To keep being one of the biggest ports in the world, the Port of Rotterdam teams up with business incubator YES!Delft to bring new life in the area with the Port Innovation Lab.
The ambition to connect startups to the harbour is part of a bigger plan to accelerate innovation around the Rotterdam port: the Port Innovation Lab (PIL).
In PIL ideas and startups are matched to existing businesses in the harbour area, something that wasn’t easy before. This way, startups can find a quick launching customer and the port profits from tackling business cases – which can lead to a possible spin-off from a harbour company.
According to the press release, the Port Innovation Lab wants to be on top of new technological ideas. Based on current issues in the harbour, YES!Delft will build validated business models with startups, entrepreneurs, SME’s and just about everyone with an idea.
The business development part of the programme will be in Delft, testing and networking will be done mainly in Rotterdam. “We aim for a 50-50 presence in both areas”, commercial director of YES!Delft Wouter de Bruijne told StartupJuncture.
Harbour as a hotbed
The Port of Rotterdam may be become another innovative hotbed in The Netherlands. First, there is a campus with startups already, the RDM campus, with notable inhabitants like the RDM Makerspace (3d printing), Energy Floors (the name says it all) and TU Delft spin-off Ampelmann (offshore industry).
Second, the cooperation between Delft and Rotterdam is a great match, as the Delft incubator already has a lot of potential when it comes to startups that can help the Port of Rotterdam. OCRS for example, which makes a biodegradable spray to remove spilled oil from seawater. Holland Container Innovations, which makes foldable containers and Vizionz, which makes foundations for offshore wind turbines.
The Port of Rotterdam has been asked to comment. We will update this story when they did.
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