Terug naar overzicht

IBM’s Global Location Trends Show Record Year for Inward Investment in the Netherlands

High ranking in IBM Global Location Trends

According to IBM’s annual report Holland’s inward investment increased approximately 10 percent, “Building on the significant momentum and growth seen in the previous three years.” Globally, job creation through foreign direct investments (FDI) also increased 10 percent, reaching its strongest performance in the past decade.

In addition, the Netherlands ranks No. 4 globally by average job value of investment projects. Finally, the Amsterdam-Rotterdam metropolitan area shows consistent growth and is a global top destination for foreign investors. This metropolitan area, the so called ‘Randstad’ includes the cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and their surrounding areas. The metro ranks No. 2 by number of projects.

Overall, access to “International markets and leveraging global supply chains are expected to continue to drive foreign investment,” said IBM. Each year the report analyzes the latest trends in corporate location selection, and where companies are locating and expanding their businesses around the world, creating jobs.

Recent investments in Holland

Contributing to growth of investment in the Netherlands are countless multinationals.

Just this summer, data center company Equinix and biofuels producer Renewable Energy Group expanded to Amsterdam. Australian space startup Fleet Space Technologies opened its European headquarters in Delft, Japanese biotech company Human Metabalome Technologies opened an office in the Leiden Bio Science Park and previously American cyber security company Dtex Systems sets up in Europe’s leading security cluster: The Hague Security Delta (HSD). Meanwhile, leading retailers Zalando and Bestseller United, based in Germany and Denmark respectively, joined the FashionTrade wholesale platform in Amsterdam.

In 2016, companies such as Google, Medtronic, Oracle, PVH, Grünenthal’s Innovative Medicines Unit, Carnival, Aegex, Coca-Cola, Danone, Can-Pack, Hikvision, HEAD Aerospace,  and more celebrated expansions and establishments in Holland.

FDI growth driven by manufacturing, logistics and ICT

IBM’s Global Location Trends 2017 reports manufacturing, logistics and ICT leading global foreign direct investment growth. These sectors align with key industries in the Netherlands.

Considered one of the most wired countries in the world, Holland is a hotspot for information and communications technology companies. Global IT companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Interxion, Infosys, Huawei, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon and Google invest in Holland for its unparalleled IT infrastructure.

Additionally, the Netherlands is a hub for foreign-owned logistics and distribution operations. Many multinationals choose Holland as their gateway to Europe to manage supply chain or grow e-commerce operations. Companies in a wide range of industries – from agrifood and life sciences to chemicals, maritime and IT – have also established advanced manufacturing operations in the Netherlands.

IBM’s Global Location Trends Show Record Year for Inward Investment in the Netherlands

Amsterdam/Rotterdam 2nd most attractive region

The Dutch region Amsterdam/Rotterdam (‘Randstad’) is the 2nd most attractive metropolitan region in the world for foreign investments, based on the number of projects. Also this becomes apparent in the IBM Global Location Trends Rapport 2017.

The attractiveness of the Amsterdam/Rotterdam region has increased in comparison to the report from 2016, when the same region was ranked 3rd in the IBM report. According to the IBM report, the Amsterdam/Rotterdam region shows consistent growth and has become a top destination for foreign investors, especially ICT companies.


Source / IBM Institute for Business Value / NFIA / Rotterdam Partners

Terug naar overzicht
Oxy-Low ontvangt groeifincanciering

From left to right: Jaap Smit (King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland), Sanne van Rennes (Oxy-Low) en Pieter van Rennes (Oxy-Low)

Jaap Smit, King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland, and Adri Bom-Lemstra, Regional Minister (Economic Affairs), announced the investments at the international ERIAFF food and agriculture conference, which kicked off in The Hague on Thursday, 29 June. The government officials symbolically handed over the InnovationQuarter investments to the directors of the three companies. These regional resources, in combination with European funds, are aimed at boosting companies that contribute to innovation within the international agricultural and horticultural sector.

Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra said,

Innovation and technological advances are crucial for the further development of the Greenport and will allow us to retain and reinforce our leading global position. With their innovative technology, Condi Food and Longbloom are well-positioned to help us achieve this.

Both companies will receive capital through UNIIQ, a fund that helps companies in the proof-of-concept phase to bring their innovation to market faster.

King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland Jaap Smit announced the IQCapital investment in family-run business Oxy-Low and said: “I am proud that once again several companies in West Holland can take a huge step forward thanks to an investment made possible by InnovationQuarter. Companies like Oxy-Low demonstrate the region’s strength for innovation in the agricultural and horticultural sector.”

Condi Food, Warmond

Condi Food uses hyperspectral technology from the aerospace industry to assess the different characteristics of food products, including food quality. For example, the technology can be used to test the ripeness and taste of fruit and can also evaluate the freshness of products, such as salmon or sea bass. Condi Food is able to determine desired quality characteristics in a continuous, non-destructive manner with automated inline processes. In this way, the company contributes to improved food quality and safety.


From left to right: Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra (Economic Affairs), Jacques van Munster van Heuven (Condi Food), Robi Nederlof (Condi Food)

Longbloom, Bleiswijk

Longbloom has developed a revolutionary process for preserving flowers. By using CO2 ‘waste’ released from the port of Rotterdam, the company can apply a special treatment that allows the quality of fresh flowers to be preserved for several months to several years. This innovative technology preserves flowers in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly way than the current production standard. The global market demand for preserved flowers is growing considerably. Whereas the current focus within the industry is on flowers with a strong structure, Longbloom can respond effectively to the rising demand because its process allows for the preservation of new and more delicate varieties of flowers. The region’s infrastructure, combined with the quality and diversity of flowers grown in West Holland, make it the ideal location for Longbloom to test and develop this technology.


From left to right: Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra (Economic Affairs), Adriaan Meewisse (Longbloom)

Oxy-Low, Numansdorp

Oxy-Low serves the global market with biological insect control methods that are not harmful to people and the environment. Moreover, these methods contribute to preserving the quality of the product. International customers use Oxy-Low’s solutions to treat, package, transport and store various food and non-food commodities. Thanks to these solutions, loss of food products due to deterioration can be reduced and product quality is preserved for longer periods. With its environmentally friendly solution, Oxy-Low offers an alternative to toxic fumigation and helps its customers meet the social challenges of sustainable chains and food safety.

Francis Quint, Head of InnovationQuarter Capital, is very pleased with these three investments:

InnovationQuarter invests in innovative companies in West Holland at all stages of a company’s life cycle. With the investments in Condi Food and Longbloom from our proof-of-concept fund, UNIIQ, and the investment in Oxy-Low from IQCapital, West Holland is providing a broad-based boost to the international agricultural and horticultural sector.

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

Terug naar overzicht
Oxy-Low ontvangt groeifinanciering voor milieuvriendelijke oplossingen voor ongediertebestrijding

From left to right: Jaap Smit (commissaris van de Koning in de provincie Zuid-Holland), Sanne van Rennes (Oxy-Low) en Pieter van Rennes (Oxy-Low)

The new standard in pest control

Based in Numansdorp, Oxy-Low was founded in 2008 by two entrepreneurs with a proven track record in alternative insect treatment methods based on the principles of modified and controlled atmosphere. In 2014, the company was passed on to Sanne and Pieter van Rennes, the next generation. Since then, Oxy-Low has successfully commercialised the application of low oxygen technology for use in innovative, patented packaging machines and controlled atmosphere chambers.

Oxy-Low specialises in alternative, biological pest control methods and the high-quality preservation of food and non-food commodities. By exposing products to low oxygen levels, insects are killed and the use of toxic pesticides is avoided. The Oxy-Low Modified Atmosphere packaging line also provides protection against insect re-infestation and the degradation of product quality.

The technology offers many advantages over alternative packaging and pest control methods, such as vacuum and freezing treatments and toxic fumigation. Moreover, Oxy-Low’s environmentally friendly solution is more effective than vacuum packaging in preserving the quality of the packaged product. The integrated energy saving system, short treatment times and reduction of product recalls also mean that the method is often cheaper.

Oxy-Low ontvangt groeifinanciering voor milieuvriendelijke oplossingen voor ongediertebestrijding

From left to right: Carolien Sants (InnovationQuarter), Jaap Smit (commissaris van de Koning in de provincie Zuid-Holland), Sanne van Rennes (Oxy-Low), Pieter van Rennes (Oxy-Low), Francis Quint (InnovationQuarter) en Martien Kuunders (InnovationQuarter)

Global player with an expanding product portfolio

Oxy-Low is a global player and offers SMART solutions developed from years of extensive research conducted in collaboration with companies in different agricultural sectors. International customers use Oxy-Low’s solutions to treat, package, transport and store various food and non-food commodities. As insect infestation and quality degradation are big problems in countries with hot and humid climates, Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa are attractive markets.
In association with a strategic partner and an angel investor, InnovationQuarter has provided Oxy-Low with a capital injection that will help the company accelerate international growth and expand its product portfolio. In return, the investors will acquire a significant minority interest in Oxy-Low. Part of the investment will be used to expand the technical team. By focusing on product research and development, the company will be able to treat and package ever-larger volumes in an industrial setting. The research strategy also aims to make Oxy-Low solutions suitable for a wider range of commodities.

Oxy-Low Managing Director Sanne van Rennes:

With InnovationQuarter’s financial support, Oxy-Low will be able to take major steps in developing new and innovative high-end packaging systems. Oxy-Low endeavours to continuously improve its solutions so that it can help customers overcome current challenges in insect control and product quality preservation.

InnovationQuarter Head of Capital Francis Quint: “InnovationQuarter is pleased to be able to support a full range of SMEs through its investment fund. As a result of this investment, the profitable Oxy-Low family business will be able to expand its international activities and make great strides in developing its product portfolio.”

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

Terug naar overzicht

The Netherlands Ranks No. 3 on the Global Innovation Index 2017

Global Innovation Index

Each year, the Global Innovation Index (GII) surveys some 130 economies using dozens of metrics that provide a high-level look at innovative activity. Its 81 indicators explore political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. The GII is co-authored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and French graduate business school INSEAD.

“Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth.”

Innovative Leader in Europe and Globally

Holland is one of 15 European countries among the top 25 global economies on the GII. A press release from WIPO notes, “Europe is particularly strong in human capital and research, infrastructure, business sophistication.”

In addition to ranking No. 3 overall on the GII, the Netherlands ranks first in the following categories: business sophistication, knowledge absorption, intellectual property payments, ICT services imports, and FDI net outflows.

Furthermore, Holland has strengths in human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and knowledge, technology and creative outputs, indicated the GII.

High Marks in Innovation

Besides ranking highly on the GII, the Netherlands leads other indexes such as the European Innovation Scoreboard and has innovation hubs across the country.


Source / InvestinHolland /WIPO

Terug naar overzicht

West Holland doing business with China

Doing business with China

The purpose of the mission was sharing the regional knowledge, strengthening economic ties and the acquisition of Chinese companies to invest in Zuid-Holland. The economic and trade mission focused on the sectors horticulture, sustainable urban development, water and soil. The delegation visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang and Dezhou.


In Beijing Mr. Jaap Smit has visited the companies Elion Group and Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology (21 AT). Elion group is planning to set up an R&D center in the Netherlands. they also intend to invest in a Dutch company. The chairman Mr. Wang shared his business strategy with the delegation.

21 Century Aerospace has the intention to set up a European headquarters in the Netherlands, London or Paris. Mr. Smit welcomed the company to invest in the Province of Zuid-Holland with the help of InnovationQuarter and The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA).

In Beijing the City of Westland also visited the headoffice of IEDA Agrigarden – a current investor in Westland and the academic horticulture institute CAAS.


In Dezhou InnovationQuater supported the city of Westland  to establish an economic sister relationship with the City of Dezhou. Last year September a provincial delegation already visited Dezhou to kick of a Dutch greenhouse project. The Mayor of Dezhou, Mr. Chen Fei clearly indicated that they would like to strengthen cooperation with Municipality of Westland and Dutch Horticulture companies.  Hoogendoorn has offered a first pilot system to Dezhou.


In Shijiazhuang the 10 years relationship between the province of south Holland and Hebei province was celebrated. Mr. Xu Qin, the new governor of Hebei province met Mr. Smit. They both emphasize to bring the relationship to the next decades.

21 Century Aerospace has the intention to set up a European headquarters in the Netherlands

Business event in Shanghai

The highlight of the mission was a business event in Shanghai. InnovationQuarter teamed up with Province of Zuid-Holland, Invest Shanghai, NFIA and Rotterdam Partners to jointly organize ‘China – Netherlands Economic Cooperation Forum’ on 6 June in Shanghai.

Over 170 Chinese entrepreneurs attended the event, during which a number of Dutch and Chinese high officials and companies presented and with lots of time for networking. During the event, InnovationQuarter signed a MOU with the PQI Group.

During the China - Netherlands Economic Cooperation Forum, InnovationQuarter signed a MOU with the PQI Group

PQI Industrial Technology Group is a leading innovative company. They are the pioneer in innovative sectors and invest in innovative industrial developments.  The group has a registered capital of 500 million yuan. The total number of employees is about 1100 people, with a turnover of turnover of about 2.6 billion yuan in 2016. PQI Group includes more than 20 holding companies. They are active in a number of sectors: urban space operations (incubator, science park, typical town), Internet technology, robotics and smart intelligence, auto parts, investment, culture and education.

PQI Group has the intention to establish a B.V. in the Netherlands (Zuid-Holland), with the assistance of InnovationQuarter. They will use this new Dutch entity as a European base  for amongst others the scouting of Dutch and European innovative companies to invest in.

Terug naar overzicht

Invest in Holland op primeur GFIA in Europa-980x450

Networking opportunity

The fair focused on the entire spectrum of topics relevant to the agriculture industry, including climate change, biotechnology, IT, big data, machinery, horticulture, energy and water management.

InnovationQuarter participated in events at the Invest in Holland pavilion, which attracted many visitors. It was an excellent opportunity to establish and strengthen links with international companies in the horticulture and agriculture sector. Enterprise Europe Network organised a matching programme to help participants form new contacts.

Workshops on Dutch innovations

Invest in Holland’s collaborating partners invited innovative Dutch companies and knowledge institutions to demonstrate the Netherlands’ strengths in agri-food and horticulture during the Invest in Holland workshops. The ‘Dutch innovations in the dairy sector’ workshop provided an opportunity for experts from industry and government to speak about various topics, including innovations that allow milk to be concentrated on the farm to avoid unnecessary water transport. Beladon, from the province of South Holland, gave a presentation on the Floating Farm. This farm is being built in Rotterdam and will produce and treat fresh milk close to consumers in the city centre, thereby reducing transport and making logistics more efficient. A transparent, environment-friendly farm that floats on water, visitors will be able to gain insight into the entire milk treatment process, animal welfare and high-tech robotics.

During the workshop ‘Innovations with impact, the Dutch approach’, Wageningen Campus described how the Campus ecosystem had been developed. The ecosystem facilitates cooperation between researchers and entrepreneurs, who gain access to cutting-edge research infrastructure and are able to successfully develop new ideas. Finally, Invest in Holland explained how it can help international companies benefit from this Dutch agri-food ecosystem.

Terug naar overzicht

Above European average

Holland ranks above the European average in all five DESI categories. The country is particularly a leader in fixed broadband, with fast broadband access available to practically every Dutch household. The Dutch are also very well-connected in terms of number of citizens using the internet and their range of online activities. The Digital Economy and Society Index also notes progress in business digitization, ranking sixth in integration of digital technology. In digital public services, the Netherlands ranks third in the EU.

Information technology hotspot

As the most connected country in Europe, the Netherlands is a hub for leading information and communications technology companies. In fact, 60 percent of all Forbes 2000 companies active in the IT industry have already established operations in Holland.

Global IT companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon and Google have operations in Holland. Businesses such as these take advantage of the country’s unparalleled digital infrastructure and tech-savvy, English-speaking workforce.

For the full annual report from the European Commission that identifies the Dutch as leaders in digital progress, please visit www.ec.europa.eu for more.

Bron: InvestinHolland.com / EC.Europa.eu
Terug naar overzicht

Brexit seminar

During this seminar, several experts shared their views on important aspects of Brexit. Jeroen Nijland (NFIA) and Jurriaan Kalf (Rabobank) elaborated about its impact on the economy and more specifically foreign direct investment.

Wilco Heiwegen (evofenedex) spoke about the possible impact for importing and exporting companies and how the Brexit will affect international trade and Liam McCloy (FleishmanHillard Fishburn) gave his expert view on the UK politics and the different perspectives on both sides of the pond. Last but not least, Rem Korteweg (Clingendael) gave a remarkable overview of the complexity of the upcoming negotiations and the pitfalls that might be ahead.

Brexit - how does it affect your business - Liam McCloy - CIC Rotterdam 760x680

Liam McCloy, FleishmanHillard Fishburn (part of Omnicom PR Group) at CIC Rotterdam


  • 15:00 – 15:15 hrs Reception at 7th floor
  • 15:15 – 15:20 hrs Welcome by Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter) and René Hanssen (Rotterdam Partners)
  • 15:20 – 15:30 hrs Opening by Jeroen Nijland (Commissioner of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency – NFIA) ‘Brexit and its relation to FDI in The Netherlands’
  • 15:30 – 15:50 hrs Presentation by Jurriaan Kalf (Country Risk Analysist, Rabobank)
    ‘Investing in Europe after Brexit’
  • 15:50 – 16:10 hrs Presentation by Wilco Heiwegen (Trade Advisor – evofenedex)
    ‘Brexit: impact on trade and logistics’
  • 16:10 – 16:30 hrs Presentation by Liam McCloy (Public Affairs Expert – FleishmanHillard Fishburn) ‘Politics of Brexit and how organisations deal with its impact’
  • 16:30 – 16:50 hrs Presentation by Rem Korteweg (Senior Research Fellow at Clingendael)
    ‘The pittfalls in the Brexit talks’
  • 16:50 – 17:15 hrs Panel Discussion (+ Q&A)
  • 17:15 hrs Networking opportunity at Venture Café Rotterdam’s weekly gathering

Need assistance?

We hereby would like to thank all the speakers and attendees for an interesting afternoon, and CIC Rotterdam for the great venue and networking opportuniy at Venture Café Rotterdam. If you missed the event, but would like to learn more, feel free to reach out!

Terug naar overzicht

InnovationQuarter has operated as the regional development agency for West Holland since January 1st of 2014. Thanks to cooperation between the national government, the province, all major cities in the West Holland region, the universities and the university medical centres, InnovationQuarter is a unique initiative within the Netherlands.

Working together towards a strong region

Together with various companies, knowledge institutions, cluster organisations, incubators, investors and governments, InnovationQuarter works to strengthen West Holland’s position as one of Europe’s top economic regions. The agency focuses on cooperation between innovative enterprises, cross-pollination between the strong regional clusters, the targeted attraction of foreign companies and financing innovative and fast growing entrepreneurs.

InnovationQuarter exceeded its ambitious objectives for 2016 in all these areas.

  • InnovationQuarter Business Development achieved 16 partnerships between innovative entrepreneurs with an investment volume of € 16 million. In addition, 46 partnerships were stimulated and a further 52 were explored. 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 36 foreign companies to establish themselves, move to or expand in the region. Within three years, these enterprises expect to create 730 additional jobs in West Holland and invest an extra € 95.7 million. Since InnovationQuarter started out in 2014, the number of foreign companies which landed in West Holland has increased by no less than 55%.
  • InnovationQuarter Capital invested in 11 companies during 2016, while the UNIIQ fund financed 8 companies. As a result of these investments, the amount of additional capital attracted to the region was € 27.2 million. InnovationQuarter is expected to have been one of the three most active investors in the Netherlands in 2016. The companies in the agency’s portfolio expect to create 241 extra jobs over the next three years. An exit was achieved on the investment in IQMessenger in 2016.
TerugblIQ - InnovationQuarter 2016 Annual Report

InnovationQuarter shareholders receive the first copy of TerugblIQ, the InnovationQuarter 2016 Annual Report © Daniel Verkijk


As well as creating projects, new jobs and investments, InnovationQuarter generates added value by playing a connecting role within the innovative ecosystem and by putting the region on the map as an innovative hotspot. The agency also serves as the link between the ‘top sector policy’ of the national government and the regional business community. “Through the comprehensive execution of our core tasks, which includes drawing on our extensive knowledge and networks, we create added value as a regional development agency,” explains InnovationQuarter Director Rinke Zonneveld. “This means we are more than a connector and a catalyst, more than an acquisition organisation and more than an investor.”

Contributing to the Next Economy

InnovationQuarter’s annual report gives a voice to innovative entrepreneurs who help address challenges in fields such as healthcare, security and energy. Rinke Zonneveld: “In light of our ambition to tackle important social issues, these are the entrepreneurs we like to help.” They offer solutions that are often at the interface of sectors and technologies, which is why InnovationQuarter focuses on cross-sectoral collaboration. “This enables us to bring the ‘next economy’ closer in our region,” explains Zonneveld.

TerugblIQ – Annual Report

Curious about our results? See the InnovationQuarter Annual Report 2016 online below (in Dutch).