Category: Innovation Infrastructure
The digital infrastructure in the Netherlands has long been a significant factor in achieving European success. But this year in particular has highlighted how important digital connectivity can be for both businesses and employees to succeed. For companies that needed to pivot during the pandemic, or those who wanted to take their services online, a state-of-the art telecommunications network is a requirement. Similarly, for the thousands of employees shifting to home offices, unwavering digital connections are essential to facilitate a good experience.
In 2018, the Dutch government launched the Dutch Digitalization Strategy and formalized its commitment to preparing for a digital future. The strategy takes a two-pronged approach to advance digitalization in sectors like healthcare, mobility energy and agri/food and strengthen the foundation of digitalization in cybersecurity, privacy, digital skills and fair competition. For companies looking to expand in Europe, the Netherlands’ digital infrastructure helps businesses in any industry operate without interruption.
Among the worlds’ most wired countries
Several rankings have taken notice of the Netherlands as a digital frontrunner. The Netherlands scored No. 3 in the world for IT integration, No. 3 for its future readiness index and No. 7 for its digital competitiveness in IMD’s 2020 World Digital Competitivess Ranking. It also earned the No. 1 rank for digital intensity from EIB based on its digital infrastructure.
Further contributing to the quick exchange of data, is the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX). AMS-IX is one of the world’s largest internet exchanges and has made Amsterdam one of the most digitally connected cities in Europe. For more than 25 years, AMS-IX has ensured that internet service providers, telecom companies and cloud providers route their global traffic in an efficient, secure and stable way. Between AMS-IX and NL-IX, ranked 6th in Europe, the Netherlands provides the connectivity that powers everything from global businesses to our everyday lives.
Where emerging technologies blossom
Looking beyond the needs of today, the Netherlands is home to world-class knowledge institutions that are researching and developing the technology solutions of tomorrow. One example is Delft University of Technology, where researchers are advancing IoT, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
For those looking to break the mould in emerging technology fields, the Netherlands is the ideal location. The world’s largest AI research network CLAIRE opened in The Hague in 2019– an investment in research, technology and innovation related to AI. Recent research by research firm Berenschot demonstrates a strong presence of mission-based AI companies in greater Rotterdam – The Hague, offering AI solutions for the leading industries in our region: life sciences and health, horticulture and port & logistics.
Our region is also paving the way for quantum computing. Quantum Inspire, Europe’s first cloud-based publicly accessible quantum computing platform was established here in early 2020, following over 10 years of groundbreaking research on quantum applications at TU Delft. In 2019, Microsoft opened its Quantum Lab at TU Delft to develop the building blocks of quantum computers and create a testing environment for companies working on quantum applications. The Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area is on its way in becoming the Silicon Valley of Quantum Technology. The first quantum network in the Netherlands will be established between the Dutch cities of Delft and The Hague and it’s slated to be released at the end of the year.
In addition, the Netherlands is a leading cybersecurity hub in Europe. The country’s emphasis on peace and justice paired with its digital connectivity has attracted international security agencies like Europol and NATO to establish cybersecurity operations. The Netherlands is also home to Europe’s largest security cluster, The Hague Security Delta (HSD), where dependable digital infrastructure is a must. This network of businesses, governments and knowledge institutions is committed to achieving a more secure world.
In fact, the Netherlands has the largest share of inhabitants who are proficient in using the internet, computers and related software. In 2019, half of the Dutch population aged 16 to 74 years demonstrated above basic overall digital skills in a variety of areas, versus an average of 33 percent in the European Union. These digital skills are based on performance in four areas: information, communication, problem solving skills (computers/online services) and software.
For companies that expand in the Netherlands, the Dutch digital infrastructure and talent pool open the door to opportunity and success. With the help of its state-of-the-art digital fiber-optic network, the Netherlands is a home for major technology companies, including Microsoft, Discovery, Google, Booking.com and Netflix.