Collaboration between Israeli and Dutch businesses on innovation projects is growing in recognition of Israel’s technological expertise and many successful start-ups.
Israeli and Dutch businesses and government officials met at The Hague on Thursday for “Israel-Holland Innovation Day,” spotlighting the nations’ growing collaboration in areas such as the development of technology-savvy “smart cities.”
In addition to Thursday’s event, the Dutch government has also appointed an innovation attaché at the Dutch Embassy in Israel.
“This cooperation is necessary,” the new attaché, Dr. Racheli Kreisberg, who was born in the Netherlands, told the Israeli business news outlet Globes.
“Essentially, Israel and the Netherlands are similar in that they both have relatively small domestic markets, which force them to seek other, external markets and deal with competition. Israel faces geographic pressure desertification, water shortages. Holland does not face such an issue. If anything, it deals with an abundance of water, and yet the situation is similar because both are handling local difficulties and the need to break out, making them turn to innovative solutions,” Kreisberg explained.
According to Kreisberg, there are joint ventures underway between Israeli start-ups and large Dutch companies such as Orbotech, while senior Dutch officials such as Neelie Kroes—manager of StartupDelta, a public-private initiative to promote Dutch high-tech innovation—have visited Israel.
The Dutch capital of Amsterdam, said Kreisberg, “has already been trying to act like a smart city. You can see it through the development of technologies for efficient energy consumption and management advanced by charting the city, and examining demand by area while balancing the need for privacy.”
“There are projects in Israel that interest the Netherlands, and we can train people from there. The venture capital front is also more developed in Israel than in Holland, where people are still wary; but I believe the field will develop,” she added.