Terug naar overzicht

The RoboCrops event, scheduled for April 23-24, has been postponed. However, various online workshops will take place on April 24 on the theme of ‘Robotics in the agricultural sector’.


GreenTech cooperation

Due to the multitude of events that will be postponed to the autumn, we have chosen to collaborate with the GreenTech and also organize a one-day meeting in World Horti Center on Friday October 23. During the GreenTech in the RAI in Amsterdam (October 20-22), a Robotics themed area will be realized there. A substantial part of the tech programming of RoboCrops will take place there on Wednesday October 21.

More about the program at the GreenTech, in the World Horti Center and the hackathon in RoboHouse will follow soon. Youn can find current information at robocrops.tech.

Tickets already purchased are valid for the event on October 23. Participants who have already bought a ticket will be approached personally. If you have bought a two-day ticket, you will automatically receive a refund for one day. If you are not able to come on October 23, please contact events@innovationquarter.nl. 

Online workshops April 24

In this age of remote work, vital industries and new ways of working together, it is more relevant than ever. Now that life is a bit different than usual, there is more time to start talking to each other online and to delve into the opportunities for collaboration. We are happy to help you with this.

The workshops on Friday April 24 last two hours each and are organized together with TU Delft, RoboHouse and Wageningen UR. If you are interested in participating, please contact Liselotte.deVries@tudelft.nl and inform us of your 1st and 2nd choice. The aim is to create joint project ideas.


  • 9:00-11:00 CET – Biomechanical Engineering: “A biologically inspired soft tactile robotic harvester for secure and gentle grip of vulnerable crops”;
  • 11:15-13:15 CET – Precision & Microsystems + Micro-electronics: “3D sensor networks and applications for autonomous, wireless sensor systems”;
  • 13:30-15:30 CET – Cognitive Robotics / Learning & Autonomous Control: “Flexible and reliable control for autonomous robot operation in agri / horti”;
  • 15:45-17:45 CET – Precision & Microsystems: “Design of hygienic and adaptive machines and robots through elastic mechatronics”.

Platform RoboCrops all year round

With RoboCrops, we aim to create a movement to accelerate innovation in the greenhouse. This means that as an organization we work hard to build a platform in addition to the organization of the event, where growers, technical companies and other stakeholders can meet each other. We will publish a series of informative videos in the near future, the first of which can now be seen on our channel.

More information about this will be available on our website in the near future. We hope to see you again in good health. Until then, let’s not just wait but keep moving together. If you have ideas how to do this this please share them with us and others on LinkedIn.

More information

Please contact us.

Colinda de Beer

Business Developer Horticulture
Terug naar overzicht

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

Business Developer Horticulture
Terug naar overzicht

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

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

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

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

First breakthrough in transmission systems in 60 years

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

Old transmission systems are why humans still manufacture your smartphone

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

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

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

Hannes Sibbel

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLAIRE & InnovationQuarter

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

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

Find additional information about this initiative at CLAIRE.

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

Get in touch!

Stef Prinsen

Account Manager Digital Technology
Terug naar overzicht

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


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


Acceleratng robotics

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

Growers, tech companies and students

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

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


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

Do you have any questions?

Feel free to contact us.

Colinda de Beer

Business Developer Horticulture
Terug naar overzicht

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

Enhanced international cooperation

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Klarus

Senior Business Developer Aerospace
Terug naar overzicht
$ 3 mln. voor scale-up NewCompliance om uit te breiden naar de VS

Mayo Clinic, InnovationQuarter and Noaber Ventures invest in NewCompliance.

The Hague – NewCompliance, a leading company in interoperable data for hospitals, has successfully raised a $3 million Series A fundraising with Noaber, InnovationQuarter and Mayo Clinic. The funds will be used to support the company’s expansion in the USA and further development of its product-portfolio to expand its global reach.

What all started with a printed toilet roll that would remind users in hospitals to wash their hands, NewCompliance now develops innovative dashboards that provide insights and improves the safety and efficiency in hospitals during the entire surgical process. This is done by collecting, combining and intuitively displaying information from various systems and sensors on large displays in and around the Operating Room (OR). As a result, the OR team is fully aware of all processes and protocols that positively influence costs, workflow, efficiency and patient safety.

$ 3 mln. voor scale-up NewCompliance om uit te breiden naar de VS

“A beautiful scale-up that solves an important problem in healthcare,” says Rinke Zonneveld, Director of InnovationQuarter. With rising healthcare costs, NewCompliance delivers an important efficiency and safety boost. The company is already market leader in the Netherlands and is now focusing on an interesting new market.” The transatlantic step offers hospitals in the US an opportunity to implement clinical best practices from the Netherlands, one of the best healthcare systems in the world, also in the United States. They are currently live with three major customers in the US.

What problem does NewCompliance solve?

Healthcare costs are rising worldwide. The OR is responsible for 40-70% of the turnover of a hospital , and also for a large part of the hospital costs. The complexity of planning around operations often makes it difficult for hospitals to continue to achieve high efficiency standards. NewCompliance helps to reduce both the number of infections (SSI’s) and the costs by providing insight into various factors related to patient safety and by providing insight into surgical-related costs. “Hospitals generate huge amounts of data – stored in different data silos – this data is currently not being used. NewCompliance is the only party that can translate this data into useful information. ”Says Matthijs Blokhuis, director of Noaber Ventures. “The reason for Noaber Ventures to invest is that improved compliance with protocols leads to fewer complications for patients. Insight into data enables hospitals to further improve patient results, increase capacity utilization and reduce costs.”

Mayo Clinic first major US health-care provider to invest in NewCompliance.

Last summer, Mayo Clinic invested in NewCompliance. NewCompliance also has licensed know-how from Mayo Clinic. NewCompliance and Mayo Clinic are collaborating to develop unique perioperative dashboards for several clinical service lines, like Acute Emergency, Breast, and Thoracoscopic surgery. All the solutions are being created to help the patient get the most effective and comfortable experience during their entire surgical pathway.

Do you have any questions regarding this article?

Feel free to contact us.

Terug naar overzicht
UNIIQ-investering voor Addoptics

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

UNIIQ-investering voor Addoptics

Faster and more flexible testing with prototypes

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

From six weeks to six days

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

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

Fine-tuning the technology and working towards pilots

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

Joris Biskop, Addoptics co-founder and CEO:

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

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

Want to know more?

Please contact us.

Liduina Hammer

Head of Investments, Fund Manager IQCapital
Terug naar overzicht

WestHolland launched as composites hotspot during JEC World in Paris

Dutch composites industry

The unique ecosystem for composites & new materials in West Holland was presented in the Holland Pavilion of industry association CompositesNL. Besides the academic knowledge & research, application development and original equipment manufacturers present in our region, special attention was given to SAM XL.

Fieldlab SAM XL

The Smart Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) XL fieldlab will open in 2019 and serves as a research and testing facility for automated composite technology solutions; like the automated manufacturing of thin-walled aerospace structures or thick-walled structures for wind turbine blades and bridge decks. Partners in this fieldlab, like TU Delft, GTM Advanced Structures, Fokker/GKN Aerospace and KVE Composites were also present at the fair. And with showcases from Inholland and Airborne Composites, the West Holland ecosystem was strongly represented.


Here are 10 reasons Why West Holland is the hotspot for composites. Download the infographic via this link or request a hardcopy via communicatie@innovationquarter.nl.

Terug naar overzicht

There are high expectations of the quantum computer: it should enable us to perform calculations that we cannot do with current technology. “I am thinking of intricate global climate change models, for example, or models of the immune system’s capability to destroy cancer cells”, said Rector Magnificus Tim van der Hagen during the opening. “We can also use quantum technology to make inherently secure internet connections.”

Joint effort

Delivering on these promises will require major investments in money, time and effort in the coming years. “The development of the quantum computer requires a joint effort from science, government and industry”, says Ronald Hanson, scientific director of QuTech. “We are very pleased with the support we receive from the Dutch government, but even more cooperation – at national and international level – is certainly needed in the coming years.”

Cooperation with industry is essential in this respect, which is why TU Delft and TNO are pleased with the arrival of the Microsoft Quantum Lab on campus. “In Delft, we are building an innovation ecosystem around quantum technology, a Quantum Campus, where all parties will join forces to realise the quantum computer and the quantum internet”, says Hanson.

Building blocks

The Microsoft Quantum Lab will be working on qubits – the building blocks of quantum computers – based on majorana particles. This will be done under the leadership of Leo Kouwenhoven, who found the first evidence of the elusive majorana particle in 2012 at TU Delft. Majorana-based qubits are one of the three roadmaps QuTech is working on. Hanson: “Majorana particles are a potential candidate for qubits, and in this area we are collaborating closely with Microsoft. We are also working with other partners on other options for making qubits, for example with nitrogen atoms in diamond or with currents in superconducting circuits. The interaction between the different groups, and the exchange of knowledge between the various roadmaps make Delft an important place for quantum research. This position has been strengthened further with the establishment of the Microsoft lab.”

Terug naar overzicht

 InnovationQuarter investeert in duurzame ruimtevaartinnovaties van Dawn Aerospace
Foto Remco Zwinkels

Dawn Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Jeroen Wink, Stefan Powell, Robert Werner, Tobias Knop, and James Powell and has locations in Delft and New Zealand. The company is a spin-off from the TU Delft and part of the YES!Delft and StarBurst accelerator programmes. Dawn Aerospace is developing a reusable rocket for satellite launches as well as propulsion systems (thrusters) that are powered by non-toxic gasses. The rocket, also called ‘spaceplane’, will fly autonomously and can enter space several times a day, bringing small satellites into orbit around the earth.

Sustainable space innovations

Dawn Aerospace previously received MIT funding, a subsidy scheme set up by the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, to stimulate regional SMEs to develop new innovative products and services. This grant was used for the early stage development of their innovative thruster and Mk-II spaceplane. The spaceplane was successfully tested in August 2018 and an official launch of the Mk-II is expected in 2020.

Jeroen Wink, CEO Dawn Aerospace:

“In these incredibly exciting times for the space industry, the Mk-II Spaceplane will be the first in a series of reusable spacecraft that will radically change access to space”

Thrusters enable satellites to maneuver once they are in space. Adjustments may be necessary during the lifespan of the satellite, but the thrusters can also be used to push the satellite out of orbit at the end of its life cycle, avoiding space debris. Unlike conventional propulsion systems, which use hydrazine, the Dawn Aerospace thrusters are powered by a combination of widely available non-toxic gases. This makes the thrusters much more applicable, while maintaining the advantages chemically powered thrusters have over electric alternatives. The first thruster is scheduled to be launched from French Guyana in July 2019. A second launch, in cooperation with Dutch satellite company Hiber, will include the MIT-funded system and is planned for October 2019.

New opportunities for the transforming New Space Industry

The thruster technology is used to develop the spaceplane, which will launch small satellites in a more flexible, faster and cost-effective way. This is yet an unfulfilled gap in the ever growing market for small satellites for which Dawn Aerospace will offer a solution.

Francis Quint, head of InnovationQuarter Capital:

“This investment allows Dawn Aerospace to take the next steps in the development of their spaceplane, which enables faster, more cost-effective and greener satellite launches. We expect Dawn Aerospace to develop into a fast growing and important player within the West Holland aerospace cluster.

Terug naar overzicht

Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy: “These results once again confirm that foreign companies are important to our globally operating country. Around one million people work for foreign companies in the Netherlands and an additional half-million work indirectly for these companies as suppliers, particularly in SMEs. Due to the growing international uncertainty surrounding Brexit and changing global trade policies, the importance of a good Dutch business climate for all of us is continually increasing.”

The work of the NFIA falls partly under the responsibility of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag: “The impending Brexit and tensions around international trade provide opportunities for Dutch companies. Our companies are innovative, flexible and adapt to this changing market. Furthermore, the Netherlands’ position as a stable economic hub is also attractive to foreign companies. This position will only be further strengthened. It is positive that this is reflected in the approximately 10,000 newly-created jobs in 2018.”

These results once again confirm that foreign companies are important to our globally operating country – Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy

From headquarters to R&D

The NFIA is responsible for 8,475 out of the 9,847 jobs created by the Invest in Holland network. In 2018, the NFIA managed to attract 248 foreign investment projects to the Netherlands, which collectively account for 2.76 billion euros in investments. The annual results also show that the majority of new jobs are created within headquarters (2,259), followed by marketing & sales offices (1,834), distribution centers (1,053), service centers (977), production sites (884) and R&D locations (755). As illustration, sports media company DAZN established a development center in Amsterdam, Giant and Timberland expanded their European distribution locations (in Lelystad and Almelo respectively) and Mitsui Chemicals committed to producing plastics at the Chemelot Campus in Limburg.

The majority of ‘foreign jobs’ are, as in 2017, created by US companies. In 2018, this accounted for 3,185 jobs, with a total accompanying investment of 1.19 billion euros. Following the US is the United Kingdom (1,596 jobs), then China (614 jobs), Japan (580 jobs) and Germany (300 jobs).

More Brexit companies

In 2018, the Invest in Holland network brought 42 companies to the Netherlands as a result of Brexit, accounting for 1,923 jobs and some 291 million euros in investments. Companies signaling expansion of their offices in the Netherlands partly due to Brexit , include the Japanese investment bank Norinchukin and media company TVT Media. Financial services providers MarketAxess and Azimo, and maritime insurer UK P&I all announced office openings in our country last year,  due to  Brexit as well. The relocation of the European Medicines Agency(EMA) to Amsterdam, also supported by Invest in Holland, is included herein. In 2019, several companies, including Discovery and Bloomberg, have already announced their intention to invest in the Netherlands because of Brexit.

The number of companies relocating activities to our country due to Brexit has grown compared to 2017, during which 18 companies made a Brexit-related move to the Netherlands. Additionally, the NFIA is talking with more than 250 foreign companies considering setting up operations in the Netherlands following Brexit. These are predominantly British companies, but also American and Asian organizations that are reconsidering their current European structure due to uncertainties caused by Brexit. These include companies in the financial sector, media and advertising, life sciences & health and logistics. In addition to the Netherlands, these companies are also investigating options in other countries, including Germany, France and Ireland.

Since the establishment of the Invest in Holland network in 2015, the NFIA and its regional partners have attracted 1,402 companies to the Netherlands. This has resulted in a total direct inward investment of 8.1 billion euros and the creation of more than 43,000 jobs in the Netherlands. In addition to the NFIA, the Invest in Holland network comprises the regional development agencies: NOM, Oost NL, North-Holland North, amsterdam inbusiness, InnovationQuarter, The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners, Invest Utrecht, BOM, Invest in Zeeland, LIOF and HIDC.

Terug naar overzicht

Brazilian company DEX sets up office in The Hague

During the event, The Brazilian company DEX (Driving Educational eXcellence), the first company to use the services of ‘Softlanding The Hague’, was also presented. DEX chose to set up their business at The Hague Tech Campus. DEX will conduct research and development for the Brazilian company Inteligência Relacional, market leader in emotional and social intelligence educational programs with a client portfolio of nearly 1 million students. Inteligencia Relacional was established in The Hague this year as well.

About “Softlanding The Hague”

The ‘Softlanding The Hague’-program is founded by The Hague TechThe Hague Business Agency, InnovationQuarter & WorldStartupFactory . It is a full-service soft-landing program offering startups a one-stop-shop for business expansion and soft-landing related services. It is setup for international Tech startups and scale-ups who are interested to get a taste of the Dutch market, who want to validate their product-market fit, have interest in meeting potential customers and partners and want to join an active Tech community in The Hague. The program is free of charge, tailor-made and open for startups and scale-ups in all phases.

Interested in joining?

Find more information, or register directly here or get in touch with Stef Prinsen.

Terug naar overzicht


ArianeGroup, which has the design authority and industrial lead for the Ariane 6 launcher development and operation on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), appointed Airbus Netherlands partner for the development and production of the Ariane 6 Vulcain Aft Bay (VUAB) and the Vinci Thrust Frame (VITF) in June 2017. It led to the decision to build a dedicated industry 4.0 facility for the development and production of the Ariane 6 and also Vega-C structures. “Within 10 months, our state-of-the-art assembly facility has been built and equipped with innovative solutions, like a robotised production line and visualisation tools,” says Arnaud de Jong, managing director of Airbus Netherlands, “The smart factory is now fully ready to fulfil its challenging task and today’s opening is the crowning glory of a huge team effort. An effort which illustrates the clear mind-set to produce the new Ariane 6 engine frames in the most cost- and time-efficient way.”

InnovationQuarter has been involved in the process of finding a suitable location for the new Airbus production facility. “We are most happy with the expansion of Airbus,” says Niels Krol, senior accountmanager (Aero)space at InnovationQuarter. “It means a significant reinforcement for the space cluster in our region.”

Optimise logistics and assembly

To address the challenging commercial set-up of the European Ariane 6 programme, the Dutch space company Airbus chose a development and industrialisation approach that strikes a balance between heritage and the needed innovative green fields approach. This led to two key decisions to optimise the logistics and the assembly line:

  • The new site has a direct connection to the Rotterdam sea port, enabling safe and rapid transport of the large VUAB structure (5.4m diameter, 5.2m high) to ArianeGroup in Les Mureaux, France, for final assembly with the Ariane 6 launcher. The VITF engine frame will be transported to Bremen by road. Final stop for both engine frames is the European launch site Kourou in French Guyana.
  • The extended enterprise philosophy used by ArianeGroup towards its first tier partners was translated by Airbus Netherlands to its own supply chain. To gain maximum benefit, the main suppliers (and their machining facilities) are being integrated in the dedicated Ariane 6 facility, working as a shop-in-shop.

Industry 4.0

The facility is equipped with ‘Industry 4.0’ robotisation and automation capabilities, in order to be prepared for the anticipated production rates up to 24 engine frames (12 VUAB’s and 12 VITF’s) per year. Key elements of the industrialisation approach are:

  • Decision to have engineering and production go hand-in-hand;
  • Handling and assembly jig & tool concept based on a “flow process” instead of rigid and fixed-placed elements;
  • Implementation of smart manufacturing principles, including factory automation, implementation of a paperless factory and the application of lean flow principles.


Terug naar overzicht

Delft hosted General Assembly of European aerospace cluster partnership

This was a perfect opportunity to show 37 aerospace organizations from 14 different countries the unique ecosystems in Delft and the West Holland region. The EACP exchanges information and knowledge between its partners and develops long-term transnational cooperation between clusters and companies. Lots of possibilities for cooperation between West Holland and other European regions were discussed on topics like earth observation (Lazio), UAV’s (Puglia) and cabin design (Hamburg).

10 reasons why West Holland is the hotspot for Aerospace

The spectacular atrium of Westcord hotel Delft was the central venue for the GA meeting. After a day of presentations and working groups, the members enjoyed a canal tour through the city centre. Special guest at the dinner in Wijnhaven was alderman Bas Vollebregt who welcomed the guests and elaborated on the strong aerospace footprint of the city.

The following day the participants visited TU Delft incubator YES!Delft and spoke to some aeronautic start-ups and scale-ups. In the afternoon they took a look at the World Horti Centre to learn about the mutual challenges both the aerospace and the horticulture industry face like robotization, sustainability, and use of new/durable energy.