Enhancing Economic Development Collaboration: Maryland and the Netherlands partner up for Bilateral Partnership
The Maryland Department of Commerce renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Netherlands in April 2023 to support economic development collaboration between the regions. The agreement was signed with InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the province of South-Holland, also referred to internationally as the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area. The MOU expands on the original agreement by focusing on cybersecurity, quantum computing, and life sciences.
“The Netherlands’ dedication to innovation and sustainability make it one of the most competitive economies in Europe. Here in Maryland, we are striving for those exact same results, with help from our highly-skilled tech workforce and thriving startup scene,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “We believe this expanded partnership with the Rotterdam-The Hague area will keep both regions working towards the greater good, while boosting business in Maryland and abroad.”
The MOU renewal was signed on the tall ship Stad Amsterdam docked in Baltimore’s harbor, as part of an event discussing innovation and collaboration between the two regions.
A separate event was also held for the entities to exchange best practices surrounding climate adaptation and urban agriculture.
Maryland Commerce Secretary Anderson joined Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalization at InnovationQuarter, to sign the MOU renewal. Minister-Counselor for Economy & Climate Bart van Bolhuis and Executive Director of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency Jaap Slothouwer also attended the signing.
“Our partnership with Maryland underscores the critical role of tech talent and the startup and scale-up scene in driving innovation and growth in important sectors such as cybersecurity, quantum computing, and life sciences in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area. By joining forces, we can leverage our strengths and continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter.
The memorandum of understanding, which was initially signed in 2016, played a crucial role in the inception of the Maryland Global Gateway initiative. Starting off as a small-scale pilot project between the regions, the initiative has now expanded into the state’s soft landing program. This program offers international companies an affordable way to test the waters in the U.S. market.
“We are happy that this Memorandum of Understanding, to continue supporting economic development with Maryland, has been renewed. The economic ties between the Netherlands and the US support almost one million American jobs, including more than 33,000 jobs in Maryland. This MOU strengthens the economic bonds between Maryland and The Hague-Rotterdam area. We look forward to fostering more innovation and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Bart van Bolhuis, Minister-Counselor for Economy and Climate.