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Here We Go Again! The First Trade Cybersecurity Trade Mission in 1,5 Years

Germany is one of the most important markets for Dutch cybersecurity companies with international ambitions. In order to support these companies with entering or growing on the German market, InnovationQuarter organizes various programs and activities focused on this market. After a-year-and-a-half of digital activities, we could finally travel to Germany again for a real life visit. Together with 12 participating companies, Security Delta (HSD), Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Munich, InnovationQuarter visited Munich and Nurnberg from 11-14th of October, as Germany’s largest it-security conference it-sa took place.

Trade missions such as this one open doors to valuable contacts that are unattainable for individual companies. The collective visits also enhance the reputation of the Dutch industry, from which participants and other Dutch companies alike reap the benefits.

The mission kicked off with a fruitful round table discussion focused on cybersecurity in smart manufacturing and industry 4.0, with esteemed German guests from among others the Federal Cyber Security Authority, Security Network Munich, Fortiss Research Institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software-intensive systems, and the Dutch Consul-General Paul Ijmkers.

The second day of the program consisted of a visit to CODE, the official Research Institute for Cyber Defence of the German army. CODE regularly collaborates with companies, and many of the participating companies explored possibilities for cooperation with the institute. Also, CODE presented their insider information about current trends in the German market, enabling participants to evaluate the potential demand for their solutions. Hans de Graaf, CEO at SmartLockr seized the opportunity to validate his company’s positioning in the German market this way.

“This trade mission confirmed that also in Germany, human errors are the primary cause of data breaches and cybercrime. Our products are therefore also a fitting solution to minimize these risks for German customers. I also got a good insight into the German cybersecurity sector, for example about the state of the transition to the Cloud and consequent regulations.”

After the visit to ITQ, an innovative German SME in the industrial sector that shared its experience with getting its cybersecurity in check, the delegation had dinner in Nurnberg with members of the local Dutch business community. The combination of hearing an industrial company share their buyers perspective on the purchasing process of cybersecurity solutions, with the opportunity to network with Dutch veterans on the German cybersecurity market was highly valuable.

The last days were dedicated to visiting the it-sa expo & congress. In addition to the many important contacts gained by the delegation members, some companies such as Guardian360 were able to conquer a spot at a panel discussion with German Security specialists. “This was a valuable experience because I was able to present Guardian360’s vision to the German market”, Jan Martijn explained. “Furthermore, throughout the mission, I was able to exchange valuable insights/knowledge with other Dutch cybersecurity companies. It is nice to see how personal networks were shared and we really tried to support each other in succeeding on the German market.”

The mission was officially closed by a dinner with Peter Potman, the Netherlands Vice Minister for Foreign Trade, and Ronald van Roeden, ambassador for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Germany, where the companies were able to discuss meaningful experiences of their road towards doing business in Germany.

This long-awaited trade mission is part of the multi-year internationalisation programming to Germany, where InnovationQuarter and its partners are working on a strategic program with a range of companies active in the cybersecurity sector. For this reason, many of the participating companies took part in previous activities organized by InnovationQuarter for the Dutch cybersecurity sector. Jan Martijn Broekhof, Director at Guardian360, was a Globaliser Cybersecurity participant in 2020 and used the trade mission to further look into one of his then selected priority markets. The Globaliser programme is developed by DutchBasecamp and has been co-organised with InnovationQuarter for cybersecurity companies.

‘Germany appeared as one of the main markets for Guardian360 during our Globaliser Cybersecurity trajectory. We were already active on the German market, but as a result of the Globaliser we decided to increase our focus on this market and, for example, join this trade mission to Germany to find new partners.’

Other Globaliser Cybersecurity alumni were Compumatica, Zynyo, Ubiqu and SmartLockr. Compumatica in particular has participated in many of InnovationQuarter’s activities throughout its international expansion efforts.

This trade mission is just one of the activities that InnovationQuarter offers to cybersecurity companies looking to internationalise their businesses. Also interested in participating or learning more about these activities? No matter what stage you are in, get in touch with Isabel Barnhoorn for an intake and together figure out what InnovationQuarter can do for you.