EER Award magazine (ENG)

Page 1

TOP Gelderland

Top Climate for Entrepreneurs


What’s the secret of the success of the Gelderland economy? The most entrepreneurial region of Europe What’s the secret of the Gelderland economy?

3 4

Successful strategies by the province The Growth Accelerator Start-up E-stone Batteries redesigns age-old battery Data analysis & visualisation for improved decision-making The Start Accelerator International cooperation: a strength of the Gelderland DNA Revolving funds Successful trade missions to China Public authorities as launching customer The New Global Foods Innovation Centre – Unilever’s choice for Gelderland Slim Opgewekt: maximum CO2 reduction as mission Groenewijkstroom: promising social energy app from Arnhem Zaltbommel sets example with very sustainable business park Only together can we make this world a better place Solyta fights food shortage with potato revolution GreenFood50: a tasty contribution to the growing global population TropIQ Health Services fights malaria ParkinsonNet: driver in healthcare innovation Social innovation makes bakery Hilvers best family business

Red/Green carpet approach for sustainable businesses and innovation We are there to help entrepreneurs: the network European funds for a strong region Carbon from Air and Betuwe energy partnership BES Wired Workers, UVS Industry Solutions en MindAffect Excellent students and support by UoAS HAN EER Award - quite an honour! Participate in the photo competition Thank you

Editors’ note:

Yes, we are honoured and proud of this great award for Gelderland. And we found so many examples that show that we absolutely deserve the EER Award! So after much deliberation we had to choose. And we haven’t covered everything by far. All examples in this Magazine underline the innovative and entrepreneurial quality of Gelderland. We will continue to collect great innovations and smart entrepreneurs all year long.

6 6 7 7 8 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

24 26 26 27 28 29 29 30

Go to There, you will also find the activities that will take place in 2019 and lots of practical information.

This is a publication of the Province of Gelderland in conjunction with Oost NL and Ondernemen Gelderland. The publication is printed on tomato pulp paper developed and produced in Gelderland. Contributors to the magazine include: Diep Arnhem, Pluspen, Ascend, Eljee Bergwerff Photography, with contributions by other photographers: Foto Focus (p7), Menno van der Meulen (p9), Norbert Voskens (p17), Martijn Gijsbertsen (p18), Studio 38C (p27). Editorial team: Loes Phoelich, Carien Britstra and Linda van Schuijlenborgh.

The most entrepreneurial region of Europe The Province of Gelderland may rightfully call itself the most entrepreneurial region of Europe for the whole of 2019. This has been decided by the European Committee of the Regions which awarded Gelderland the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award. And yes, the regions of Asturias in Spain and Thessaly in Greece received the same EER honours but that doesn’t make us less proud of this achievement. The EER Award is the recognition of reaching the goal that we set out for ourselves three years ago: “By 2020, Gelderland will be (inter)nationally recognised as a province where innovative entrepreneurs with the potential and the ambition to grow, are offered opportunities to do so and are supported in their efforts.” What has now become clear to others, we, at the province, have known for a long time: Gelderland has an innovative and entrepreneurial business climate. This is not false modesty. It was for good reasons that Unilever decided to establish one of its Research & Development Centres in Wageningen, as Kraft Heinz did with its European distribution centre in Elst. But other businesses decide for Gelderland as well being the gateway to Europe thanks to its location between the Amsterdam-Rotterdam conurbation Randstad and the German Ruhr area. Gelderland is not only the most entrepreneurial region of Europe but also a very ambitious one. To stimulate economic growth and employment in Gelderland, we are working on the economy of the future: circular, innovative and international.

Gelderland strives e.g. to become the first waste-free economy to reuse raw materials as often as possible. A circular economy is not only the sustainable option but will also lead to five thousand extra jobs, generate a turnover of 700 million euro and a 50 percent reduction in the use of raw materials by 2030, as calculated by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO. The province stimulates, invests and facilitates. Policy instruments are for example our environmental vision ‘Gaaf Gelderland’ , the red carpet approach, The Growth Accelerator, the investment funds of East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL and European subsidies. But in the end, it is the entrepreneurs that make it happen. And that’s why this magazine is entirely about them, the men and women that have made Gelderland the most entrepreneurial region of Europe. Thank you!!

Clemens Cornielje

King’s Commissioner of the Province of Gelderland (2005 – Febr 2019)


What’s the secret of the Gelderland economy?


The Province of Gelderland may call itself the most entrepreneurial region of Europe for the whole of 2019. This reward for the province’s economic policy strengthens the province in its belief that in an early stage it has decided on the right path to make the region attractive and successful for entrepreneurs and residents. What’s the secret to the success which has resulted in the European Entrepreneurial Region Award?

Integral policy

For starters, the province applies a long-term policy with respect to stimulating the economy. And we do not focus on a single top sector but on SMEs with their various strong sectors, such as food, health, energy and the manufacturing industry. Gelderland systematically invests in innovation and development. Together with the continuous commitment to innovation and cooperation incentives, this long-term vision has produced successful results and crossovers. Unilever, for example decided to locate a research institute in Gelderland and Kraft Heinz established its European distribution centre in Elst. Gelderland traditionally has an extensive manufacturing industry. Here we find our hidden champions maybe not always visible but downright world players on the basis of their products. Interesting crossovers emerge thanks to their expertise in combination with sustainable innovation.


The vision that the province applies, is a daring one with belief in the strength of the Gelderland economy. The first initiative is mostly up to the entrepreneurs. By cooperation with regional investment agency Oost NL, venture capital may be provided to promising endeavours. By planned cross-border initiatives the province succeeds in creating strong ties with neighbouring countries and regions. The close cooperation with the German business community is a good example.


In the area of innovation, there is close collaboration with the region’s universities, universities of applied sciences, campuses, start-ups as well as with the international renowned Wageningen agrisector. It is for this reason that the European Commission called Gelderland the testing ground of the future. The comprehensive start-up ecosystem created by these partnerships represents

a very close-knit Gelderland network that provides start-ups and scale-ups the support they need for an even more successful growth. And this is important as we face major challenges and we want commit ourselves to the UN sustainable development goals.


In respect of financing, the Province of Gelderland has consciously decided for the deployment of revolving funds. Innovative initiatives may even be stimulated further in their growth with the help of two instruments that were launched: the Start Accelerator and the Growth Accelerator.


The Province of Gelderland thinks and operates in a flexible and future-oriented manner. Identifying possibilities, creating opportunities, successful cooperation in finding solutions and an excellent economic ecosystem are strong pull factors for businesses and organisations from outside the region. Gelderland gives businesses and their employees the red carpet treatment.


In conclusion, the geographical location of the province also plays a part. Gelderland is a beautiful province with a number of important logistics axes that link the Amsterdam-Rotterdam conurbation Randstad with the Ruhr area. An attractive corridor is created that reinforces the cooperation with parties outside the province. Gelderland’s impressive and diverse nature with National Park de Hoge Veluwe, the scenic landscape of the Achterhoek and its river landscape makes it an attractive region for residents. Gelderland has a rich cultural climate with a remarkable creative sector. Another pull factor. And all these aspects reinforce each other, making Gelderland an attractive region to live, work and invest in.


Start-up E-stone Batteries redesigns ageold battery Thomas van Dijk expects that in three to five years time, consumers will be able to use an E-stone battery for the stationary storage of power they generated themselves. The format will be smaller and lighter than the current lithium-ion batteries, he says. The remarkable thing is that Van Dijk has reapplied the technique that Thomas Edison used for the first electrical car a century ago. He is currently perfecting this technique with his team. The starting point for Van Dijk who completed his master Sustainable Energy Technology at TU Delft in 2012, is that more and more electricity will (have to) be generated but that the stationary batteries of today do not yet offer a suitable solution. In his view, electricity feed-in into the grid will no longer be possible by 2030; another reason to start marketing a proper storage system. Van Dijk designed the battery on the basis of (very inexpensive) iron, sulphur and carbon - materials that are abundantly available. The currently widely-used Li-ion batteries are far more expensive and we are rapidly running out of the raw materials to produce them.

Growth Accelerator

Van Dijk started his business in Delft during his master’s thesis in 2012. Currently it is located at the Industrial Park Kleefse Waard (IPKW). The E-Stone Battery concept has already been proven in the lab; at this time the laboratory model is being scaled up to models that work in practice. Van Dijk’s business


The Growth Accelerator Gelderland businesses with growth ambitions may be considered for the Growth Accelerator programme ‘De Groeiversneller’. The Growth Accelerator offers knowledge, access to networks and financing. The Growth Accelerator is available to businesses in food, health, energy and the innovative manufacturing industry but other SMEs can also apply with the programme. It offers close cooperation with various partners within the ecosystem. The execution is performed by East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL. Entrepreneurs can become eligible for a voucher to purchase knowledge in the area of marketing for example, IP or specific product development. A voucher may vary from €1,000 to €10,000 (maximally 50% reimbursement of the costs to hire services by third parties). Loans have a maximum of €75,000 for start-ups and €225,000 for SMEs. Established businesses and organisations in Gelderland that realize a contribution to sustainable energy or CO2 reduction, or that are engaged in promising initiatives in that area, may be considered for the Energy Growth Accelerator ‘De Groeiversneller Energie’. The programme offers vouchers of maximally €10,000 and provides coaching in finding the proper expertise and partners for the further development of the business, as well as in finding additional and possibly follow-up financing. You will find the various conditions for The Growth Accelerator programme on the Oost NL website.

model is based on a licensing model. In the further development of his concept Van Dijk gratefully made use of the support by the East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL and a voucher of the Growth Accelerator programme. “Testing this new technique in such a way that you can present a fully reliable product, simply takes time.

Data analysis & visualisation for improved decisionmaking Management teams often struggle with unclear quantities of (big) data to manage their company or organisation. Wouldn’t it be far more effective if this data mass is visualised in understandable & workable graphs and figures so that it becomes clear much faster what to focus on? Lonneke Opsteegh from Nijmegen accepted this challenge; with her company StatStories (established in 2017) she offers customised solutions for businesses and organisations. With the help of statistical analyses, dashboards and reporting models, she clarifies data better and quicker for a wide range of organisations, e.g. civil-law notaries, industrial companies, recruitment firms and medical organisations. And her customer base is growing rapidly.


With her scientific background as researcher, complemented by different positions in the business community, she knows exactly what she’s talking about. That’s why she takes her tailor-made work far beyond the ‘regular’ solutions offered by spreadsheet programmes as standard options. “And that makes all the difference in the world”, she adds. “With the dashboards that we build, you can exactly prioritise those data that are essential to you, creating a faster insight into which decisions need to be taken.”

Start Accelerator

To get her entrepreneurship right from the beginning, Lonneke made use of the Start Accelerator of Oost NL giving her access to a tried and tested business coach. The meetings with her coach, which she choose in consultation with the Start Accelerator organisation, did not only result in further refining her business plan. “He also regularly introduces me to contacts from his network, so new opportunities are coming my way all the time”, says Lonneke.

The Start Accelerator Promising starting entrepreneurs in Gelderland with less than five years in business, may on certain conditions be considered for the Start Accelerator programme ‘De Startversneller’. They will then receive a voucher with a maximum value of €1,000 for coaching purposes. They may apply for an additional voucher for training/education. The coaching and training will ensure the entrepreneur a quick and more stabile start.


International cooperation: a strength of the Gelderland DNA The Province of Gelderland is very attractive for parties from abroad because of its extensive and coherent start-up ecosystem, the availability of venture capital and the excellent infrastructure of the province. Moreover, the attractive living and working conditions including its cultural diversity, the natural scenery and the high level of education of the working population create an excellent business climate. Because of this strong DNA, not only the surrounding regions and countries but countries from all over the world are happy to cooperate with Gelderland in projects and they regard the province as an appealing business location.


In its economic policy, the Province of Gelderland stresses the importance of international cooperation and facilitating innovative programmes. It is for this reason that the Province of Gelderland often opts for participating in international partnerships, joint subsidy programmes and consultation structures to give innovative and internationally-oriented entrepreneurs access to optimal opportunities to valorise their innovation(s). This embeds the Gelderland innovative ecosystem seamlessly into the European equivalent.

Revolving funds

The Province of Gelderland has been committed for many years to so-called revolving funds to stimulate the regional economy. Unlike one-time subsidies, revolving funds are loans that the entrepreneur repays when he is successful so that these means flow back into the provincial fund and can be reused over and over again. The revolving funds emphasize the structural character of the support by the Province of Gelderland. When the financial market is not yet up to the risk, the province is in a position to provide loans if this is justified by the expected impact in terms of economic growth or the contribution to a civic challenge. In case of failure of the enterprise, the biggest risk will be to the account of the province. But successful entrepreneurs pay back the loan. This is a major



In the timeframe of 2014-2020, a total of 2605 projects in Gelderland were financed by European cooperation, to an amount of 520 million euro. The resulting employment is estimated at 11,665 FTEs. The three largest forms of international cooperation are Horizon 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia and the CEF (Connecting European Facility). Together they represent a flow of subsidies of 367 million euro.

Research and innovation

Horizon 2020 is a European subsidy programme for research and innovation in Europe. The programme objective is to reinforce the global competitive position of the business sector in Europe. Some 300 businesses in the Province of Gelderland have already made use of the programme.

North Rhine-Westphalia

By cooperation between the Province of Gelderland and North Rhine-Westphalia, more than 70 projects were financed with a total flow of subsidies of 300 million euro from the Interreg programme, which targets stimulating cross-border collaboration.

Transport links

CEF aims at investments by the various authorities and EU institutes in transport links in border regions to especially improve the living and working conditions of European citizens.

difference with subsidies that always allow the entrepreneur to keep the contribution by the province. This revolving approach allows the province to help more entrepreneurs; in case of success the entrepreneur can continue on his own and the province can reuse the funds for loans to other promising candidates. The province also thinks it is important that the entrepreneurs themselves also invest in their products. For this reason, the province opts for loans instead of subsidies where possible. Multiple parties regularly invest in a certain development, this ensures a shared risk and offers a guarantee for the further development. A revolving fund also has a leverage effect; with the obtained loan, the risk for the receiving party is reduced which in its turn makes it easier to attract private funding. The revolving fund often does not finance the entire required amount, lowering the risk for other investors.

Successful trade missions to China Practically each year the Province of Gelderland organises special trade missions to China. The reason is that China as emerging market is characterised by a strongly state-controlled economy which makes introductions by counterpart authorities an essential precondition. “In the past years, we visited China on trade missions about once every two years with on average ten Gelderland entrepreneurs�, says Marieke Dijkstra, International Economy Advisor with the Province of Gelderland.


Initially many regional and local authorities were visited that could provide the proper introductions to the Chinese business sector; in recent years the focus has shifted to business to business. In the coming years more trade fair events in China will be visited, says Dijkstra. The practical organisation is in the hands of the East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL as part of the GO4EXPORT programme. Presently, preparations are underway for a trade

mission in 2019. Based on the wishes from the business community and the innovation attachĂŠ network in China, the opportunities for the theme of hydrogen are now being explored.

Export Vouchers

Since mid 2018, specific Growth Accelerator Export Vouchers are issued to Gelderland businesses to facilitate their (desired) export activities. The Province also works closely together with the Province of Overijssel in the GO4EXPORT trade programme.


Trade missions to China are obvious in view of our ties with that country dating back many years and the undeniable importance of China. It is remarkable that the Province of Gelderland has forged bonds of friendship with no less than three big Chinese provinces creating more opportunities for Gelderland entrepreneurs to do business. Missions to other countries such as Canada or Japan may also be set up if the business community so requests.


Public authorities as launching customer In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Defence focuses on cooperating with the business community in the development of products and future-oriented solutions in which it assumes the role of launching customer: the user that supports the introduction of the product. Gelderland already has private-public partnerships but the Ministry of Defence explicitly seeks even more cooperation with innovative enterprises and start-ups in the province, says Start-up Officer Major André Wijnveld.

High temperatures

One of the locations where the Ministry of Defence offers the business community a platform, is the FieldLab SmartBase on Ede Driesprong. For the Ministry, Ede Driesprong is the number one location in terms of innovation and the development of land-related deployment. In this inspiring environment, the Ministry of Defence, together with the business sector and knowledge institutes, experiments in the fields of protection, energy, water and support & services. “One of the pilots concerned the development of inflatable quarters that could handle the high temperatures in mission areas and that offers protection to our personnel”, Wijnveld mentions as example.

All terrain vehicle

Another example is the Vector all terrain vehicle which was developed together with the Tiel business Defenture. In the development, the experiences of the daunting Dakarrally were used for example to design a manoeuvrable and robust ATV vehicle that can be deployed in the most extreme circumstances by special operations forces. Whether it is mud or desert sands, snow or small goat trails in mountainous terrain.


The Ministry of Defence has already become partner


of Start-up Incubator Startlife of Wageningen University. All businesses there are engaged in innovation in the area of Food & Agri and especially developments with respect to nutrition are very important to the Ministry of Defence. Wijnveld: “In the end, it’s people that make the difference but they often have to operate under extreme physical and mental circumstances. Healthy and proper nutrition that meets the dietary needs of the individual can be a decisive factor. Moreover, the Ministry of Defence is committed to reducing food waste. In mission areas we cannot make a quick stop at a supermarket. This means that we have to maintain vulnerable logistics lines to ensure our people have access to safe food. In Startlife we encountered a start-up that is working on an autonomous farm in a sea container; a very interesting development that we are closely following. Hopefully we can start testing it shortly in the FieldLab.”

Innovation Competitions

The Ministry of Defence also cooperates with the Apeldoorn Center of Excellence New Medio Technologies. Wijnveld adds: “We regularly put issues out there to challenge the business community to think along and come up with innovative solutions for obstacles that we encounter. This makes a network with innovation and Start- up hubs crucial to meet the right entrepreneurs.”


“In total there nearly one hundred businesses and start-ups in the Netherlands with which we cooperate in this way”, says Wijnveld. “But we haven’t yet found innovative businesses for all issues we need help with and we are not always aware of new innovative products that are being developed. Connecting and finding win-win solutions together is therefore essential to us. And for the business sector, the Ministry of Defence is a relevant partner to launch innovations.”

“Most people tend to forget that the Ministry of Defence is the largest employer of Gelderland.� 11

The New Global Foods Innovation Centre Unilever’s choice for Gelderland In the second half of 2019, Unilever will open its new Global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen, a state-of-the-art building of 18,000 m2 with work space for 550 people. Global Vice-President R&D Lou Lievense explains why Unilever specifically decided for Wageningen.

“By 2050, 9 billion people all over the globe will need 70% more food than is produced at this time.” The construction of the Global Foods Innovation Centre is well underway. It has a central location on the Wageningen Campus creating very short lines with Wageningen University, other research institutes & leading companies in the food industry and start-ups; i.e. the participants that have created the Wageningen Food Ecosysyem with its worldwide reputation and recognition for many years.



Lievense: “It is especially this close cooperation that is essential for the development that we envisage. By 2050, 9 billion people all over the globe will need 70% more food than is produced at this time. This will require a drastic adjustment of the current food system and particularly an intensive collaboration in the development of sustainable food. This is best realised in Wageningen as all required expertise is already there, in the knowledge institutes, in one of the best universities in AgriFood and other companies.”

Stepping up the cooperation

Unilever’s present three research centres in the area of nutrition will be bundled in the Global Foods Innovation Centre. At this time Unilever has research centres for the development of foodstuffs in Pozna (Poland), Heilbrin (Germany) and Vlaardingen in the Netherlands. It will be obvious that Unilever already cooperates with the university and various research institutes in Wageningen but expectations are that this cooperation will be stepped up with the new site. “The physical location on the Wageningen Campus will certainly contribute to this. We are

developing the building in such a way that it is very easy for other parties to come and work and cooperate with us on what we call ‘food for the future’.”

Bid book

He continues: “The fact that the Province of Gelderland produced an excellent bid book in no-time during the prep phase, certainly was a big plus; it stated all components as optimal ingredients for a successful recipe. The efforts of the municipality of Wageningen and players such as East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL, but certainly also Wageningen University itself, were included in our considerations. What all these parties actually pointed out that there is no way around Wageningen if you want to set up such a large-scale Global Foods Innovation Centre and you are looking for a new innovation approach, i.e. within an ecosystem.”

Zero emission

The Global Foods Innovation Centre required an investment of 85 million euro, Lievense continues. The building that is realised by Dura Vermeer, has been designed by Paul de Ruiter architects and strives for the highest BREEAM certificate, says Lievense. “BREEAM is an internationally recognised sustainability certification mark for buildings. In this way as well, we want to contribute to the world of tomorrow.”

Shared Research Facilities

The unique character of the building is that it combines four different functions: a parking garage, office areas, laboratories and pilot plant. This required special adjustments of the design, which the architect all managed to realise. A special aspect is that, in addition to knowledge sharing and cooperation with the Umfeld, Unilever will also initiate Shared Research Facilities: valuable equipment such as electron microscopes will be open to the

on-campus collaboration partners to carry out research activities. Lievense: “We want to be part of the food ecosystem in Wageningen. By meeting people from the university, other knowledge companies and start-ups, we want to learn from each other and move towards improved innovation. When we cooperate, the development of sustainable food will be a lot faster. That’s what needed to ensure the ultimate goal: that everybody all over the world has access to sufficient and nourishing food. This won’t be possible on our own, so without partners.”


The major part of the positions will be filled by employees that are already employed in Vlaardingen, Poznan and Heilbronn. Lievense: “We discussed the consequences of our move to Wageningen at length with all our staff as we realised that this can have a major impact on both individuals and families. Part of them made the conscious decision to move to Wageningen and we’re happy with that. In this respect as well, the province, East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL, the municipality and the university played an important role.

Full circle

For Lievense himself it is bit like coming full circle, back to his university years. Lievense studied and obtained his doctorate in Wageningen and still has good memories of those days. “It is a beautiful town with splendid surroundings, and the international outlook of the businesses and institutes makes you feel that you’re part of a far larger whole.”


Slim Opgewekt:

Maximum reduction



Slim Opgewekt started in 2012 when the founders were astonished to learn that the Netherlands held the fourth lowest ranking of climate conscious European countries. Despite the many pages of policy reports, the reality in the Netherlands was clearly quite different. By now, the Netherlands has abandoned the 20/20 target (in 2020 the emission of hothouse gasses must be 20% less than in 1990). Of the new objective of 14% reduction by 2020, to date a mere 6.6% has been achieved. And yet, those behind Slim Opgewekt believe that the climate agreements can be realised provided they are given top priority.


The young Arnhem company Slim Opgewekt won no less than two national awards in 2018: both the prestigious Oryx Award for the most impressive growth achievement in the Netherlands and being named the fastestgrowing organisation by FD Gazellen, annual awards by Dutch Daily FD. Slim Opgewekt makes social real estate sustainable. In concrete terms: solar panels are placed on school roofs in combination with a contribution to the teaching programme of pupils and students. In addition to CO2 reduction, the awareness of teachers, pupils and parents is raised enormously. The company has also further developed its approach for health and sports facilities. The business offers its contracting parties complete transparency in respect of its business case and the significance for reducing CO2. Everything is kept under one roof to avoid any noise in the cooperation between advice, installation and realisation.


The revenue model of Slim Opgewekt is based on confidence in future, as co-founder and MT member Hilde van Dijk puts it: “By combining doing business with serving a good cause.� With this open and honest vision, the business has grown considerably each year since the start in 2012, reason for Dutch daily FD to give them these two awards in 2018. Slim Opgewekt now employs 50 people and in 2019 they will move to bigger office in Arnhem.

Growth capital

Last summer, the business repaid a growth loan from Oost NL exactly as planned. The development agency was an important partner for the growth of the company. To push its growth forward, Slim Opgewekt successfully issued a bond loan on the SME Exchange Npex end 2018.


As far as Van Dijk is concerned, there are lots of growth opportunities for Slim Opgewekt. There are still many sports clubs, health facilities and schools in the Netherlands that can become electricity-neutral. But the company does not stop at solar panels and raising awareness. Preparations for a fully gas-free future were started in 2018, which will be rolled out in the coming years, says Van Dijk. Heat recovery and sensor technologies will be applied for example. And the business will continue to invest in job growth, among others by creating more jobs for people with a disadvantage on the labour market.

Groenewijkstroom: a promising social energy app from Arnhem What started out as a local challenge for two Art Academy students is turning into serious business: This Arnhembased business, winner of various awards and nominations, is scaling up two years after its incorporation. It also involves a change of name into a term that ‘s more easy on the ear: ‘Wijkie’ (Our Home District). Wijkie aims at preserving green electricity that is generated in the district through solar panels for use in that same district. Because when too much power is generated, the surplus will be fed into the grid and then flow to other areas. And with the current state of the power grid this may also lead to undesirable peak loads.


Local residents that are connected through an app can check if there is a surplus so they can use it themselves, e.g. by charging their electric car or bicycle, doing their laundry, vacuuming their house, etc. Residents will get e(nergy)-points for the green power they used and can spend their points with shops and entrepreneurs in their own district. Connecting to the system is free of charge.

Energy company

So the system ensures that the surplus of generated power is not ‘lost’, that the power grid is not overloaded, that people who do not have solar

panels, can still use sustainable electricity, that social cohesion in the district is reinforced as local e-points are spent with local shops. Energy companies Alliander and Enpuls are among the Wijkie’s partners, just as the municipality of Arnhem and some housing associations.

Continued growth

The founders, Luuk Wiehink and Roel Oortgiesen want to have 10,000 connected households by 2020. It will then be possible to connect smart refrigerators and other household appliances to the system so that local residents no longer need to manage their power consumption themselves; this will then take place automatically.

Ambition Award

Wiehink and Oortgiesen started their business after receiving an innovation voucher via ArtEZ Art Business Centre from Gelderland Valorises. The voucher enabled them to convert their idea into an operational model. In the pilot phase they next won various other awards and nominations: best Arnhem Start-up of 2017, Energy Talent Award 2017, nominated for the Accenture Innovation Award 2018, Gelderland Challenges You 2018, finalist Jan Terlouw Ambition Award 2018 and winner Flex Challenge Award 2018. Organisations such as Kiemt, Consultancy Firm KplusV, Generation-E and The Economic Board support the initiative, and cooperate with the company.


Zaltbommel sets example with very sustainable business park The relatively new business park ‘De Wildeman’ in Zaltbommel is a leading example of sustainability. This business park is already largely energy-positive. Preparations are now underway to make the business park energy-independent as well in the near future. This collective approach was already incorporated in the building phase in 2007. Businesses that want to move there, have to become a member of a cooperative society. Initially, the cooperative focussed on professional park management, security and signposting but before long green space maintenance was added as a first step to sustainability.


The fact that Hitachi set up shop at the location gave the business park a major boost. It was the company’s explicit wish to move to a business park that was completely sustainable or to a park with the potential to do so. The Hitachi CE proved to be a true ambassador. Together with Park Manager Etiënne Schiffelers & Maaike van der Ven, Account Manager Businesses of the municipality of Zaltbommel, he managed to get the support of many businesses for a quick transition to sustainability.

More than half

In 2018 as well, major steps were taken. Of the 65 enterprises in the park, 35 have already become energy-neutral or even energy-positive. The rest of the businesses is taking concrete measures to follow suit. In theory, energy-independence is already possible as well; it’s just that the state of technology in 2018 does not yet support implementation at this stage. The ambition is to be energy-independent by 2015.


Snowball effect

The municipality of Zaltbommel regards economy and sustainability as Siamese twins, Alderman Willem Posthouwer puts it. “My goal is: when it comes to sustainability, Zaltbommel is where you want to be.” Posthouwer, who was previously employed with innovative businesses, indicates that a snowball effect is emerging. “Businesses inspire each other and larger companies help the smaller ones with the transition to sustainability. And this only accelerates the sustainability process even further.”

Heat grid

And there are more positive developments. The way things are looking now, DHL - who built new business premises on De Wildeman- will start using residual heat from Hitachi in the near future. This cooperation will be the basis for a heat grid that can serve 17 businesses in a later stage. At the same time, the Energy Cooperative ‘Bedrijventerreinen Zaltbommel’ was formed to be able to transport the energy and distribute it to the member businesses even more efficiently.

Solar panels

In the area of solar panels, De Wildeman also serves as a role model. The new pond for water storage will be filled with floating solar panels and some 72,000 m2 of solar panels will be installed on existing and new business premises. The process materialized in cooperation with the entrepreneurs, the municipality and the province. Panel financing will take place on an individual basis or from the energy cooperative. In addition to energy-saving & -generating measures, the cooperative also focuses on social employment practices and creating jobs for the region. De Wildeman already offers employment to some 1,100 people; expectations are that this number will double in the coming years.

Only together can we make this world a better place Already 58% of the raw materials that Interface uses for their carpets is recycled from biobased materials. Since 1994 when the business from Scherpenzeel launched its sustainability offensive, major improvements have been made. But the ultimate goal of Geanne Van Arkel, Head Sustainable Development, is still 100%, mainly by partnerships where possible. “Only together can we make this world a better place”. She was voted CSR Manager of the Year 2018 for her efforts. Her comment: “This is not something you do on your own.” All my Interface colleagues have contributed. Plus all network partners. I am in favour of sharing the knowledge and experience we have gained here with the rest of the world.” She is a regular guest lecturer at universities and universities of applied sciences for example and closely cooperates with other businesses.

Restorative contribution

A restorative contribution to nature and society has become the number one priority for Interface. The Interface production facilities are already practically climate-neutral by various measures such as solar panels on the roofs and the use of biogas. “Our goal is to let our factories function as a forest; they not only emit clean oxygen instead of using it and emitting

CO2 but they also contribute to a larger biodiversity.” Sustainability is no longer of matter of idealism but has become realism, is Van Arkel’s view. “For 58% we are already independent from fluctuating oil prices and raw materials. And we strive to raise this figure to 100%.”


Van Arkel is a biomimicry adept, i.e. learning from nature. “Nature shows that it can come up with smart and logical solutions for problems all the time, and in a very diverse way. We humans can learn a lot from this.” The foliage in the forest inspired the Interface designers to develop a design in which each carpet tile is unique. These tiles presently make up 45% of turnover. Van Arkel: “We have combined the ideas from Janine Benyus with The Natural Step model; working within the boundaries of the planet. This created the basis for the sustainability mission of Interface, thanks to the inspiration of the system thinker and visionary Paul Hawken.”

those nets is very tough. It will take six hundred years for it to decompose. Instead of leaving the nets in the water where they do more harm than good, they are now hauled in by local fisher men who can make money in the process as we can reuse them in our carpets. Another way to reduce our need for raw materials. And just as important we make a positive contribution to nature and especially the fish stock.”

Successful failures

You must also be prepared to experiment to achieve sustainability, states Van Arkel. “Even failures can prove to be very successful in the long run because they can take you one step closer to success. And we are running with the tide. People attach more and more importance to sustainability creating increasing support for our efforts.”


Cooperation with others has already produced great results. A biobased waste flow from the paper industry is now processed into carpet backing, further reducing the need for raw materials. Another example concerns fishing nets that are disposed and mostly end up in the sea. Van Arkel: “The nylon of


Solynta fights global food shortage with potato revolution The Wageningen company Solynta is working on a new way to grow potatoes that virtually eliminates the need for pesticides. Working with true potato seeds (TPS) instead of the traditional seed potatoes (so-called seed tubers) excludes the risk of spoilage, ensures an optimal quality of the propagating material at all times and makes logistics much simpler and less expensive. An ideal solution to fight the increasing food shortage, especially in developing countries.

growing global population in those countries and the increasing hunger, and there you have the complete picture. This has resulted in the company’s mission: make a significant contribution to the fight against food shortage and hunger.


Potato growth is only showing little progress in developing countries, however. One of the reasons is that entire freights of seed-tubers (traditionally used to grow potatoes) are left on deserted quays for long periods of time without any form of cooling, causing the cargo to rot.

And yet that contribution did not materialize overnight, Kruyt adds. A project in Congo, started as a trial field through a student in Wageningen, however provided the evidence that Solynta was right. Kruyt shows a chart in which the seeds with the worst performance from that trial already produced the same results as the traditionally planted tubers. And the seeds with the best performance ratings produced a yield two to three times higher.



Moreover, using seed potatoes in the traditional way to grow potatoes will inevitably lead to a loss of quality. “Just think of it as making a photocopy of a photocopy and doing this over and over again”, says CEO Hein Kruyt. “Your product will only get worse.” As potatoes are the world’s fourth staple crop and just in the Netherlands alone more than half of the pesticides is used when harvesting potatoes, Kruyt thinks it is high time to examine other ways of breeding, especially in developing countries. Add the

Using their own money and with support from the Gelderland Innovation and Investment Fund (through East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL) Solynta was set up in 2017. It started out as a small business; by now the staff numbers 45. Cooperation has intensified for example with the UoAS HAN, Wageningen Agricultural University and Radboud University Nijmegen because of the expertise they have to offer.

National icon

Kruyt expects to be able to harvest the first edible potatoes in Africa by 2019 or 2020. He then plans to expand to Eastern Europe followed by Western Europe. Since the incorporation of the business, there have been extensive in-house tests as well as in the greenhouses in Ressen in Gelderland to optimise the concept. And with success: in 2014 Solynta was named National Icon for its efforts.


Together with his three fellow incorporators Johan Trouw Theo Schotte and Pim Lindhout, Kruyt used to be employed with De Ruiter Seeds, one of the world’s biggest tomato breeding companies. It recently became a Bayer Group company. In that period, Lindhout discovered that there was a parallel between breeding tomatoes and potatoes: it turned out to be seed for the later Solynta.


A tasty contribution to the growing global population To make a tasty, sustainable and healthier contribution to the growing global population, that is the mission of the Wageningen business GreenFood50. Set up in 2014, the company already provides a wide range of quinoa ingredients to food companies and caterers all over the world, including the top sports restaurant of National Sports Centre Papendal. Founder and Managing Director Marc Arts: “Quinoa is not new; it was already grown in the Andes five thousand years ago. The NASA was also aware of it and already tested quinoa as space food for astronauts way back in the fifties. The most important aspect however is the fact that quinoa has all the elements to make a sustainable contribution to solving the issue of the growing world population.”


The fact that the world’s population increases each year with some 50 million people, inspired Arts to add the figure 50 to the name GreenFood. Located on the Wageningen Campus, there is a close cooperation with Wageningen University & Research and for example with Food Valley, Startlife, East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL and Kadans Science Partner.

recognised alternative for traditional ingredients such as potatoes, rice and wheat within five years. He expects that countries such as the Ukraine and Canada will have large-scale growth opportunities for quinoa.

Nutritional value

Arts: “One major advantage is that quinoa can be grown without the use of pesticides. Moreover the nutrients in quinoa are absorbed well by the body leading to a high nutritional value with human consumption. Growing and processing quinoa also requires far less water than is the case with wheat, potatoes or rice, making it an effective response to the increasing shortage of clean (fresh) water.”


The quinoa from Wageningen is processed in sports nutrition, baked products, baby & infant food, salads, sauces, pastas, smoothies, breakfast products, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free products. Arts: “Consumers can already buy a delicious Dutch quinoa burger in (high-end) supermarkets.” GreenFood50 has won various international awards and challenges for their approach that contributes to creating a better world.


There are various agricultural lands in Gelderland where quinoa has been grown successfully for years, says Arts. He strives to put quinoa on the map as


TropIQ Health Sciences fights Malaria Improving human health is the starting point of Nijmegen-based TropIQ Health Sciences. Established in 2011 as Radboud University Nijmegen spin-off with a staff of three, the company now employs 15 people and test requests are coming in from all over the globe. In 2019 there will even be two proprietary malaria medications ready for testing. The start of the company was facilitated by a loan from the Province of Gelderland. And the start-up phase was given an enormous boost when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came up with a donation of 1 million euro. The Americans recently even added an extra half a million to their original donation. Biologist Koen Dechering, CEO: “Bill and Melinda Gates were especially impressed by our vision that there is a dynamic relation between poverty & health and by our mission to actually improve health through our knowledge.”

International recognition

TropIQ specialises in research into vaccines and antimalaria medicines. The resulting test centre that is now internationally acknowledged, receives orders from malaria medicine developers from all over the world who want their vaccines and drugs to be screened and tested by TropIQ.

Vector-borne diseases

In addition, TropIQ has set up its own development of malaria medicines. With a team of biologists, biochemists and biomedical specialists, Dechering


has now developed two antimalarial drug candidates that will be ready for clinical trials with humans in 2019. One of these has a mosquito killing effect that was derived from certain substances that are already effective in anti-flea products for dogs that are on the market. “A discipline that is only at the start of its development”, says Dechering. “Which is also the main reason why there is world of opportunities open to us - and to mankind.” He is already developing a medicine for a second disease, Dengue.


TropIQ cooperates closely with Radboud University Nijmegen (RU) where professor medical parasitology dr. Robert Sauerwein, fellow incorporator of TropIQ, now acts as adviser for the company. There are also close ties with for example East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL. Through them, recently contact was made with the American army to think along in finding solutions for the relatively high burden of disease of soldiers in tropical areas as a result of malaria.


As far as Dechering is concerned, the company is only on the threshold of further growth. “Think e.g. of other tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, river blindness, the West Nile virus or the zika virus. They’re all infections for which far insufficient medications have been developed leading to unnecessary high death tolls. The area to discover is so vast that we will even have to decide on what to tackle first.”

ParkinsonNet: driver in healthcare innovation A technology-driven knowledge platform that improves the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients and realizes a significant reduction of healthcare costs - this is Nijmegen ParkinsonNet in a nutshell. And there’s more, a second step has been made and preparations for the third phase are underway. Some 50,000 people in the Netherlands have Parkinson’s disease. Expectations are that this number will double in the coming 20 years. Parkinson’s disease impacts people’s lives in many ways with lots of different causes and it is this complexity that makes the condition difficult to treat.

Interest from abroad

The start of ParkinsonNet 18 years ago originated from the need to bundle and share the available knowledge, says healthcare innovator Marten Munneke. Together with Professor Neurological Movement Disorders Bas Bloem, he set up

“But the number one priority for us is that our patients enjoy a higher quality of life.” ParkinsonNet from Radboud University Medical Center (UMC). They trained a select group of paramedics in treating Parkinson’s disease patients to ensure a higher level of care in a channelled structure. In due course, the concept was rolled-out throughout the Netherlands with more than 1,000 member physiotherapists that were able to offer their patients improved care. And there was interest from abroad as well: California, Norway, England and Luxembourg.

Improved research

With the support of an ERDF subsidy, the second step could be made in 2017. ParkinsonNEXT which established contacts between researchers & innovators and patients. Through smart technology, the enormous network of care providers was linked to the patient network which brought about a huge improvement in scientific research and technological innovation of the care for Parkinson’s patients. Just one year after the start, already 1,000 patients had signed up as volunteers in research or innovation projects.

Healthcare integration

The third step in this care innovation was made in 2018 with the help of a donation by the Gatsby Foundation (UK) of ten million euro for PRIME-PD (Proactive and Integrated Management and Empowerment in Parkinson’s Disease). In Bristol and in Nijmegen 1,000 and 2,500 patients respectively have been included in a pilot with a full integration of various care providers. In this pilot, nursing staff act as case managers And new technology is being used. Munneke: “Think of wrist sensors that report drug responses quicker or simple measuring devices that can measure the quality of walking, enabling predictions of increased risk of falling. By closer monitoring the quality of care offered will go up, which improves the patient’s quality of life.”


More than 3,000 care providers have joined ParkinsonNet, divided over 69 regions, including neurologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dieticians and Parkinson’s nurses. It is a continuous process of care innovation through improved personalised care and cooperation. The savings in terms of healthcare costs in the Netherlands are estimated at a figure between 11 and 43 million euro. Munneke: “But the number one priority for us is that our patients enjoy a higher quality of life.”


Social innovation makes bakery Hilvers best family business On 22 November 2018, Hilvers BV bakery from Arnhem was declared best family business of Gelderland. The election was an initiative of the Gelderland Family Businesses Guild. In 2017 Hilvers bakery celebrated its 250 anniversary, making it one of the oldest family businesses of Gelderland. The bakery employs some 110 people. 22

“These people are proud to be working in a real business, and it shows.”

The deciding reason to award the business first place was the level of social innovation the firm has in place. It employs a number of persons with a disadvantage on the labour market. This social involvement is partly rooted in the family’s Christian religious beliefs, explains Managing Director André Hilvers. As third generation Hilvers, he is the owner of the business together with his brother Aike. He invests a lot in social purposes such as the Ome Joops Tour - a ten-day cycling tour for children. And he regularly donates bread overstock to the Arnhem Food Bank, Burgers’ Zoo and Christian community Villa Klarendal.

Happiness at work

In close cooperation with Siza Dorp Groep, an organisation that supports people with physical and/or mental disabilities, no less than eight people switched from work experience places to the bakery. Hilvers: “These people are proud to be working in a real business, and it shows. The happiness at work that they created for themselves is something that cannot be expressed in terms of money; it is so much more important to us than tight planning or higher turnover.” The cooperation with and acceptance by their colleagues also ensures that the social innovation realised this way, is widely supported and therefore very effective.

Solar cells

technological improvements are regularly installed to increase its sustainability. In the past years, turnover already doubled with the same number of staff. The 13 shops in Arnhem now make use of led lighting to add to the sustainability efforts of the company. But Hilvers also has a long term plan in mind that goes far beyond these yearly improvements. He would prefer building a new fully CO2-neutral bakery with solar panels on the roof to power the own vehicle fleet. The current situation, however, does not yet allow for the realisation of his plan. He does use vans with the most economical and cleanest euro-6 diesel engines but he already has his eye on an electrical version, he adds.


Hilvers is aware of the fact that it is not easy to offer employment to people with a disadvantage on the labour market, and that this is probably the reason why many other entrepreneurs have not yet followed suit. Nevertheless, he wants to act as a role model and can explain his colleagues all the inns and outs of this way of working. He certainly doesn’t mind if others regard him as an ambassador in this respect, he concludes.

But the business is also closely involved in technological innovation. The current bakery on the Blankenweg was built 25 years ago and


We are there to help entrepreneurs

The ecosystem diagram below visualises the parties that make up the Gelderland start-up innovation ecosystem. Highlighted are the partners that are supported by the province and with which the Province of Gelderland often cooperates. The diagram is updated regularly. Partners and businesses that want to be included can contact:

NRAADS, 2018
















etit mp Co







C Pa








i po
















y str t du en In pm lo ve



Stu Ent dent rep ren e




ilders re Bu



me ern


r ato


Go v




cy In













ate or al rp pit Coe Ca ur ty nt ui s Ve eq firm te C a V iv Pr &






ds Fun

flue nce


s Angel


Centres of Entrepreneurship


Alternative Finance







FoodValley is the number one knowledge-intensive agrifood ecosystem in the Netherlands. It stands out by numerous world-class innovative agrifood and food-related solutions and by cooperation between businesses, knowledge and education institutes and authorities.


Energy and Environmental Technology cluster Stichting Kiemt accelerates the energy transition & the transition to a circular economy and promotes an innovative business climate. This contributes to a sustainable built and natural environment. Kiemt facilitates, supports and advises the network of enterprises, authorities, education and research institutes in complex issues.

Health Valley

HealthValley Netherlands is the number one innovation network within Life Sciences & Health. Businesses, health facilities, knowledge institutes and authorities meet, connect and strengthen each other via HealthValley. By innovation, market and entrepreneurial initiatives, HealthValley and its partners give an undeniable boost to healthcare.


Briskr is set up by partners that operate in or for the Health, Life Sciences and High-Tech sectors. Together they stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation in the Gelderland region.


StartLife is the top national food & agri incubator & accelerator, established on Wageningen Campus. It is StartLife’s ambition to transform Dutch food & agri start-ups into leading enterprises.

Orion (in formation)

Gelderland cooperation with knowledge institutes, businesses and authorities to assist innovative start-ups in the field of energy, creative economy and IT in marketing their ideas.

Oost NL

Oost NL is the development agency of East Netherlands commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel to strengthen the regional economy. They enable entrepreneurs to innovate, invest and internationalise faster.


European funds for a strong region To realize their growth & development plans and innovations, hundreds of Gelderland entrepreneurs and many municipalities and towns have been able to make use of support from the ERDF (European Fund for Regional Development) in the past years. This European subsidy programme is now implemented via the Operational Programme East Netherlands (OP Oost 2014 - 2020). Anko Jan Marringa, ERDF programme manager in East Netherlands: “The programme objective is to enable businesses to generate higher turnover from new products. Up to now, more than 400 ‘smart & sustainable’ projects have been awarded subsidies. This involves 720 enterprises in the region. A number of examples are included in this magazine.”

Ruben van Ruijven:

“This will generate pure CO2 power”

In the Carbon from Air project, the businesses Bronswerk Heat Transfer and Antecy in cooperation with Wageningen University and Research (WUR) are developing a new technology with an ERDF subsidy of €1.3 million to capture more CO2 from the air and flue gasses. Ruben van Ruijven of Bronswerk Heat Transfer: “We achieved positive results in our research in 2018. This will generate pure CO2 power which may be used for the production of solar fuels for example.” In 4 years’ time this should ensure a turnover of €26 million and 300,000 tonnes of CO2 capture. The project is expected to create 10 new jobs in the region.


OP Oost focuses on two areas of attention: general innovation and low-carbon economy. To be able to compete with other regions within these spearheads, OP Oost targets sectors that already have a strong position in the region such as: Agro & Food, Health, High-Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM). The Energy and Environmental Technology EMT (EMT) sector, including biobased, takes up a central position in the low-carbon economy. In the timeframe 2014 - 2020, an amount of 101 million has become available for Gelderland and Overijssel combined; together with the investments by the Government, businesses, knowledge institutes and provinces, this represents an investment impulse of 285 million euro. For more information please go to of

Gerwin Verschuur:

“Thousands of households can benefit.”

With the help of Radboud University RU, energy cooperation project Betuwse Energie Samenwerking (BES) received an ERDF subsidy enabling various Gelderland business to develop products and services to set-up a self-sufficient sustainable energy supply in the Rivierenland region. With almost 1500 solar panels on carports and a sports venue, regional power ‘Betuwestroom’ is generated and a charging station for shared mobility can be realised. Via a local residents’ wind energy cooperative seven wind turbines will be constructed in 2019, with a capacity of 55 megawatts. Local residents are offered support and advice in the natural gas transition. Partner Gerwin Verschuur: “Thousands of households and businesses in the Rivierenland region will benefit.”

Robbin Mennings:

“The Growth Accelerator literally helps!” Robbin Mennings, incorporator of the start-up Wired Workers in Doetinchem, received a voucher through the Growth Accelerator programme. “It literally speeds up your growth. And what’s more, you become part of the East Netherlands Development Agency Oost NL network opening up all kinds of contact opportunities with fellow start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovation brokers. With a private mentor, an entrepreneur, I could take bigger steps because I could rely on his experience.” As a result, only two years after he started Mennings had talks with investors about

more employees and further growth. Wired Workers develops cobots, cooperating robots with sensors that can take over repetitive and often meticulous activities in small series of production work for especially SMEs.

Eveliene Langedijk:

​Ivo de la Rive Box:

Founded in 2001, UVS Industry Solutions focuses on cost-saving maintenance. So far, maintenance is predicted on the basis of averages but the Hoevelaken business found a method to equip machines with smart sensors to measure if parts must be replaced or serviced, with great cost savings.

MindAffect, the Dutch start-up that invented a unique brain computer interface so ALS patients e.g. can still communicate, raised €1 million in venture capital from Dutch investors in 2018. Together with other parties, Oost NL representing Topfonds Gelderland invests in the Nijmegen start-up.

“The voucher opened up the German market.”

In 2018, they received an export voucher from The Growth Accelerator, presented by Dutch Prince Constantijn, special envoy of StartupDelta. “With the export voucher our promotion material can be translated into German for German trade fairs. GO4EXPORT also introduced me to various contacts in Germany. Our export plans for the German market are off to a flying start.”

“Proud of the trust from the market.”

Ivo de la Rive Box, MindAffect Director, is happy with the investment: “We are proud that so many believe in us to develop our technology into a product for those who can no longer communicate.” MindAffect originates from the renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour of Radboud University Nijmegen.


Toppers and Talent Award for UoAS Students The University of Applied Sciences Arnhem/ Nijmegen (HAN) yearly awards a so-called Toppers and Talent Award to students that have come up with a promising business plan. In 2018, the award was granted to students that had thought up Dronelaunch, a website aimed at safety. Dronelaunch matches supply and demand in the area of footage and photographs shot by a drone. These days an increasing number of parades, construction processes, sports days, pop concerts and suchlike are filmed by drones. Daan Lap, one of the founders: “We discovered that more and more people simply put a drone up in the air without realising that there are laws and rules you have to know and adhere to as pilot. You can’t just fly anywhere you like, certainly not when this creates a safety risk.”


Together with Marc ten Hove, Ries Hoogstad en Jasmijn Hendriks, Daan Lap built the website where customers can book only officially certified drone pilots so only pilots are engaged that know the rules and who fly safely and responsibly. Dronelaunch applies a mediation fee of 15%.

UoAS HAN supports entrepreneurship Students that graduate from the University of Applied Sciences Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) are entrepreneurial professionals. Through this mission UoAS HAN supports its 34,000 students in many ways. While ten years ago, one in three students showed an interest in (independent) entrepreneurship during their studies, this number has doubled by 2018 to two out of three. From the Centre for Valorisation and Entrepreneurship (CvVO) of UoAS HAN, selfemployment is extensively facilitated, as explained by Mathilde of Wijk, Project Leader Entrepreneurial Education. “We have developed two minors; one of them aims at adding value to the world based on the own strength and passion (in a project or business format); the other is geared towards realizing growth within the own company. We also offer all kinds of training & workshops and supervise students in graduating within their own company. We offer special starter


coaching through YIB (HAN Young in Business).” But there is more. Each year, students on average set up some 35 Student Companies. To assist students in already starting their own business next to their studies, we have created TOR: the scheme for Top Entrepreneurs to make arrangements in terms of study programme flexibility. In class and during lectures, students are regularly put into contact with entrepreneurs to strengthen their insights through workshops or student challenges; the ‘Toekomstmakers50’ magazine for example is used for practical and familiar case histories.


In order to accelerate a successful start, HAN together with UoAS ArtEZ & Van Hall Larensteijn as well as Radboud University issues starter vouchers in the ‘Gelderland Valoriseert’ project through which students may acquire a seed capital of 2,500 euro (with conditions attached). Each year some 20 starter vouchers are awarded.

EER Award quite an honour! In 2019, the Province of Gelderland may call itself the most entrepreneurial region of Europe. We are proud of that and we want to show it. Together with entrepreneurs, municipalities, education institutes and lots of organisations we will show the world in 2019 how we realize a strong sustainable economic region here in Gelderland. We will do so by enhancing all existing events and activities with the lustre of the Award. We want to share how we have set up and realized support for start-ups, scale-ups and the industrial sector. How we commit our financial instruments to ensure continued support for our entrepreneurs in the future. And how the expertise from different parties reinforces the impact and further accelerates innovation. Ideas for partnerships are welcome!

A look behind the scenes as inspiration for a joint effort

We want to take our partners from Europe to our innovative businesses and knowledge institutes. To start our joint development and cooperation. We want to learn from our European partners. Stimulate cross-border cooperation and looking for ways to be a reliable partner and customer as (regional) government for businesses and organisations. It is our hope that everybody who visits Gelderland in this Award year or who works together with us, will go home inspired by a special experience.

Prelude to a waste-free Gelderland: an ambitious target

Gelderland wants to be the first waste-free province of the Netherlands. That’s quite an ambition, but we are convinced we can do it. An ambition that can only be realized with a lot of parties and innovators joining in. People that see the importance of a sustainable future and who will throw their weight behind it. That is why we will use the EER Award year to speed up our efforts to make Gelderland sustainable and waste-free even further together with lots of (new) partners from the Netherlands and abroad.

Take part in the photo competition ‘Ondernemend Gelderland’! This magazine shows that Gelderland is a great entrepreneurial environment where economic growth and sustainability go hand in hand. Can you capture this in a beautiful picture? Join the photo competition organised by the Growth Accelerator programme De Groeiversneller. There are endless options, just think of what entrepre-

neurship and growth mean to you personally or what growth means to your business and the environment. For more information about the conditions and technical specifications, go to


Thank you Thank you for your contribution to a sustainable and strong economic Gelderland. Winning the EER Award as most entrepreneurial region of Europe makes us proud and most of all very grateful. Grateful for all the efforts by so many people. People that develop businesses and organisations, schools & universities and make them grow, and who together make Gelderland this great region of ours. A region where we all can live, work and enjoy our lives.

It’s time for cake

The Province of Gelderland wants to thank its entrepreneurs. There are so many great businesses. That’s why we will ask each municipality in Gelderland to select one of their businesses and to register their choice with us. A business that symbolizes sustainable and corporate social responsibility. During the Thank You Tour, one business will be highlighted every week. Because it is these businesses that make our province innovative and strong.


The Rabobank will join the tour as partner. They are also proud of the award. Based on their social responsibility, they want to contribute to a strong and healthy environment.


Email to for more information and/or to register your municipality for the Thank You Tour.


The EER Award belongs to all of us. That’s why any Gelderland organisation and business can make use of the EER Award logo and communication means. A congress, conference or activity where you want to highlight the EER Award? It’s easy... Go to for the logos and options.