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Oxy-Low ontvangt groeifinanciering voor milieuvriendelijke oplossingen voor ongediertebestrijding

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

The new standard in pest control

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

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

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

Oxy-Low ontvangt groeifinanciering voor milieuvriendelijke oplossingen voor ongediertebestrijding

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

Global player with an expanding product portfolio

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

Oxy-Low Managing Director Sanne van Rennes:

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

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

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

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VarmX onvangt seed capital investering voor de ontwikkeling van gemodificeerd bloedstollingsfactor X-002-848x386

To avoid spontaneous stroke or vein thrombosis, currently millions of patients in the US routinely take factor Xa inhibitors, also called direct oral anti-coagulants (DOACs), such as apixaban, edoxaban or rivaroxaban.  There is a significant unmet medical need, as no effective treatment is available for patients experiencing severe (internal) bleeding or requiring emergency surgery.  Due to the increasing use of factor Xa inhibitors for anti-coagulation, the global market for this compound is growing rapidly.

Investors

With their investments, BGV and InnovationQuarter enable the company to speed up the development of the compound, particularly setting up the manufacturing process. Previously VarmX received a pre-seed investment from Leiden University and UNIIQ, the early-stage proof-of-concept investment fund for the Province of Zuid-Holland.

Pieter Reitsma, Professor emeritus of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at LUMC and CSO of VarmX explains: “Innovative research into the properties of a snake venom provided the scientific basis for the factor Xa reversal agent. This is exemplary of the translation of basic research into a potential life-saving therapy.”

This is exemplary of the translation of basic research into a potential life-saving therapy

VarmX onvangt seed capital investering voor de ontwikkeling van gemodificeerd bloedstollingsfactor X-001848x386

Francis Quint, Head InnovationQuarter Capital, states: “We are very pleased to invest in a LUMC spin off taking a promising research program conducted in Leiden onto the global stage of pharmaceutical development.”

“We believe the product is based on very elegant science in an area of significant and growing unmet need: unstoppable bleeding in an increasing patient population.  It fits very well with our funds’ focus on truly innovative products that have the potential to positively impact patient care” comments Oskar Slotboom, partner at BGV and chairman of VarmX.

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In 2015, a preliminary inter-laboratory validation study already indicated an excellent transferability and reproducibility. Now, in a large international validation study, together with seven expert laboratories, Toxys is determined to confirm the outstanding performance and added value of the ToxTracker assay. The validation study is initiated in parallel to the recent  initiatives towards the European Center for Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and should contribute to regulatory acceptance of the ToxTracker assay.

About the study

The consortium of consists of 7 multinational corporations in the field of health care and consumer products, the pharmaceutical industry and international CRO’s with additional support provided by several experts in the field of genotoxicity and cancer hazard assessment. In accordance with the OECD guidance document on the validation of new test methods, the ToxTracker assay will be installed in each of the participating laboratories. After a technical training , each lab will independently test a significant selection chemicals for their hazardous and genotoxic properties.

The results from the participating labs will use to determine the transferability, intra- and interlab reproducibility. The outcomes from this international study will be published at the end of the project. Giel Hendriks:

We are very proud to bring together such a strong consortium with key opinion leaders in our field and demonstrate the reproducibility and predictive capacity of our ToxTracker assay in this extended study.

About ToxTracker

ToxTracker is an unique, stem cell-based reporter assay for genotoxicity and cancer hazard assessment, that combines multiple biomarkers to get mechanistic insight into the of action of genotoxic compounds. A major advantage of ToxTracker is that it not only includes markers for induction of DNA damage, but also reporters for a non-genotoxic mode-of-action like oxidative stress and protein damage. All these types of cellular damage have been associated with increased cancer risk.

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Investing in growth strategy

The Series C financing round will contribute to Airborne’s full automation and digitization of composite manufacturing of goods that require less weight and higher strength from an array of industries.

In many markets like Aerospace, Automotive, Oil & Gas, Consumer Electronics and Sporting Goods, lightweight and durability are key industry drivers. Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite materials offer the potential to address these needs. SABIC’s composite thermoplastic solutions coupled with Airborne’s know-how offers the unique opportunity to realize the mass production of lighter and stronger applications in a more cost effective way.

Digital infrastructure for thermoplastic composite automation technologies

Airborne is a technology leader in the design, production and industrialization of advanced composite products for aerospace and marine sectors. Airborne is on a growth path to become the leading platform in composite automated manufacturing technologies. With the new investment, Airborne will implement the digital infrastructure that will serve as a backbone for thermoplastic composite automation technologies.

An important next step

“A radical increase of the level of automation and digitalization as well as the availability of information throughout the supply chain will be a crucial success factor in the composites industry. Combined with the integration of information from material to product, this is the core of Airborne’s strategy. Joining forces with SABIC is an important step towards our new strategy becoming a frontrunner in automation and digitization of composite manufacturing. Attracting the world leading advanced chemicals company to invest in Airborne is a great confirmation of our strategy. We are very enthusiastic about the added value SABIC will bring to our company’s development and disruptive innovations,” said Arno van Mourik, Founder and CEO of Airborne International.

Airborne-SABIC-BOM-InnovationQuarter-Series-C-accelerate-automation-growth-strategy-002-760x380

Maintenance and repair activities in Woensdrecht

Miriam Dragstra, director BOM Capital comments: ”We are very pleased with SABIC as additional shareholder and key partner and customer in the further development of Airborne International, and in particular its composite automation agenda which is a key example of how Manufacturing 4.0 will be implemented and which will enable complex composite products to be made at very low cost and with high flexibility. This strategy will also facilitate strong cost reductions in the maintenance and repair activities in Woensdrecht, which is a major growth core for the company. BOM is therefore pleased to support the company further in this C round along with the other existing and new shareholders.”

Hidden innovative potential of Zuid-Holland

Francis Quint, Head of Capital, InnovationQuarter, remarks: “The commitment of a global leading chemical company such as SABIC and existing shareholders confirm first of all Airborne International’s automation and digitization strategy to expand the reach of composites beyond traditional industries but also re-emphasizes the hidden innovative potential of our region, Zuid-Holland. InnovationQuarter is honored to support the completion of this Series C round.”

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

 

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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.

Keynotes

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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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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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.