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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

Senior Account Manager Horticulture & Food
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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.

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Founded 15 years ago in South Africa, TransLution Software sells software that supports manufacturing and logistics processes. Its customers are medium sized manufacturing and distribution companies across Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States. TransLution also has an office in Atlanta in the US.

“We have been working remotely in Europe and in the United Kingdom for several years but realized that in order to grow we needed an office,” explained Russell Kleyn, Co-founder and Sales Director of TransLution Software.

The ease of the open Dutch business culture

“We chose the Netherlands because it is an easy place to grow a business, the culture is very open and similar to our South African culture. This has created a positive experience for TransLution Software as people are very open to meeting and discussing opportunities. It is also a much easier place to grow into other countries in Europe,” Kleyn said.

TransLution’s software package is designed to capture data from a warehouse or production floor and post it to the client’s business or Enterprise Resource Planning system. By accurately capturing data from the factory or warehouse floor in real time, TransLution simplifies the process, making it easy for operators to use. Initially the product focused purely on manufacturing but over time, has grown to include opportunities for warehouse management, labor tracking and quality control.

Access to the Netherlands highly-skilled workforce

The next step for TransLution Software will be to build a network of people who can assist in selling and implementing their software. The company is currently looking to recruit employees with skills in business systems, consultation and practical factory experience. It can draw on the Netherlands’highly skilled workforce and the high level of expertise in the local IT ecosystem.

TransLution Software was assisted by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, InnovationQuarter and Rotterdam Partners who supported them in smoothing out the process of expansion, network building with potential organizations and provided valuable advice.

Source: NFIA South Africa

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Unmanned Valley – the field lab for sensor-based technologies located at the former Valkenburg naval air base in Katwijk, the Netherlands – welcomes the first companies, all active in the field of aerospace, drones and sensors. This represents an important step towards the development of a fully-fledged ecosystem for drones and other sensor-based innovations, and further strengthens the aerospace sector in the Netherlands.

Aerialtronics, Deck180, Drone Flight Company, Dutch Drone Academy, Elkay International (Europe) and Marshall Netherlands are the first companies to have already moved in. Within a few months, Atmos, Drone Light Labs and Mapture.ai will also relocate (parts of) their activities to the field lab, which offers in- and outdoor facilities for companies and knowledge institutes to develop, test and implement new sensor-based solutions.

The move of these companies marks the very successful 3000m2 redevelopment of the former naval air base’s workshop ‘Building 356’, which is now almost fully rented out. In a next phase, the Central Government Real Estate Agency (‘Rijksvastgoedbedrijf’) is expected to redevelop an additional 1700m2 of space to accommodate a mix of startups and scale-ups, mature companies and knowledge institutions.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in testing activities over the past months, but with the relocation of these first companies, Unmanned Valley really comes to life”, says Theo de Vries, program manager at Unmanned Valley. “Drones often only make headlines as a threat to air traffic or as a pizza delivery service. These companies show that things are different in reality and that the economic and social potential for the Netherlands can be enormous.”

De Vries speaks very highly of the Central Government Real Estate Agency: “During the COVID-19 crisis, the agency has kept up a brisk pace with the renovation and transformation work. It has now become a hotspot for collaboration, cross-fertilization and innovation, which inspired start-ups, scale-ups and others to such an extent that we have rented out about 90% of all available units well before the official completion date in July. The next phase can now be developed much earlier than anticipated.”

“Unmanned Valley has all the potential to develop into an international hotspot for unmanned and sensor-related activities. Innovative companies are looking for a well-developed ecosystem, not just a suitable office location. They want access to the right networks, technologies and talent”, says Rinke Zonneveld, director of the regional economic development agency InnovationQuarter. “The Netherlands and in particular the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area, enjoys an excellent reputation within the global aerospace industry. The aviation, space and drone sectors in our region are closely linked and all relevant players in education, research and commerce are actively working together in this highly developed metropolitan area.”

In addition to the Dutch start-ups and scale-ups that moved to Unmanned Valley, it indeed appears that the location also has international appeal; several foreign companies have relocated their activities to Katwijk, a coastal town located 16 kilometers north of The Hague.

The companies that are the first to establish themselves in Unmanned Valley

  • Aerialtronics DV, since 2017 part of French company Drone Volt, develops drones and intelligent cameras for numerous applications; for surveying and supporting the fire brigade to inspection of wind turbines and high voltage powerlines. Recently Aerialtronics also developed software to check via existing networks of IP cameras whether people are wearing face masks.
  • Atmos, was founded in 2013 and has developed a drone that combines the flexibility of a helicopter with the speed and range of an aircraft. As a result, it requires little space to take off and land vertically, but the drone can also efficiently cover long distances, properties that are essential for mapping larger areas. The company raised funding from Disruptive Technology Ventures in 2018 and 2020.
  • Deck180 has been developing solutions since 2017 to enable multiple drones to operate autonomously in industrial and public environments at the same time.
  • Drone Flight Company is the market leader in the use of drones for the business market and assists organizations in the integration of drones in their business activities. The company’s training branch, Drone Flight Academy, is recognized by the Dutch government as a flight school and develops and provides training, education and workshops aimed at safe and responsible flying with drones.
  • Drone Light Labs, founded in 2017, produces among other things the world-famous performance art installation Franchise Freedom for Studio Drift. The artwork consists of autonomously flying swarm of hundreds of drones, which uses a specially developed algorithm based on the flight behavior of starlings. One of the essential parts of the artwork: ‘swarm intelligence’.
  • Dutch Drone Academy has been developing and providing training and teaching materials around the theme of unmanned aviation since 2013. In addition to the certification of professional drone pilots, the company supports secondary vocational education in training students to become European drone pilots.
  • Elkay International (Europe) exports electronic components and systems from Europe to companies in the Indian telecommunications, defense, space and aviation industry.
  • Mapture.ai is a start-up founded in 2018 that is developing an autonomously operating ‘drone in a box’ system. The system is aimed to be used in a wide range of applications such as monitoring industrial installations, securing business parks and deployment during emergency situations.
  • Marshall Netherlands is part of the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Cambridge, UK) – one of the largest independent technology companies in Europe. The company specializes in, among other things, design, production and maintenance of defence shelter system, and the conversion, modification and maintenance of military and civil aircraft. Marshall has been supporting the Royal Netherlands Air Force for more than 20 years and at the end of 2018 the company won a contract for the supply and maintenance of 1,400 shelter systems for the Dutch armed forces.

Fast growing industry

In many sectors, drone and related technologies already ensure that work can be done faster, better, safer and more efficiently. Due to the further development and integration of robotization, artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things, the number of useful applications is growing rapidly.

Market analysts from Drone Industry Insights expect the global drone market to grow to $ 42.8 billion by 2025. This is almost double its current size in 2020 ($ 22.5 billion). The European market is also almost doubling; from $ 5.19 billion now to $ 9.86 billion by 2025.

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 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – and will develop into a breeding ground for high-tech activities.

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Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace
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TCI Biotech is a highly reputable listed company in Asia. Now the original design manufacturer (ODM) of functional foodstuffs and skincare products also wants to conquer Europe. The first European office was opened in Rotterdam at the beginning of 2020.

Yin Liu lives in The Hague, but the managing director of TCI Biotech can be at her office in no time located in De Rotterdam. ‘I board the metro in The Hague and get out at Wilhelminaplein which is almost right outside the door. Fantastic,’ says Yin with a big smile. The good accessibility by public transport was one of the decisive points for TCI Biotech in choosing Rotterdam as its new European location. ‘Rotterdam is a great central location for us to connect with all of our European customers. We are also close to the port and the companies that are of interest to us. Schiphol Airport is not very far away either. What’s more, we were received very warmly by the people at Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter. We were taken seriously and felt very welcome.’

Major player

The arrival of TCI Biotech means a major player has come to town. The Taiwanese company has been operating for 40 years and is active in 55 countries. As an original design manufacturer, it makes functional foodstuffs and skincare products for companies and brands, such as healthy drinks, food supplements, facial masks and other skincare products. TCI can take care of the entire process: from conceiving the formula to its (mass) production, marketing and after-sales. It already does this for Unilever and the French company Sephora, among others. TCI has a total of more than 1,100 customers, who are served from ten offices: eight in Asia, one in the United States and the brand new office in Rotterdam. The move to Europe was made because turnover there has grown significantly in recent years (a 30% increase in 2019 compared to 2018) and TCI sees a great deal of potential here. Because of the excellent business climate for international companies, their choice fell to the Netherlands.


‘Our first goal is to get a better picture of the European market. What do European consumers and our customers need? What does the competition look like? That sort of thing’, says Yin, who studied at Leiden University and worked for ten years at another Taiwanese company in the Netherlands. ‘A next step could be to set up our own warehouse, logistics and possibly a research and development department here. In the phase after that, we could start manufacturing in Europe ourselves, in collaboration with others. But that’s really the long-term perspective. We want to take this step by step. For us, this is a marathon, not a sprint.’

First success

TCI Biotech Netherlands has already had its first successes. ‘We have customers in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. We have been able to consolidate our collaborations with them, while also welcoming a number of new customers. We are very pleased with that, because it’s not easy to enter an existing market as a relatively unknown player. In addition, all our products have to come from Asia, which entails extra costs. The corona crisis came on top of that, but fortunately we haven’t suffered too much from it. Despite all these challenges, I look back very positively on the first few months here.’

Premium segment

Yin has, above all, great confidence in the quality of TCI. In Asia, we are positioned as a premium ODM. Our European customers are also in the higher segment. Many Europeans ask me, very directly: what makes TCI different from others? The answer is: our strong commitment to making our customers more successful than they already are. Everything we do is focused on that. We believe in our products and our technology, but above all in that vision. It’s not for nothing that 93 percent of our current customers are return customers.’

‘Roll up your sleeves!

In addition to the European market, Yin Liu would like to get to know the local, Rotterdam-based companies better. We want to operate as locally as possible, that’s crucial to our level of success. It helps enormously that Rotterdam Partners provides us with access to the right networks, companies and contacts. It’s up to us to seize the opportunities offered. Roll up your sleeves and make it happen!’

TCI Biotech’s sister company TCI Gene has developed one of the world’s most accurate automated virus scanning machines, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA. The company hopes the device can help more countries to fight with the COVID-19 effectively.

Want to know more about TCI Biotech? Take a look at the company’s website or contact the managing director, Yin Liu via Yin.Liu@tci-bio.com. During the last edition of the LSH010 breakfast on Thursday 11 June, Caroline Giezeman of LSH010 did officially welcome TCI Biotech to Rotterdam. You can read more about the Network Breakfast from Thursday 11 June 2020 here.

This article originates from Life Sciences & Health 010

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Crocs expands its Main European Distribution Center in the Netherlands-980x450

Beyond Meat Expands Local Production Capabilities in Europe

Beyond Meat, Inc., a leader in plant-based meat, today announced the company’s first co-manufacturing capabilities in Europe with the official opening of the Zandbergen co-manufacturing facility in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands. The new state-of-the-art facility owned and operated by Zandbergen will produce the Beyond Burger® and Beyond Sausage® and is intended to allow for more efficient distribution of Beyond Meat’s products across EMEA.

Production at the new Zandbergen co-manufacturing facility will also include the upcoming debut of new packaging for both the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage available in EMEA. The lighter, more sustainable packaging aligns with Beyond Meat’s commitment to sustainability and will feature fully recyclable trays and 30% less material overall by reducing paper and plastic use.

End-to-end manufacturing

This week, Beyond Meat also marked a milestone with the acquisition of its first manufacturing facility in Europe located in Enschede, the Netherlands. This Beyond Meat owned facility will be the first outside of Missouri, USA to handle Beyond Meat’s innovative approach to texturizing plant proteins, the first step in the company’s manufacturing process. The new Beyond Meat facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2020 allowing for end-to-end manufacturing capabilities in Europe.

“This latest investment in production capacity reflects our continued commitment to serving global markets,” said Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO of Beyond Meat. “Our new facility in Enschede will not only bring production closer to the consumer, representing an investment in the markets and communities we serve, but is expected to allow us to leverage local supply chains, improving our cost structure and sustainability of operations. We are excited to take this next step in bringing the nutritional and environmental benefits of our plant-based meats to the European consumer.”

A linking pin in the protein transition

Chris van Voorden, head of internationalization at InnovationQuarter: “Beyond Meat is a great addition to the Rotterdam – The Hague area. In our role we supported Beyond Meat’s move with among others, connections to local governments, support in the permit process and linking to recruitment service providers. As InnovationQuarter we put an increasing focus on Foreign Investment with a strategic and social impact. We see Beyond Meat as an excellent example of a company not only investing and creating jobs in our region, but also contributing to great societal challenges like the protein transition. We are happy to see that Beyond Meat choose for a cooperation model with Zandbergen for this co-manufacturing facility in our region. Beyond Meat’s decision to expand to Europe via Rotterdam – The Hague area, confirms and strengthens our excellent foreign investment proposition for the protein transition.

“As the demand for plant-based protein and particularly Beyond Meat products grows in Europe and the Middle East, the official opening of this co-manufacturing facility in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands is timely,” said Adriaan Figee, Chief Commercial Officer of Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat.

The new Zandbergen co-manufacturing facility is expected to have a lighter environmental impact and features the latest in building and production technology.

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Crocs expands its Main European Distribution Center in the Netherlands-980px

Crocs expands its Main European Distribution Center in the Netherlands-980px

American shoe manufacturer chooses the Dutch logistics hub of DistriPark Dordrecht for its largest European distribution center.

US-based shoe manufacturer Crocs is expanding its main European distribution center in the Dutch logistics sector. The globally known company recently broke ground for a 35,000 square meter distribution center at DistriPark Dordrecht, a new logistics business park in the Rotterdam – The Hague area. Expected to open in spring of 2021, the Dordrecht office will increase Crocs’ presence in the Netherlands, where the company has also located its European headquarters and marketing & sales operations.

Crocs decided to expand operations in the Netherlands to accommodate its growth plans for selling shoes, sandals and clogs across Europe. The company plans to use the new distribution center at DistriPark for storage for its online store, as well as for supplying store branches and handling returns.

“When we took a look around, Dordrecht turned out to be the best location for our company because of the good transport connections,” said Adrian Holloway, Crocs’ Senior Vice President and General Manager of the EMEA Region.

Hundreds of New Jobs

The arrival of Crocs will create approximately 200 to 350 new jobs in Dordrecht – ranked No. 12 in Logistiek’s 2020 Logistics Hotspot of the Year Election. With other companies like Dylan Steel Solutions also announcing their relocation to DistriPark, the Dutch logistics hub is expected to generate at least 1,400 jobs for Dordrecht and the surrounding Drechsteden region.

A Foothold in the Dutch Logistics Sector

By expanding to the energy-neutral DistriPark, Crocs joins a growing number of international companies that have invested distribution operations in the highly innovative and resilient Dutch logistics sector. The logistics business park’s strategic location between the Port of Rotterdam, Port of Moerdijk and other major seaports promises to attract even more companies. In addition, DistriPark offers access to the Netherlands’ top-notch road transport infrastructure via the A16 motorway.

“Certainly in today’s economically uncertain times, the speed of this development is a very positive signal. The fact that an appealing international name such as Crocs has opted for Dordrecht and the Drechtsteden region indicates that we have everything we need to meet the needs of logistics companies,” said Maarten Burggraaf, Alderman of Economic Affairs for Dordrecht.

Source: Logistiek (Dutch)

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Xiaomi is an internet company that offers smart hardware such as smartphones, wearables and smart home devices, which are connected to the IoT platform of Xiaomi. The company, which is the 4th largest smartphone brand in Western Europe, wants to establish a trading hub in the Netherlands after its successful introduction to the European market in late 2017. The Hague emerged as the ideal location for business, close to both the port of Rotterdam and TU Delft.

With more than 235 million connected devices (excluding smartphones and laptops) on the largest consumer IoT platform in the world, Xiaomi has a strong global presence in more than 90 markets. In order to scale up further on the European market, the company selected the best logistics location, in the heart of the Dutch telecom cluster and in the vicinity of TU Delft and the surrounding high-tech cluster. With its extensive knowledge in the field of Internet of Things, Xiaomi is a valuable addition to the technology cluster in South Holland.

In addition to logistics activities, the Xiaomi office in The Hague will house the financial and legal activities here and expects to hire a large team of local employees over the next 3-5 years. In the Netherlands, Xiaomi products are available for purchase through various channels.

InnovationQuarter assisted Xiaomi, together with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, the Municipality of The Hague and The Hague Business Agency, in selecting the right location in South Holland and assisted in establishing at the WTC in The Hague.

Chris van Voorden, head of internationalization at InnovationQuarter: “Xiaomi is a great addition to The Hague and the region. Xiaomi’s IoT expertise fits well in our Digital Technology sector. Our region’s location and logistics capabilities provide ideal conditions for Xiaomi in their success in the European market. ”

Xiaoling Sun

Senior Account Manager Asia
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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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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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”

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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.


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.


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.



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

Senior Business Developer Horticulture
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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.”

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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

Head of Internationalization
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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

Head of Internationalization
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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 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 / Team Lead Smart & Safe