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50 deals in 5 years. Since its launch in 2016, the South-Holland proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ has become one of the most successful early-stage funds in Europe. After 50 deals, 96% of the UNIIQ startups still exist and the companies collectively already raised over €125m in follow-on funding. €1 from UNIIQ generates over €10 in follow-on funding. And that is an unprecedentedly high multiplier. Seven complete exits have already taken place and 418 jobs have been created. This makes UNIIQ the springboard to a successful scale-up. UNIIQ startups are also known for their impact: they make the world cleaner, smarter and healthier.

UNIIQ proves: in this phase you can invest very successfully

UNIIQ was founded in 2016 to bridge the riskiest phase from concept to promising company (as early as TRL-3). UNIIQ invests heavily in deep tech propositions – about 80% of the portfolio, almost always involving a hardware component – and in life sciences. These are high-risk, high-tech investments, often with a long payback period, which the market does not yet dare to enter. UNIIQ proves that you can still invest successfully in this risky phase.

UNIIQ companies make the world cleaner, smarter and healthier

The companies in which UNIIQ has invested are known for making the world cleaner, smarter and healthier. For example, batteries deliver 70% more energy thanks to LeydenJar’s unique technology, quantum research became accessible to smaller companies thanks to Quantware’s unique processors, and Oceans of Energy laid the world’s first offshore solar system in the North Sea.

Mayht was sold to Sonos for $100 mln.

“With us, the most unique, world-leading technologies see the first light of day, thanks in part to our university partners,” says fund manager Hans Dreijklufft. “Recently, our portfolio company Mayht was sold to Sonos for $100 mln. When the brothers came to us, you could still see the duct tape on the prototype, so to speak. We often see the potential of unique technology at a very early stage. And thanks to our large network of (inter)national investors, we also manage to attract follow-on funding for our companies.”

Production robots do 40% more work, and much more accurately

It is the ‘heart’ of the robot, the power drive. Robotics is developing at a rapid pace and yet the transmission systems – the parts that make the robot move – have hardly changed in the past 50 years. As a result, robots remain relatively heavy, complex, uncontrollable and expensive to this day. With the Archimedes Drive, IMSystems introduced the first major breakthrough in transmission systems in half a century. The ‘heart’ of the robot now functions with far greater precision, transferring power much more efficiently, in a more compact size and at lower cost. This makes the movements of robots more precise, more powerful and more controllable. With this drive, a production robot can do up to 40% more work in the same time. IMSystems received an investment from UNIIQ and later follow-on funding through another InnovationQuarter fund, IQCapital.

Hans Dreijklufft

Fund Manager UNIIQ


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In 2021, InnovationQuarter successfully assisted 51 (foreign) companies with opening a new branch or expanding their existing activities in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area. These companies expect to create 2,483 high-quality jobs in the coming years and to bring € 596 million in additional investments to the region. The number of jobs and invested capital are higher than in all previous years. The majority of these companies are of strategic and economic added value for the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area. The companies are mainly attracted by the strong sectoral clusters in the region, the logistical accessibility and the availability of talent.

Companies mostly active in innovative technologies and Life Sciences & Health

The companies that InnovationQuarter has supported with a new or an expansion investment in 2021 are innovative and technologically advanced. No fewer than 12 companies are starting R&D and/or production activities in the region. Most companies operate in the sectors Digital Technologies, Life Sciences & Health and High-Tech Systems & Materials.

Most of the Life Sciences & Health companies have established themselves in Leiden, while the high-tech and Digital Technology companies are mainly located in and around The Hague, Rotterdam and Delft.

In addition, many new branches and expansions took place in the Cybersecurity and Horticulture & Food sectors, followed by Aerospace, Energy, Circular Economy and Maritime & Port. The companies often seek affiliation with these strong clusters in our region and are attracted by the availability of talent. For example, the largest space company in 30 years is settling in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area: the world leading Earth Observation satellite manufacturing and data company Satellogic. The international space company is setting up their largest satellite production facility to date in Berkel en Rodenrijs and will provide at least 80 jobs. The rich space and aviation ecosystem – with ESA-Estec in Noordwijk, Technology Park Ypenburg in The Hague, and close proximity to talent from TU Delft and Inholland University of Applied Sciences – were the deciding factors for establishing a location in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area.

Contribution to regional societal challenges and sustainable goals

Most of the foreign companies that made a new or an expansion investment in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area in 2021 are of strategic economic value for the region. They contribute to tackling societal challenges and are in line with the sustainable objectives of the region. These are, for example, companies that work on regenerative medicine, sustainable aviation and the circular economy.

An example is the American Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) that chose the Leiden Bio Science Park for the construction of a European production center for cell therapy. The Finnish Neste is investing €190 million in the region in the construction of a production location for sustainable biokerosene and the British/American ZeroAvia is active in sustainable aviation fuel. Deep Branch, which works on the production of protein based on carbon dioxide, is joining the innovative ecosystem in Delft with a branch on the Biotech Campus Delft.

Another example of a site that contributes to ecosystems in the region is Nikon Biolmaging Lab. The lab provides specialized services to biotech and pharma organizations, such as access to advanced microscopy instruments and software and services from expert biologists and microscopists. Access to these tools and services at an affordable entry level is particularly important for start-ups and scale-ups.

The vast majority of companies come from Europe, followed by the US and China

No fewer than 22 companies come from Europe, an important part of which are from the United Kingdom, followed by the Nordics. For the second year in a row, most companies are from the UK, followed by China. The projects from the UK are often related to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The United States and China have decreased in share as countries of origin in 2021 due to (geo)political developments and the COVID pandemic.

“The 2021 results are exceptional, especially given the ongoing Corona pandemic and global travel restrictions. Not only is 2021 the year with the highest number of attracted investments and jobs; the type of companies in particular catches the eye. Mostly high-tech and innovative, aimed at providing products and services that contribute to societal challenges worldwide, in the Netherlands in general and in our region in particular”.

– Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter

Invest in Holland – national results

In challenging international times, the Netherlands is still well on the map for foreign companies. In 2021, 423 international companies chose our country with the help of the  Invest in Holland (IIH) network. This includes both new and expansion invest­­ments into the country. IIH is the partnership in which the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), together with InnovationQuarter and other regional partners, attracts foreign companies at a national level. The 423 projects are expected to create nearly 13,400 direct jobs and an investment value of EUR 2.3 billion in the first three years. This brings the number of companies that opt ​​for the Netherlands back to the level of 2019. Brexit is still an important pillar in the annual results of the NFIA and the regional partners.

Successful national and regional cooperation

Completion of these 51 investment projects is partly a success due to the good national and regional cooperation. On a national level, InnovationQuarter works closely with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency – an operational unit of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy – and is a partner of the Invest in Holland network. At a regional level, InnovationQuarter has been working both strategically and operationally with Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Business Agency and DEAL Drecht Cities since 2014.

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UK-based cybersecurity company Awen collective is expanding its business and establishing an office at The Hague Security Delta to regain access to the EU market. The Hague was a natural choice for Awen’s EU office, not only to tune into Europe’s leading cybersecurity cluster, but also because of how well the British and Dutch business cultures match and because the Dutch all speak English. Also, the presence of large industry clusters, where digitization dominates priority lists, brings opportunities for Awen to grow its business fast.

Awen’s suite of solutions are fitted to secure digital infrastructures in industrial environments, and contain scanning software to identify vulnerabilities and threats in both modern and legacy infrastructure. In March this year, Awen secured an investment, in which Dutch Security Tech fund was the lead investor. The benefits of having The Hague as its home-base within the EU were stacking up.

Daniel Lewis, CEO of Awen Collective: “HSD seems to be a great (cyber) security community in the heart of the city of The Hague. The city itself is well known for its international defense and security market, and the municipality has some great initiatives around supporting technology innovations such as smart cities.

Because of the extremely high speed at which cyber threats emerge and evolve, collaboration within the cybersecurity community, but also with industrial soft- and hardware suppliers, government defense bodies and research institutes, is crucial in order to stay up to date. Settling within such a community was therefore a prerequisite for Awen’s new office.

Lewis: “As a UK company just opening up in the Netherlands, we are looking to engage with the Dutch security community. We are looking to build up not only partnerships but friendships also. Together we can create synergy to tackle some of the greatest problems in the cyber security domain.”

Awen Collective is an active member of the Cyber Wales ecosystem in the UK, which, like HSD, is part of GlobalEPIC. Daniel intends to become just as active in the HSD community and do what they can for the local private and public sectors, including getting involved in academic collaborations and business roundtables.

Perfect fit in the the local ecosystem

Philip Meijer, senior account manager cybersecurity at InnovationQuarter: “The arrival of cybersecurity companies like Awen is a great asset. The industrial clusters in our region are all in the midst of a major digital transformation, and securing their digital infrastructures is an important issue. We are eager to introduce Awens cybersecurity solutions, which are uniquely tailored to for securing operational technology, to the different industries. This creates a win-win situation for Awen and the companies in our region.

Digitalisation is a hot topic in the manufacturing industry in greater Rotterdam – The Hague. “many manufacturing companies in our region are digitalizing their operations. Some are more advanced and ambitious than others, but all acknowledge the necessity of making the shift. In the best scenario, cybersecurity is part of the transformation from the very start, at the drawing table. But that is not always the case. Digitalisation is a very complex process in itself and not all business owners are aware of the role and importance of security in it. Being able to provide the right information and advice to these parties, relies on having the right expertise available in the region.” Says Anton Duisterwinkel, Senior Business Developer High Tech at InnovationQuarter.

Rick Scipio, Partner Manager at The Hague Security Delta: “Since we came into existence in 2010, we have seen our cybersecurity community grow and mature, and has created a strong profile in Europe. It is clear that the industrial clusters, NGO’s and government organisations in our region really benefit from the presence of this cluster in our region and the synergy with our community is increasing to the benefit of all parties.” 

Interested in joining the cybersecurity community in greater Rotterdam – The Hague? Get in touch!

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Lanner Electronics, the leading network hardware provider for enterprise network security and intelligent edge computing, today announced the establishment of Lanner Europe B.V., a newly founded European subsidiary headquartered at the HSD Campus in The Hague, to further strengthen Lanner’s presence by expanding its hardware design and manufacturing services of advanced and customizable network appliances and Intelligent Edge computers to European system integrators, value-added resellers, and software partners. In addition to this Lanner Electronics has also joined the community of Security Delta as a partner.

Lanner has focused on providing the most innovative network platforms and rugged industrial computers that empower network security, virtualization, edge cloud, and industrial IoT applications. For over three decades, Lanner has become the leading hardware provider in these vertical markets and continues to drive new platform innovations. The establishment of a new subsidiary in Europe not only aims to fulfil the unique requirements of the networking, telecommunication, and IIoT industry from local partners but also to deliver best-in-class ODM/OEM services for accelerating time-to-market solutions.

“The HSD campus is an excellent operating base where we can collaborate and build working relations with institutions throughout the Netherlands and Europe,” said Geoffrey Egger, General Manager of Lanner Europe B.V. “We are excited to work closely with European partners to bring their offerings to the market by providing reliable hardware platforms uniquely designed by their specific requirements.”

“It’s of great value that Lanner Electronics has chosen for the region The Hague and the HSD Campus to establish their European Office. We are also very pleased that they have joined the Security Delta (HSD). This visionary with expertise in predictive simulation technology can make a difference in collaborations with other partners. By enabling smart dynamic businesses with smart dynamic processes as their mission. The partnership with HSD is a perfect fit and adds value to the (cyber)security domain,” says director Joris den Bruinen.

Philip Meijer, Senior Account manager Cybersecurity at InnovationQuarter assisted Lanner with getting established in The Hague. He applauds the arrival of the company to our region: “Lanner’s arrival will contribute to a higher diversity within our ecosystem, strengthening the security cluster. In addition to the presence of software solutions for digital security, the hardware must also be safe. To meet that need, Lanner offers modifiable and secure network equipment for European system integrators, value-added resellers and software parties.

Philip Meijer

Senior Account Manager Cybersecurity
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Avantor, Inc., a leading global provider of mission-critical products and services to customers in the life sciences, advanced technologies and applied materials industries, announced that it has opened a new single-use facility in Hillegom, Netherlands in early October 2021. The site is Avantor’s second single-use location in Europe after its Tilburg, Netherlands site and is a significant addition to the Company’s overall cleanroom capacity in the region, servicing regional and global customers.

Avantor® Opens Second European Single-use Facility in the Netherlands; Supports Growing Demand for Bioproduction

The Hillegom facility enables Avantor to manufacture, package and deliver single-use solutions that support all stages of biologics manufacturing.

“We continue to grow our single-use footprint and capabilities to serve the needs of the global biopharma industry,” said Dr. Ger Brophy, Executive Vice President of Biopharma Production at Avantor. “We are proud to be part of the Hillegom community and boost our presence in the Netherlands. Opening this site also reflects our commitment to support the growing demand for speed and efficiency in bioproduction. This facility will enhance the regional single-use supply chain in Europe, and Avantor looks forward to continuing to grow our business in this important market.”

In addition to its two sites in Europe, Avantor’s global single-use footprint includes multiple sites in the United States as well as a site in Changzhou, China that was acquired as part of the Company’s recent acquisition of RIM Bio. Additionally, Avantor has recently announced its intent to acquire Masterflex®, a leading global manufacturer of peristaltic pumps and aseptic single-use fluid transfer technologies, which will strengthen its offering across all bioproduction platforms.

About Avantor

Avantor®, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading global provider of mission-critical products and services to customers in the biopharma, healthcare, education & government, and advanced technologies & applied materials industries. Their portfolio is used in virtually every stage of the most important research, development and production activities in the industries they serve. Their global footprint enables them to serve more than 225,000 customer locations and gives them extensive access to research laboratories and scientists in more than 180 countries. They set science in motion to create a better world.

Lissa Culbertson Boxy

Senior Account Manager Life Sciences & Health
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Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has started the construction of its CAR T cell therapy production center at the Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP). Leiden will be the biopharmaceutical company’s first cell therapy facility in Europe and the fifth in the world. BMS expects the facility to be operational at the end of 2024, bringing the manufacturing of its cell therapies closer to European patients. In addition, the new production facility is expected to create at least 500 new jobs.

Saving valuable time for patients

CAR T cell therapy is an immunotherapy in which a patient’s white blood cells are reprogrammed so that they are able to recognize and fight cancer cells. Arjen Schippers, Senior Director and Program Head at BMS Leiden, says the European facility is an important development. “The new production center is our first in Europe, which will enable us to bring the manufacturing of this innovative cell therapy closer to European patients. This may help to reduce the turnaround time, saving valuable time for patients in Europe with aggressive blood cancers.”

Innovative and personalized cancer treatment

The European facility will have the latest technology and production equipment, with capabilities for multi-product cell therapy manufacturing to provide European cancer patients with personalized medication treatments, whereby they use their own cells to fight their cancer.

The new European production center is conveniently located near Schiphol airport and to the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. “This is in line with BMS’s aim to realize a globally expanding production network for cell therapy,” Snehal Patel, vice president, Global Head of Cell Therapy Manufacturing, Bristol Myers Squibb, explains. “By continuing to expand our international network, we can serve patients better all over the world, not only with CAR T cell therapy, but eventually also with other innovative scientific therapies for cancer.”

500 extra jobs in the Leiden region

The LBSP is the largest life sciences region in the Netherlands and has an international community for innovation and collaboration, as well as an attractive top-notch talent pool.

“We are proud that BMS has chosen the LBSP as the site for constructing its European state-of-the-art CAR T production facility,” says Ida Haisma, Director Leiden Bio Science Park. “CAR T is a key technology for fighting serious diseases like cancer, and it is a perfect fit for the profile of the LBSP. The facility is a new building block in LBSP’s extensive cell therapy network and it will further reinforce the position of the Netherlands in personalized medicine.”

BMS expects the European center to be completed and operational at the end of 2024 and to have attracted talent from across Europe to fill at least 500 new positions. The first openings can be found on the BMS website.

Lissa Culbertson Boxy

Senior Account Manager Life Sciences & Health
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On 24 and 25 November, FME, World Horti Center and InnovationQuarter are organising the annual RoboCrops event. This event is for global innovative companies in horticulture and high tech. They come together in the World Horti Center to find and connect current challenges and potential high-tech solutions. Pre-registration is necessary and possible from now on until November 8th.

RoboCrops aims to stimulate more applications of robotics in horticulture and to accelerate innovation. Participation is possible in several ways. The programme consists of a day that focuses on technologies you can apply now; a day that inspires and connects on what will be possible soon and a hackathon.

24 November: today

This day focuses on developments in greenhouse horticulture that are (almost) commercially available. Developers of greenhouse robots can pitch their state-of-the-art solutions. Gearbox, PATS, Priva, VDL ETG, Certhon – DENSO, Sobolt, Blue Radix en HortiKey have already committed. Maarten Steinbuch and Jim Stolze are on the programme for inspiring keynotes about robots, data and AI. Throughout the day there will be plenty of opportunities to network and meet.

25 November: tomorrow

On this day the focus will be on solutions that take more time to develop. Think about bringing together all the various data sources and technologies at a horticultural company. Top speakers from: Wageningen University & Research, TU Delft en TU Eindhoven will speak about subjects such as system engineering, Digital Twins and Cyber Physical Systems. Developers of greenhouse robots are also welcome this day to discuss future development, new systems and business models.


As part of RoboCrops, a hackathon will be held simultaneously in Tomatoworld, in addition to the programme in the World Horti Center. Students from various educational institutions will be working together on current challenges in horticulture. The aim is to speed up the application of robotics in practice. The winner of the hackathon will be announced at the end of the afternoon on 25 November in the World Horti Center.


You can register for the event via this site. One day costs € 199 to attend. To ensure a good balance of attendees, pre-registration is required. Participation is only final after confirmation.

Visit https://events.innovationquarter.nl/RoboCrops.

Want to know more?

Colinda de Beer

Senior Business Developer Horticulture
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Nikon Europe B.V. has announced that its first European Nikon BioImaging Lab (NBIL) based in the prestigious Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) is now officially open.

The official opening took place on September 22nd with a welcome by Ziryan Othman, Team Leader Biotechnology Solutions, Nikon Europe Healthcare Division, followed by addresses by representatives of the organisations involved in helping Nikon Europe B.V. locate and develop the partnership with the Leiden Bio Science Park: Paul Dirkse, Vice Mayor of the City of Leiden; Hilde van der Meer, Commissioner, Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency; Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments of InnovationQuarter; Ida Haisma, Director of Stichting Leiden Bio Science Park; Thijs de Kleer, Director of Biopartner Leiden, and Amito Haarhuis, Director of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave. Bo Kajiwara, Corporate Vice President, Nikon Corporation, Director & President, Nikon Europe B.V. led the opening program for Nikon Europe B.V.


The inauguration and ribbon cutting took place with a symbolic transfer of the famous 17th-century van Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, by Amito Haarhuis. World-famous for his pioneering work and discoveries in microscopy, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek developed this single-lens microscope, which proved capable of more powerful magnification than other lenses.

Takaharu Sasaoka, Director and Executive Vice President, Healthcare Business Head, Nikon Europe B.V., appreciates the symbolism of the microscope transfer, “It is very appropriate that Nikon, with over 100 years of expertise in optical technology, should open its first European Nikon BioImaging Lab (NBIL-Leiden) here in the Netherlands, the home of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the ‘father of microbiology’, whose systematic and extensive research laid the foundations of medical and scientific research. Our mission also is to advance healthcare and provide a better quality of life.

“We are very excited to be located here in the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest life sciences cluster in the Netherlands, and I would like to thank all the organisations that helped Nikon Europe B.V. locate and develop this partnership. Following the success of our Nikon BioImaging Labs in the US and Japan, NBIL-Leiden will provide services for microscope-based imaging and analysis to the European biotech, pharma, and larger research communities. We are more than a core facility – our full-service capabilities include not only access to Nikon’s innovative microscopy instrumentation and software, but also the services of expert biologists and microscopists, who are available to provide quality cell culture, sample preparation, data acquisition, and data analysis services.”

Daniel Ciepielewski, General Manager, Healthcare Division, Nikon Europe B.V., explains further, “NBIL-Leiden provides full-service imaging, data analysis, and cell cultures using cutting-edge Nikon microscope systems and software solutions, including the new laser scanning confocal AX R, the incubated high content imaging platform LIPSI, deep learning software NIS.ai, research inverted microscope Ti2-E, and compact live-cell imaging microscope BioStudio-T. Unlike other imaging facilities the lab offers full-service cell culture capabilities – our experienced staff is equipped to handle cell thawing, maintenance, expansion, differentiation, and other essential operations.

“The level of service and involvement of the lab is determined individually for each client based on need. Some need only access to equipment and are capable of data acquisition/analysis on their own, while others may require full-service imaging and analysis support. Additional applications include high content imaging and analysis, 3D imaging, fluorescence imaging, high-resolution imaging, color imaging, label-free imaging, cell screening and high throughput imaging, among others. NBIL-Leiden is now open, providing expert imaging support – on demand.”

Nikon Europe B.V. is grateful for the assistance of InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the Province of Zuid-Holland, which assisted us in finding the right location and helped coordinate communication to develop the partnership with the Leiden Bio Science Park.

Nikon Europe B.V. is also grateful to the following contributing companies who have partnered with NBIL-Leiden: Clean Air Baker, PHC, Crest Optics, Photometrics, CoolLed, and Precipoint.

How can we be of assistance?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Vanan BV, a  newly established European subsidiary of Indian natural health company Apex Laboratories, is expanding its business to the European market and has opened its office in The Hague. The company provides clinically verified herbal solutions based on traditional Indian medicine.

“In India we believe that food itself is the best medicine. Spices like ginger, garlic and turmeric are found in most Indian dishes and are scientifically proven to benefit the digestive system. There is a lot of science going into every meal we eat,” says Ms. Subashini Vanangamudi, Managing Director of Vanan BV. This perspective aligns well with local efforts to shift towards lifestyle medicine, which emphasizes prevention over cure.

Apex is listed among the 50 fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in India and employs 2500 people at various locations. Its strong focus on R&D, providing scientific proof for its herbal formulas has made Apex a market leader for herbal medicine in India.

The global pandemic shook the world and confronted us with the vulnerability of healthcare systems around the world. The clear advantage of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the Covid-19 era and the fear of getting severely ill – or worse – in the case of an infection drove many people to seek supplements to boost their immune system. Policymakers, healthcare professionals and citizens alike feel an urgency to accelerate the shift towards lifestyle medicine, naturally enhancing the immune system through daily habits.

“The focus on prevention rather than cure is the foundation of all traditional Indian medicine. We believe that this is the future for the medical world, which is a key driver of our passion to bring our products to the global market,” says Ms Vanangamudi. With its heritage in herbal medicine dating back to 1978 when Apex was founded, and its strong focus on clinical trials to back-up its formulas, the products provide a welcome addition to the offering on the European market.

“We are very glad to welcome Vanan to the life sciences & health ecosystem in our region,” says Sasja Heijman, senior account manager Life Sciences & Health at InnovationQuarter. “This company can make a valuable contribution to the various initiatives that are running at the moment, focusing on natural lifestyle advancements for better and longer health,”  she continues.

“It is our pleasure to welcome Vanan to the Indian Business cluster in The Hague region. Due to the growing awareness on maintaining good health in pandemic times, this is the right time for Vanan to enter the European market! Their extensive knowledge on traditional Indian medicine will help us to get familiar with the power of herbal and natural alternatives in Europe,” states Anesh Kisoen, International Business Advisor at The Hague Business Agency.

“What makes an idea or a vision for success, is the right team to build confidence and constantly assure that you are going in the right directions. NFIA, THBA  and InnovationQuarter played a major role in every choice we made. They assisted with incorporation, regulatory things and paper work,” says Ms. Vanangamudi. She continues: “The agencies were just a mouse-click away, we launched an entire company sitting at the desk in my home! We never thought this would be possible, especially in times of covid-19 . But they were very efficient in connecting us to the right people, right agencies. It also gave me a new outlook at the work culture in Europe and more confidence.”

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PrivacySolved, a leading cybersecurity company based in London and Dublin is participating in the Global EPIC Soft Landing Program in greater Rotterdam – The Hague. The program supports companies with connecting to the local cybersecurity community and helps promote their companies and establish customers and partnerships. This introduction is a valuable first step, leading to establishing permanent operations in the Netherlands. Global EPIC is a worldwide collaboration between international security clusters. PrivacySolved’s program is organized by a network of Dutch partners in trade and investment such as The Hague Security Delta and InnovationQuarter.

About PrivacySolved

PrivacySolved is a leading data protection, global data privacy, GDPR, CCPA/CPRA, cybersecurity and business information management company. They help businesses and organisations to adopt effective data governance around the world. PrivacySolved has a core team of professionals at two offices which is complemented with an external team, including a law firm, that expand its service offerings. The team’s experience spans 20 years in their key sectors of financial services, technology, government services, ecommerce, healthcare and manufacturing. The company’s clients include a UK FTSE 15 “Big 4” Bank, a Top 10 US Bank, a global fintech, the UK Government, Irish State Bodies, French global technology and consulting company operating in 40 countries and a NASDAQ-listed Dutch biotechnology company.

Unique Selling Points (USPs)

·         Global reach and expertise, all territories are covered

·         A fully blended multi-discipline approach to data governance and information security

·         Key partnerships with leading privacy technology and cybersecurity services

·         Integrated legal and regulatory support (with linked full law firm services)

Exploring opportunities

Wayne Cleghorn, CEO of PrivacySolved, is looking forward to focusing on The Netherlands as its hub for the European continent, engaging with new contacts and on-boarding Dutch, EU and international businesses to its range of innovative solutions. “We offer External Data Protection Officer (eDPO) services, EU/UK Data Protection Representative services, Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) and global data privacy expertise. We help businesses plan for and respond to data breaches and cybersecurity incidents around the world. Uniquely, we provide full legal and regulatory support services to respond to regulatory investigations and negotiate innovative data deals. We also provide consulting and strategy advice, data governance insights, new technology reviews and supply chain risk analysis. We are known for our data protection impact assessments, privacy by design analysis, digital transformation project work, cloud services expertise and artificial intelligence compliance analysis.”

ONE Conference

PrivacySolved is attending the annual international cybersecurity ONE Conference which will take place on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 September 2021 in The Hague. Due to COVID-19, the ONE Conference is hosted in a hybrid format and offers an extensive program. In addition to several keynotes, guests can also attend sessions of various tracks. The tracks are about Technology, Innovation, Governance, Law Enforcement, Research and Human behaviour. There is also a pre-conference program with an interactive talk show hosted by dcypher.

Meeting PrivacySolved

Are you interested in PrivacySolved’s services and would you like to have a meeting with Wayne Cleghorn? Please contact him and the PrivacySolved Services and Solutions Team at solutions@privacysolved.com. You can also visit www.privacysolved.com

Interested in our soft-landing programs?

Get in touch for an introduction to the Dutch cybersecurity community!

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Watertaxi flyinfish

Hydrogen will be essential in achieving a successful energy transition. But, so far, we have not seen many applications of this carbon-neutral fuel in the maritime industry. Hydrogen is much more expensive than, say, diesel because adequate fuelling infrastructure is yet to be built and standards and regulations must be modified to accommodate hydrogen applications. For this to change, more applications will need to be introduced. Enviu, Zepp.solutions and Flying Fish have joined forces to solve this chicken-and-egg problem. By working together, the project consortium aims to create the necessary ecosystem from the bottom up and stimulate supply and demand. The product components have already been delivered and the first test run is scheduled for early next year on the river Meuse.

Energy & Climate

With their joint Energy & Climate innovation program, the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH), the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the province of Zuid-Holland and InnovationQuarter are stimulating sustainable innovation in the region. At the beginning of this year, Enviu (initiator and project manager), Zepp.solutions (hydrogen fuel cell technology) and Flying Fish (rechargeable battery and other electric maritime solutions) received €75,000 from the program to test their innovation in real life.

Hydrogen in maritime transport

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) aims to secure a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from ships by 2030 and a 70% reduction by 2050 compared to 2008. To achieve this, ships must become more sustainable. 

Electric vessels could be a solution but have one major drawback. “Due to the water, a boat experiences much more frictional resistance than a car,” explains Gijsbert van Marrewijk of Flying Fish. “If you want your ship to travel reasonably fast for a large part of the day, a rechargeable battery is too limited in capacity. You will have to recharge it often, which costs time and therefore money.” Hydrogen can be used in a fuel cell, generating electricity to power a vessel and increase its range.

When hydrogen reacts with oxygen in a fuel cell, it emits only water. In other words, it is a carbon-neutral fuel. If also produced by means of electrolysis and renewable electricity, it is a zero-emission fuel. But unlike in the automotive sector, hydrogen applications are not yet widespread in the maritime industry.

Watertaxi flyinfish

Maarten Fonteijn of Enviu explains, “The main challenge is not the technology itself but scaling up. We need more applications to make new technologies competitive. Diesel is extremely cheap and compact, a tough competitor if the new technology does not have the right scalability and/or rewards. Also, both regulators and passengers are quite unfamiliar with hydrogen as a fuel, leading to questions about safety and uncertainty regarding regulatory requirements. We need pioneers to show them how it can work.” 

According to Gijsbert, “Many companies are held back by these obstacles. Conducting research and trying to effect change are time-consuming. But as a small company, we are more flexible in this respect.”

“The main challenge is not the technology itself but scaling up.

– Maarten Fonteijn, Enviu

The project

Electric drive trains have been available for recreational watercraft for some time. But for other applications, such as passenger water transport, the system must be efficient, cost-effective and sustainable over a number of years. “We are looking for energy that is both sustainable and economically feasible. It has to be affordable,” says Gijsbert. 

Jonas Brendelberger of Zepp.solutions adds, “That is exactly what this project is about. It’s not about finding out whether it is technically possible but about showing that we can achieve the same results with clean fuel. Ideally, the only thing we want passengers to notice is that the noise from the diesel engine has disappeared.”

oplossing waterstof bij watertaxi's

Gijsbert van Marrewijk, Jonas Brendelberger and Maarten Fonteijn

“We are looking for energy that is both sustainable and economically feasible. It has to be affordable,”

– Gijsbert van Marrewijk, Flying Fish

It is a concrete project. The water taxi is a small boat that carries a maximum of 12 passengers. The client’s requirements are very clear. Watertaxi Rotterdam also has the ambitious goal of operating a zero-emission fleet by 2030. “The water taxi is therefore a very well-defined project,” says Maarten. “Together with the Port of Rotterdam, we are investigating how the safety requirements will have to be adapted. Once we know that, we can look into regulations for other ships.”

“When it comes to existing regulations, you must have the guts to ask critical questions. It is easy to say that something cannot be done because it does not meet the current regulations.”

– Maarten Fonteijn, Enviu

“Those are precisely the sorts of things this project allows us to investigate,” adds Gijsbert. “For example, the safety requirements include details about fire extinguishers for flammable liquid fires, which do not apply to hydrogen. The regulations also state that a greater distance is required between a hydrogen tank and a ship’s exterior than is possible in a water taxi. We are looking into how the regulations can be modified, while guaranteeing at least the same level of safety and performance.”


The consortium hopes that the results of the project will lead to the development of more hydrogen-powered water taxis and boats. New applications will be able to build on the lessons learnt about regulations and safety in this project.

The designs are now ready and most of the boat’s parts have been delivered. A battery-powered prototype will be tested this autumn; the first hydrogen-powered test run will follow in early 2022. Scaling up after that will require a fuelling station. 

Maarten says, “Together with the Port of Rotterdam, we are exploring the possibility of building a fuelling station on the RDM campus. We are also looking for other parties that would want to use it in order to make it profitable.” 

This is a small and well-defined project, but its impact extends far beyond passenger water transport. It could have a major cross-sectoral effect that reaches beyond the maritime industry.”

– Jonas Brendelberger,  Zepp.solutions 

oplossers watertaxi

Jonas remarks, “The more accepted the technology becomes, the more attractive scaling up becomes. Hydrogen offers an enormous range of applications. If the fuelling station is located on the quay, hydrogen buses and trucks may also be able to use it. This is a small and well-defined project, but its impact extends far beyond passenger water transport. It could have a major cross-sectoral effect that reaches beyond the maritime industry.” As more hydrogen applications emerge, there will be greater demand for the fuel, making it more cost-effective.

“With Enviu, we have seen in other sectors that we can bring about this kind of large-scale transition by starting with something small and concrete,” says Maarten. “What can we do today? What can we learn from that? What business case can we create based on that? Bringing innovations to the market requires action. An icon such as the water taxi being at the forefront of the necessary transition on the water makes it super tangible.” 

Jonas adds, “We are all looking forward to the end result: the taxi actually transporting passengers. If we can pull that off, it will be a world first. No one else has done it so far.”

“We are all looking forward to the end result: the taxi actually transporting passengers. If we can pull that off, it will be a world first. No one else has done it so far.”

– Jonas Brendelberger, Zepp.solutions 

Interested in joining the hydrogen community in our region?

Get in touch!

Loek Becker Hoff

Loek Becker Hoff

Senior Account Manager Energy & Circular / Team Lead Sustainable & Clean + Green & Healthy