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A group of people wearing helmets

Virtual Reality allows users to interact with a computer-generated environment that feels like a real world. This technology is also being increasingly used in the manufacturing industry, where VR technology helps visualize complex machinery and work processes. With this technology, problems are solved faster and companies make better strategic decisions. Yet VR, or its sister Augmented Reality is not yet penetrating the industry very quickly. The emergence of 5G technology is playing an important role in accelerating VR adoption by making it easier and cheaper to apply VR in the workplace. And that is exactly what this innovative startup from Delft is doing on a daily basis, meet Senseglove.   

Gloves for realistic interaction in Virtual Reality trainings 

When you say Virtual Reality, the first image that comes to mind is a person wearing 3D glasses. With these, you can look around in a nonexistent world. But until recently, touching and picking up things in that same world was not possible. SenseGlove changed that. They are developing gloves that allow you to touch, grasp, feel and hold things in Virtual Reality as if all objects and tools really exist. These gloves are unique because unlike game controllers, they offer a natural way to interact with the environment in VR. That’s important if you want to train people, for example, in handling hazardous materials, performing complex tasks with multiple tools and objects or learning to design and test prototypes. Renowned companies like Volkswagen, Honda and ESA are using the gloves for exactly those purposes, because in VR their employees can train faster, more often and cheaper than is possible without VR.   

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR).  

Most people are familiar with Virtual Reality, where you can use glasses to look around in a completely virtual world. Augmented Reality is also widely used in industry. With AR you see the world like it is through the glasses and the virtual objects are projected onto them, so you can, for example, look at a machine and a digital construction drawing of that machine at the same time. Together, these technologies are summarized under the name Extended Reality. 

5G: the key to more efficient training in Virtual Reality  

The development of 5G technology is key for Senseglove to realistically train in Virtual Reality. Because the player’s hands must have complete freedom, cables are impractical. But wireless connections are slower and delay ruins the training experience in the virtual world because the hand closes just a little later in VR, for example. The SenseGlove gloves are therefore until now mainly used in combination with heavy computers with special software at the training location itself, while software from the cloud with wireless connection to the gloves would be much more practical. With 5G, the delay between all the VR equipment and the VR software in the cloud is so small that it results in lifelike training with real-time feedback without delay. The high-speed connection over 5G makes it possible to offer training worldwide while the virtual world runs centrally on a server in the cloud. This requires much less start-up costs and makes training more flexible, making it more accessible and scalable to many companies.   

Pushing boundaries and accelerating innovations  

With this video, we want to inspire and invite entrepreneurs, scientists and governments to work together to develop technologies of the future. Application of 5G is not an end in itself, but can accelerate the development of innovations as this example of SenseGlove also shows: with 5G, the boundaries between the local device and the cloud blur and new solutions become possible. Thus, we can continue to amaze the world and push the boundaries.  

Grant and support for 5G experiments  

Want to know more about this interesting case and the grant scheme around the 5G facility at Do IoT Fieldlab? Read all about it on the Do IoT website. Are you curious about how to experiment with the latest 5G technology? We have several test sites for 5G technology in South Holland: DoIoT, Unmanned Valley, The Green Village and (soon) Tomatoworld. Download the 5G guide here to be completely up-to-date.  

For companies that want to develop and test 5G innovations in South Holland, help is available in the form of grants, matchmaking and expertise. 

Wat kunnen wij voor u betekenen?

Neem gerust contact met ons op.

Jos Maccabiani

Senior Business Developer Digital Technology
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Jos en Iwan tijdens filmopnames EX Robotics

Sneak Preview!  

This week, we are at Do IoT Fieldlab with EX Robotics for the filming of our inspiration video. EX Robotics develops autonomous inspection robots for environments with the risk of explosion, such as oil refineries. The robots are used worldwide to carry out inspections without putting personnel in danger. 

5G test facilities at Do IoT Fieldlab  

The inspection robots work independently. The robot maps the refinery using lasers, cameras, and sensors to detect gases. With 4G, the robot is not able to transmit its data in real-time. EX Robotics has now succeeded in integrating 5G equipment and meeting the strictest safety requirements using the 5G test facilities at Do IoT Fieldlab. 

The latest generation of mobile communication (5G) offers great opportunities for the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). The fast connections, high reliability, and short response times of 5G make it possible to bring new applications to market in various fields, including mobility, logistics, agriculture, health, and safety. Do IoT Fieldlab supports the development of such applications. 

With this video, we want to inspire entrepreneurs, scientists, and governments to work with us on the development of future technologies. 

Jos en Iwan tijdens filmopnames EX Robotics

Subsidy and support  

Want to know more about this interesting case and about the subsidy scheme for the 5G facilities at Do IoT Fieldlab? Read all about it on the Do IoT website. Are you curious about how you can experiment with the latest 5G technology? We have several 5G test locations in South Holland: DoIoT, Unmanned Valley, and The Green Village. Download the 5G guide here to stay up-to-date. 

For companies that want to develop and test 5G innovations in South Holland, assistance is available in the form of subsidies, matchmaking, and expertise.” 

What can we do for you?

Feel free to contact us.

Jos Maccabiani

Senior Business Developer Digital Technology
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Both Dutch and foreign investors are increasingly investing in greenhouse horticulture in the Greater Rotterdam – The Hague area and in particular suppliers to the sector are attracting strong investment. The investment in knowledge-intensive horticultural suppliers quadrupled during the latter half of the seven-year period 2015-2022 due to the robust international growth of greenhouse horticulture, readily available capital in the market and the sector’s multiplier effect. Based on a quick scan, InnovationQuarter, Westland and Lansingerland municipalities and Buck Consultants International (BCI) believe this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Strong investment in knowledge-intensive horticultural suppliers

Although Dutch companies outnumber overseas investors by two to one when it comes to investments, the quick scan primarily focused on foreign capital participation in knowledge-intensive businesses in the horticultural supply chain. The analysis concentrated on breeding, greenhouse construction and cultivation and climate systems rather than growers, logistics service providers, wholesalers and packagers. Between 2019 and 2022, some 44 of the 136 knowledge-intensive horticultural suppliers surveyed in the Greater Rotterdam – The Hague area attracted investments. This represents a fourfold increase compared to the 2015-2019 period. Most capital participations are from companies active in the horticultural cluster, followed by investment groups and businesses operating in other sectors.

Many greenhouse suppliers regard investment as a logical step as part of a strategy to boost opportunities in product-market combinations, technological development and professionalisation. Other motives include transfer of ownership and finances.

Alderman Pieter Varekamp of the Municipality of Westland, which is part of the Greater Rotterdam – The Hague area: “The survey shows that investors recognise the value, strength and considerable potential of our greenhouse horticulture cluster. Businesses in the Westland region are actively seeking external partners and we expect the growth in investment to persist. The scan also shows that our region is a frontrunner in greenhouse innovation. We will continue to create an attractive business climate and strengthen the greenhouse horticultural sector, with Westland as the beating heart of the Greenport.”

Regional government and accelerators

The quick scan affords local authorities and regional agencies valuable insights into how this trend can help build towards a strong cluster with a primary focus on preserving the regional greenhouse horticulture area, stimulating an innovative leadership culture and encouraging talent development.

Chris van Voorden, head of Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter: “For many years, InnovationQuarter has been actively cultivating an attractive business climate, including supporting foreign businesses in sectors like horticulture to settle in our region. International companies significantly contribute to employment and innovation investment and it is vital to stay connected with these corporations in the region, which we achieve through the Investor Relations programme. The programme also identifies important developments, not least key trends such as this one.”

For the sector as a whole, the quick scan advises embracing the benefits of foreign capital participation without losing sight of the importance of a vibrant Dutch horticultural sector. This involves keeping a close eye on Dutch businesses with international shareholders while encouraging foreign companies to play an active role in the ecosystem.

Got questions?

Get in touch with us.

Maarten Hermus

Maarten Hermus

Senior Account Manager Horticulture & Food
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region zuid-holland

The Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area Job Board was launched in May 2022. The Job Board is a tool that helps international talent find job openings in the many innovative sectors within the region.

Employers can use this joint platform to advertise their English language vacancies. All kinds of organisations are represented on the Job Board, from start-ups and scale-ups to SMEs, multinational corporations and knowledge institutions. International job seekers can apply for jobs directly on the websites of the advertising companies.

The launch of the regional Job Board is an important milestone in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area International Talent Program. Coordinated by InnovationQuarter, the program supports employers in recruiting and retaining international tech talent in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area. One of the goals of the program is to promote the area as an attractive region for international talent while bringing together and strengthening other similar existing initiatives.

“This portal meets the needs of employers in the region and showcases what the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area has to offer international talent.” – Rinke Zonneveld, InnovationQuarter.

Job Board Zuid-Holland

Employers – join the platform!

Is your company located in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area and are you looking to recruit international talent? Register your company and job openings today by emailing your company name, sector and website to info@workinrotterdamthehague.org.

Progress of the International Talent Program

In the coming months, the International Talent Program will also launch a Talent Portal. This online portal will provide both companies and international job seekers with lots of relevant information, including how to attract international talent and what living and working in the Netherlands – particularly the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area – is really like.

In addition to the Job Board and the upcoming Talent Portal, other tools and resources are in the pipeline. Although the program is currently scheduled to run until the end of 2023, the aim is to make it permanent.

More information

InnovationQuarter is the coordinator of the International Talent Program. Other financers include the municipalities of The Hague and Rotterdam, the Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Area, Smart Delta Drechtsteden, MKB Rotterdam-Rijnmond and VNO-NCW Rotterdam & Regio Rijnmond.

The program is being implemented in close collaboration with the International Centres of Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden and educational institutions throughout the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area. The Talent Coalition Netherlands is involved at the national level.

The International Talent Program is part of the broader Human Capital Agreement, signed in June 2019 by 66 parties and sectors in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area. The Province of Zuid-Holland and Economic Board Zuid-Holland initiated the Human Capital Agreement which aims to  optimally utilise workforce talent. You can read more about the Human Capital Agreement here.

Want to know more?

Get in touch!

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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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Whiffle, a Delft University of Technology spin-off, has successfully developed cutting-edge technology for highly accurate, localised weather forecasting. Thanks to a €3 million capital injection from impact investors ENERGIIQ and SHIFT Invest, the company will now be able to expand and achieve rapid growth. Global leaders in the renewable energy sector are already using Whiffle’s model.

Following developments at Delft University of Technology over a period of many years, Whiffle was founded by Harmen Jonker and Remco Verzijlbergh in 2015. The company offers several advantages over conventional meteorological services, not least the ultra-high resolution of its forecasts. Whiffle runs the calculations of its weather model on graphic processing units (GPUs), allowing local turbulence and underlying processes and conditions in the atmosphere to be captured in greater detail.

Optimised by artificial intelligence and machine learning, this is the world’s first operational weather model based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES). Whiffle can therefore provide its customers with very fast and accurate weather forecasts that account for various factors such as the local effects of hills, buildings and windturbines. Although the technology can help boost efficiency in many sectors, Whiffle is currently focusing on the renewable energy market.

Whiffle CEO Harmen Jonker says: “We can use this investment to further grow the company and bring our weather model to market in a number of sectors. In recent years, we have been working hard to refine the technology and make it easy for customers to use. We are now seeing a significant increase in commercial interest. This investment will allow us to expand even faster and continue to improve our model in the coming years.”

Accelerating the energy transition

Whiffle’s highly advanced weather model makes renewable energy production more predictable. The technology is of great value to the energy sector because better forecasts reduce the costs of weather risks. More accurate weather forecasting lowers imbalance prices for energy companies, for example, which has a direct effect on their margins. The model can also be used to optimise the configuration of wind farms and better predict future energy yields. This could result in higher yields and lower financing costs. Weather forecasts and wind simulations are of crucial importance to various players in the sector, including energy traders, wind farm owners and developers. The model offers great opportunities in other areas as well, from aviation to agriculture and from shipping to better air pollution forecasting.

The capital injection is financed by impact investors SHIFT Invest and ENERGIIQ.

Janneke Bik, partner at SHIFT Invest, says: “We are impressed with the team and the state-of-the-art technology it has developed. As the growth of renewable resources will make the energy system more weather dependent, accurate simulations and forecasts are crucial to the energy transition. Whiffle therefore fits perfectly with our fund’s objective.”

Rafael Koene, fund manager at ENERGIIQ, concurs: “Whiffle’s technology can have a major impact on the energy transition by further reducing the overall costs of renewably generated energy. We have great confidence in the company and its model and are very much looking forward to working with the team.”

Want to make impact together?

Get in touch with us.

InnovationQuarter Mathijs van Rijk

Mathijs van Rijk

Investment Manager ENERGIIQ
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Satellogic, a global Earth Observation satellite manufacturing and data company, has chosen a 4,700 square meter location in Berkel en Rodenrijs near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, to set up their largest satellite production facility to date.

Construction of the building is currently being completed, after which the facility will be fitted out with state-of-the-art manufacturing, integration, and testing equipment. Production will commence during the second quarter of 2022. At full production capacity the plant should deliver 25 satellites per quarter by Q3 2023. Satellogic is aiming to employ a minimum of 80 new staff members and is currently hiring, amongst others, satellite manufacturers, precision optical engineers and technical support personnel to staff the facility.

In addition to helping the company find a fitting location, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and regional economic development agency, InnovationQuarter, introduced Satellogic to regional service providers, technical suppliers, educational institutions and potential partners as well as suppliers from the Dutch space ecosystem. This is a valuable step in assisting both existing and new businesses to identify opportunities to work together and to boost the regional economic activity.

Ideal location and boost for the space sector

Berkel’s location was chosen strategically because the region is home to a large number of skilled workers but also offers the best logistical support in the world.

“Delft’s reputation for space expertise and talent is world-renowned, as is Rotterdam’s status as a global logistics hub and gateway to Europe,” said Gustav Wenhold, VP Manufacturing Operations at Satellogic. “Both cities are just ten minutes away, allowing us to get the best of both worlds.”

Satellogic becomes part of a very suitable ecosystem: about 80% of all Dutch space activities take place in the province of South Holland. Read more about the aerospace industry in South Holland region.

“In fact, the arrival of Satellogic is the largest addition to our space cluster by a foreign party in more than 30 years,” says Rinke Zonneveld, director of InnovationQuarter. “This is an enormous boost for the development of the sector and it offers opportunities not only for the Dutch space supply chain, but especially for our space talent.”

“Satellogic’s mission is to democratize access to Earth Observation data and foster innovation across industries and borders. Expanding our global footprint increases our reach as well as diversifies and strengthens our teams,” commented Emiliano Kargieman, company’s founder and CEO.

Satellogic has offices in the USA, Argentina, Spain and Israel and will continue to operate its current Assembly, Integration, and Test (AIT) facility in Uruguay with a capacity of 24 satellites per year. Satellogic has announced to become a public company through a business combination with CF Acquisition Corp. by the end of 2021 and is planning to begin trading on Nasdaq under ticker symbol “SATL.”

More information?

Get in touch with the Account Manager Aerospace at InnovationQuarter

Niels Krol

Senior Investor Relations Manager / Senior Account Manager Aerospace
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Invest-NL and Rotterdam Energy Transition Fund are jointly investing €15 million in Umincorp (Urban Mining Corporation) to finance the construction of a new rPET plant in Rotterdam. The factory marks Umincorp’s next step in recycling plastic from household waste. InnovationQuarter acts as the fund manager of Rotterdam Energy Transition Fund.

Umincorp reprocesses post-consumer plastic waste into high-grade resources for producers of plastic products such as packaging. This reduces their use of fossil fuel plastics, enabling them to reach their recycling goals. The biggest bottleneck when recycling household waste plastic involves sorting the different plastic materials. To overcome this, Umincorp is using both existing methods and its own proprietary scientific processes, with magnetic density separation (MDS) being the most important.

By applying a specially engineered magnetic liquid to separate materials, MDS allows for a significantly higher volume of reprocessed plastic than conventional sorting and recycling techniques. This increase in recovery rate is key for meeting European recycling goals. The precise MDS process also ensures reprocessed plastic has a higher end-quality, making it more suitable as a resource for high-quality plastic products.

Umincorp’s process reduces the harmful incineration of plastics and increases the functional reprocessing of household waste plastic. The process can even deal with  difficult to recycle multi-layer PET trays, which comprise several thin layers of different materials. The new rPET plant will allow for a closed-loop resource cycle, from plastic product to refuse to resource. Plastic producers increasingly demand recycled plastic to reduce the unnecessary use of fossil fuels. Umincorp will be able to respond effectively thanks to its new factory, resulting in an annual decrease in CO2-equivalent emissions of a staggering 30,000 tonnes.

Jaap Vandehoek, CEO and co-founder of Umincorp: “Our technology has proved to be a disruptive force, creating new opportunities in the recycling market. We show that things can be done differently. Upscaling our business means we will be able to increase our impact and make crucial contributions to the way we recycle. This investment shows confidence in our approach to recycling plastic and will help us grow as we expand our business in both the Netherlands and abroad.”


Rotterdam boosts circularity

Rotterdam wants to accelerate its transition to a circular economy by transforming waste into new resources and Umincorp aims to be a frontrunner in the field of circular plastics. With its factory, Umincorp is taking the next step in recycling household waste plastic, making the company an excellent fit with Rotterdam Energy Transition Fund’s strategy and circular goals. There will also be considerable economic gain as the factory will help to boost business and create new jobs.

Arno Bonte, Rotterdam city councillor for sustainability: “Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic disappear into incinerators, which is a terrible shame. That is why as a municipality we are proud to invest in this recycling plant. With high-grade recycling, we reduce plastic waste and save thousands of tonnes of CO2. This helps us achieve our climate targets and build a circular economy in Rotterdam.”


Wouter Bos, Invest-NL CEO: “Contributing to a circular economy and minimising resource usage is one of our most important goals. By investing in Umincorp, we are expressing confidence in the role of innovative technology in helping to improve the recycling process while realising additional environmental gains by considerably decreasing carbon emissions.”

Invest-NL is investing €9 million provided under the EIB InnovFin SME Guarantee.

In addition to the financial investment, InnovationQuarter – acting as fund manager of Rotterdam Energy Transition Fund – will offer broad support to Umincorp’s management team.

Rafael Koene, fund manager of Rotterdam Energy Transition Fund: “Umincorp’s innovations and the construction of its new rPET plant constitute important contributions to the circular economy in the Rotterdam region. These developments will reduce the incineration of plastics and create a closed-loop resource cycle, resulting in a significant reduction of CO2 emissions. Umincorp therefore fits perfectly with the strategy and goals of the Energy Transition Fund: reducing carbon emissions and minimising resource usage.”

Get in touch with Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam


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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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Dutch scale-up Exasun, manufacturer of innovative in-roof solar solutions, is to forge a strategic partnership with Wienerberger, the world’s largest producer of ceramic construction and paving materials. Wienerberger will handle the exclusive pan-European sales and distribution of Exasun’s high-performance X-Tile and X-Roof solar panels. The partnership ties in with Exasun’s and the EU’s wide-ranging ambitions to make the built environment more sustainable and accelerate the energy transition.

from left to right: Remon Veraart (CEO Exasun), Jan-Jaap van Os (CTO & Co-Founder Exasun), Bert Jan Koekoek (Managing Director Wienerberger)

Exasun has been a portfolio company of ENERGIIQ, the energy innovation fund of regional development agency InnovationQuarter since 2018. By investing in Exasun, ENERGIIQ aims to stimulate the reshoring of solar panel production to the Netherlands, thereby contributing to a further reduction in CO2 emissions. This strategy will also serve to develop home-grown knowledge of solar panel recycling and its potential. Exasun’s in-roof photovoltaic (PV) systems will be integral to the energy solutions provided by Wienerberger.

Aside from ENERGIIQ, other parties have also invested in Exasun in the past three years, including No Such Ventures and Dockpoint. Thanks in part to the support of these co-investors, the scale-up is now an appealing partner for major market players like Wienerberger. In the next growth phase, Exasun will raise additional capital to further increase production.

Accelerating the energy transition

The strategic partnership, slated to start on 1 January 2022, is based on Wienerberger managing the exclusive pan-European sales and distribution of Exasun’s X-Tile and X-Roof building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) systems. Unlike traditional solar panels, which are installed on top of existing roofing, these innovative systems also double as roofing material.

The partnership will provide a major boost to the availability of BIPV systems for the building industry and will enable Exasun to contribute to accelerating the energy transition across Europe. This represents the first step in the company’s global strategy that includes expanding into other regions to open up opportunities for further development of the product portfolio.

Schoemaker Plantage Delft X-Roof

Exasun’s X-Roof | Schoemaker Plantage Delft

Market leader in the Netherlands

Exasun has been the Dutch market leader for BIPV systems for several years. Its products are regarded as the next generation of solar solutions and are widely used in single-unit and multi-unit residential construction. Contractors, developers and architects increasingly use the systems to achieve an aesthetically high-quality roof finish that is both watertight and energy generating at a competitive price. Exasun’s systems have European IEC certification and comply with all relevant building materials regulations.

Project: Park van Buijsen, Pijnacker | Product: X-Roof Black

Previous collaboration

Exasun has previously collaborated with Wienerberger on developing the X‑Tile – a solar roof panel that integrates perfectly with the building material manufacturer’s flat ceramic roof tile, Actua 10. However, Exasun’s X-Roof is now taking things a step further: an integrated solution where the entire roof consists of in-roof solar panels. Here, too, a combination with regular roof tiles is possible. X-Roof has an exceptionally favourable life cycle analysis (LCA) score and lifespan compared to other systems on the market. It is also listed in the Dutch Environmental Database, which is gaining increasing importance in the building industry.

Logical step for Wienerberger

Wienerberger has a rich history in sustainable entrepreneurship. Its innovative solar energy solutions are key to its far-reaching ambitions to create a sustainable future. At the same time, the company’s growth strategy is aimed at offering a wider portfolio of materials and solutions for building envelopes and infrastructure. Establishing a strategic partnership with Exasun is therefore a logical step.


About Exasun

Exasun is an innovative Dutch manufacturer of affordable and aesthetic, top-quality glass-glass solar panels that are highly efficient and extremely durable. Exasun’s technology is distinguished by a much better score in terms of environmental requirements than traditional solar panels. Based in The Hague, the scale-up has developed its advanced production line in close collaboration with suppliers, knowledge institutions and renowned Dutch machine builders. In addition to innovative BIPV panels for watertight PV roofs (X-Roof), Exasun also makes panels that can be integrated with roof tiles (X-Tile). A patented colour technology ensures optimal, seamless integration of both systems with new and existing roofs.

About Wienerberger Group

The Wienerberger Group is a leading international provider of smart solutions for the entire building envelope and infrastructure. Wienerberger is the world’s largest producer of bricks (Porotherm, Terca). It is the market leader in clay roof tiles (Koramic, Tondach) in Europe and concrete pavers (Semmelrock) in Eastern Europe. The company is also one of the continent’s leading suppliers of pipe systems (Steinzeug-Keramo ceramic pipes and Pipelife plastic pipes). With 197 production sites, the Wienerberger Group generated revenues of €3.4 billion in 2020.


ENERGIIQ is the energy innovation fund of the Province of South Holland and is administered by InnovationQuarter. The Province of South Holland has earmarked €35 million for ENERGIIQ, which invests in businesses that are ready to commercialise a proven energy innovation. Innovations should lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions and/or the creation of jobs in West Holland.

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Jesse In ‘t Velt

Senior Investment Manager ENERGIIQ