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5th April 2018, The Hague

Bundling of high-tech companies in The Hague

The new Technology Park Ypenburg programme has been officially kicked off in The Netherlands this week. In this programme, the municipality of The Hague, four local companies and the Digital Factory for Composites field lab (DFC) will jointly invest EUR 1.6 million in 2018.

The programme focuses on automated and digitised production of advanced materials, such as composite and fibre metal laminates, with an important role for robotics. With the joint investment, the manufacturing industry in the region can make a leap forward.

Technology Park Ypenburg to become the magnet for business, investment, training and jobs in manufacturing industry of high-tech materials. © Daniel Verkijk

“The Hague is an international city with a strong, innovative economy. The business sector plays a crucial role in this, as a municipality we can facilitate and boost. This investment is good for the innovative strength, competitive position and employment in The Hague. The fact that the companies themselves also invest heavily shows the shared interest, commitment and confidence in the future,” commented Saskia Bruines, alderman Knowlegde Economy, International Affairs, Youth & Education, municipality of The Hague.

Intensive cooperation

The Ypenburg business park in The Hague houses several high-tech companies, as well as a field lab. Four companies – Airborne, KVE, Promolding and GTM – and the field lab DFC joined forces to make The Hague an international hotspot for the manufacturing industry of products based on high-tech materials. High-tech companies determine to a large extent the economic development and employment of the future. The demand for products from high-tech materials will grow strongly, both nationally and internationally in the coming years.

“As literally the first company that established itself on this business park after Fokker’s bankruptcy, KVE has grown into a company with, among other things, unique knowledge in the field of welding thermoplastic composites,” said Harm van Engelen, director, KVE Composites Group.

The programme focuses on automated and digitised production of advanced materials. © Daniel Verkijk

“The collaborative project offers the possibility to link this knowledge to, for example, the injection moulding knowledge of Promolding, the satellite design knowledge of GTM and the automation knowledge of Airborne in order to realise completely new product-market combinations. Through intensive cooperation with knowledge institutions in the region, missing input from adjacent knowledge areas is added, such as mechatronics, modelling, sensor technology and chemistry. KVE expects a lot from this collaboration.”

Jobs of the future

With this programme, the initiators expect that an attractive business climate will be created for other companies at Ypenburg. They can benefit from the relevant infrastructure on the business park, mutual cooperation, cooperation with knowledge institutes and the municipality, and the presence of a diverse workforce in the region. The programme also wants to give a positive impulse to local and regional training institutes through internships and workplaces. In addition, the innovative developments provide new employment for both higher and lower educated people.

“It is great that the city of The Hague supports the development of advanced products at the Ypenburg location. GTM is active in the field of advanced materials and constructions for aviation and space technology and appreciates this initiative of the municipality of The Hague,” commented Jan Willem Gunnink, CEO/President, GTM Advanced Structures.

Strengthening international competitiveness

A component in the programme is the Digital Factory for Composites field lab (DFC). Entrepreneurs, regional educational institutions and investors can go to this field lab for workshops, knowledge sharing, and find interesting investment projects. As part of Smart Manufacturing: Industrial Application in South Holland (SMITZH), the field lab will contribute to a strong region that can compete at world level. SMITZH aims to support the South Holland manufacturing industry in applying Smart Manufacturing. The ambition is to grow into a one-stop-shop where companies come for knowledge and technology to make their high-quality products competitive. Also in small series and/or single pieces.

“Automation and digitisation of composite manufacturing is at the core of our business strategy,” said Marcus Kremers, CTO, Airborne. “This programme and the cooperation with the other companies at Ypenburg and DFC strengthens the technological foundation and ensures that we can develop and grow much faster. We welcome the collaboration with partners very much, because the need for automation of composites in the market is much larger than we can cover only by ourselves.”

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