John Jorritsma is head of the delegation

Eight startups and scale-ups from Brainport Eindhoven have today left for one of the largest technology and IT trade fairs in the world: the Computex/InnoVEX in Taiwan. Mayor of Eindhoven and chairman of the Brainport Foundation, John Jorritsma, leads the mission. In total there will be sixteen Dutch startups.

Participants in the mission include Lightyear, which is working on the first fully solar-powered family car, Lifesense that develops underwear for women with incontinence problems, and Pillow’s Willow VR studios that won the GDC award with its VR game Spark of Life. In addition to the startups, incubators High Tech XL and LUMO Labs also participate.

Asian hub for High-Tech Systems and Materials

Taiwan, also known as the Asian hub for high-tech systems and materials, is particularly interesting for Dutch companies, says area manager Asia at Brainport Development Desiree of Zutphen. “Because of Taiwan’s equal culture, the way of acting and good protection of intellectual property, the country is an ideal entry point for Dutch companies into the Asian market and vice versa. Many large companies such as ASML and Philips are, therefore, based in Taiwan.

The direct reason for the mission is a meeting that took place earlier this year between John Jorritsma and the mayor of Taipei Ko Wen-Je in Eindhoven. The Taiwanese Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Brainport Development have also made mutual agreements in which both cities express their intention to cooperate more closely in the area of startup initiatives.

Living Labs

One of the “Memorandums of Understanding” (MoUs) that will be signed concerns collaboration between Taipei and Eindhoven to accelerate the development of smart city solutions in the field of health care and safety. There will also be a new cooperation in living labs, both in Taipei and Eindhoven. This will enable Dutch companies to demonstrate their products and services.

The first example of such a lab is already there. Eindhoven-based Sorama concludes an agreement with the Department of Transportation Taipei to use the sound camera the company developed to reduce the number of accidents at a busy intersection in Taipei. Sorama is already working on a similar initiative in Eindhoven.

Eindhoven also wants to conclude an agreement with TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council) to organise, for example, the Taiwan Excellence Day in Eindhoven. John Jorritsma: “Besides the fact that Computex/InnoVEX is an ideal platform for Dutch startups who want to do business in and with Asia, it is an excellent opportunity to put the Dutch startup ecosystem on the map in Taiwan.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.