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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
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International Robotics Week

Integrating RoboBusiness Europe, TUS Expo and ROS Industrial in one event turned out to be a huge success. For three days, experts in the field of robotics and unmanned systems, and their robots and drones, from all over the world gathered in the Netherlands. The week saw an expo and conference in the World Forum The Hague, tours to labs of the Delft University of Technology and demonstration days in the port of Rotterdam (unmanned harbour) and former airport Valkenburg (drone show). This made clear that the Netherlands has everything needed for robotics companies that want to settle here.


The International Robotics week started on Wednesday, with inspiring keynotes from Kim Liebregts (Tesla Benelux), Noel Sharkey (Responsible Robotics) and Melonee Wise (Fetch Robotics). Wise’s contribution was of particular interest. She pointed out that there are around 1000 robotics start-ups in the world, most of these founded after 2010. Why is that? The answer is open-source robotics (ROS). “Why did this sudden explosion happen? Because of open innovation.” Her company also benefited from ROS.

There are around 1000 robotics startups in the world, most of which were founded after 2010. Why is that?

Sharkey told visitors to think about the ethical aspects of robotics. “We don’t want to sleepwalk into robotics just as we did with the internet.”

Business wise

The IRW is the perfect place for start-ups to present themselves. Prince Constantijn, the startup envoy of StartupDelta, had some advice for them. The preconditions for being successful in the Netherlands are present, but it is not enough to just have a good product. To give this product a place in the market, you have to be ‘business wise’: you need to surround yourself with people who have a sense of enterprise.

Constantijn also visited the RoboValley pavilion, where various startups were gathered together: Delft Robotics, CropZoomer, Clear Flight Solutions, SeaDrone, Robot Care Systems, Robot Security Systems, Robot Engineered Systems, Vectioneer. Also present were the student DreamTeam: Project MARCH, ImProvia and the Care-o-bot from Fraunhofer / Unity Robotics. During the startup event, AeroVinci announced they received a subsidy of € 300.000,-. This allows them to further develop the dronedock technology.

Portal: connect.robovalley.com

During the IRW, we also launched the beta version of connect.robovalley.com: ‘your compass in the world of robotics’. Connect.robovalley.com offers a single place for companies to find the latest news, insights and reports on robotics.

RoboValley Foundation Dinner

Networking is an important part of a large congress. Because of this, the organisation was happy that the city of Delft and InnovationQuarter enabled us to host the first RoboCafé NL in the old town hall of the city of Delft on the first evening of the event. Futurist Aseem Prakash delivered an inspiring presentation, the historical ambience took care of the rest.

A day later, they organised the RoboValley Foundation Dinner in our own offices. The Dutch robotics sector was present, as were several international guests. They were, amongst others, addressed by Delft University of Technology’s rector magnificus Karel Luyben, Aimee van Wynsberghe and Guszti Eiben.

‘Golden Age of Nerds’

“We are living in a golden age of nerds”, concluded comedian Pep Rosenfeld during the closing keynotes a day later. He is right. During the IRW, it became clear how much is happening in the field of robotics and how fast developments are moving. “Robotics and AI are all about possibilities”, said Prakash during his keynote. “Possibilities that humans never have experienced before.”

“Robotics and AI are all about possibilities”

There was room for ethical issues during the closing keynotes. Irakli Beridze of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute told us what the UN is doing in the fields of robotics and AI. Beridze and his organisation have settled in The Hague because of the presence of the Responsible Robotics Foundation. “By joining forces, we want to make this a city of ideas and global policies related to AI and robotics.”

“Over the past few years, we have built a global platform for organisations and people involved in robotics”

RoboValley Platform

RoboValley’s Managing Director, Arthur de Crook, thanked everyone at the end of the IRW. He explained the importance of the event for RoboValley. “Over the past few years, we have built a global platform for organisations, researchers and governments involved in robotics. But we also really wanted to create a moment to show this platform to the world. This moment was the International Robotics Week.” Robotics can contribute to solving the grand societal challenges. This is why it is important to create the next generation robotics. “So we can embrace the future for the good.”

Source / RoboValley

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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!

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Flying without a drone pilot

AeroVinci, a TU Delft spin-off, is developing ‘DroneDock’ technology, which allows drones to take-off, land, process data, charge and perform other specialised operations fully autonomously. Until recently, drones could only be operated by drone pilots, but this new technology removes the need for a human operator. This has major financial advantages as well as other benefits.

Aerial surveillance

Agriculture is one of the main sectors where this technology is applied. Consider farmers, for instance, whose land is surveyed from the air and who then automatically receive advice on the intelligent use of irrigation, fertilisers and pesticides. This can ensure higher yields and lower costs per hectare.

Jochem Wieringa of AeroVinci is enthusiastic about the investment.

We’re extremely happy with this financial boost. It’s a sign that investors share our vision of making the large-scale deployment of drones affordable by fully automating drone technology.

AeroVinci ontvangt startkapitaal voor ontwikkeling autonoom drone-netwerk 002-760x380

F.l.t.r.: Jochem Wieringa (AeroVinci) en Liduina Hammer (UNIIQ)

UNIIQ is investing in AeroVinci because of the enormous potential of DroneDock technology. “Drones represent a huge, untapped market, but the problem is that a human pilot is still needed for each drone,” explains Liduina Hammer, Fund Manager at UNIIQ. “However, AeroVinci’s technology removes the need for human intervention, which will accelerate the market expansion of drones. We are pleased to add yet another company that develops pioneering technology to UNIIQ’s investment portfolio.”

“TU Delft is a global frontrunner in drone innovation technology,” says Paul Althuis, Managing Director of Delft Enterprises. “It’s wonderful to see technology that was incubated in our university making its way into successful applications such as those developed by AeroVinci.” Althuis adds, “This also strengthens TU Delft’s position as a technological leader in the field of drones, so we are very happy to invest in it.”

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Special envoy Constantijn van Oranje (StartupDelta) congratulates Pieter Jansen (Cybersprint) with the new investment

Special envoy Constantijn van Oranje (StartupDelta) congratulates Pieter Jansen (Cybersprint) with the new investment © Daniel Verkijk

Safer internet

Cybersprint helps to make the internet safer, not only in the interest of its clients but ultimately all relevant stakeholders. Outdated or forgotten servers and websites are sought-after targets for criminals. Cybersprint’s software solution provides an overview of all publicly accessible websites that belong to an organisation. Using real-time intelligence feeds, any deviation based on visual and behavioural changes is reported.

In addition, Cybersprint continuously monitors social media and the dark web for malicious actions aimed at its clientele. This allows Cybersprint to immediately alert its clients to hacking or suspicious activities. Clients can then take prompt action before other users or search engines notice anything strange. These activities are grouped in the new Digital Risk Monitoring domain.

CEO Pieter Jansen is pleased with the new investment.

Cybersprint is ready to take the next step, moving from startup to scale-up. It’s my personal mission always to be one step ahead of malicious hackers. To achieve this, we continuously monitor and analyse what cybercriminals are doing as well as the latest developments. This investment will allow us to help organisations across the world identify vulnerabilities and prevent attacks even faster.

Since its establishment in The Hague Security Delta (HSD) in June 2016, Cybersprint has proven to be a reliable partner for international financial institutions and government bodies, including the City of The Hague. Cybersprint operates within a valuable new domain and clients appreciate the benefits of the company’s technology because it alerts them to hitherto unknown cyber threats.

Cybersprint versnelt internationale groei met nieuwe investering van € 700.000

From left to right: Maarten Timmerman (Cybersprint), Marty Le Clercq (InnovationQuarter), Constantijn van Oranje (StartupDelta), Arthur van der Wees (Arthur’s Legal), Pieter Jansen (Cybersprint), Francis Quint (InnovationQuarter), Lennard Zwart and Johan Stins (InnovationQuarter) © Daniel Verkijk

Strong market potential

As society becomes more digital, cyber criminals are becoming increasingly professional. Big players like Verizon and Cisco predict a strong rise in cyberattacks. Current threats like malware, phishing, stolen data and data breaches are expected to increase over the next years. In response, authorities are bringing in stricter cybersecurity legislation. Under these circumstances, the potential market demand for Cybersprint solutions is strong.

Fintech as a benchmark

Banks manage important websites and sensitive personal data. It is therefore essential that people trust their integrity. The financial sector occupies a unique position in the cybersecurity domain and offers attractive opportunities for Cybersprint products. Moreover, Cybersprint applies the knowledge and experience gained in the financial field in its other focus sectors.

InnovationQuarter’s Head of Capital Francis Quint explains: “Unfortunately, the number of cyberattacks is increasing. With its investment in Cybersprint, InnovationQuarter is contributing to the security of the digital environment. Companies like Cybersprint confirm the Netherlands’ strong track record in cybersecurity solutions, particularly in The Hague region.”

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

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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).

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American cyber security company Dtex Systems sets up in Europe’s leading security cluster

InnovationQuarter’s Chris van Voorden congratulates CEO Christy Wyatt at Dtex Systems with the establishment of Dtex Systems at the HSD Campus © Daniel Verkijk

Preventing data breaches

Digital threats are rife. Not only must enterprises deal with external threats, they also face insider threats. Increasingly, employees work independently of location and time and use different mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops to access business-critical information. To prevent data abuse and data breaches, it is crucial for companies to secure confidential information flows and identify unexpected and abnormal behaviour as soon as possible.

In the fight against data breaches, Dtex Systems has developed unique cyber security software to detect insider threats and infiltration from the outside. This software focuses on individual users of IT systems who are often overlooked when implementing digital security measures. Insiders, like employees, intentionally or unintentionally pose a threat to a company’s intellectual property, which could lead to the loss of such property. Consequently, despite increasing investments in their IT security, enterprises can become victims of unwanted data distribution.

“The rise of BYOD and cloud applications has made it easier than ever for employees to discreetly move sensitive files out of an organization’s secure network,” said Christy Wyatt, CEO of Dtex Systems. “Today, more than half of all organizations are vulnerable to data theft by insiders because they simply do not have the tools or the resources to identify these threats before material damage has already occurred. The key to solving the problem is knowing what users are doing with company data.”

Cyber security hotspot

For Dtex Systems, the establishment of a sales and support office in The Hague – the international city of peace, justice and security – was a conscious choice. As the ‘Secure Digital Gateway to Europe’, The Hague is a central, strategic location for expanding sales activities throughout the continent.

“In building a plan to develop the Dtex business in Benelux we looked at the markets that would have the highest needs for insider threat detection,” says Olav van Haren, Sales Director at Dtex Systems. “We are also eager to work with partners and The Hague Security Delta is the perfect platform to work with governments, knowledge institutions and enterprises to build a solid foundation for the Dtex operations in the Netherlands and beyond.”

Cybersecuritybedrijf Dtex Systems vestigt zich in hét veiligheidscluster van Europa

Sales Director Olav van Haren presenteert Dtex Company vanaf de zeepkist aan de andere HSD members tijdens de wekelijkse pitchlunch © Daniel Verkijk

European branch in The Hague

Today, Dtex Systems – a new Premium Partner of The Hague Security Delta (HSD) – was officially welcomed at the HSD Campus in The Hague. Christy Wyatt, CEO of Dtex Systems, and HSD Deputy Director Joris den Bruinen signed the partnership agreement and lease. Olav van Haren presented the US cyber security company to the other HSD members at the weekly lunch pitch.

“We are delighted that Dtex Systems has joined our national HSD security cluster. With its innovative ‘Advanced User Behaviour Intelligence’ cyber security software, Dtex will add a valuable and innovative product to the security domain,” says HSD’s Joris den Bruinen. He adds, “Dtex is a perfect match for our cluster.”

American cyber security company Dtex Systems sets up in Europe’s leading security cluster

Form left to right: Martijn Poen (DIT British Embassy), Martijn van Hoogenhuijze (InnovationQuarter), Joris den Bruinen (HSD), Christy Wyatt (Dtex Systems), Olav van Haren (Dtex Systems), Chris van Voorden (InnovationQuarter), Philip Meijer (InnovationQuarter) and Eric van Pelt (NFIA) © Daniel Verkijk

Cyber security ecosystem

Chris van Voorden, Head of Foreign Investment at InnovationQuarter, presented Dtex with a special plaque on behalf of the regional partners, the Department for International Trade (DIT) of the British Embassy, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), HSD and the Municipality of The Hague.

Van Voorden says: “We are proud to add Dtex Systems to the renowned list of cyber security companies that have chosen West Holland, and specifically The Hague, to set up business. This US company will make a strong contribution to our innovative ecosystem. The InnovationQuarter team will be pleased to help them establish useful contacts with other businesses in our region and support them in their European growth ambitions.”

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The Hague Security Delta Campus

Leading security cluster

The core is the HSD Campus, the national innovation centre for security in The Hague. 50 of the 250 partners of The Hague Security Delta (HSD) are located at the Campus. These parties vary from governments to knowledge institutions and from startups & SMEs to corporate organisations. All of these partners share a common goal: more business activity, more jobs and a secure world.

At the HSD Campus, the King of the Netherlands spoke with representatives of involved organisations and the HSD Board, followed by a guided tour. Richard Franken, executive director of HSD: “This visit offered us the opportunity to familiarise his Majesty with the diversity on initiatives within HSD. Besides that, we discussed some challenges in the security field, such as the lack of IT and cyber security talent, the tensions between privacy and security, and the cyber security threats with regards to the Internet of Things.”

Royal company visit

HSD partners talked about four topics with King Willem-Alexander:

Bezoek Koning Willem Alexander aan The Hague Security Delta

The education of cyber scurity talent. The University of Leiden, TU Delft and The Hague University of Applied Sciences offer an executive master education in Cyber Security at the Cyber Security Academy. The King spoke with professors and professional students about challenges, such as guaranteeing the sufficient supply of professional teachers, anticipating on the quick developments within the cyber security domain and the protection of the balance between security and privacy.

Bezoek Koning Willem Alexander aan The Hague Security Delta

SAM, the security robot, which can patrol autonomously. The robot is designed by Robot Security Systems/Lobeco in collaboration with Trigion, TU Delft and end users. With the help of HSD investments and its partners such as InnovationQuarter and Rabobank, it is now successfully used at the Port of Rotterdam. In addition to the physical threats, the port of Rotterdam also needs to be resilient against digital threats.

Bezoek Koning Willem Alexander aan The Hague Security Delta

The National Cyber Testbed, an investigation by TNO and HSD – in consultation with the Metropolitan region Rotterdam/The Hague – with a focus on how society can be more resilient against cyber attacks. As long as the possibilities of digitalising, ‘The internet of Things’ and ‘Smart Cities’ grow, vulnerabilities for ‘hacks’ will grow as well. The municipality of The Hague and KPN have been the first organisations to support the development of this Testbed.

Sweetie 2.0: preventing child abuse. Tracks Inspector, the University of Leiden and Tilburg University work for Terre des Hommes on the development of an advanced version of a ‘chat robot’. Using artificial intelligence it prevents the abuse of children through webcam sex.