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ZeroAvia (Hollister, California, USA) is expanding its mission to develop carbon-free hydrogen-powered aircraft to Technology Park Ypenburg (TPY) in The Hague, in The Netherlands.

British/American ZeroAvia was founded in 2017 and is developing hydrogen-fueled powertrain technology to compete with conventional engines in propeller aircraft, with an aim of zero-emission and lower noise. TPY in The Hague was chosen as their first base within the EU, due to the presence of high-tech manufacturing companies at the park and the proximity of knowledge and talent in the vicinity, especially in Delft.

Vice-President Europe Sergey Kiselev explains that the business mindset of Dutch stakeholders in sustainable aviation was one of the main reasons for expanding their activities to the Netherlands: “we were impressed by the willingness and preparedness of Dutch knowledge institutions and the potential supplier network to work with us to achieve our ambitious and revolutionary goals. It’s that same can-do spirit that underpins our own start-up mentality and seems to fit perfectly.”

Developing 19-Seat Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

Kiselev heads ZeroAvia’s European headquarters in Cranfield, UK. So far the company has secured nearly $ 74 million of funding since its inception, mostly from the US and UK. Last December the UK government granted £ 12.3 million ($ 16.3 million) to deliver a 19-seat hydrogen-powered aircraft that will be ready for market in 2023. Kiselev: “Our Dutch expansion will focus on finding cooperation and partnerships in the Netherlands and throughout continental Europe to further develop our solutions.”

ZeroAvia is currently looking for a Business Development Manager Europe to work from the office at TPY in The Hague.

High-Tech Manufacturing at Technology Park Ypenburg (TPY)

“TPY is delighted that such a progressive and industry-changing company such as Zeroavia has recognised the benefit of connecting with the 100+ years established aviation cluster in the Netherlands and has chosen Technology Park Ypenburg (TPY) as the ideal location to base and grow their mainland European business and talent base” commented Meine Oosten, Chairman of the Foundation managing TPY.

Sustainable Aviation in Zuid-Holland

InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency, works with the regional aerospace cluster to make aviation more sustainable in Zuid-Holland. The focus is on developing new, lighter materials and structures and improving aerodynamic performance at Delft University of Technology. Manufacturing on an industrial scale is carried out at companies such as GKN-Fokker and at TPY The Hague by companies such as Airborne, KVE (Daher) and GTM.

Emphasis is also on the use of new energy carriers: in Rotterdam, work is being done on the realization of a pilot plant for making synthetic kerosene and there are initiatives to electrify general aviation. The Dutch aviation supply chain, together with high-tech manufacturing companies in The Hague (TPY) and the city of Rotterdam are working on the development of a hydrogen propulsion system for a 50-seat regional turboprop aircraft and the implementation of all necessary infrastructure at TPY The Hague and Rotterdam The Hague Airport. InnovationQuarter has assisted ZeroAvia in setting up operations in the Netherlands and will continue to support them in their ambition to develop zero-emission aviation.

Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace

 

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The Hague, 31-05-2021 – Legend Logistics Group, which has its headquarters in Singapore and one of the largest tank container operators in Asia, recently established in Europe, with the opening of a branch office in Papendrecht, the Netherlands.

Legend has been growing steadily since its start in 2012, and has recently expanded its footprints to Europe. With this growth, Legend Logistics Group is strengthening its position as an integrated specialised logistics provider.

Strategic location at European logistics hotspot

Legend Netherlands provides comprehensive logistics solutions for bulk liquid products tailored to its customers’ requirements and specifications. Legend chose the Netherlands for its first European office because it is an important logistics hotspot in Europe, and has the highest concentration of logistics service providers. The new office is the 11th establishment of the Legend Logistics Group.

Legend Netherlands’ suite of services includes bulk liquid logistics and tank container specialised services such as washing, storing, heating and handling of tank containers as well as shipment of bulk liquids, door to door. It provides these services both for intermodal and deep-sea routes.

The European branch is managed by Ruben Hofland, who has been in the industry for over 10 years and previously managed a local office of one of the top global tank container lessors with overall responsibility for the management and oversight of the business in North and South America.

Chris van Voorden, Director of Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter: InnovationQarter as well as Rotterdam Partners and Deal Drecht Cities are glad that Legend Logistics has chosen The Rotterdam – The Hague area their next step in their expansion. With its strong industrial logistic cluster, I am sure Legend Logistics will thrive in Europe. We welcome the opportunity to support the company in their efforts to anchor their business here.”

Lowri van der Linden, director Southeast Asia at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, welcomes Legend Logistics Group to the heart of Europe: “I am delighted that Legend Logistics has chosen to set up its operations in the Netherlands. In these challenging times, the Netherlands is still the ideal place to get started on the European market. Our well-known infrastructure both physical and digital connects you to any place in Europe. All combined in a location that is also a great place to work and live.”

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To accelerate the development of promising innovations in unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors, Unmanned Valley – the field lab for sensor-based technologies located at the former Valkenburg naval air base, 16 kilometers north of The Hague in the Netherlands – is launching a subsidy scheme. Startups and scale-ups can apply for a subsidy of up to 25,000 euros.

Gebouw 356 op de locatie Valkenburg met beheerders en huurders. De personen op de foto zijn gevraagd mee te werken voor het RVB en hebben goedkeuring gegeven.

A total of 300,000 euros is available for several innovation projects. One of the conditions for awarding the grant is that the applicant himself co-finances 25% of the project. The subsidy scheme has been made possible by the Dutch municipality of Katwijk and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It’s impossible to imagine many sectors today without drones and other sensor-based applications. The industry is developing at lightning speed and the potential for the Netherlands is enormous. In order to take full advantage of this, it is essential to speed up.

Accelerate innovations to make an impact

“Innovative ideas from young companies must become successful more quickly, be relevant and applicable, and thus create value,” says Theo de Vries, program manager at Unmanned Valley. “With this scheme, we want to make more use of the innovative power of start-ups and scale-ups and accelerate sensor-based innovation, thereby making the business climate at Unmanned Valley even more attractive and creating new high-tech employment in the region.”

“Companies must demonstrate that the development they envisage is feasible and practicable and which concrete results can be expected. This means that the assessment of the project plan weighs heavily. If the application fits within the set conditions for innovative strength, job creation and strengthening the business climate, this scheme will ease the financing needs of start-ups and scale-ups and create room for them to innovate and grow.”

Other incentive schemes

Together with other initiatives, the subsidy scheme contributes to strengthening and renewing the Dutch economy in general, the aerospace industry, and the drone and sensor-based sector in particular.

Recently, partner organizations InnovationQuarter and Do IoT Fieldlab also announced two new voucher schemes that stimulate the collaboration between young tech companies and end-users, and are also relevant for companies active in the field of unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors; the voucher scheme of the AgriTech innovation program and the Do IoT voucher scheme. Unmanned Valley plays a role in both voucher schemes.

Unmanned Valley and 2021

Unmanned Valley is an initiative of Delft University of Technology and the municipality of Katwijk – made possible by the Dutch central and regional government as well as the EU’s Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

In 2020 the first companies – all active in the field of aerospace, drones and sensors – moved to Unmanned Valley. For 2021 the priorities will be the further development of the housing and test facilities as well as strengthening the link between the business community, educational and knowledge institutions and governments. In time, Unmanned Valley must develop into a breeding ground for high-tech industry.

For more information about the new subsidy scheme, visit our “Sneller innoveren met subsidie” web page (in Dutch).

Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace
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It was in 2019 that The Netherlands began writing a proposition and today Neste’s made the Final Investment Decision: Rotterdam will be the location in Europe where Neste is producing Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). The company invests € 190 million in order to modify its existing Rotterdam refinery for the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The investment not only means a boost for the economy and employment, but also puts the biobased ecosystem in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area firmly on the map. Neste wants the Netherlands to become the Renewable Aviation Headquarter that will drive commercial business activities for sustainable biokerosene worldwide. By 2023, the Rotterdam refinery is expected to supply 500,000 tons/year of sustainable biokerosene.

NExBTL plant Neste Oil, Maasvlakte, Netherlands in commission for Technip

Currently, the Rotterdam refinery produces renewable diesel. Neste expects the expansion to be completed by 2023. By then, the site should be supplying 500,000 tons of SAF per year. The expansion increases Neste’s footprint in the Netherlands and marks the joint ambitions of the Port of Rotterdam, the Dutch government and Neste to become more sustainable. InnovationQuarter was involved in drafting the Dutch proposition.

Netherlands to be Neste’s Renewable Aviation Headquarter

Neste has now invested more than €700 million in its production facility in Rotterdam. Neste’s presence means 250 direct jobs, mainly in the Rotterdam area. Neste wants the Netherlands to become the Renewable Aviation Headquarter that will manage the commercial business activities for sustainable biokerosene worldwide. This will further increase direct and indirect employment.

Investment puts bio-based ecosystem of South Holland firmly on the map

The production of sustainable biokerosene also contributes to the development of supply chains for the sustainable raw materials and the production of new sustainable circular solutions. In addition to the direct economic impulse and job growth, the investment also contributes to the development of the biobased cluster in South Holland.

Investment in Rotterdam is step towards market leadership in circular solutions

“This SAF investment in Rotterdam is another important step for Neste in the execution of our growth strategy: to become a global leader in renewable and circular solutions. We have made a commitment to support our customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least up to 20 million tons by 2030. And as the aviation industry is likely to resume on a growth trajectory after its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing need and urgency to act on aviation-related emissions. Here sustainable aviation fuels offer considerable potential”, says Peter Vanacker, President and CEO at Neste.

About Neste

Neste is committed to actively contribute to a healthier planet for future generations through renewable and circular solutions. Neste’s strategy is focused on the development and production of renewable solutions for road transport, renewable solutions for aviation and renewable polymers and chemicals. Currently, Neste is one of the world’s largest producers of renewable fuels. Globally, 80% of Neste’s raw materials are made up of waste and residues, which results in a large CO2 reduction.

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In 2020, InnovationQuarter assisted 43 foreign companies with opening a new branch or expanding existing activities in Zuid-Holland. In the coming years, these 43 mostly technologically advanced companies will jointly create 1,268 jobs and invest over €273 million in the region. These results exceed InnovationQuarters’ targets for 2020. The results are above expectations given the global decrease in foreign investment flows due to the Corona pandemic.

Corona crisis is pressing global figures

Foreign business investment has been under pressure everywhere since the Corona crisis. A report from the UNCTAD even indicated a decrease of more than 40%. The global crisis and growing economic uncertainty, coupled with varying travel restrictions, lockdowns and delivery problems, are causing companies to be reluctant to open new branches.

Despite this strong downward trend on a global scale, InnovationQuarter has successfully attracted a large number of companies from abroad to the region in the past year. This is due to various factors, such as a previously developed substantial list of companies with specific interest in the region, to the close collaboration between InnovationQuarter and knowledge institutions, physical hotspots and fellow acquisition organizations in our region, and to our intensified commitment to relationship management (investor relations) with foreign companies already established here. As InnovationQuarter has for several years been focused on attracting companies that form a strategic reinforcement for the region, the results appear less sensitive to trends affecting the global economy.

Most companies active in innovative technologies and sectors

In the past year, we mainly welcomed innovative, technologically advanced companies in Zuid-Holland. Most new companies are active in the Technology Industry, IT and Life Sciences & Health. Also there were many landings or expansions in the Horti / Agro sector, Cybersecurity, Energy and Aerospace. The companies often seek to make part of the strong clusters in our region and are attracted by the availability of talent.

An example of this is the Ethiopian / Dutch company African Bamboo. The company develops and produces building materials based on tropical bamboo and will set up an R&D facility in Delft. Since its foundation, African Bamboo has been working with renowned European research organizations, including TU Delft and TNO. In order to strengthen the partnerships and reduce the distance to the European market, the company looked for a new location for its R&D department. “Our choice soon fell on Delft. InnovationQuarter gave advice and put us in touch with interesting partners. In this way we discovered the many advantages of the region, such as the facilities of the TU Delft campus, the proximity to the port of Rotterdam and the high level of knowledge in the field of technical innovations.” says CEO Khalid Duri.

Other examples of new companies contributing to the ecosystems and clusters in the region are ANDBio (platform for reuse of medical equipment), Booz Allen (cybersecurity services) and Aksa Power Generation (development and sales of energy generators). The largest project last year was the new Crocs distribution center in Dordrecht. With this distribution center, Crocs provides employment of 350 jobs, to further facilitate their growth in Western Europe.

1,268 jobs, €273.2 million in investments in regional and national economies

Attracting and retaining foreign investment is of great importance to the Netherlands and the Zuid-Holland region. It contributes to economic growth and creates employment. For example, the 43 foreign companies that were assisted in 2020, according to their own estimate, will create 1,268 jobs within three years, of which 815 are new and 453 jobs are retained. Moreover, these companies jointly invest €273.2 million in the region.

Geopolitical developments lead to a changed geomix

In the past year we have seen a further shift in the origin of the landed companies. Where most companies previously came from the United States and China, the United Kingdom is now also in joint first place with these countries. The English projects are often related to Brexit. The number of landings from both China and the US is lower than in recent years, mainly due to the (geo) political developments and the COVID pandemic. This year we saw various projects from emerging economies such as South Africa and Turkey. And a striking number of the projects come from near by, for example from Belgium.

Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter: “In the extensive contacts we have with international companies, we notice that the well-developed ecosystem in our region is playing an increasingly important role in the choice of location. That is why our services are not only about finding a suitable office or factory location, but much more about access to the right network, technology and talent – in addition to the market, of course. And that is what Zuid-Holland and InnovationQuarter has to offer companies more and more. The results for 2020 show that this pays off. ”

Switched quickly to increased online visibility and digital services

Due to international travel restrictions, it was not possible to visit companies abroad last year, to put the spotlight on Zuid-Holland. Also, it was often not possible to receive companies in the Netherlands. In response, the promotion and services were adapted early in the year to increase and professionalise the online presence. The online communication via social media was scaled up and our services to foreign companies were quickly digitized. This prompt switch in working methods contributed to the success of 2020.

Successful national and regional cooperation

The success can be attributed partly to good national and regional cooperation. At a national level, InnovationQuarter works closely with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) – an executive organization of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and partner in the Invest in Holland network.

At a regional level, InnovationQuarter collaborates on strategy and execution with Rotterdam Partners and The Hague Business Agency since 2014. In 2020, a cooperation agreement with DEAL Drecht Cities was concluded with regard to attracting foreign companies to the Drecht cities.

Chris van Voorden

Director Foreign Investments
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The Hague Angoka Cybersecurity980

UK-based ANGOKA has decided to establish in the Netherlands and they choose the International City of Peace, Justice and Security as a place for residence. The company provides patented IoT Security solutions for managing the cybersecurity risks inherent in machine-to-machine communications, such as those used Smart Cities and Homes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Industry 4.0 and National Critical Infrastructure.

The Hague Angoka Cybersecurity980

ANGOKA has always had strong ties to the Netherlands, stemming from their Non-Executive Director, Koen Gijsbers, the former General Manager of NATO’s Communications and Information Agency. With an office in The Hague, ANGOKA is eager to explore the cybersecurity opportunities in Continental Europe.

The Netherlands has also proven to be early adopters in Smart and IoT devices, with key cities considered to be Smart Cities. Steve Berry, Executive Chairman at ANGOKA Ltd. Says: ”We look forward to making connections locally, implementing our IoT security solution across emerging Mobility and metropolitan technologies.”

InnovationQuarter has been in touch with ANGOKA ever since it was established as a spin-out of Cynation. UK’s Department of International Trade was instrumental in the initial connection as they had organized several trade missions in which many UK companies in the field of cybersecurity during the Cyber Security Weeks that were organized by The Hague Security Delta, the City of The Hague and InnovationQuarter.

In the following months the Account Managers involved in the establishment of ANGOKA BV,  Philip Meijer and Martijn van Hoogenhuijze, will continue the support. The expansion marks the beginning of ANGOKA’s planned growth for 2021 and they are looking to engage with organisations in the Netherlands and throughout the world and therewith establish a presence in key markets around the world.

Martijn van Hoogenhuijze

Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity
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Start-ups, scale-ups and others active in the field of unmanned technology, autonomous systems and sensors need tailor-made housing and excellent test facilities. Unmanned Valley – the field lab for sensor-based technologies located at the former Valkenburg naval air base, 16 kilometers north of The Hague in the Netherlands – and the Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency (‘Rijksvastgoedbedrijf’) have therefore accelerated the second phase of the development of ‘Building 356’. Also a ‘makerspace’ will be realized and the R&D capabilities of the field lab’s indoor drone center will be expanded. These investments contribute to the further development of a fully-fledged ecosystem for drones and other sensor-based innovations in the Netherlands.

“The development of a strong ecosystem is central so that companies can innovate more successfully and thus make more impact, also internationally,” says Theo de Vries, program manager at Unmanned Valley. “We have made great progress last year. We developed new offices, work spaces and facilities. This has translated into a growing community at Unmanned Valley and the number of test operations. It is important to keep momentum and to get all the crucial elements as optimal as possible.”

Collaboration between businesses, educational and knowledge institutions and the government is the key to success, according to De Vries: “I am pleased with the steps we are taking together with the Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency, Do IoT Fieldlab, Leiden Instrument Makers School, University of Applied Sciences Leiden and Inholland University of Applied Sciences. By bringing forward the development of additional office space, creating a so-called makerspace and improving the R&D capabilities of our indoor drone center, we increase the attractiveness of Unmanned Valley, stimulate collaboration between businesses and educational and knowledge institutions, and continue to build an important economic cluster.”

Godelieve Bun, director of Leiden Instrument Makers School, the leading Dutch secondary vocational school specialized in precision technology, adds: “As a partner of Unmanned Valley, we offer companies access to specialist precision mechanical facilities. For over 130 years our students and teachers have been developing the latest technical solutions to support customers. ”

Accelerated development of additional office space and makerspace

Last summer, the Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency sustainably renovated 3000m2 of the former aircraft workshop ‘Building 356’ and transformed it into an inspiring working environment. The first companies, all active in the field of aerospace, drones and sensors, have since moved to Unmanned Valley.

Because of the great interest, the Agency has accelerated the second redevelopment phase of Building 356. An additional 1700m2 of space will be realized to accommodate a mix of start-ups, scale-ups, mature companies and knowledge institutions – including leading Dutch secondary vocational school MBO College Airport that will move its drone activities to Unmanned Valley. The first tenants are expected to move to the new units from the second quarter of 2021.
Together with the Leiden Instrument Makers School a joint makerspace will be realized, initially with basic equipment for maintenance and small modifications to drones and other sensor-related innovations. For more complex projects the companies at Unmanned Valley will have access to the high-quality machinery and research equipment – as well as the associated knowledge, skills and experience – of the Leiden Instrument Makers School, the IoT Forensic Lab of University of Applied Sciences Leiden and the composites laboratory of Inholland University of Applied Sciences.

Indoor GPS positioning and state-of-the-art 5G communication infrastructure

Being a business park with extensive test facilities – indoor in the former aircraft hangar ‘Hangar 1’, an outdoor flight box and in time also a BVLOS test corridor to sea – makes Unmanned Valley unique in the Netherlands.
To develop Hangar 1 into a multi-use indoor drone center, a GPS repeater system and – in collaboration with Do IoT Fieldlab – an ultra-modern 5G communication infrastructure will be installed. This extends the opportunities to perform experimental test work independently of weather conditions and, if desired, out of sight of others.

Unmanned Valley is an initiative of Delft University of Technology and the municipality of Katwijk – made possible by the Dutch central and regional government as well as the EU’s Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – and will develop into a breeding ground for high-tech activities. InnovationQuarter is closely involved in the development of Unmanned Valley by participating in their content programming, actively connecting regional stakeholders and contributing to (inter)national promotion and acquisition.

Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace
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Mnemonic is a European cybersecurity company with security experts in all fields within IT and information security. The company is headquartered in Oslo, and after working with partners and customers in the Dutch market for several years, mnemonic is now opening its first location in the Netherlands, in The Hague.

© Verkijk

Combating modern cyber threats

You may have heard the name mnemonic recently, related to some high-visibility security findings, for instance; SNIcat, a tool that detected vulnerabilities in several popular security solutions, and a finding exposing covert surveillance backdoors in children’s smartwatches that received worldwide attention.

A major part of the company’s delivery is the service Managed Detection and Response (MDR). MDR is an outsourced cybersecurity service that enables organisations to combat modern cyber threats. It is widely used by organisations that for instance lack resources, be it time, manpower or know-how, to monitor their IT assets 24/7, detect threats and appropriately respond to them. The market for MDR services is fast growing. Among others, the industry analyst Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50% of all organisations globally will be using MDR services.

Providing a local alternative

To strengthen mnemonic’s already strong customer-base and presence in the Netherlands, the local team is joined by Lex Crielaars as Presales Lead. Lex will draw from his more than a decade of experience as CTO at a large consultancy in the Dutch security industry, and he’s already a familiar face for many customers after collaborating with mnemonic for years. Lex explains that the Netherlands is relatively mature when it comes to cybersecurity: “You see that both in the organisations and the companies that offer security services, as well as the research and initiatives that’s taking place here. However, the Netherlands does not quite yet have a true MDR provider at the scale of mnemonic. Hence, many organisations are looking abroad to find these services. Over the years, we’ve seen that there’s a number of organisations that could use our services here.”

Strong cyber community

mnemonic chose The Hague as the company’s first office location in the Netherlands to be “close to where it happens”. With long-standing relationships and partnership with many of the local cyber institutions in The Hague, such as Europol’s European Cyber Crime Center (EC3) and the Dutch cybersecurity provider EYE Control, mnemonic is already familiar with the city’s strong cyber community foothold.

Lex explains that the feedback from Dutch customers has been great so far:

“mnemonic has been active in the Dutch security community for years, with customers, partners, and public-private initiatives. We are here to stay, and we’re looking to continue to grow our roots here.”

“Our customers value the level of expertise and quality that our security experts provide for them. This is especially important to us, as our MDR services rely on human involvement in all phases of the service. We pride ourselves in finding the right balance between our machine-assisted MDR services and human intuition and creativity in solving problems and finding threats.”

International expansion

The opening of the Dutch office follows mnemonic’s expansion to the US last year, and its UK office the year before. Tønnes Ingebrigtsen, CEO in mnemonic, is excited about the continued international growth: “Opening the new branch office will help us serve the fast growing market for Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services in the Netherlands. It’s also a great opportunity that lets us collaborate even closer with our customers and partners in the wider Benelux region”.

Philip Meijer

Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity
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StoryPositive has opened its European Headquarters in The Hague. A great result of the company’s internationalisation strategy which was supported by the British Embassy in The Hague, The Hague International Centre and InnovationQuarter.

StoryPositive

The company’s outlines started in 2012 and evolved in what it is today: StoryPositive. With a simple ethos: help businesses achieve positive change management outcomes. A lot of Change Management initiatives are interpreted as having failed – they overrun, the budget is blown, or the delivery has too many defects. The real reasons change doesn’t deliver what is wanted are failry simple to understand and familiar:

  • Requirements aren’t fully understood, yet often expected to be exact
  • Outside events impact requirements
  • Estimates are seen as fixed
  • People leave, new people have new ideas and/or need time to come up to speed
  • Capacity constraints aren’t understood or honoured

“But it does not have to be that way. There are ways to get continual positive outcomes but they have to be learnt. That is why StoryPositive was set up: to deliver positive outcomes.” Sarah Corballis, Operations

Toby and Sarah

Both work with leadership to implement Organisational Change using Agile techniques such as Kanban and SCRUM. Their clients include leading Investment Banks, FinTech firms, Exchanges, Insurance Brokers, Underwriters, Consultancies, and Telecoms firms. Given their business expansion plans and fields of interest, StoryPositive attended CFS2020: the Cyber & Fintech Summit which was held earlier this year in The Hague and was organized by the British Embassy in The Hague.

Assistance from the local network

At CFS2020 StoryPositive connected with InnovationQuarter: the regional economic development and promotion agency for the Greater Rotterdam – The Hague area.  Among other activities, such as investment, innovation initiatives and outbound internationalisation, InnovationQuarter facilitates the process of setting up business in The Netherlands. Finding a suitable office location, incorporating a legal entity, registering at the Chamber of Commerce and opening a bank account belong to the possibilities, as well as getting connected in the regional ecosystem.

The Hague International Centre

The Hague International Centre is the point of contact for international staff of organisations and companies in The Hague, Delft, Leidschendam-Voorburg and Rijswijk. They offer information and guidance about living and working in The Hague region. The International Centre also takes care of formalities such as municipal registration, citizen service number (BSN) and issuance of residence permits. Moreover, they organise events to settle in The Hague region. Partners of the International Centre are ACCESS and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

“The Quality of Life is great in The Hague. It is very easy to go from The Hague to Amsterdam or Rotterdam. I love it here and I am open to have meetings with C-level management about what Agile could mean to your company.” – Toby Corballis, Founder

Philip Meijer

Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity
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Two ambitious aviation hubs in greater Rotterdam – The Hague, TPY and RHIA, have signed a cooperation agreement with the support of InnovationQuarter to join forces. Together they offer innovative entrepreneurs and researchers a place to develop and test new innovations for electric and hydrogen-powered flying. The collaboration will lead to a real life demonstration and test environment in the Next Aviation Fieldlab, Hoog 16Hoven and the Ypenburg business park.

v.l.n.r.: Stephen Hands, Managing Director TPY en Miranda Janse, directeur RHIA

Worldwide, hydrogen is seen as a major contender for the upscaling of sustainable aviation, whereby breakthroughs in small aviation should enable upscaling to larger aircraft. The partners believe that sustainable aviation can be achieved faster and aim in the Netherlands – with a rich aviation history – to play an important role in the future of aviation. As part of an extensive regional innovation cluster from Drechtsteden to Noordwijk, the parties want to attract start-ups, scale-ups and international companies that want to contribute to this, in areas such as:

  • Storage and distribution of emission-free fuels and energy sources;
  • Fast refuelling with new fuels;
  • Adaptation and testing of aircraft;
  • Alternative powertrains or parts thereof for regional aircraft, including a new propeller type;
  • Storage and distribution of new energy sources onboard aircraft;
  • New solutions for lightweight materials and structural parts;
  • Scaling-up possibilities through production automation;
  • Certification requirements and processes.

The collaboration ties in nicely with other current initiatives. For example, the Next Aviation Fieldlab at Rotterdam The Hague Airport is home to the Pipistrel Velix Electro (PH-NLX), the first registered electric aircraft in the Netherlands. In the Smart Rotors project, RHIA, Koninklijke NLR, TU Delft and companies located in TPY are working together on the development of more efficient and quieter propellers. A prototyping centre and workshops have been developed at TPY where work can be done on innovative components for sustainable aviation.

InnovationQuarter supports innovation development in the aerospace sector in greater Rotterdam – The Hague by actively connecting businesses to knowledge institutions and relevant authorities and by facilitate intensified collaboration between aerospace-related innovation hubs. The partnership between TPY and RHIA in the field of sustainable aviation, sealed today, offers unique opportunities for SMEs in the region, will contribute to the international visibility of this sector and potentially attract new foreign companies that offer added value to the regional cluster.

Local and regional officials are enthusiastic about this new development in the region. “There are many opportunities for innovation here in greater Rotterdam – The Hague, also in the field of aerospace. You can only capitalize on those opportunities through cooperation. So it’s great that RHIA and TPY are joining forces. This can accelerate innovations that contribute to major social issues such as making aviation more sustainable, accessible and safe,” says Adri Bom-Lemstra, Deputy for Economy and Innovation at the province of Zuid-Holland. Barbara Kathmann, the alderman of the Municipality of Rotterdam, is also enthusiastic: “RHIA and TPY show that work is being done on cleaner aviation and that Rotterdam has an innovative business climate that responds to opportunities, including hydrogen, which are high in the Rotterdam region. agenda.” Saskia Bruines, alderman of the Municipality of The Hague, emphasizes that “economic cooperation between The Hague and Rotterdam is becoming closer and that the initiative of TPY and RHIA makes an excellent contribution to this.”

By bringing together the possibilities for aviation, RHIA and TPY can play an even stronger role in the shared ambition: Accelerate the realization of zero-emission aviation while strengthening our industrial base. This is where they can make a difference, whether in airport operations or aircraft and systems design to enable the transition in aviation. Stephen Hands, Managing Director TPY, and Miranda Janse, Director RHIA, say they are very happy with the collaboration and look forward to welcoming other companies and institutions.

Bert Klarus

Senior Business Developer Aerospace
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Aksa Power Generation B.V., a global leader in power generation installations with headquarters in Turkey, has established operations in Dordrecht. This location, from which the company will serve the European market, will house production, marketing and sales activities. Aksa has been active in Europe for over 30 years and was leading its European operations from their facilities in the UK. With the impact of Brexit and the Netherlands’ increasing influence as a global genset trading hub, Aksa decided to move their European activities to the Netherlands. Aksa Power Generation Europe was assisted with its relocation by InnovationQuarter, Deal Drecht Cities and Netherlands Foreign Investments Agency.

World-leading provider of power generators

Aksa Power Generation was founded in 1968 as an electrical motor factory. The company manufactured its first generator in 1984 and became an expert in machinery and hardware for electrical energy supply in a short amount of time. Aksa has been a leading company in the power generation market for a long time and is among Turkey’s 200 largest industrial companies and exporters. With customers in 173 countries, and 19 offices and 4 representatives located in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, the company is among the top five global firms in the sector.

Aksa Power Generation manufactures gasoline, diesel, natural gas and marine generating sets, with ranges between 1 kVA and 3125 kVA as well as lighting towers and generator hardware. The equipment is manufactured in its facilities in Istanbul (Turkey), Changzhou (China) and Louisiana (U.S.A.), and has established as a pioneer within the sector. The facility in the Netherlands, which has been in operation since September 2020, will focus on both existing diesel gensets and hybrid generator production. The latter of which will have heightened attention as it stands out to be an economic, efficient and environmentally friendly technology that runs on renewable energy sources.

Leading into a sustainable future

Being among the first manufacturers of natural gas generator sets of the world, Aksa Generators withholds undisputed supremacy with respect to synchronized sets. Aksa Generators continuously increases its investments in technology to remain at the forefront of innovation in the industry with a focus on more soundproof, environmentally friendly generators with lower fuel consumption. Aksa Power Generation aims to rank among the top three global manufacturers by 2025.

Country Director Barkin Dizdaroglu: “Working on hybrid solutions will not only contribute to our revenues in being one of the top 3 power generator manufacturers in the world, but also will help to save our planet and turn our world into a better place”.

Chris van Voorden, Director of Foreign Investment at InnovationQuarter: “The investment of Aksa Power Generation in Dordrecht is a great example of our collaboration agreement with Deal Drecht Cities. We will keep elaborating with Aksa on the future possibilities to further innovate and connect them with knowledge institution and fieldlabs in our region”.

Maarten Burggraaf, Alderman of economy and finance for the municipality of Dordrecht: “We are happy with the arrival of Aksa Power Generation to Dordrecht. It is a great addition to the smart industry cluster in Drecht Cities.”

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This year, online ordering has reached an unprecedented level. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the e-commerce market had been showing rapid growth globally. But if online retailers and delivery services are to continue to benefit from this trend, innovation is essential. Plotwise has therefore developed innovative AI-based planning software and vendors like Coolblue, PostNL, and Red je Pakketje are already using this technology to plan smart, customized deliveries. The Delft-based scale-up is striving to improve the safety, sustainability, and efficiency of home delivery and has secured an investment from the South Holland energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ to further expand and scale up its services.

“The way we move people and goods throughout the world has always fascinated me,” says company founder Michel Boerrigter, who developed several other planning platforms while at TU Delft. “Until recently, parcel delivery was primarily a B2B service. Because we now order so much as a society, things have changed very quickly. Today, deliveries need to be customer-centric, based on home delivery with many more destinations.” 

The final step in the supply chain, the last mile, is a major bottleneck for the e-commerce market, accounting for 30 to 55 percent of total delivery costs. As the e-commerce market expands, vehicle movements are increasing, resulting in more CO2 emissions and traffic congestion. 

Established at the end of 2018 from a TU Delft spin-off, Plotwise focuses on minimizing the social impacts of last-mile delivery. 

 

“With this investment, we are contributing to the automatization and optimization of an increasingly complex process and therefore to more sustainable parcel delivery.”

 – ENERGIIQ fund manager, Rafael Koene

Delivery planning as part of the ordering process

Many delivery services still use traditional static planning with routes determined only several times a year based on zip codes. Even when the volume of parcels changes, the route remains the same. 

Michel Boerrigter: “Traditional planning works for B2B transport but is less suitable for individual customer deliveries. There are too many complexities, and the logistical puzzle has too many pieces. As a result, there are major differences between calmer and busier periods, leading to inefficient routes and time pressure.”

Plotwise therefore focuses on optimizing delivery flow as part of the ordering process. 

Michel explains, “It makes delivery more dynamic. If you order something online, you immediately receive a number of delivery options based on the traffic, other scheduled deliveries in the neighborhood, and the most efficient mode of transport, such as a van or a delivery e-bike. As we make customers aware of the options and their consequences, we can influence behavior and encourage more efficient, sustainable choices.”

Up to 20 percent CO2 reduction per parcel

Clients already using the Plotwise software secure a competitive advantage through cost savings, improvements in service quality, and opportunities to capitalize on evolving expectations and demand. Plotwise also makes a significant contribution to sustainability: with fewer vehicle miles traveled, CO2 emissions per parcel have been reduced by up to 20 percent.

Meanwhile, electric vehicles are replacing diesel-based transport. This is partly due to the establishment of zero-emission zones as part of the climate agreement, which means that by 2030 all delivery vans and trucks in these designated areas must be entirely emission-free. 

Michel says, “Although an increase in the number of electric vehicles naturally leads to huge CO2 reductions, the efficient planning of available and permitted vehicles is required as well to prevent time pressure, delays, unsafe situations, and traffic congestion. With electric vehicles, you must also deal with other technical factors when planning, including recharging time and available charging capacities. Even if delivery services start using electric vehicles, smart planning is essential.”    

Hyper-scalable internationally

Thanks to ENERGIIQ’s investment, Plotwise plans a significant international scale up in the next three years along with an expansion of its team. 

“We’re already active in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany,” says Michel. “That’s the beauty of our service: it’s hyper-scalable.” 

ENERGIIQ fund manager Rafael Koene agrees: “Plotwise has the momentum to scale up rapidly. Due to the strong growth of e-commerce, reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic, delivery planning is increasingly complex. This impacts logistics service provider operations. The team at Plotwise has the right skills and mindset to meet the organizational challenges involved in scaling up. At ENERGIIQ, we look forward to a valuable collaboration.”

That collaboration entails more than just financial assistance to help Plotwise realize its ambitions. Michel says, “ENERGIIQ has a lot of expertise in this area and offers valuable support in scaling up, not least through access to its large network. This will allow us to develop even faster and expand our market.”

Would you like to learn more?

Please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Jesse In ‘t Velt

Investment Manager ENERGIIQ
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Autogrow has ramped up their activity in the Northern Hemisphere by establishing a new Sales Director Europe and U.K. role based in the Netherlands supporting their expanding customer base for new digital farming solutions FarmRoad® and Folium®.

CEO Darryn Keiller says, “this expansion into Europe is counter-intuitive during a pandemic however innovation and crop production doesn’t slow down, and the challenges growers face haven’t disappeared because of COVID-19. In fact, they have been exacerbated by the pandemic. We think now is the perfect time to introduce solutions that will help growers with productivity, gain greater economic benefits and transform the market. Added to which, with cross-border restrictions and travel limitations likely to remain in place in the foreseeable future, establishing a local presence is the right move.”

“The Netherlands has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a leader in efficient and sustainable agriculture and, after the United States, is the second-largest exporter of agriculture in the world. By establishing a role in the region, we create strong ties with growers and, like our partnerships in the United States, introduce our new digital farming solutions FarmRoad and Folium.”

Autogrow has been working closely over the past few months with customers and distributors in the region including some of the largest tomato producers. They are delighted to be working alongside Van der Voort, a member of the Prominent farming cooperative, who share Autogrow’s focus on sustainable farming practices.

“We have been growing tomatoes for over 50 years and technology has always played a pivotal role in our success. With multiple farms and increasing production, we look for solutions that are leading the AgTech market. The work the Autogrow team are doing with sensor technology and farm management solutions is cutting edge and we are excited to be working together,” says Van der Voort Co-Owner, Joost Van der Voort.

Although Autogrow’s headquarters is based in New Zealand, large geographical distances have never hindered the organization from successfully operating on the global stage. Their endeavors also have the support of the New Zealand Government.

“It’s exciting to see AgTech innovation developed in New Zealand supporting growers here,” says Ariane Gonzalez, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to the Netherlands.

“New Zealand is recognized on the global stage for producing efficient and effective agricultural solutions that work in a range of climates, and this is another great example of that in action,” says Ms Gonzalez.

In addition, Autogrow has assistance from InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the Province of Zuid-Holland.

“The Netherlands, and Rotterdam – The Hague area specifically, is the worldwide center of horticulture. We are eager to attract and facilitate innovators with exciting solutions as Autogrow. They are a great addition to our region and the sector and support our regional economy. Next to that they benefit and contribute to strengthening our ecosystem of innovative companies in horticulture, impacting the societal challenge for feeding and greening the mega-cities of the future,” explains Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalization at InnovationQuarter.

Autogrow is currently recruiting for the new role with the expectation to have someone in place over the next few months.

Maarten Hermus

Maarten Hermus

Account Manager Horticulture
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African bamboo develops circular materials from bamboo in Delft

African bamboo develops circular materials from bamboo in Delft

African Bamboo produces pioneer materials utilizing Tropical Bamboo. A Dutch-Ethiopian company, African Bamboo has been working with the leading European research institutes for many years. CEO Khalid Duri shares: “We decided to select Delft for our R&D location to build on our relations with TU Delft & TNO and the proximity of the port of Rotterdam.”

Started in 2013, African Bamboo works on bamboo-based alternatives to building materials using proprietary, smart and energy-efficient production technology. Khalid Duri shares: “We are driven by a vision of a world in which bamboo is part of everyday life, providing sustainable materials while contributing to the abatement of climate change and poverty.”

By locating their second R&D facility in Delft, African Bamboo aims at creating an innovation cluster for natural fibres in the heart of Europe. The company plans to establish high-tech laboratories and piloting facilities at a Center of Bamboo Research & Application (COBRA) and boost commercialization of products and applications, benefiting from the central location of the R&D centre at YES!Delft and the proximity to the port of Rotterdam.

InnovationQuarter assists African Bamboo, together with TU Delft, in finding the right location, introducing the company to the TU Delft campus and the region, and supporting the African Bamboo team with relocation.

Chris van Voorden, head of internationalization at InnovationQuarter: “African Bamboo is a great addition to Delft and the region. African Bamboo’s focus on building materials of natural fibres fits well in our strategy combining smart manufacturing and the impact potential on the environment. Our region’s R&D and logistic opportunities offer ideal conditions for African Bamboo research & development and connecting to the European market.”

Maarten Hermus

Maarten Hermus

Account Manager Horticulture
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Developer and manufacturer of medical instruments Shenzhen Coriton Instrument Co., Ltd. has opened a branch in Zoetermeer to better serve the European market. Sales, logistics and administrative tasks will be carried out from this office. Moreover, it is Coriton’s ambition to establish this location as a central service hub to other Chinese companies, so that knowledge and costs can be shared at European market entry. This offers the prospect of Zoetermeer to become an important hub from which Chinese companies can grow, with a positive boost to local employment as a result.

Strategic asset to the life sciences cluster in greater Rotterdam – The Hague

Founded in 2011, Coriton is a major player in the Chinese market, supplying a significant portion of the ventilation equipment for the Wuhan emergency hospital in the early days of the corona pandemic. The pandemic underscored the urgency for Coriton to internationalize and be closer to European customers. That is why the Dutch entity of Coriton, Umedwings BV, was established in May.

Product quality is an important core value of Coriton’s corporate philosophy. Through collaboration with TUV, an internationally recognized German certification organization, Coriton initially created a product quality control system that meets international standards, from product design, to testing, mass production and product changes. Coriton is therefore the only Chinese supplier of medical equipment with accreditation from the German TUV, ISO9001, FDA, and Huatongwei Rohs environmental testing.

Geolocation, logistics, collaboration and talent

Mr. Guo, founder and director of Coriton: “In the early phase of the plan to expand internationally, my choice was between the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. In doing so, I discovered that the Netherlands is at the intersection of the North Atlantic route and the European sea. Overlooking the North Sea, with the European continent on its back, it is known as the ‘gateway to Europe’. In addition, he says, the Netherlands has a well-developed logistics system, excellently connected airports, seaports and road transport routes, as well as an international and open business environment.

He also mentioned in particular the life sciences cluster in the Rotterdam-The Hague region. Medical Delta, a partnership between Erasmus University, Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and LUMC, offers the prospect of great collaborations and ensures the growth of technically and medically trained talent. That is why the first location, Coriton’s European headquarters is located in Zoetermeer. As the company grows, its product design activities and R&D partnerships will also be located in Europe.

The Coriton location is also a nice addition to the companies that are already part of the (e-) health and care cluster within Zoetermeer. In addition, the Dutch Innovation Park in Zoetermeer offers numerous opportunities for partnerships with other innovative companies and the IT and Design Faculty of The Haagse Hogeschool (Academy for IT and Design of The Hague University of Applied Sciences)

Plans for the future

With the assistance of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and InnovationQuarter, the Dutch entity of Coriton, Umedwings BV has been successfully established in Zoetermeer. Mr. Guo states that the assistance has strengthened his confidence in investing in the Netherlands and has accelerated the localization of the Dutch BV. He hopes to continue working with NFIA and InnovationQuarter in the future, so that Coriton can continue to explore and develop the path of internationalization.

Sasja Heijman

Senior Account Manager Life Sciences & Health