Terug naar overzicht

Extensive national and international measures have been taken in recent days to limit the further spread of the coronavirus. More and more companies are feeling the consequences of the virus and the measures taken. There is an acute drop in demand, there are supply problems and, above all, a lot of uncertainty. What are the short and long term effects for your company?

We would like to inform you about the measures we have taken at InnovationQuarter.

External and internal communication

Everyone’s health comes first. That is why we have not been working from our office since last Friday, March 12.

However, we try to keep in touch with our relations and stakeholders, and with each other as much as possible. We use digital communication, such as tele or video conferencing. Our organization is well prepared and equipped for this.

Events

All our physical events and meetings for the coming period (at least until the end of April) are cancelled or postponed. Where possible, we reorganize events and appointments to take place virtually.

Investing

The three funds IQCapital, ENERGIIQ and UNIIQ invest in innovative startups and scale-ups. Our portfolio companies are often in a phase where there is insufficient financial resources available to withstand major fluctuations that a Covid-19 outbreak may entail. During this period we are in extra close contact with our portfolio companies to answer questions and think about solutions.

Currently, our teams at all three funds are conducting an assessment on our portfolio companies to:

  1. Create awareness and dialogue with our portfolio companies about this outbreak,
  2. Obtain insight into the possible implications for business operations,
  3. Obtain insight into the possible implications for income, and
  4. Obtain insight into which mitigating measures have been taken or should be taken.

The results will be incorporated into a risk matrix for our entire portfolio. An action plan will then be drawn up for each company. In addition, we are in contact with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, fellow Regional Economic Development Agencies in the Netherlands, TechLeap and others to see which suitable additional support measures can be taken for startups and scale-ups.

Internationalisation

International business travel has virtually stalled. We also no longer make international trips. As a result, the number of incoming and outgoing international delegations, missions and so-called fact findings from companies is currently zero. We maintain virtual and digital contact with our foreign relations and companies as much as possible. We are able to help you set up a strategy for your exportmarkets and connect you to our network.

A new English website has recently been launched, which contains a lot of relevant information about our region. We refer our international relations to this website (www.investinrotterdamthehaguearea.org). We are also currently organizing digital fact findings for various foreign companies. Furthermore, we focus our activities mainly on Investor Relations (maintaining contacts with foreign companies already established in our region).

Innovation and collaboration

We are working together on a future-proof economy in the Greater Rotterdam The Hague area by building innovative ecosystems, programs, projects and business cases.

In the light of the current situation, our core task of innovation sees reluctance to enter into new partnerships, pilots and projects. Many events and introductions have understandably been postponed, because entrepreneurs currently have different priorities. We will remain in close contact with our relations and in the coming weeks, we will focus in particular on continuing existing projects and supporting entrepreneurs with specific questions.

Questions

The most up-to-date answers to questions from entrepreneurs can be found at business.gov.nl. But we are also happy to help you. Please contact one of our colleagues directly via the details here. Or send an email to info@innovationquarter.nl.

In the coming period, we will be even more driven than ever to work on stronger, smarter and healthier, greater Rotterdam The Hague area.

As Prime Minister Rutte said, “Together we will overcome this difficult period.”

Kind regards,

Rinke Zonneveld

Rinke Zonneveld

Director InnovationQuarter
Terug naar overzicht

Scottish medtech company WheelAir is opeing a subsidiary office in the Netherlands, near its European partners and customers to expand its operations and support business growth in the EU. Wheelair was assisted in its relocation by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter.

Solving a pressing health issue

The majority of wheelchair users regularly experience overheating and sweating. This not only causes great discomfort but can also result in the formation of pressure sores. More severely, overheating tends to cause muscle spasms, heat-induced seizures, nausea, fatigue and potential heatstroke. Confronted with this realization and on a mission to solve this problem, managing director Corien Staels formed WheelAir in Glasgow in 2016.

Instant relief

The WheelAir system provides cool air at the interface between body and wheelchair, instantly influencing the microclimate where it affects users. studies demonstrate that the WheelAir system can lower body temperature by 8˚C in 30 minutes and – when used preventively – can avoid any heat and moisture build-up altogether. This, in turn, has a huge influence on pressure sore management and prevention. Countries spend an average of 4% of its healthcare budget in treating this issue.

Business growth

The WheelAir temperature regulation system is the first of its kind and is designed for and to fit all wheelchairs. Since its introduction to the market in 2017, WheelAir systems have been sold internationally to not only retailers but some of the largest custom seating manufacturers in the world, such as Ottobock. There are several other large Dutch partnerships in the pipeline, although we can’t share anything on those yet. After four years based in Glasgow, WheelAir opened a new office in the Netherlands in February 2020.

“With sales increasing in Europe we decided that now is the time to branch out.” Said Staels. “The Netherlands is a very innovation-driven country with a much stronger link between universities, hospitals and entrepreneurs. With our planned clinical trials coming up, this environment will make further developments with the healthcare sector a whole lot easier.”

“It is great to see the arrival of Wheelair in Rotterdam, a new innovative, medical technology company with social impact. Wheelair brings unique expertise in the field of wheelchair temperature control which fits perfectly into our strong MedTech cluster in the region” said Chris van Voorden, director Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter

Wilbert Lek, director at Rotterdam Partners: “Rotterdam’s healthcare technology profile, combined with our vibrant entrepreneurial community makes it an ideal place for Wheelair to successfully grow their business and connect with the European market”

Sasja Heijman

Senior Account Manager Life Sciences & Health
Terug naar overzicht
RoboCrops

RoboCrops is the world’s very first event linking robotics and greenhouse horticulture. It will be organised on 23 and 24 April in The Netherlands at World Horti Center and RoboHouse. Growers, technology companies, universities and investors will be challenged to the limit. Goal: developing new horti applications using sensors, robotic arms, autonomous vehicles, AI and data. Harvesting crops is a very delicate and complex task, automating the process is not that easy. Registrations don’t only come from Europe, but also from Japan, Canada and Israel. RoboCrops provides a solution for the worldwide need to find each other and to achieve breakthroughs together.

RoboCrops

Harvesting technology to feed the world

Even before the program is final, Lely, Panasonic, Rijk Zwaan and renowned professors confirmed their arrival. The fact that they and companies such as KINOVA and Ecoation are willing to travel from Canada to the Netherlands proves that the subject is considered to be important and urgent. The growing world population, climate change and a growing demand for safe and healthy food are global issues. It is clear that there are opportunities here for robotics.

That the very first crossover between robotics and horticulture is taking place in West-Holland is not surprising. Greenport West-Holland is the world’s most innovative region in the field of greenhouse horticulture. Because of the variety of industries in the region, there is a strong hightech community, also stimulated by several universities and knowledge institutions. Only by working together will it be possible to develop and scale up practical solutions.

RoboCrops

You want to join RoboCrops?

More information is available on the website. You can register here.

Autonomous harvesting: to pick or not to pick?

In order for a robot to autonomously harvest crops, it must combine sense (where is the tomato?), think (to pick or not to pick?), and act (pick and place in a container). Although good progress has been made in the development of harvesting robots in general, they are still not widely used in our greenhouses. Delicate crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and strawberries, are particularly problematic. By bringing together international growers and technology companies and challenging students to develop solutions, RoboCrops hopes to set a global acceleration in motion.

RoboCrops

Programme

23 April: robotic developments and hackathon

On 23 April growers and other attendees will be informed about the latest developments in robotics for greenhouse horticulture. The chairman of the day will be Peter Jens, Director Strategic Alliances at Koppert. He deals with agricultural, food and nutrition issues all over the world and promotes cooperation between farmers, cooperatives and research institutes. Keynotes include André van Troost, CEO at Lely, the internationally operating number one manufacturer of robots and data systems for dairy farming. Josse de Baerdemaeker is also on stage. He is Professor of Mechatronics, Biostatistics and Sensors at KU Leuven and is recognised worldwide as the founder of the basic principles in precision agriculture.

In addition to the day programme in World Horti Center, students from Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University will start that day on a hackathon in the RoboHouse fieldlab in Delft. This hackathon can be followed in the evening via livestream during the network dinner in World Horti Center.

24 April: technical challenges and hackathon

On April 24, technology companies, universities and other interested parties can explore the technical possibilities and challenges for robotics in horticulture in World Horti Center together. Chairman of the day is Jim Stolze, who started Aigency, a company that provides solutions in the field of artificial intelligence. Vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan will be on the programme that day and Jaimy Siebel, Managing Director at RoboValley and RoboHouse, will also provide a keynote. At the end of the day the students, who’ll pull an all-nighter for their challenge in fieldlab RoboHouse, pitch their hacks in the World Horti Center. On both days there will of be plenty of opportunities for matchmaking.

Locaties RoboCrops

Would you like to participate in this unique event as well?

The organization of the event is currently still in full swing. You can find more information on the RoboCrops website. If you want to join us, you can register here. There is still a limited number of places available for participants, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers. In the upcoming weeks a series of vlogs about robotics in greenhouse horticulture can be followed on this YouTube channel.

More information

Feel free to contact us.

Colinda de Beer

Business Developer Horticulture
Terug naar overzicht

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

 

Booz Allen Hamilton

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

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

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

Support from Dutch partners

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

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

Terug naar overzicht

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here you can read the full interview (dutch).

New geopolitical reality and changing geo-economic landscape

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

Scaling up international marketing, promotion and appropriate services

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

Chris van Voorden, head of foreign investments at InnovationQuarter:

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

Results vital to both regional and national economies

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

Successful national and regional cooperation

Strong national and regional collaboration is part of the reason for the success of these 56 investment projects. At the national level, InnovationQuarter works closely with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) – an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy – and is a partner of the Invest in Holland network.

At the regional level, InnovationQuarter has worked with Rotterdam Partners and The Hague Business Agency on both strategic and operational levels since 2014.

Want to know more?

Please contact us.

Chris van Voorden

Director Foreign Investments
Terug naar overzicht

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

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

More companies are looking into a Brexit-related transfer

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

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

Keeping access to the European Market from the Netherlands

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

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

Chris van Voorden

Director Foreign Investments
Terug naar overzicht

The Ambassador of Canada to the Netherlands her Excellency Ms. Helfand together with Barry O’Rourke and Paul Mitten opened the office officially with a ribbon cutting.

Compusult, a world-leading Canadian geospatial software firm has opened its European Headquarters in The Hague and therewith become a registered member of the European Union. The festive opening event took place on Friday the 17th of January 2020.

Compusult

Compusult was founded in 1985, and from its humble beginnings, co-founders Barry O’Rourke and Paul Mitten have grown the company to 100 employees. When they were selected to develop the Core GIS Increment 3 for the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), Compusult decided to open a European office, with headquarters remaining in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“For years, we have been involved in business outside of Canada and have spent much time in Europe. Opening this new office was a natural progression”, says Mr. Mitten, Compusult’s vice president.

Assistance by local network

When the Canadian Embassy in the Netherlands got involved in the expansion plans of Compusult they called in the support of their partner for market expansion services in the Netherlands, InnovationQuarter. As partners in a Softlanding Program the regional economic development agency for the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area was enthusiastic to help. InnovationQuarter, together with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and Steenworp assisted with guidance on how to set up a company in the Netherlands and finding the right premises for Compusult.

NCI Agency

The main reason the company choose for the Netherlands and more precisely The Hague, is the prominent presence of the NCI Agency here. Mr. O’Rourke, Compusult’s president, is involved in project management and software design with the agency. Compusult’s permanent Europe office will allow for even more effective client support. “This strategic decision will allow us to better serve NATO, and have a base for even more business operations in Europe and around the world.”

Compusult’s flagship product is Web Enterprise Suite (WES) – a comprehensive software solution to help organizations manage, organize and access data, so they can make more well-informed decisions. WES and its companion products use industry standards to keep geospatial information safe, current, and organized. Compusult has established a strong reputation by providing products and services in the defence, aerospace and environmental sectors.

In addition to its office in The Hague, Compusult has four offices and subsidiary offices across North America, and employs 100 information technology professionals.

Martijn van Hoogenhuijze

Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity
Terug naar overzicht

©Erik Borst

The official launch of Invest-NL takes place today in Amsterdam in the presence of Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra and Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Eric Wiebes. As a private company led by Wouter Bos, Invest-NL will provide financing to companies that will make the Netherlands more sustainable and more innovative. With a share capital of 1.7 billion euros, Invest-NL’s focus at launch is on the energy transition and on innovative, fast-growing companies (scale-ups).

In the context of the energy transition, Invest-NL is focusing particularly on electrification and energy, circularity, agrifood and the built environment. When it comes to innovative scale-ups, the focus will primarily be on industrial technologies. Invest-NL intends to expand the market and provide financial backing for what once seemed unbackable. Alongside a willingness to take significant risks, Invest-NL is also prepared to invest large amounts with long maturities. Impact is paramount for Invest-NL: without impact there can be no financing.

More risk capital available

Market parties in the Netherlands have difficulty financing major societal transitions. They face challenges to handle the high degree of uncertainty in terms of policy and technology, the multiplicity of stakeholders and the fragmentation of initiatives with relatively high learning and transaction costs. Moreover, various studies have shown that, relatively speaking, there is less risk capital available for young high-growth companies in the Netherlands compared to countries such as Germany, the UK or the US.

Finally, Dutch companies have thus far been less successful at obtaining funding from European investment funds and facilities compared to competitors in other countries, where the requisite venture capital is made available to companies by specific national funds and/or banks. The launch of Invest-NL means that the Netherlands now also has its own, comparable fund.

In line with parliamentary decisions and based on research, Invest-NL has decided to prioritise the financing of scale-ups and the energy transition. Entrepreneurs and financiers can visit the Invest-NL website (invest-nl.nl), where they can answer five questions to discover if their business plan may be eligible for financing by Invest-NL.

Far-reaching ambitions

Wouter Bos, CEO of Invest-NL: “We have far-reaching ambitions at Invest-NL: our aim is to quadruple the amount of risk capital available for the energy transition within five years.We want to ensure that young, innovative companies here can scale up as successfully as they do in Germany and the UK, which means the Netherlands needs to become twice as effective in this regard as it is today.

Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy: “With Invest-NL we show that the great changes around energy and climate can go hand in hand with making a profit. Invest-NL’s financing and development power gets companies going and contributes to employment and economic growth in the Netherlands.”

Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Finance: ”I am very proud of what we are achieving here. It is not common for a government to set up a state participation. And its objective is important: Invest-NL’s activities strenghten our innovative economy and contribute to the transition towards a sustanaible society.”

Rinke Zonneveld

Director InnovationQuarter
Terug naar overzicht

On Monday 13 January 2020 Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb will open the new Head Office of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) in the CIC Rotterdam (Cambridge Innovation Center in the ‘Groothandelsgebouw’, next to Rotterdam Central Station). As of this year, Rotterdam will be the location for the world’s largest international network of waste professionals (formerly housed in Vienna). Simultaneously, registration for ISWA’s World Congress will officially be opened, ISWA2020 will be held from 28-30 September 2020 in Rotterdam’s stunning World Trade Centre.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb: “The arrival of ISWA in Rotterdam underlines that the city is a hotspot for innovative and sustainable organizations. Rotterdam has high ambitions and we are very pleased that, working together with ISWA, we are going to achieve those ambitions.”

Circular and Low Carbon Initiative

In January, ISWA, NVRD and Rotterdam will start a joint project, the Circular and Low Carbon Initiative. In this joint project, the current state of the circular economy in Rotterdam is qualitatively examined and mapped. Ranging from small corner shops to the headquarters of multinational corporates in Rotterdam and the port, the first interim results will be presented during the ISWA World Congress.

ISWA & The Circular Economy

Antonis Mavroupoulis (ISWA President): “This is an exciting time for ISWA as we enter our 50th year with new management, new employees and a new home. The City of Rotterdam shares our global vision with a focus on international cooperation to achieve a circular economy. We are proud to “Make It Happen!” As far as I’m concerned, there is no better place to accommodate the ISWA General Secretariat”.

Start ticket sales ISWA2020

Ticket sales for the ISWA2020 congress will be opened on 13th January. The ISWA World Congress is the most prestigious international congress for the waste sector and is organised by the City of Rotterdam and the NVRD. This year’s main themes of the congress are:

  • waste processing and recycling,
  • waste in waters and oceans,
  • circular and low carbon economy,
  • innovation in cities and construction and demolition waste.

These themes are in line with Rotterdam’s ambition to be at the forefront of the circular economy. From 13th January, ISWA2020 is open for proposals to organize a workshop, session or presentation during the congress. Proposals will be evaluated by a special committee. We welcome everyone that wants to make an interesting contribution to the congress and the ISWA2020 themes.

More information, ticket sales and submitting proposal: www.iswa2020.org

Loek Becker Hoff

Senior Account Manager Energy & Circular
Terug naar overzicht

Among other things, the partnership is intended to yield new discoveries and smart solutions to issues in healthcare. To this end, the three institutions’ plans include the construction of a new HealthTech Campus next to the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.

Interim Chair of the Executive Board Hans Smits expects the partnership to yield ‘ground-breaking solutions’ and promote ‘the social embedding and acceptance of new technological and medical developments’. Among other things, the three institutions intend to set up a HealthTech Campus at a location adjacent to the Erasmus MC.

The new collaboration comprises three initiatives: Sustainable Rotterdam Delta, the HealthTech Campus and 30 laboratories in the region that will concentrate on research into artificial intelligence. The three institutions have drawn up a total budget of half a billion euros for the next ten years. They hope that the private sector and the government will be interested in investing in the partnership.

Social challenges

The two universities and the hospital want to jointly take on major social challenges in the areas of health, sustainability, urbanisation and digitalisation. Researchers working in the fields of medicine, health sciences, technical sciences and the social sciences will be collaborating in this context.

“Over the past forty years, new developments in healthcare primarily originated in biology, genetics and pharmacology,” says Ernst Kuipers, Chair of the Executive Board of the Erasmus MC, in NRC Handelsblad. “Today’s knowledge and expertise are also encountered in mathematics, artificial intelligence, robotics, optics (optical and lens technology) and domotics (home automation). We can provide the medical-substantive knowledge, Erasmus University offers economic and social-scientific insights and Delft is a premier source of technological expertise.” At the planned HealthTech Campus, researchers will be working together to make healthcare more effective and improve people’s quality of life. It will take some time before this campus opens its doors, however, since the old Dijkzigt hospital building needs to be torn down before the site can be prepared for construction.

Within the Sustainable Rotterdam Delta initiative, the partners will be studying issues in Rotterdam and the surrounding region. The various studies will centre on social problems in today’s metropolitan areas. Researchers will be focussing on matters like the energy transition, traffic and transport, equal opportunity and employment.

Artificial intelligence

The universities in Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam can already look back on seven years of collaboration. While Leiden won’t be joining the HealthTech Campus, it will contribute in the field of artificial intelligence. In the future, the three universities will all be including knowledge about data science and artificial intelligence in all their students’ curricula.

“At both our Economics faculty and RSM, you can already find a wealth of knowledge relating to data science and artificial intelligence,” notes EUR’s Rector Magnificus Rutger Engels. “But beyond these faculties, we also see a strong research focus on the real-life impact of new technologies. From interactions between humans and machines to deep fakes, and from data-driven improvements in care to the avoidance of biased appraisals in HRM and selection.”

The future

The business plans for the three initiatives will be fleshed out in the months ahead. Academic staff are already allowed to submit research and education proposals to the three institutions involved. In addition, the universities have already started to recruit 34 post-doc researchers. The partners are still working on their application to Rijksinvesteringsfonds. This national organisation awards funding to projects that are intended to strengthen the Dutch economy.

Sasja Heijman

Senior Account Manager Life Sciences & Health
Terug naar overzicht

ATV and InnovationQuarter’s investment in IMSystems will help further accelerate the development of their revolutionary technology in robotics. IMSystems’ Archimedes Drive takes a leap forward in transmission systems. In contrast to conventional gears, which rely on cogs with fragile teeth to produce torque, IMSystems came up with a design that harnesses traction.

ABB will be joining this round, through its venture capital unit, ATV, to provide funding and expertise to the growing company. The regional economic development agency for Zuid-Holland, InnovationQuarter, will continue their contribution in IMSystems following its initial seed investment in 2018.

“I am delighted to have next to InnovationQuarter ATV on board. The investment will allow IMSystems to grow and move to the next stage of development,” says Jack Schorsch, CEO and founder of IMSystems.

“The previous investment round has shown that we were able to increase the lifetime of the drive from just a few minutes to a few weeks. With this round we will be able to go from weeks to years, and prepare the Archimedes Drive for commercial use to enable lighter, more agile, and more accurate robots.”

First breakthrough in transmission systems in 60 years

It was in 2016 when PhD student, Jack Schorsch, grew frustrated with the inadequacy of off-the-shelf transmission systems available for the robot he was designing at Delft University of Technology. Which led him to his idea for a stronger, lighter, more accurate alternative: the Archimedes Drive, a design that harnessed traction. This innovation meant the first breakthrough in transmission systems since sixty years.

Old transmission systems are why humans still manufacture your smartphone

IMSystems’ patented Archimedes Drive marks a leap forward in robot transmission systems. Automated production lines are becoming more commonplace in most manufacturers, but the broader deployment of industrial robots is hampered by existing mechanical components, namely the transmissions.

The gears that enable robotic arms to swing, pick, lift, and place are bulky, heavy, and the cause of backlash. (This is an undesirable staccato jolt caused by the small clearance between the teeth in conventional gears.) These limitations in accuracy have an impact on safety, which means that industrial robots are usually consigned to cages. It’s also one of the reasons why it’s a human rather than a robot that manufactures your smartphone, and also why surgical robots are the exception rather than the rule. The Archimedes Drive therefore paves the way for operations without a surgeon present and for co-operation between humans and robots, so-called ‘cobots’.

IMSystems’ Archimedes Drive is a product of the Dutch province Zuid-Holland’s entrepreneur-centric network that fosters innovation. The Drive was invented at Delft University of Technology, commercialized at startup incubator YES!Delft, and is now being developed for the international robotics market at RoboValley,” says Rinke Zonneveld, Director of InnovationQuarter. “We are proud to be working with Jack and his team in realizing their goal of smaller, lighter, and more accurate industrial robotics.”

Hannes Sibbel

Investment Manager
Terug naar overzicht
CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe)

On the 9th of December 2019 The Hague hosted the launch of the headquarters for the world’s largest AI research network CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe). CLAIRE was established in response to the pressing need for excellence in AI research and innovation that ensures that Europe remains competitive in AI and its applications. With CLAIRE, European partners are raising the bar significantly in terms of investment in talent, research, technology and innovation in AI.

CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe)

“CLAIRE is the world’s largest network of AI research laboratories, and we are very happy and proud to have our headquarters in The Hague. Considering The Hague’s reputation as the city of Peace and Justice, The Hague, and the Netherlands in general, are an ideal home base for CLAIRE, which will shape the way AI is used in Europe. The Netherlands is a hotbed for AI research and innovation in Europe, and home to a large number of internationally leading experts in AI.”, says Dr. Holger Hoos, Professor of Machine learning at Leiden University and the co-initiator of CLAIRE.

The CLAIRE headquarters in The Hague will support CLAIRE activities in Europe, coordinating the work of existing CLAIRE offices in Prague (CZ), Saarbrücken (DE), Rome (IT) and Oslo (NO), as well as offices soon to be opened in Brussels (BE), Zürich (CH), Paris (FR) and Cork (IE). The CLAIRE office in The Hague will also place special focus on AI in the public sector, AI computing and data infrastructure, and the development of a focus on AI for social good.

CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe)

CLAIRE & InnovationQuarter

With the establishment of CLAIRE, the greater Rotterdam – The Hague area is strengthening its position as a “real life testing ground” for AI. This region has a unique position because excellent academic knowledge is concentrated here with promising areas of application for AI. Consider, for example, contributing to the energy transition in the port area, solving global food problems with horticulture and working on life sciences & health technology of the future. InnovationQuarter will be involved in Claire as a partner for developing use-cases in collaborative projects with businesses and knowledge institutes.

InnovationQuarter is currently working on an economic exploration of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Zuid-Holland, which will be completed early next year. For this we are in full discussion with companies and knowledge partners in the region. Ultimately, we aim to identify opportunities for collaboration on the implementation of AI in practice, and what knowledge and expertise (public and private) we already have in-house for this. When we start working on this next year, CLAIRE can play an important role.

Find additional information about this initiative at CLAIRE.

Would you like more information regarding the AI ecosystem in our region?

Get in touch!

Stef Prinsen

Account Manager Digital Technology
Terug naar overzicht

Over 80% of all space activities in the Netherlands take place in the province of Zuid-Holland. For this reason, InnovationQuarter presented the Noordwijk-Leiden-Delft-The Hague region as Space Cluster Holland during the Space Tech Expo in Bremen from 19 to 21 November 2019.

A number of distinct space activities from the region were highlighted in the booth: Space Campus Noordwijk was presented by the new director Esther Peters, Rahul Shirke explained the extremely heat-resistant composite material of Delft-based start-up ARCEON, and the Delft university student team of ‘VSV Leonardo da Vinci‘ promoted their Cubesat project, intended for educational purposes.

The regions of Bremen and Zuid-Holland launched a Joint Action Agenda which strengthens cooperation between the space ecosystems in both areas. It defines common challenges and themes on which the regions shall focus in the coming years. Subsequently, during round table discussions between German and Dutch companies and institutes, topics of mutual interest like lightweight materials & structures  and the use of VR/AR in space engineering, were discussed.

Representatives from the Province of Zuid-Holland, Space Campus Noordwijk, ATG Europe, ARCEON and InnovationQuarter at the Space Cluster Holland booth

The presence of many regional exhibitors, such as Airbus, Airborne, ISISpace, Celestia STS, Hyperion, MetaSensing, TNO and the student rocket team DARE (Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering) shows that the space cluster in Zuid-Holland plays a prominent role in the international space industry. Many of them were also speakers during various workshops, including other representatives from the region like GTM, SkyGeo and Dawn Aerospace.

At the Space Cluster Holland booth visitors were welcomed to take a photo of themselves on the moon. In front of a green screen and by using the self-service camera of Rotterdam-based start-up BLNDR, over 500 visitors flew to the moon to take their picture. Some of them even managed to plant the Dutch flag!

Bert Klarus (Business Development) en Niels Krol (Foreign Investments) van InnovationQuarter

Due to this year’s great success, the exhibition organization has decided to organize Space Tech Expo in Bremen annually, instead of every two years. In addition, a NL Space pavilion will be organized in 2020, in which the Dutch, and mostly Zuid-Holland-based, space industry can promote themselves jointly to the international space community. Brochure 10 Reasons Space.

Interested in collaborating with or joining the space cluster in our region?

Get in touch to discuss opportunities in the greater Rotterdam - The Hague region.

Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace
Terug naar overzicht
RoboCrops

RoboCrops is a key event that seeks to accelerate the development of robotics in greenhouse horticulture with hackathons, presentations and matchmaking. The global leaders in the field of robotics in this sector will be gathering in the Netherlands on 23 and 24 April for the first edition.

RoboCrops

The annual event brings high-tech companies and universities together with growers and investors in the Westland and Delft. Professionals and students will be challenged to the limit in the extensive programme packed with hackathons, informative sessions and matchmaking which are taking place simultaneously at World Horti Center Naaldwijk and RoboHouse/TU Delft.

RoboCrops

Acceleratng robotics

The aim of RoboCrops is to speed up the development of robotics in greenhouse horticulture. RoboCrops therefore focuses on both the hardware – sensors, robot arms, grippers, autonomous vehicles – and the decision-supporting software required to control the robots. Robots or robot components can be classified into three areas during RoboCrops. These are “Sense” (sensors with which the robot observes the environment), “Think” (processing the data from sensors, often using Artificial Intelligence/Augmented Reality) and “Act” (performing an action, such as cutting leaves or picking vegetables or cut flowers).

Growers, tech companies and students

Growers can attend a programme at World Horti Center on 23 April which will provide them with an extensive and in-depth presentation of the latest developments in robotics for greenhouse horticulture. Tech companies and universities will be able to demonstrate what the technical possibilities and challenges are on 24 April.

On both days students will be working in RoboHouse in Delft during a major hackathon organised by TU Delft and WUR. During that hackathon they will apply their expertise to various challenges, and thereby help accelerate developments in the field of robotics. On 24 April they will be pitching their hacks to a professional jury at World Horti Center. The programme also provides opportunities for matchmaking between various parties.

Initiative

RoboCrops is an initiative by InnovationQuarter, Province of Zuid-Holland, World Horti Center, TU Delft, Greenport West-Holland and RoboHouse Delft.
For more information please contact info@robocrops.tech.

Do you have any questions?

Feel free to contact us.

Colinda de Beer

Business Developer Horticulture
Terug naar overzicht
Presentatie Rotterdams Klimaatakkoord

Rotterdam delivers own climate agreement following the COP21 Paris agreement objectives. Within 10 years, Rotterdam will reduce the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases with 50 percent. This will be the result from the measures in the Rotterdam Climate Agreement that the municipality has concluded with more than 100 companies and social organizations. The agreement that is being presented today contains nearly 50 measures that will make Rotterdam’s port and economy more sustainable.

Presentatie Rotterdams Klimaatakkoord

Rotterdam is currently contributing more than average on greenhouse gas emissions. More than 20% of the national CO2 emissions of the Netherlands come from Rotterdam, especially from the port area. In addition, Rotterdam is situated in one of the lowest-lying river deltas of the world and is therefore very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Research, conducted yearly by the municipality, shows that three out of four citizens in Rotterdam are worried about the effects of climate change.

That is why the city took the initiative to make a climate agreement together with over 100 private companies and social organizations.

For six months, and under the leadership of independent chairs, these private companies and organizations took part in five climate round tables divided in the following themes: Port & Industry, Built Environment, Mobility, Clean Energy and Consumption.

The outcome of these gatherings is 49 so-called ‘climate deals’ that will boost the reduction of greenhouse gases and will stimulate a CO2-free economy. The agreement contains plans for large-scale solutions such as windmill areas off shore, the construction of a hydrogen network to make industry in the port greener and the insulation of Rotterdam social homes, but also small-scale solutions such as car-sharing and cycling class for children.

Companies such as petrochemical companies, energy infra providers, private banks but also social housing-corporations, the Erasmus University and innovative mobility start-ups, were part of the process that led to this agreement. The participants of the Rotterdam Climate Agreement want to use the transition of the Rotterdam economy not only to reduce CO2 emissions, but also to create new opportunities.

Arno Bonte (Alderman Sustainability/vice Mayor);

“The Rotterdam climate agreement marks a turning point for the port city. Our ambition is to become the most sustainability port city in the world within ten years with a clean and circular economy.”

 Alice Krekt (Director of Deltalinqs Climate Program and Chair of round table Port and  Industry): “We have a roadmap in place and agreed upon supporting climate measures that pave the way to a carbon neutral port and industry area, whilst protecting the economic value for Rotterdam and the country. Our agenda shows that private and public partners need to work closely together to make progress. I am very pleased with the constructive discussion that have led to this result. Now is the time to act.”

InnovationQuarter was closely involved with the Port and Industry climate table. Hanna Lucas, Senior Business Developer Energy at InnovationQuarter:

“Together with the other partners, we worked on a concrete plan for the development of a sustainable industry in the port of Rotterdam. The port and industrial plan makes it possible to coordinate efforts in order to speed up important projects and strengthen the innovation ecosystem.”

Want to know more?

Please contact us.