On the 18th of April, the Invest in Holland IT Seminar took place at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Istanbul. Turkish, Dutch and International guests were welcomed by the Consul General, the Invest in Holland Network and the Holland Innovation Network. Consul General Mr. Bart van Bolhuis kicked-off by emphasizing the strong economic ties between Turkey and the Netherlands, but also the importance of IT in both countries. Seven interesting speakers followed and enlightened the audience with insights, developments and opportunities in the Dutch field of cyber security and artificial intelligence.

Why The Netherlands

Eric van Pelt, IT Sector Specialist at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, shared his knowledge on the key advantages of the Netherlands and its IT sector. The Netherlands is one of the most connected countries in the world and is renowned as Europe’s Digital Mainport and Gateway. For example, the country is home to the world’s largest Internet Exchange, houses more than 200 large data centers and 96% of Dutch households have broadband connections. The Netherlands has a great track record of IT innovation which is taking place in the many IT ecosystems the country provides. Focal IT areas in The Netherlands are: artificial intelligence, big data, cyber security, data centers and gaming. At the same time Turkey has a fast-growing IT sector which is among the leading sectors of the country and more than 60% of IT export goes to the EU. In other words, IT is of great economic value and fuels business both in Turkey and The Netherlands.

“We cannot imagine life without IT as we have become very dependent on technology. Cyber security is very important to ensure society’s digital transition and to protect the enabling properties of IT. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help us to improve the use of IT and the output we desire.” – Eric van Pelt, IT Sector Specialist at NFIA

IT and Cybersecurity landscape of the Netherlands

André Hendriks, Partner at Verdonck, Klooster & Associates gave the audience a better understanding of the IT industry in the Netherlands and more specifically a breakdown of the Dutch cyber security market. According to VKA’s research the importance of cyber security has increased due to the increasing digitalization in society. To support that statement Mr. Hendriks shared an overview of the number of IT companies, the amount of cyber security companies and their economic added value. In conclusion, cyber security is a sub-sector of IT and grows twice as fast compared to the IT sector as a whole. Cyber attacks are a major cause of damage and trigger serious financial losses to the Dutch nation. Compared to other countries in the EU, but also worldwide, the Netherlands ranks relatively ‘high’ on annual loss due to cybercrime incidents, most likely due to its vast IT infrastructure and central position. Cyber crime will remain a serious challenge for the coming years.

Turkish experience in the Netherlands

Gönenç Seçil Tarakcıoğlu, R&D Manager at Triodor. Triodor Software is an international technology company with a versatile expertise in ICT and robotics. The company introduces unique innovation-driven business models and develops high-technology solutions for different sectors worldwide. Major projects are operating in domains of farming, food, logistics, smart living, call center and gaming. The Triodor story began in 2003, when entrepreneurs of Turkish origin living in the Netherlands realised their dream of establishing a software sourcing company. Nowadays, after a rapid growth, it counts more than 100 employees covering diverse fields and specialisations and has set up partnerships with many companies worldwide. The sales, business consultancy and board-level management are handled at the Headquarters in Amsterdam, whereas research and development operations are conducted in Istanbul. Among various other awards, the Development Center in Istanbul has been awarded to be Turkey’s Best Software R&D Center many years in a row.

Access to Communities & Ecosystems

Brian Gharibaan, Founder of The Hague Tech explained that the Netherlands has a long history of innovation and is home to a multitude of tech clusters. The Hague Tech is one of the prominent IT-Tech communities in The Netherlands providing an environment where entrepreneurs and innovators come together and share ideas openly. The community has grown to 300 members where The Hague Tech facilitates and organizes events on a daily basis. Members come together to solve challenges that large organizations – such as Samsung – are facing. THT’ers also join forces to accelerate technology adoption in society. The team of The Hague Tech is there to support the member’s mission and to build the environment where they thrive with networks, knowledge and inspiration. For newcomers and interested companies there is a dedicated ‘soft landing program’. It is a full-service program offering entrepreneurs a one-stop-shop for business expansion and soft landing related services. It is created for international Tech startups and scale-ups who are interested to get a taste of the Dutch market, who want to validate their product-market fit, have interest in meeting potential customers and partners and want to join an active Tech community in The Hague. The program is free of charge, tailor-made and open for startups and scale-ups in all phases. The Hague Tech has also established great relationships with other tech hubs worldwide, such as in San Francisco and South Africa.

Public Private collaboration

Eveline Vreede works at Delft University of Technology in the capacity of Managing Director Cyber Security Academy and Manager TU Delft Safety & Security Institute. The Netherlands is known for public-private partnerships and Ms. Vreede is a strong advocate of innovation collaboration as well. The Cyber Security Academy (CSA) is a collaboration between Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and The Hague University of Applied Sciences. At CSA scholars, lecturers and experts from private and public sectors translate cyber issues into a varied range of multidisciplinary learning tracks for highly educated professionals. The TU Delft Safety & Security Institute brings together a diversity of research on fundamental technologies, socio-technical complexity, methodology and models for Safety & Security in the public sphere, private sphere, and the movement between those spheres. DSyS functions as a window for Public Private Innovation on the topic of S&S. It creates a platform for cooperation with industry and government and encourages multidisciplinary cooperation. Delft University of Technology also known as TU Delft, is the largest and oldest Dutch public technological university, located in Delft, the Netherlands. It counts as one of the best universities for engineering and technology worldwide, typically seen within the top 20. It is repeatedly considered the best university of technology in the Netherlands

A Turkish customer journey to the Netherlands

Hakan Terzioğlu, VP of Sales & Marketing at Biznet Bilişim was able to share from experience what it took to expand business to the Netherlands. Biznet Bilisim is a leading cyber security services company with a holistic approach to IT, OT and IoT Security. The company offers best of breed products from leading global technology vendors as well as project delivery, technical support, consulting and auditing (incl. PCI-DSS and penetration testing) services to more than its 250 enterprise segment customers including Energy, Finance, and Telco. Biznet Bilisim, a Gartner recognized cyber services company and listed in Deloitte Technology Fast50 Turkey multiple times, has over 90 employees based in Turkey and now also the Netherlands. Biznet decided to open its doors at The Hague Security Delta (HSD). HSD is a well organized Security cluster in The Netherlands and is home to a community of companies, governments and knowledge institutes. Together the cluster works on knowledge development and innovation in security. It has a common goal: a more secure world, more business activity and more jobs. HSD’s primary focus areas are cyber security, forensics, national security, and critical infrastructure. HSD offers access to Talent, knowledge, innovation, capital, contacts and events.

Regional representation from the Netherlands

Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments & Internationalization at InnovationQuarter represented the Dutch partners in economic promotion of the Netherlands. Several regions from the Netherlands were attending: the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area (InnovationQuarter), The Hague (The Hague Business Agency), Rotterdam (Rotterdam Partners) and last but not least Amsterdam (Amsterdam in Business). The regional partners cooperate with the Netherlands Foreign Investment agency under the flag of ‘Invest in Holland’ to promote the Netherlands internationally and attract foreign companies to the regions. As the first port of call, Invest in Holland can offer free and confidential services such as providing up-to-date information; introducing relevant business contacts, government authorities, ecosystems and service suppliers; organizing fact-finding trips and site selection missions; providing personalized guidance and counsel on tax, government and permit procedures, location options and business solutions.

“The Invest in Holland network welcomes Turkish business and innovation to the Netherlands. We are here to guide you” – Chris van Voorden, Director Foreign Investments & Internationalization at InnovationQuarter

Meet InnovationQuarter

InnovationQuarter is the economic development agency for West Holland. InnovationQuarter finances innovative and fast-growing companies, assists international companies in establishing their businesses in West Holland, and facilitates (international) collaboration between innovative entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes and government.

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