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The Hague Business Agency launches digital soft-landing programme at Bangalore Tech Summit

50 Indian tech-startups active in areas such as AI, cyber security, agriculture, healthcare, and smart cities will be selected for digital soft landing in the Hague

The Municipality of the Hague and the Department of IT, BT, Government of Karnataka have been working together under the broad MoU that was signed between the two sides in 2016. Taking the collaboration forward, The Hague Business Agency launched a digital soft-landing programme, aimed at Indian start-ups looking for expansion into Europe, at this year’s Bangalore Tech Summit. Key dignitaries at this year’s event were Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of the Hague, Jeroen Tas, Chief Innovation Officer at Royal Philips and Gert Heijkoop, Consul General of the Netherlands in South India.

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Through this programme, 50 Indian tech-startups active in areas such as AI, cyber security, agriculture, healthcare, and smart cities will be selected for digital soft landing in the Hague. It will be a two-month online programme, which will consist of following four steps: Explore: Digital Fact-Finding Trip; Adjust: Market readiness training; Connect: Match Making and Integrate: Ecosystem integration, for Indian startups to get fully immersed into the Hague ecosystem.

Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dr Ashwath Narayan said, “We are delighted to announce MoUs with our Global Innovation Alliance partner countries today. These MoUs will be strategic institution level collaborations to focus on further enhance skilling, R&D and startup collaboration. This will provide international exposure and ecosystem connects for our entrepreneurs and industries in Karnataka. Our Centres of Excellence will be key enablers in implementing initiatives along the lines of these MoUs, and I am confident we will see many more such meaningful and impactful partnerships in the coming days”.

Marco Esser, Director of The Hague & Partners said, “As The Hague Business Agency we are proud to have developed the digital soft landing programme. The MoU between The Hague and Karnataka paved the way for this. We believe that we must continue to offer Indian startups opportunities to explore the European market even in times of COVID-19. Ultimately, this platform will help Indian startups to expand to the Netherlands and successfully integrate into our ecosystem in The Hague”.

The Hague Business Agency is looking to scale up the digital soft landing programme in future through its collaboration with ecosystem partners in Karnataka. In this respect, Karnataka Startup Cell will be working in close collaboration with the Hague Business Agency on targeted interventions for start-ups in identified sectors of AI, cyber security, agriculture, healthcare, and smart cities to create opportunities for improved market access, capital, and infrastructure.

Apart from start-ups, Karnataka and the Netherlands are working together intensively in the area of cyber security. The Netherlands, especially the Hague Security Delta (HSD) cluster, offers state of the art business, research, and incubation facilities. A highly educated and multilingual workforce together with the Dutch taxation climate makes the Netherlands an attractive location for cyber security companies. Relevant to know is also that the Hague is the legal capital of the world, as former UN Secretary General Boutrtos Boutros Ghali described it. More than 40 international organisations have their HQ in The Hague, among them the International Court of justice, the International Criminal Court, The Hague Claims Tribunal, The Permanent Court of Arbitration, the OPCW, the OPBW, and many more.

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Cyber Security, Government of Karnataka has been working together with various partners in the Netherlands including the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies to organise the Summer School each year, where Indian students receive training in cyber security. This year’s summer school was organised digitally, where more than 900 students registered and around 300 to 400 students received training daily. CoE Cyber Security and the Hague Security Delta are currently looking at scaling up their cooperation to include the exchange of start-ups, soft landing, and mentorship programme.

Consul General of the Netherlands in South India, Gert Heijkoop said, “With strengths in areas such as space, cyber security, agri-tech, healthcare and start-ups, the state of Karnataka and the Netherlands have a lot to offer each other. Every new BTS brings our cooperation to a higher level and this year has been no exception. The Hague Business Agency (HBA) successfully launched its digital soft-landing programme for Indian start-ups at BTS. This programme will enable some 50 Indian tech start-ups to take their technology to Europe. Holland is the gateway to Europe for goods and services and is increasingly emerging as an innovation hub. HBA will scale up the soft-landing programme in the future through its ties with Karnataka Startup cell and the two sides are also working diligently to deepen the existing cooperation in cyber security.”

 

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