Despite the current malaise, the Netherlands is doing well in terms of innovation. National and international knowledge exchange and cooperation, capital injections from the government and, above all, good ideas underlie this. But all that is dwarfed if the implementation-, corporate- and business economic foundation within your organisation leaves much to be desired. But that does not need to be an obstacle for those willing to look further.
Inflation, energy crisis and administrative impasse: you would almost think that in the Netherlands, nothing goes well anymore. Fortunately, that is only one side of the coin. Since last year, the Netherlands belongs to the group of 'strong innovators' in the European Commission's European Innovation Scoreboard. This upgrade is partly made possible due to the many investments by the Dutch government. As a result, this has made them into an incubator in areas such as ICT and wind energy; sectors flourishing thanks to these policies include universities and ICT- and software industries. .
Open innovation as a catalyst
However, this is not just because of the capital injections, but mainly because of their strong belief in open innovation. Because of this, a good idea from the outside is embraced with as much enthusiasm as if it came from within the organisation itself. Not only does this lead to an explosion of opportunities, but these cross-pollinations also make it easier to keep up with ever-faster-evolving technologies
This is demonstrated, for example, by the collaboration between the TU Delft and Rabobank. This university and bank started working together in 2019, and their initial goals concerned innovation in smart cities, health and food production. Partnerships between universities and companies are generally beneficial for both, as universities can conduct the research while companies can bring in the practical data and funding. Not surprisingly, Rabobank considers this a good match, as they can use TU Delft's knowledge to help their customers innovate.
An equally interesting player in this field is Lightyear. The goal of this Brabant-based company - voted "most promising startup" in 2019 - is to make clean mobility more accessible to everyone. Thus, they are working on more affordable models of their solar-powered car. To achieve this goal, Lightyear has entered a strategic partnership with Koenigsegg, a Swedish manufacturer of high-performance sports cars. Through knowledge exchange, they expect the successor to Lightyear's current model - scheduled to be launched in 2025 - to be even more efficient.
Interest from Japan
Finally, battery manufacturer ELEO: ever since it was founded in 2017 by former students of Eindhoven University of Technology, this company has been dedicated to making high-quality battery systems accessible for a wide range of applications. For example, ELEO developed a modular battery system that is unique due to its advanced battery management system and innovative thermal management system. That news also reached Japanese family-owned company Yanmar, which sees a range of opportunities in ELEO's battery technology to further expand their electric powertrain with customised solutions for industrial applications.
Dare to grow
Clearly, things can move fast for those with good ideas but it can only succeed if you have everything in place as a company when one day a partner presents itself or you seek one yourself. However, even with such a partnership in the pocket, healthy growth and process optimisation is not something that comes naturally.
Thanks to years of experience in implementation, business administration and business economics, we at Cravit know this better than anyone else: changes associated with growth simply take time, attention and energy; and that things will go differently than planned is a given. It is our belief that the fear of growing pains should never be a reason to stay small
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