themselves or with knowledge institutions during the matchmaking Meet the Dutch. And while enjoying ‘stroopwafels’ from Zuid-Holland and drinks, there was plenty of room for networking.

In the pavilion that was organized by InnovationQuarter, there was a lot of visitors and good contacts with international businesses. In addition, there was plenty of room for relaxed conversations around the “green screen” photo device that was set up on the stand. InnovationQuarter supports the province of Zuid-Holland in the compilation and implementation of the action agenda.

Bert Klarus

Senior Business Developer Smart Industry
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The Maryland Department of Commerce and InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area, have officially renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote general cooperation and coordination between the entities over the next three years.

The agreement was signed by Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz and InnovationQuarter director of foreign investments Chris van Voorden today in Baltimore.

The renewal will help strengthen Maryland and the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area’s relationship as they continue to foster economic development and investment in the two regions, especially as it relates to cybersecurity. The MOU encourages the hosting of delegations in both Maryland and the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area, promoting the regions’ exchange programs, collaborating on webinars for cybersecurity companies interested in expanding their global outreach, and potential opportunities for matchmaking and networking at trade shows around the world.

“The state of Maryland’s partnership with the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area provides great opportunities for governmental collaboration across the Atlantic,” said Secretary Schulz. “By collaborating on research and development, supporting each other’s companies, and encouraging growth in education, we can make sure that both of our regions continue to thrive for years to come.”Back in 2016, the state signed a three-year agreement with InnovationQuarter, which established the soft-landing program for Dutch companies looking to explore the Maryland market and vice versa. The program, which was the first of its kind in Maryland, provides incubation and mentorship services for participating companies.

“We welcome security tech companies to make use of this wonderful program. They can come for a week or even stay for three consecutive months,” van Voorden said at the signing.

The following year, Maryland Commerce welcomed five Netherlands cyber companies to the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park for their month-long stay as they explored the U.S. as a permanent location. Additionally that year, four Maryland cyber firms travelled overseas to facilitate their entry into the European market as part of the bilateral exchange program.

The program is still on-going between the two entities; companies interested in learning more can contact Andrew Kreinik, Maryland Commerce’s regional manager for Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

With more than 116,000 IT and cybersecurity professionals in the state, Maryland is where cyber works. Learn more about how we are a gateway for international business.

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Insects are a huge problem in greenhouse horticulture. Pest control costs growers enormous amounts of money and energy and causes the sector much concern. Currently, pests tend to be controlled with biopesticides and chemical pesticides. But there is now a chemical-free solution and it comes from the aviation industry. Delft company PATS is developing a system that uses drones to eliminate flying insect pests. It’s current applications include the cultivation of gerberas and chrysanthemums for the cut flower trade. To further develop the system and adapt the drones for use with other crops, PATS has secured €250,000 from UNIIQ investment fund. Alderperson Karin Zwinkels of the Municipality of Westland announced the investment during the ‘Modern Entrepreneurship’ event at Royal FloraHolland in Naaldwijk.

Pesticides have limited effect

Insect pests are a major problem for greenhouse farmers. The favourable greenhouse climate allows them to thrive and reproduce easily. Despite the increasing use of biopesticides, such as Ichneumon wasps, growers are often unable to avoid using chemical pesticides. However, chemicals often have only a limited effect and are not widely available for every type of pest. Some products also have side effects, both on the crop and beyond. New pest control alternatives are therefore urgently required.

Bat-like drones vs moths

PATS has focused on one harmful insect to begin with: moths. Their offspring, caterpillars, can cause considerable damage to a crop, resulting in yield loss. PATS is developing a solution using micro drones. Base stations equipped with monitoring cameras are installed throughout the greenhouse. As soon as a flying moth is detected, a drone is activated and directed towards the moth at lightning speed. It collides with the insect, which is then disposed of by the drone’s rotating propellers: a swift bat-like action that takes just a few seconds. Once the insect has been eliminated, the drone returns to the base station to recharge for the next mission. In contrast to the methods currently available, this system actively hunts insect pests to prevent them spreading further throughout the greenhouse.

By using the investment from UNIIQ to strengthen its R&D team, PATS will accelerate product development, expand its knowledge base and reduce time to market. Co-founders Bram Tijmons, Sjoerd Tijmons and Kevin van Hecke are extremely pleased with the investment. “We at PATS are very happy about UNIIQ’s confidence in our team and our technology,” says Bram Tijmons. “The investment will be used for further technological product development and to expand the company’s knowledge base. Our innovative application will allow us to support many end users in their day-to-day crop protection activities.”

“PATS, a spinoff of TU Delft, focuses on a major problem faced by the greenhouse and horticultural sector,” says UNIIQ Fund Manager Liduina Hammer. “The founders have research backgrounds at MAVlab, TU Delft’s drone lab, and UNIIQ’s funding will give them the opportunity to validate this alternative, innovative approach to pest control.”

Liduina Hammer

Fund Manager UNIIQ
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UNIIQ-investering voor Addoptics

High-tech startup Addoptics has developed an innovative method that reduces the lead time for small-series production of customer-specific lenses from six weeks to six days. This includes the manufacture of lenses for smartphones and lighting, and the time reduction is in part achieved by using 3D printing techniques. To further develop and validate the technology with pilot customers, Addoptics is to receive a €300,000 injection from early-stage investment fund UNIIQ. The investment was announced by Rotterdam Deputy Mayor Barbara Kathmann (Economy, Districts and Local Communities) during the Rotterdam Capital Days event.

UNIIQ-investering voor Addoptics

Faster and more flexible testing with prototypes

Whether it involves the latest smartphone, a camera-equipped cardiac catheter, streetlights or car headlights, all of these finished products involve lenses. Optical systems and their applications are based on lenses, and prototypes of optical components are needed early in the development cycle of each new product. However, standard lenses that are available may often fail to meet the specific requirements of the desired end product. A manufacturer will therefore sometimes have special custom-made lens prototypes developed, but these take six to eight weeks to produce. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the prototype will work, which results in an extremely long product development period.

From six weeks to six days

Technological developments move at lightning speed and competition is fierce. As time to market is crucial, there are increasing calls for shorter development cycles and greater design freedom (‘free-form’ lenses) from a range of industries, including medical technology, automotive, lighting, production technology and communication applications.

By using 3D printing technology to produce lenses that meet customer specifications, Addoptics has developed a fast and flexible lens manufacturing process for custom-made optical components. And instead of six weeks, the firm can produce the lenses in just six days. Due to its innovative technology, Addoptics is making shorter and more flexible development cycles a reality while offering greater design freedom.

Fine-tuning the technology and working towards pilots

The investment from proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ will help Addoptics take the crucial next steps. In the coming period, the company will further fine-tune the technology and test it with various pilot customers. Addoptics co-founders Joris Biskop and Lucas Klamer form a strong team. Both have extensive experience in the optical industry and together possess good technological know-how in optics and 3D printing. They also have expertise in materials science, excellent commercial skills and access to a broad network in the optical industry.

Joris Biskop, Addoptics co-founder and CEO:

“With the support of UNIIQ as an investment partner, Addoptics will be able to realise its ambitions. We are proud to have the opportunity to develop our innovative concept further, prior to taking the first steps towards bringing it to market.”

Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ fund manager: “Addoptics is a valuable addition to the optical cluster in the greater Rotterdam The Hague area. The investment from UNIIQ will enable the firm to move forward with its innovative technology and validate it with pilot customers.”

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Liduina Hammer

Fund Manager UNIIQ
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In The Netherlands, October 2019 will be all about cyber security. As part of the European Cyber Security Month, many conferences, competitions and trainings will take place providing the opportunity to exchange knowledge, ideas and innovations for a more secure future.

The Cyber Security Month will be kicked off in The Hague on the first of October with the 3-day International ONE Conference. It is an international renowned conference in the field of cyber security and it is organised by the Dutch government. Amongst the other events are the Europol-INTERPOL cybercrime conference, the Unleashing Cyber Security Summit, a congress about the Future of Quantum Computing, Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Sensors and Hardwear.io Security Conference & Training as a pre-event.

Collaboration with the City of The Hague

The upcoming edition of the One Conference is extended with an extra day: Thursday 3 October, which is made possible in cooperation with the city of The Hague. In alignment with the ONE Conference, the city aims to stimulate the exchange of cyber security knowledge, ideas and innovations for a more secure future. During the three days, leading speakers from all over the world will share insights and developments in cyber security.
This year’s theme of the ONE Conference is ‘Keeping our Future Secure, Be Innovative, Stay Alert’. A novelty this year is the Innovation Floor. During three days, in close collaboration with the city of The Hague, 15 organisations will demonstrate their cyber security innovations.

Municipality of The Hague challenges Ethical Hackers

On the eve of EU Cyber Security Month, the municipality of The Hague sets the tone by testing its own digital security. In cooperation with the Dutch cyber security company Cybersprint, the city organises the hacking competition ‘Hâck The Hague’. The 2019 edition of this competition takes place in the City Hall on 30 September, when the Atrium of The Hague City Hall will be transformed into ‘The Hague Hackers Dome’. The best national and international ethical hackers – from students to professional hackers – are invited to detect digital vulnerabilities in the digital infrastructure of the municipality and its suppliers.

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Protecting innovations through patents is crucial in bringing new products and services to market. However, maintaining this protection year after year and for various countries is costly. Therefore, deciding which patents are worth keeping is a choice all R&D-oriented companies periodically deal with. Focus, a company based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has come up with a solution for this problem. Focus is developing an algorithm that enables patents in a portfolio to be ranked quickly and automatically, based on their technological importance. To further develop their algorithm and test it extensively with customers, Focus receives an investment of proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ. The investment was announced by Martin Luxemburg, director of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, where the office of Focus is located.

Screening hundreds of thousands of patents manually

R&D activities across the globe lead to the existence of large patent portfolios with various companies. These portfolios consist, depending on the innovative character and scope of the company, of hundreds of thousands of patents. The investments made to maintain such a portfolio run into millions of euros per year.
Each portfolio is continuously subject to change. New patents are added while existing patents are stricken from the portfolio. Maintaining the portfolio as such is the task of a select group of patent- and technology experts. Periodically these people manually go through parts of the portfolio, to identify which patents are important, and which patented technologies can be stricken without damaging the company’s position. With no tools available on the market to rank patents based on their importance, the patent- and technology expert has to screen the entire patent portfolio manually.

Focus’ patent ranking algorithm makes portfolio management much more effective

This manual screening makes the management of a patent portfolio a labour intensive and costly process. Focus is developing an algorithm with which this screening becomes a lot more efficient. This algorithm ranks patents within a portfolio automatically based on their technological importance. In placing the patent in a ranked order, the algorithm takes into account the context and development of the entire patent landscape within the domain concerned. Therefore, the patent expert instantly gains insight in what the most and the least valuable patents are in his portfolio, after which he can look into these particular patents in more detail.

Performing pilots on complete patent portfolios

The founders of Focus, Jard van Ingen and Thijs van de Pol, combine knowledge of the patent industry with a model-based, econometrical outlook to develop a superior and unique ranking algorithm. This algorithm has proven itself within a select number of technical domains during tests with potential customers. Focus will use the UNIIQ investment to further develop the algorithm to enable its use on the worldwide network of patents, and all technical domains.

Jard van Ingen, co-founder Focus: “We are thrilled and honoured that UNIIQ has placed their confidence in our ability to take this venture to the next level. The UNIIQ investment will enable us to scale up our algorithm, execute multiple pilot projects with prospective customers, and design a simple interface for users to interact with our algorithm”.

Liduina Hammer, fund manager UNIIQ: “With the investment in Focus we add the first legal tech company to our portfolio. The algorithm of Focus can support R&D-oriented companies with the labour-intensive and valuable process of portfolio maintenance, hereby contributing to the innovative power of the company”.

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Suzanne Kroeze

Business Analist UNIIQ
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DAB has developed a unique bioreactor technology that increases the productivity of the fermentation process. At the same time, it reduces the operational costs with 50%. Using this technique, products made with fermentation become more affordable and competitive with fossil processes. Application of this technology on a large scale is expected to accelerate the transition to a bio-based economy. DAB licenses its technology to large industrial parties that integrate it into their existing production processes.

Kirsten Steinbusch, CEO of DAB: ‘We recently received an investment of € 2 million, making the move to the Biotech Campus Delft a logical next step. We want to further develop our technology and to accelerate our commercial growth. To scale up our technology, we work closely with the TU Delft and with an established partner on the Biotech Campus, the Bioprocess Pilot Facility (BPF). Thanks to the good facilities available at the Biotech Campus Delft, we now can explore new market applications and further optimize our techniques.’ ‘We are delighted to welcome DAB at the Biotech Campus,’ says Raimo van der Linden, Business Development Manager at Bioprocess Pilot Facility (BPF). ‘It offers great benefits for both DAB and BPF. The BPF has extensive expertise in scaling up production, even on an industrial scale. We are happy to support DAB with our knowledge, infrastructure, permits and the use of our test factory.’

Cindy Gerhardt, Business Development Director of the Biotech Campus Delft, is also pleased to welcome DAB at the campus. ‘DAB is the third innovative Biotech company that settles at the campus, and we are not even officially open! DAB is a wonderful example of the unique strength of Delft in biotechnology; an idea originating from research at the TU in Delft, was incubated as a start-up at YES!Delft, and now moves to our campus to get access to all the facilities needed for upscaling and commercial growth. Together, we can realize the transition to a sustainable bio-based economy!’

Loek Becker Hoff

Senior Account Manager Cleantech
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During an official economic mission from the Netherlands to Boston led by Prime Minister Rutte, representatives from public investment agencies, the biotech industry and other organizations convened to discuss a broad-based partnership to advance ongoing collaboration in life sciences between the Netherlands and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy signed a Memorandum of Understanding laying the basis for a Massachusetts – the Netherlands Transatlantic Life Sciences Partnership.

Massachusetts and the Netherlands kickoff international partnership in life sciences

The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a testimony to the strategic importance of life sciences as well as a mutual recognition of Massachusetts and the Netherlands as two international biotech hubs. Indeed, Massachusetts counts nearly 70,000 people working in life sciences, with Boston-Cambridge alone boasting more than 500 biotech companies, 5 of the top 6 hospitals in the U.S., and 48 colleges. The Netherlands is a younger yet rapidly growing biotechnology hub at the heart of the EU, with more than 420 biopharmaceutical companies, 12 research universities, 85 hospitals, around 200 publicprivate partnerships and is the home to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The Netherlands is also one of the most concentrated life sciences and health clusters worldwide, featuring 2,900 companies within a 200km radius. In addition to the signatories, Health-Holland, MassBio, HollandBIO and the Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee will provide support for accelerating the growth of their life sciences hubs and the global opportunities for their respective domestic research organizations and companies. The partnership entails regular dialogues to promote a mutual understanding of the environment for life sciences in Europe, in the U.S. and worldwide, and facilitate global expansion. Collectively, these organizations will set-up various activities to foster collaboration and partnership across the Atlantic such as exchange of scientific results, pitches of research projects and generally fostering the flow of talent, ideas and people between the two ecosystems.

Focco Vijselaar, Director-General Enterprise and Innovation at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy: “The Netherlands and Massachusetts have successful life sciences communities. By joining forces in this partnership they can both be strengthened.” Mark Sullivan, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment: “By signing this MoU we underline the great opportunities that lie ahead of two formidable life sciences ecosystems, here in Massachusetts as well as in the Netherlands. This international partnership will help create economic development and investment in the sector.”

John Maraganore, co-chair of The Henri A. Termeer Tribute Committee, Board Member of BIO and CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: “This MOU is a great demonstration of the international leadership of Massachusetts in life sciences, as well as the fast-growing development of the Netherlands as an environment that champions a vibrant ecosystem for life sciences and healthcare innovation. As a company headquartered in Cambridge, MA and with strategic and growing European operations in the Netherlands, we are strongly convinced that the collaboration potential between innovators in these two leading life sciences hubs is immense, and patients are waiting for the fruits of our work.”

Hans Schikan, Top Team member of Health-Holland: “Working together is part of the Dutch DNA. By collaborating with the best we can identify innovative solutions that matter.” Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO, MassBio: “Disease has no borders, and neither should the research and development necessary to create new therapies and cures. We’re looking forward to embarking on this international partnership with the Netherlands and sharing the talent, resources, and capabilities of Massachusetts’ innovation ecosystem so we can all more efficiently bring new tomorrows to patients around the globe.”

Annemiek Verkamman, Managing Director at HollandBIO, the Dutch biotech industry association: “This transatlantic partnership provides a solid basis for increased collaboration between both our vibrant life sciences communities. We are looking forward to helping create opportunities for innovation and investments and fostering mutual understanding of our life sciences ecosystems.”

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In the summer of 2019, Zalando will start construction on its first Dutch fulfillment center in an existing business park in Bleiswijk, near Rotterdam. With the further expansion of its logistics network, Zalando is setting the ground for its 2023/24 growth target and the promise to continuously improve its customer proposition. The Bleiswijk fulfillment center will cater to customers in Western Europe, namely the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Zalando was assisted with the site selection by InnovationQuarter and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.

Jan Bartels, SVP Customer Fulfillment says, “A strong logistics network is the foundation for realizing our growth strategy and the vision of becoming the Starting Point for Fashion. By constructing a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Bleiswijk, we are confident that this is an important step forward in building the infrastructure to achieve 20 billion euros in Gross Merchandise Volume by 2023/2024.”

The site will have a floor area of 140,000 square meters and a total storage capacity of 16 million items. The first parcels are set to be delivered from Bleiswijk in the summer of 2021. About 1,500 jobs will be created in the mid-term. The development is being undertaken by a joint venture of Somerset Capital Partners and USAA Realco-Europe. Once the fulfillment center is ramped up to full speed, Zalando aims to reduce delivery lead times in Benelux markets.

Kenneth Melchior, Director Northern Europe adds: “The Benelux markets play an integral role in the growth ambition of Zalando. Over the next five years we aim to more than double revenues in this region, thereby strengthening our position as market leader. The opening of our fulfillment center in Bleiswijk is crucial in enabling this growth. We look forward to enhancing our customer proposition by reducing delivery lead times in the Benelux area and introducing services like next and same-day delivery once Bleiswijk is fully operational.”

Justin Hildebrandt, Managing Director of USAA Realco-Europe says, “We are excited and honoured to realize this fulfillment center for Zalando. The building’s innovative and forward-looking design and scale as one of the largest single occupier logistics developments in the Netherlands was the vision that we have had for this project, and Zalando was the ideal occupier to complete this vision.”

Tim Beckmann, partner Somerset Capital Partners: “We are very pleased that Zalando has chosen us for this great logistics development. This fulfillment center will be unique for its kind. The whole development will be done to the highest standards of sustainability and it will revitalize the business park that previously housed Royal FloraHolland’s flower auction activities. It provides us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities in the area of logistics real estate (re)development.”

Investments and Location Choice

Zalando will invest 200 million euros in the center’s intralogistics. The fulfillment center will have the highest level of automation within Zalando’s network, which currently consists of nine fulfillment centers spread across Europe. The high degree of automation will take physically demanding tasks from employees, while increasing the service level for our customers.

Zalando has chosen Bleiswijk in the municipality of Lansingerland because of its location, the opportunity to invest into an existing business park with a well-developed infrastructure, and good collaboration with local authorities in Lansingerland. The proximity to the A12 highway and being in the heart of the densely populated Randstad region fit Zalando’s ambition to be close to its customers perfectly.

BREEAM certification

For the construction of the fulfillment center, Zalando has the ambition to invest in sustainable solutions and will, for example, install solar panels on the roof of the building. In this context, Zalando strives to achieve the ‘very good’ score of the sustainability certification BREEAM-NL. Operations in the facility will be managed by an independent partner, whose selection will happen through tender.

Loek Becker Hoff

Senior Account Manager Cleantech
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From Shanghai to Rotterdam and back again to deliver the best healthcare to patients! Last week a large delegation led by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, visited Harbour Biomed at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai. Harbour Biomed is a global biotech company developing innovative therapies for cancer and immune-driven diseases. During the visit Harbour BioMed and Erasmus MC signed an MoU to advance next-gen immuno-oncology and immunology drug discovery, and clinical development.

The delegation included representatives from the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Shanghai, Erasmus University Medical Center, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, Rotterdam Partners, InnovationQuarter and several Rotterdam based companies and educational institutions.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam:

“During our week in Shanghai I have witnessed great collaborations between scientists from Rotterdam working together with scientists in Shanghai to develop new methods of testing in the development of cancer treatments. Scientific cooperation goes beyond borders and as the city of Rotterdam we are happy that our Life Sciences & Health ecosystem contributes in this joint mission to provide better healthcare for people around the globe.”

Harbour BioMed and Erasmus MC sign MoU

During the celebration of the 40 years sister city relationship, Harbour BioMed and Erasmus MC signed an MoU to advance next-gen immuno-oncology and immunology drug discovery, and clinical development. Harbour Biomed expects to establish laboratory space in Rotterdam to facilitate scientific collaboration with Erasmus MC investigators across multiple departments.

Harbour BioMed has operations and R&D site in Shanghai and Suzhou, China, business operations and an innovation center including research laboratory in Boston, USA, and an antibody platform innovation center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Apart from their location in Cambridge Innovation Center in Boston, Harbour Antibodies recently opened their office in Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam.

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Sasja Heijman

Account Manager Life Sciences & Health
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By specializing in mathematical optimization solutions and advanced data analytics, ORTEC aims to make the world a better place. The company leverages mathematics and econometrics to improve efficiency and productivity in healthcare. InnovationQuarter is investing €5 million in ORTEC to enable the firm to accelerate its existing healthcare activities. Jeannette Baljeu, member of the Executive Council of the Province of Zuid-Holland, and Charlie Aptroot, mayor of Zoetermeer, announced the investment at the InnovationQuarter Annual Event in the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam.

How mathematics can contribute to solutions in healthcare

Healthcare in the Netherlands is facing major challenges. Costs are rising every year due to increasing demand, many healthcare providers face staff shortages and patients expect quicker treatment. Data-driven healthcare solutions are required to tackle these issues in an integrated manner. Such solutions can improve performance by ensuring a more even patient flow through healthcare institutions and a better workload distribution among health professionals.

ORTEC has developed innovative mathematical optimization and data analytics solutions that go far beyond simple statistical analysis. Menno Brandjes, director of ORTEC Healthcare, says,

“We have been able to make hospitals 15% more productive in the areas where our solutions are applied. This means that 15% more patients are being treated using the same amount of resources. At the same time, employee satisfaction has also increased.”

Intelligent healthcare support using artificial intelligence

Value-based care, personalized care, digitization and prevention through healthy lifestyles have emerged in response to the need to reduce costs and improve quality of care. These trends within healthcare are underpinned by simplifying administrative processes, improving patient interaction with e health (blended care) and determining diagnostics based on access to an ever-growing amount of data. Artificial intelligence (AI) is vital to all of this and is playing an increasingly important role in the healthcare sector.

AI provides valuable support to healthcare professionals in their decision making by allowing them to make more insightful predictions and recommendations. ORTEC’s new healthcare initiatives are fully equipped for this and, for instance, make it possible for organizations to better focus on individual patients and subsequently analyze all relevant data. As a result, patients, healthcare practitioners and everyone involved across the entire healthcare chain receive the best possible advice and treatment.

Accelerated growth of healthcare initiatives

InnovationQuarter’s investment will help accelerate the growth of ORTEC’s new initiatives in the healthcare sector. Brandjes says ORTEC is very happy with the extra capital: “InnovationQuarter’s contribution to ORTEC’s healthcare initiatives is helping us scale up our activities more quickly. We are starting in the Netherlands and will eventually expand worldwide. ORTEC has been the market leader in the field of advanced planning software in the Dutch healthcare sector for many years. This investment will allow us to expand our offering in several areas, including integrated capacity management, support in clinical decision making, advanced data solutions for research and the integration of our communications platform for patients and staff”.

Stimulating innovation in healthcare

“Founded in West Holland and now operating across the globe, ORTEC is an outstanding, innovative company that has successfully grown to over 1,000 employees,” says Francis Quint, head of Capital at InnovationQuarter.

“With this investment, we can contribute to ORTEC’s growth ambitions in healthcare, which is an important theme in society. InnovationQuarter will utilize its network and organization to accelerate ORTEC’s expansion in this area, not only by linking with our shareholders, such as regional academic hospitals, but also by drawing on the commitment of the healthcare experts in our business development team. The investment also allows us to expand our SME portfolio and our role as a lifecycle investor in the region.”

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CybExer, a cybersecurity company from Estonia is expanding its business to the city of peace, justice and security to join the local cybersecurity ecosystem. The Hague was a natural choice for CybExer’s first international office, considering the excellent knowledge base and availability of talent. The establishment was announced in the presence of Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines, Chris van Voorden, Head of Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter and Joris den Bruinen, General Director of The Hague Security Delta (HSD) in London, during a side event of the Infosecurity2019 conference and exhibition  which was organized by the UK’s Department of International Trade and InnovationQuarter.

Human factors of cybersecurity

CybExer strongly believes that cybersecurity is not merely a technology issue, related to servers, routers and software. Humans at every level, starting from strategic decision makers, to technical response teams and finally the users all play a critical role in keeping the cyber environment secure. CybExer has an impressive track-record supporting organizations in generating awareness about the potential consequences of cyberattacks and the importance of proper secure IT systems, as well as day-to-day cyber hygiene at all levels in the organization. CybExer recently provided cybersecurity training to the Ministers of the Defence of all EU countries.

Continuous, on-premises cyber simulations

In response to the need of both commercial and government organizations for thorough and effective cyber resilience training, CybExer has developed a cyber battlefield simulation platform. This ‘CybExer Range Platform’ (CRP) delivers simplified, plug and play capabilities for cyber exercises and simulations in a customized, realistic environment on the clients’ premises. It allows employees to not only learn, but also simulate and challenge their cyber environment as well as develop and test improvements.

Merle Maigre, Executive Vice President for Government Relations at CybExer: ‘The Hague presents several benefits as a new location for our business, such as the vicinity to the major European economies in the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Germany and France. The excellent reputation of The Hague Security Delta cluster and the high state of knowledge and experience of the Dutch government, the good cultural fit between Estonia and the Netherlands and the availability of talent makes us confident that this is the best location to grow our business.’

Chris van Voorden: ‘We are very happy to see that yet another cybersecurity company chooses The Hague as their place of business and it is fantastic to announce this during the Infosec 2019, where in three days the information security industry comes together with more than 400+ international exhibitors of security solutions and 19,500+ industry professionals visiting. Especially since for the first time The Netherlands has a Holland Pavilion with seven Dutch companies exhibiting.’

Are you interested in investment opportunities in the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area?

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On the 18th of April, the Invest in Holland IT Seminar took place at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Istanbul. Turkish, Dutch and International guests were welcomed by the Consul General, the Invest in Holland Network and the Holland Innovation Network. Consul General Mr. Bart van Bolhuis kicked-off by emphasizing the strong economic ties between Turkey and the Netherlands, but also the importance of IT in both countries. Seven interesting speakers followed and enlightened the audience with insights, developments and opportunities in the Dutch field of cyber security and artificial intelligence.

Why The Netherlands

Eric van Pelt, IT Sector Specialist at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, shared his knowledge on the key advantages of the Netherlands and its IT sector. The Netherlands is one of the most connected countries in the world and is renowned as Europe’s Digital Mainport and Gateway. For example, the country is home to the world’s largest Internet Exchange, houses more than 200 large data centers and 96% of Dutch households have broadband connections. The Netherlands has a great track record of IT innovation which is taking place in the many IT ecosystems the country provides. Focal IT areas in The Netherlands are: artificial intelligence, big data, cyber security, data centers and gaming. At the same time Turkey has a fast-growing IT sector which is among the leading sectors of the country and more than 60% of IT export goes to the EU. In other words, IT is of great economic value and fuels business both in Turkey and The Netherlands.

“We cannot imagine life without IT as we have become very dependent on technology. Cyber security is very important to ensure society’s digital transition and to protect the enabling properties of IT. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help us to improve the use of IT and the output we desire.” – Eric van Pelt, IT Sector Specialist at NFIA

IT and Cybersecurity landscape of the Netherlands

André Hendriks, Partner at Verdonck, Klooster & Associates gave the audience a better understanding of the IT industry in the Netherlands and more specifically a breakdown of the Dutch cyber security market. According to VKA’s research the importance of cyber security has increased due to the increasing digitalization in society. To support that statement Mr. Hendriks shared an overview of the number of IT companies, the amount of cyber security companies and their economic added value. In conclusion, cyber security is a sub-sector of IT and grows twice as fast compared to the IT sector as a whole. Cyber attacks are a major cause of damage and trigger serious financial losses to the Dutch nation. Compared to other countries in the EU, but also worldwide, the Netherlands ranks relatively ‘high’ on annual loss due to cybercrime incidents, most likely due to its vast IT infrastructure and central position. Cyber crime will remain a serious challenge for the coming years.

Turkish experience in the Netherlands

Gönenç Seçil Tarakcıoğlu, R&D Manager at Triodor. Triodor Software is an international technology company with a versatile expertise in ICT and robotics. The company introduces unique innovation-driven business models and develops high-technology solutions for different sectors worldwide. Major projects are operating in domains of farming, food, logistics, smart living, call center and gaming. The Triodor story began in 2003, when entrepreneurs of Turkish origin living in the Netherlands realised their dream of establishing a software sourcing company. Nowadays, after a rapid growth, it counts more than 100 employees covering diverse fields and specialisations and has set up partnerships with many companies worldwide. The sales, business consultancy and board-level management are handled at the Headquarters in Amsterdam, whereas research and development operations are conducted in Istanbul. Among various other awards, the Development Center in Istanbul has been awarded to be Turkey’s Best Software R&D Center many years in a row.

Access to Communities & Ecosystems

Brian Gharibaan, Founder of The Hague Tech explained that the Netherlands has a long history of innovation and is home to a multitude of tech clusters. The Hague Tech is one of the prominent IT-Tech communities in The Netherlands providing an environment where entrepreneurs and innovators come together and share ideas openly. The community has grown to 300 members where The Hague Tech facilitates and organizes events on a daily basis. Members come together to solve challenges that large organizations – such as Samsung – are facing. THT’ers also join forces to accelerate technology adoption in society. The team of The Hague Tech is there to support the member’s mission and to build the environment where they thrive with networks, knowledge and inspiration. For newcomers and interested companies there is a dedicated ‘soft landing program’. It is a full-service program offering entrepreneurs a one-stop-shop for business expansion and soft landing related services. It is created for international Tech startups and scale-ups who are interested to get a taste of the Dutch market, who want to validate their product-market fit, have interest in meeting potential customers and partners and want to join an active Tech community in The Hague. The program is free of charge, tailor-made and open for startups and scale-ups in all phases. The Hague Tech has also established great relationships with other tech hubs worldwide, such as in San Francisco and South Africa.

Public Private collaboration

Eveline Vreede works at Delft University of Technology in the capacity of Managing Director Cyber Security Academy and Manager TU Delft Safety & Security Institute. The Netherlands is known for public-private partnerships and Ms. Vreede is a strong advocate of innovation collaboration as well. The Cyber Security Academy (CSA) is a collaboration between Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and The Hague University of Applied Sciences. At CSA scholars, lecturers and experts from private and public sectors translate cyber issues into a varied range of multidisciplinary learning tracks for highly educated professionals. The TU Delft Safety & Security Institute brings together a diversity of research on fundamental technologies, socio-technical complexity, methodology and models for Safety & Security in the public sphere, private sphere, and the movement between those spheres. DSyS functions as a window for Public Private Innovation on the topic of S&S. It creates a platform for cooperation with industry and government and encourages multidisciplinary cooperation. Delft University of Technology also known as TU Delft, is the largest and oldest Dutch public technological university, located in Delft, the Netherlands. It counts as one of the best universities for engineering and technology worldwide, typically seen within the top 20. It is repeatedly considered the best university of technology in the Netherlands

A Turkish customer journey to the Netherlands

Hakan Terzioğlu, VP of Sales & Marketing at Biznet Bilişim was able to share from experience what it took to expand business to the Netherlands. Biznet Bilisim is a leading cyber security services company with a holistic approach to IT, OT and IoT Security. The company offers best of breed products from leading global technology vendors as well as project delivery, technical support, consulting and auditing (incl. PCI-DSS and penetration testing) services to more than its 250 enterprise segment customers including Energy, Finance, and Telco. Biznet Bilisim, a Gartner recognized cyber services company and listed in Deloitte Technology Fast50 Turkey multiple times, has over 90 employees based in Turkey and now also the Netherlands. Biznet decided to open its doors at The Hague Security Delta (HSD). HSD is a well organized Security cluster in The Netherlands and is home to a community of companies, governments and knowledge institutes. Together the cluster works on knowledge development and innovation in security. It has a common goal: a more secure world, more business activity and more jobs. HSD’s primary focus areas are cyber security, forensics, national security, and critical infrastructure. HSD offers access to Talent, knowledge, innovation, capital, contacts and events.

Regional representation from the Netherlands

Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments & Internationalization at InnovationQuarter represented the Dutch partners in economic promotion of the Netherlands. Several regions from the Netherlands were attending: the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area (InnovationQuarter), The Hague (The Hague Business Agency), Rotterdam (Rotterdam Partners) and last but not least Amsterdam (Amsterdam in Business). The regional partners cooperate with the Netherlands Foreign Investment agency under the flag of ‘Invest in Holland’ to promote the Netherlands internationally and attract foreign companies to the regions. As the first port of call, Invest in Holland can offer free and confidential services such as providing up-to-date information; introducing relevant business contacts, government authorities, ecosystems and service suppliers; organizing fact-finding trips and site selection missions; providing personalized guidance and counsel on tax, government and permit procedures, location options and business solutions.

“The Invest in Holland network welcomes Turkish business and innovation to the Netherlands. We are here to guide you” – Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments & Internationalization at InnovationQuarter

Meet InnovationQuarter

InnovationQuarter is the economic development agency for West Holland. InnovationQuarter finances innovative and fast-growing companies, assists international companies in establishing their businesses in West Holland, and facilitates (international) collaboration between innovative entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes and government.

Wat kunnen wij voor u betekenen?

Neem gerust contact met ons op!

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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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In 2018, 115 foreign companies opened an office or expanded their business in West Holland with the assistance of regional acquisition partners. These firms are expected to provide in excess of 2,600 jobs and to invest a total of 278 million euros in the region. Since 2014, The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter have been actively collaborating to place the region in the global spotlight and to attract and support foreign companies. This has paid off: 26% of international companies that set up business in the Netherlands last year chose West Holland.

United States and China strongly represented

Most of the foreign companies that made a new or an expansion investment in West Holland in 2018 came from China (23) and the USA (22). This is in line with the trend of recent years with the majority of firms hailing from these two countries.

Chinese companies that established themselves in West Holland during 2018 include Genscript (biomedical firm with European branch in Leiden), Oppo (smartphones in Rotterdam) and Newtrend Group (biochemicals in The Hague).

Major names from the US that set up in or expanded into West Holland include GE Healthcare (new office in Rotterdam), Microsoft (Quantum Lab in Delft) and Synergy International Systems (Tech for Good in The Hague).

The figures for 2018 also reveal that companies from ‘new’ countries are coming to the region. For example, the strong growth in the number of firms from India and Turkey is striking. Eight companies from each country chose West Holland as their base in the Netherlands.

New sectors: ‘Next’ and ‘Impact’ Economy

Also noteworthy is 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 home due to the region’s strong innovation ecosystem.

No fewer than 34 of the 115 newly established foreign firms in 2018 operate in the high-tech and IT sectors, followed by 14 in life sciences and health, 13 in the energy sector and 11 in agro and food.

We also see many new businesses (12) active in the so-called ‘Impact Economy’; companies that are working on making the world a better, safer and fairer place.

Investor Relations Programme: 298 companies visited

In addition to attracting new companies, The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter also actively support foreign firms already established in the region.

This is part of the national Investor Relations Programme, which is co-funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Region and the Province of South Holland. In 2018, the three acquisition partners visited a total of 298 companies through the programme.

Successful collaboration on acquisition in West Holland

Attracting and retaining foreign investment is of great importance to the Netherlands and the West Holland region, not least in terms of economic growth and job creation. The 115 international companies succesfully assisted in 2018, for example, will by their own estimate create 2,108 new jobs within three years and secure 535 existing jobs. In addition, these firms are jointly investing 278 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. The acquisition partners have been collaborating closely since 2014, both strategically and operationally, and have achieved great success. In 2018, 26% of all foreign companies* that established themselves in the Netherlands 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).