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

Pesticides have limited effect

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

Bat-like drones vs moths

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

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

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

Liduina Hammer

Fund Manager UNIIQ
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Numerous inspections between field and fork

Every year in the Netherlands, around 5.400 million kg of vegetables and 650 million kg of fruit is produced. Before a particular vegetable or piece of fruit reaches its final point of sale, it’s been through various sets of hands to guarantee its quality and to sort it into the right quality class. The vegetable is scrutinized manually on deviations in color and shape, and blemishes or damages. All because the standards and norms as set by supermarkets and other retailers are unrelenting and high. Inspection of the produce to guarantee its quality is vital, but the current manual inspections are prone to error and demand a capacity in personnel that is becoming increasingly hard to meet in a sector where staff turnover rates are high.

Gearbox’ solution: an AI-driven grading robot

Gearbox Innovations saw the added value for the different elements of the value chain if both quality control and grading were to become more reliable, more consistent, and faster. The company developed the GearVision Inspector, a stand-alone smart grading robot that is able to deliver a thorough quality analysis, and the GearVision Sorter, an in-line solution to optimally sort the produce according to its quality. The two machines combine vision technology with artificial intelligence to be able to quickly but accurately grade and consequently sort fresh fruit and vegetables. This provides the complete supply chain, from the breeder to the packaging company, with a futureproof approach to quality control that is tailored to their specific needs and requirements. A thorough report provides actionable insights on how to increase the produce’s quality. With the digitization of the grading process, a transition towards fully automated sorting and packaging of fruit and vegetables lies within reach.

Gearbox ontwikkelt digitale keurmeester voor groente en fruit met investering van UNIIQ

Gearbox Innovation will use the UNIIQ investment to further develop the GearVision, unlocking more product varieties and applications, and to expand their activities to foreign markets. Simone Keijzer, together with Johan Kreeft founder of Gearbox Innovations, is very pleased with the investment by UNIIQ:

The GearVision allows the sector to increase both the coverage ratio and the consistency of their grading processes, while taking into account their specific wishes and ‘product recipes’. Our actionable reports create insight in growth- and harvesting data, allowing the grower to actively steer towards a higher qualitative output, and ultimately better yields. With the UNIIQ investment we can expand the GearVision’s crop- and productportfolio, and roll out the innovation internationally.

Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ fund manager: “Gearbox’ intelligent automation solution represents an important step for the entire horticultural value chain. We are very pleased that with our investment, Gearbox can help individual companies in the supply- and value chain optimize their performance. Zooming out, the automation of the grading process of fruit and vegetables fits with the developments and trends we see in the sector as a whole.”

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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.

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Everyone wants to be healthy and it just so happens that Dutch horticulture specialises in healthy products. But it is still rare for a doctor to prescribe a diet consisting for the most part of fresh vegetables instead of pills. One reason for this is that we are insufficiently aware of which nutrients are present in which vegetables and in what quantities. Our health would benefit greatly from more insight into the specific value of fresh vegetables. Enterprises in various sectors, including company catering and professional sports, could certainly use such information to their advantage.

Natasja van der Lely (vers+):

Everything around us becomes more personal, the consumer is almost crying out. And what does food do? One size fits all!

A few years ago, with this in mind, a number of companies in the horticulture sector decided to come together to found vers+. Their goal is to provide reliable data about the precise nutrients found in a range of vegetables and to bring these vegetables to market. vers+ is now developing a database containing this information. The database is to be used by partners to develop healthy, nutritional concepts.

Have look at the vers+ dinner pictures on our Flickr page! 

Nutrients and vegetables

Over the past few years under the vers+ banner, partner companies have rolled out a number of pilot projects and have targeted patients with prostate cancer and children attending day care centres. One aim was to assess how personalised nutrition works in practice. The Dutch Horticulture and Propagation Materials Top Sector recently provided a positive assessment of the ‘Value of Fruit and Vegetables’ project. During this project, various measuring methods will be developed and combined so that phytonutrients and impacts on health can be measured. The project was initiated by vers+ and Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo.

Personalised dinner

To raise awareness of vers+ and inspire potential new partners, vers+ recently decided to organise a customised dinner. All guests received a DNA kit beforehand. Omnigen analysed the profile results to identify each guest’s macronutrient and micronutrient needs.

Based on the DNA profiles, Hutten Catering prepared a personalised dinner for each guest at Koppert Cress. All guests also received their DNA profile tailored to their nutritional requirements. vers+ organised the event to inspire business partners to think about commercial opportunities in the field of personalised food and health. The dinner provided first-hand insight into the many new revenue models that are already within reach.

Succesvol vers+ diner op maat inspireert over gepersonaliseerde voeding en gezondheid

New opportunities for Dutch horticulture

Around 100 invited guests from horticulture, healthcare, retail and catering attended the vers+ dinner. Natasja van der Lely (Koppert Cress/vers+) and Marieke Kodde (InnovationQuarter) offered their views on personalised food and health. In the near future, vers+ will be transformed into an organisation working for both long-term and occasional partners and aims to create new opportunities for Dutch horticulture products based on healthy nutrients.

Marieke Kodde:

With the nutrients that are naturally present in fresh vegetables, we can take a place in the developments in the field of personalized nutrition and health. vers + can contribute to a healthier society and to business opportunities for horticulture.

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Smart Yields Selects The Hague as its European Headquarters

Smart Yields uses IoT to help small-and-medium-size farmers to farm smarter. Smart Yields connects farmers, their communities, municipalities, universities and agricultural researchers through crowd-sourced data gathered from a network of integrated agricultural sensors. The raw data covering everything from soil health to inputs such as water, energy and nutrients is translated by Smart Yields into actionable insight for the benefit of farmers.

In the United States the company has – amongst others – successfully brought its IoT solution to the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, where it is helping with the prevention of crop loss due to late frost.

Smart Yields is hosting its first-ever European stakeholder event at The Hague on July 11, 2018. The company is part of West Holland’s growing agro-technology and social-impact movement, supported by InnovationQuarter and The Hague Business Agency.

“The Netherlands is changing the way small- and medium-size farmers monitor and cultivate their crops, and we want to help bring those innovations to the world, aligning their farming frameworks with other global best practices,” said Vincent Kimura, CEO of Smart Yields.

Smart Yields has partnered with Salt Farm Texel, an “open-air lab” researching crops that are resistant to high-salinity growing conditions. Saline soils are a pressing agricultural issue due to changes in climate and sea levels. Smart Yields technologies will be used to monitor soil moisture, salinity and other conditions, with the goal of expanding to thousands of farmers in areas like Bangladesh. Using Smart Yields’ big data network, Salt Farm Texel can establish remote monitoring stations, allowing it to seamlessly work with farmers from around the globe. Smart Yields is also launching a partnership with Sensoterra, an Amsterdam-based leader in low-cost, soil moisture monitoring hardware. Smart Yields will pair its data platform and easy-to-use mobile interface with Sensoterra’s wireless hardware.

This global expansion lays the groundwork for Smart Yields’ development of regional Centers of Excellence to share and refine best practices across the agricultural sector – from agronomy to sustainability to workforce development. Smart Yields plans to host an international farmers meeting in the Netherlands next year.

 

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Drecht Cities International

CEO Rientz Willem Bol (left) explains Bolidt’s transition plan to international companies from the Drecht Cities region

An impulse for international interaction

In addition to a number of local executives, the group consisted mostly of directors of foreign-owned companies from the Drecht Cities region and Dutch companies with a large international footprint. The aim was to promote interaction among these companies and to improve contacts with local and regional government.

After short introductions from Drecht Cities, InnovationQuarter and Deal, the CEO of Bolidt, mr.  Rientz Willem Bol, gave an insight into the ambitious plans he is carrying out to prepare his company for the future. A four-year transition plan is currently underway and causes an notable cultural change within the company. According to Bol, the company must abandon its’ traditional ways of operating, to stay ahead of global competition. Therefore Bolidt is now focusing on a future in which co-creation, innovation and customer experience are key, with the highlight being the completion of an Experience & Innovation Center in the spring of 2019.

The enthusiasm of mr. Bol inspired and motivated some of the participants to implement his fresh ideas within their own organizations. In addition, relevant business contacts were made during the networking part afterwards.

The international ecosystem in Drecht Cities

The Drecht Cities region is home to around 150 companies that are owned by foreign multinationals. In addition, hundreds of Dutch companies from this region are active in international markets and many SMEs and startups have international ambitions. Drecht Cities, InnovationQuarter and Deal assist regional businesses with their internationalization goals, for example by organizing international trade missions. In addition, InnovationQuarter and Deal actively attract new (foreign) companies to this region in order to draw new investments and create more jobs.

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InnovationQuarter Jaarverslag 2017, de TerugblIQ

More collaboration and more implementation strength

Collaboration has been key to the success of InnovationQuarter since its inception in 2014. As the regional development agency for West Holland, InnovationQuarter works to strengthen the innovation eco system by working with companies, knowledge institutions, cluster and delta organisations and incubators, as well as financiers and investors, top sectors and government agencies. The aim is a West Holland ecosystem that helps parties to find each other easily, stimulates cross-pollination between the strong regional clusters, facilitates the growth of innovative firms and attracts foreign companies.

InnovationQuarter was evaluated in mid-2017. The evaluation report concluded: “With the arrival of InnovationQuarter, our implementation strength in terms of structurally strengthening the economy and stimulating innovation has increased considerably, and collaboration in West Holland has grown rapidly.”

More results

InnovationQuarter exceeded its ambitious objectives for 2017 in all areas.

  • InnovationQuarter Business Development achieved 56 business cases and innovation projects with an investment volume of €23 million. InnovationQuarter worked with several hundred companies on these partnerships. These were often trend-setting, cross-sectoral projects focusing on the transition to the ‘next economy’.
  • InnovationQuarter Foreign Investments helped 50 foreign companies to establish themselves, move to or expand in the region. Within three years, these enterprises expect to create 1,204 extra jobs in West Holland and invest an additional €78.4 million. Since InnovationQuarter started out in 2014, the number of foreign companies landing in West Holland has increased by no less than 76% (*), partly due to the joint efforts of our acquisition partners.
  • InnovationQuarter Capital invested in 23 companies during 2017. While IQCapital was responsible for 14 investments, UNIIQ funded the other nine. As a result of these investments, the amount of additional capital attracted to the region was €44.6 million. The companies in the agency’s portfolio expect to create 348 extra jobs over the next three years. What is remarkable is that IQCapital and UNIIQ were the most active investment funds in the Netherlands in 2017. Moreover, ENERGIIQ, the West Holland energy innovation fund, was launched in September 2017.

In addition, InnovationQuarter not only supports entrepreneurs based in the region to achieve their internationalisation ambitions but also serves as the link between the ‘top sector policy’ of the national government and the regional business community. Moreover, InnovationQuarter presents West Holland as a unique delta region, a 24/7 real-life testing ground for promising innovations.

“In everything we do as a regional development agency, we try to maximise our added value. We do this by drawing on the combined strength of various networks, knowledge sources and expertise”, says Rinke Zonneveld, director of InnovationQuarter. “This means we are more than a connector and a catalyst, more than an acquisition agency and more than an investor!”

 

Jaarverslag InnovationQuarter 2017: Meer samenwerking, meer uitvoeringskracht, meer resultaat in Zuid-Holland

Shareholders InnovationQuarter receive the first copy of TerugblIQ, the InnovationQuarter 2017 Annual Report.

Roadmap to the Next Economy

InnovationQuarter’s annual report gives a voice to entrepreneurs who make use of high-impact, leading-edge technologies: business people at the forefront of innovation and for whom collaboration is key for the future.

Rinke Zonneveld: “In light of our ambition to tackle important social issues in fields such as healthcare, security and energy, these are the entrepreneurs we like to help. This enables us to bring the ‘next economy’ closer within our region. This year, InnovationQuarter and our many partners will provide a strong boost in this area by assuming responsibility for launching the Roadmap for the Next Economy.”

* This concerns the projects completed by the regional acquisition agencies Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Busines Agency and InnovationQuarter in collaboration with the NFIA (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency).

TerugblIQ – InnovationQuarter 2017 Annual Report

Curious about our results? View the InnovationQuarter 2017 Annual Report below (in Dutch). Would you like to receive a hard copy of the Annual Report? Send an email with your contact details to: communicatie@innovationquarter.nl.

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Sterke groei buitenlandse bedrijven in Zuid-Holland / RDM Rotterdam
RDM Rotterdam

Most investments are from China and the United States

Most foreign companies that made a new or expansion investment in West Holland in 2017 came from China (27) and the USA (21). In recent years, the majority of firms investing in the region have come from these two countries.

Chinese companies that have set up business in West Holland include Nuctech (a security company with its European head office in Rotterdam), Astronergy (marketing and sales office for solar panels in Zoetermeer) and ZoneCom (active in the gaming sector, with its European head office in The Hague).

Major names from the US include Cisco (establishment of a local branch in The Hague), Rambus (expansion of its office and activities in Rotterdam) and DXC Technology (new Dutch head office in Rijswijk).

Sterke groei buitenlandse bedrijven in Zuid-Holland / Skyline Den Haag
Skyline Den Haag (© Arjan de Jager)

New countries of origin, new sectors

What is striking about the figures for 2017 is the strong growth in the number of companies from India and South Africa. Eight companies from India and five from South Africa chose West Holland as their base in the Netherlands.

Also noteworthy in recent years has been the growing presence of firms active in the Next Economy. This includes a significant number of young tech companies that have made West Holland their base due to the region’s strong innovation ecosystem. No fewer than 27 of the 115 newly-established foreign firms in 2017 operate in the high-tech and IT sectors, followed by 14 in the maritime/offshore sector, 11 in life sciences & health and 10 in safety & (cyber)security.

Investor Relations programme: 289 companies visited

In addition to attracting new companies, The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter also actively support foreign firms that have already set up business in the region. This is part of the national Investor Relations programme, which is partly financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Region (MRDH) and the Province of Zuid-Holland. In 2017, the three acquisition partners visited a total of 289 companies through the programme.

Sterke groei buitenlandse bedrijven in Zuid-Holland / Leiden Bio Science Park
Leiden Bio Science Park (© Hielco Kuipers)

Successful cooperation on acquisition in West Holland

Attracting and retaining foreign investment is of great importance to West Holland and the Netherlands, not least in terms of economic growth and job creation. The 115 international companies supported in 2017, for example, are expecting to create 1,986 new jobs within three years and to secure 366 existing jobs. These companies are jointly investing 543.79 million euros in the region.

The 115 investment projects are the result of a joint effort by the regional agencies Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in association with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and strong clusters such as Medical Delta, Maritime Delta and The Hague Security Delta. The acquisition partners have been collaborating closely since 2014, both strategically and in practice, and have achieved great success. Over the last three years, the number of projects implemented in cooperation with the NFIA has risen by no less than 76% (*). Moreover, 31% of all foreign companies that established themselves in the Netherlands during 2017 opted for West Holland, well above the region’s share in the national economy. In 2014, it was 20%.

 

* This concerns the projects completed by Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in collaboration with the NFIA (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency).

 

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World Horti Center
Photo: Richard Kok Lentiz Onderwijsgroep

World Horti Center

All the links within the horticulture chain – around 100 companies – exhibit the latest innovations and development all year round in the World Horti Center. Practical education on MBO (secondary professional education), HBO (higher professional education) and university levels are offered in the heart of the sector. Students at all levels come in contact with a multidimensional career in horticulture.

Schools and business carry out research in sustainable applications in order to respond to worldwide issues such as food security, food safety, water management, sustainability and health.

As a showcase of the horticultural sector, the centre expects around 25,000 professional local and international visitors annually and it serves as a breeding ground for new initiatives, such as HortiHeroes, an incubator and talent programme for the sector.

Anne-Claire van Altvorst, Senior Business Developer Horticulture at InnovationQuarter, was also closely involved in the further development of the center:

The iconic World Horti Center embraces the entire Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector under one roof. The innovation of worldwide glasshouse horticulture takes place mainly in West Holland. And from now on we will tell this to the whole world!

InnovationQuarter’s Business Developer Colinda de Beer provided a workshop on blockchain in the horticultural sector during the opening.

 

Source / World Horti Center

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YES!Delft en UtrechtInc bij internationale top universitaire bedrijfsincubators

World Top Business Incubator

This year, UBI global defined 4 categories. YES!Delft and UtrechtInc were respectively ranked 2 and 10 in the category: World Top Business Incubator – Affiliated with University. In 2015 YES!Delft ranked 9th on the global list.

This result proves that our programs really are of world class. With our Discovery Track, Validation Lab and Accelerator program we help startups grow successfully within 9 months from business idea to investor-ready.
~ EJ Lugt, Managing Director at YES!Delft

UtrechtInc

UtrechtInc also maintains a top position on the international international list by UBI Global and is glad to receive this recognition. Managing Director Jorg Kop: “We offer supporting programs to researchers of Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht to bring research to the market. This way, we contribute to the valorization of scientific knowledge and making this publicly accessible.” Since 2009 the incubator supported 184 startups.

Proud

Startup Envoy Prince Constantijn at StartupDelta congratulates YES!Delft and UtrechtInc. “Incubators and accelerators can play a crucial role in the valorization of scientific data and supporting academic startups. The universities of Delft and Utrecht must be proud of the successes of YES!Delft and UtrechtInc, who are contributing immensely to the Dutch startup and scale-up ecosystem.”

Research

Every two years UBI Global, a renowned Swedish research- and advicebureau in the field of business incubation, conducts research amongst 500 incubators and accelerators in over 70 countries. An example of a selection criteria are the accessibility to capital and economic impact of the incubators. In 2016, the 259 participating programs supported over 10.000 startups in total, research shows. The total number of employees was 72.000. In the past 5 years, the startups raised a total of 4,7 billion euros and had a total of 3,2 billion in revenue.

The ranking list was announced at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto (CAN). Curious for the entire global ranking? Please visit www.ubi-global.com.

 

Source / YES!Delft

 

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Attractive business climate in the Netherlands

Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Eric Wiebes, commented: “The presence of foreign companies is important for our country. Some 1.4 million Dutch people have a job directly or indirectly thanks to these companies. The excellent annual NFIA results confirm that we benefit from a good investment climate. Our highly educated population, good infrastructure, pleasant housing and living conditions and competitive fiscal climate attract foreign companies and employees. For our future economic growth and employment it is important that the Dutch business climate remains attractive. We all benefit from that. ”

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, under whose responsibility the NFIA falls as well, commented: “The Netherlands has an attractive business climate, and the Dutch economy is in good shape. Also, with a view to Brexit, there is increasing interest from international companies to move activities to the Netherlands or to establish themselves in the Netherlands. It is therefore important that the NFIA, Dutch embassies and consulates overseas continue to put the Netherlands on the map abroad.”

Distribution centers and headquarters

Within the Invest in Holland network, the NFIA was directly responsible for 8,158 of the 12,686 jobs. In 2017, the NFIA registered 224 foreign direct investment projects for the Netherlands, corresponding to 1.23 billion euros in investments. The NFIA results show that most new jobs were created in distribution centers (1,864), at headquarters (1,345), in marketing & sales offices (1,316), R&D (1,259) and production sites (1,081). To illustrate, Netflix expanded its European headquarters in Amsterdam with a customer contact center of 400 jobs. Merck Performance Materials invested 15 million euros in its production plant for so-called liquid crystal glass in Veldhoven. Meanwhile, Japanese gelatin producer Jellice expanded its production plant in Emmen, resulting in 25 additional jobs.

US companies lead employment creation

As in 2016, the majority of ‘foreign’ jobs were created by companies from the United States. NFIA results for 2017 indicate some 2,516 jobs created by US companies, bringing 110 million euros in investments.  Companies from within Europe also provided a substantial number of jobs (2,879), including the UK (872). Japan and India provided 655 and 423 jobs, respectively.  Majority of jobs from foreign investments in 2017 came from creative industries such as fashion and entertainment & media (2,126). Additional jobs by sector include agrifood (1,788), IT (1,219), life sciences & health (600) and business services (457).

Brexit

Within the Invest in Holland network, including West Holland acquisition partners The Hague Business Agency, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter, special attention was on Brexit last year. The NFIA is in contact with more than 200 foreign companies that are considering a switch to the Netherlands in the wake of Brexit. Many companies choose to wait before they announce their plans for the future, due to the lack of clarity about the new relationship between the UK and the EU. In 2017, 18 companies made a Brexit-related move to the Netherlands. These re-locations accounted for 483 jobs and 19 million euros added to the Dutch economy. In these results, the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam is not yet included.

 

Source / NFIA

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Recordaantal buitenlandse bedrijven investeren in Den Haag

FMost investments are from China and the United States

With 14 companies, China proved to be the largest investor in The Hague again last year. However, the extra efforts of The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter to attract companies from the United States, the United Kingdom and India in particular paid off in 2017. Some 11 US firms chose The Hague as a base for business, while six companies from the United Kingdom invested in the city and no fewer than five Indian enterprises opened a new branch here.

Deputy Mayor Karsten Klein (Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health): “The Hague has made great strides in recent years to raise its international profile as an attractive business destination. New partnerships with the Indian states of Karnatarka and Telangana, as well as the collaboration between our acquisition partners and other partners within the city, have contributed to this. There has been an immediate and visible growth in investments from this country, which will ultimately result in more jobs for the city.”

Record number of foreign companies invest in The Hague

IT, Tech, Cybersecurity and Energy

The Hague is very popular with companies in the IT, Tech and Cybersecurity sectors. LeoSat, a US tech firm, opted for The Hague and starting in 2019 is slated to be the first company in the world to offer low-latency, long-distance data traffic using optical inter-satellite connections.

The Indian company Krypc Technologies, a fast-growing international supplier of blockchain platforms, and the US cybersecurity business Dtex Systems, which develops unique software for detecting threats from the inside and infiltration from outside, both chose The Hague as the location for their European headquarters. In addition, the Danish energy company Ørsted (formerly Dong Energy) chose The Hague as a base from which to prepare the construction of wind farms in the North Sea.

These developments serve to boost the city’s role in vital sectors, such as Energy, IT, Tech and Cybersecurity, and have a knock-on effect by making The Hague even more attractive to foreign companies looking to invest.

Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines (Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education):  “Our policy of stimulating the knowledge infrastructure as well as encouraging close cooperation between educational institutions and the business community are clearly having a positive impact. The focus on innovative economic sectors is already resulting in extra jobs. We are also working hard on strengthening the peace and justice and security clusters by internationally raising the profile of the city in these sectors and emphasising their economic added value.”

Blockchain platform provider KrypC Technologies opens its European office in The Hague

Krypc Technologies / from left to right: Mark Beermann, Danny Frietman (Enterprise Summit), Karsten Klein (Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, Harbours, Welfare and Health), Venu Rajamony (Ambassador of India), Ilja van Haaren (The Hague Business Agency), Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter) and Paul de Kroon (34 Capital).

International city of Peace, Justice and Security

More International organisations and NGOs are also finding their way to The Hague, international city of peace, justice and security. In 2017, the Department of International Affairs (Bureau Internationale Zaken, BIZ) in collaboration with The Hague Business Agency helped UN OCHA and International Alert set up office in The Hague.

UN OCHA is a data centre for collecting and analysing information on people affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises. The non-governmental organisation International Alert was established to help people in conflict zones find peaceful solutions.

Additional jobs for The Hague

The Hague’s appeal as a business city is increasing. In addition to the companies that were actively supported by the acquisition partners mentioned above, other international firms have also opted for The Hague. AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical firm with its international head office in the United Kingdom, moved 200 people from Zoetermeer to The Hague, while the British company Merlin Entertainments confirmed The Hague as the location for a Legoland Discovery Centre. This tourist attraction is expected to open its doors to the general public in 2019.

Cooperation in The Hague region

Attracting foreign investment is of great importance to The Hague as well as to the Netherlands. It contributes to economic growth and creates jobs. The 54 investment projects are the result of a joint effort by The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter in association with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. As ‘Invest in Holland‘ partners, the two acquisition partners support the City of The Hague in profiling the region internationally as an economically attractive business location. Have a look also at the NFIA results 2017.

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The Netherlands in Top 10 in Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018

The human factor is the most critical resource for national competitiveness. Launched in 2013, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is a benchmarking tool for governments, cities, businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help design their talent strategies, overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace.

The annual index assesses policies and practices that enable countries and cities to attract, develop and retain both ‘technical/vocational skills’ and the ‘global knowledge skills’ associated with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

The GTCI 2018 edition found that the Top 10 countries have several key characteristics in common and share one major feature: they all have a well-developed educational system providing the social and collaboration skills needed for employability in today’s labor market. Other characteristics in common between the top-ranking countries include a flexible regulatory and business landscape; employment policies which combine flexibility and social protection; and external and internal openness.

GTCI 2018 - Top countries and cities ranking in talent competitiveness

The Netherlands ranks 9th

European countries continue to dominate the rankings, taking eight of the Top 10 spots:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. United States
  4. Norway
  5. Sweden
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Netherlands
  10. Luxembourg

Top 10 cities

In the cities portion of the index, eight out of the Top 10 ranking cities are located in Europe. As in the case of countries, over time, higher GDP levels naturally lead to higher technology penetration, creating ecosystems with better quality education, business, healthcare and infrastructure.

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Stockholm, Sweden
  3. Oslo, Norway
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Helsinki, Finland
  6. Washington DC
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. San Francisco
  9. Paris
  10. Brussels, Belgium

The Dutch cities Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam ranked respectively 11th, 27th and 34th.

Diversity for Competitiveness

In addition to the talent competitiveness ranking, this year’s report investigated the theme of ‘Diversity for Competitiveness’. The report found that diversity is not an end in itself, but must always be accompanied by a culture of inclusion in order to flourish and have real impact.

“Focusing on diversity and inclusion is crucial to overcome the fractures and inequalities of our age,” said Adecco Group CEO Alain Dehaze. “This means nurturing a culture of inclusion, starting at home and school, fighting bias and developing social and collaborative skills, which are key to unleash the power of work and will make the future work for everyone.”

 

Source / GTIC, Staffingindustry.com

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Forbes names the Netherlands No. 3 Best Country for Business

Forbes about the Netherlands

As the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, Forbes reports: “[the Netherlands] plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and low unemployment.” Holland was also among the best countries for technology and innovation.

Inside the Ranking

Forbes determines the Best Countries for Business by rating 153 nations on 15 different factors. Those include property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, infrastructure, market size, political risk, quality of life, workforce, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection. Each category is equally weighted.

In addition to the general list, the Netherlands also ranked highly among best countries for personal freedom, technology, innovation, and property rights.

Forbes has rated the business friendliness of the world’s biggest economies annually for the past 12 years. Have a look at the full report at www.forbes.com.

 

Source / Invest in Holland

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ECE's Scale-up Dashboard 2017

Scale-ups in the Netherlands

The Scale-up Dashboard 2017 shows that:

  • The number of scale-ups in The Netherlands has increased to 3237. This means that the number of scale-ups increased by 5.4% in the past year compared to the previous year.
  • The number of startups becoming scale-ups rises tremendously. Over the past two years, this has increased by no less than 220%. One in ten scale-ups in the Netherlands arise from a startup.
  • Top sectors count relatively many scale-ups. The top sectors Energy, High-tech and Life Sciences & Health are at the frontrunners.
  • An increasing number of companies in the Netherlands are hardly, if at all, growing. Almost a third of Dutch companies are even shrinking.

ECE's SCale-up Dashboard 2017, the statistics

More startups become scale-ups

Prof.dr. Justin Jansen: “The Scale-up Dashboard is the first list that truly takes into account and measures all companies in the Netherlands with more than 10 FTE. There are more lists about scale-ups available, but those give limited insights because companies have to register themselves or the lists are focused on specific sectors. Insight in which companies truly belong to the Top of scale-ups is missing and that is what we hope to achieve by creating and launching this Top 250 Scale-ups (Top 250 Groeibedrijven) – of over 3000 scale-ups – in the Netherlands.”

“Although more and more startups are making the step to scale-up, considerable efforts are still needed to keep countries like China, Israel and America up and running”, says Prince Constantijn van Oranje, special envoy of StartupDelta. Find out what he has to say more about the current position of startups and scale-ups in the Netherlands and the research findings (interview BNR in Dutch).

Interested? Have a look at the preview above or request the Scale-up Dashboard 2017 via www.ece.nl. A similar dashboard (in Dutch) is available for scale-ups in Zuid-Holland.

 

Source / ECE