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Global Business Innovation visit to the Netherlands focus on artificial intelligence and robotics

Innovate UK’s Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), delivered by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), is organising a visit to the Netherlands for innovative businesses that are active in the artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics sectors.

A central theme of the UK government’s industrial strategy is to support businesses and innovators to collaborate and grow internationally. It has set a goal to become the most innovative country in the world by 2030. GBIP is designed to help UK SMEs to develop strong relationships with international businesses and research partners and to foster collaborative innovation projects and knowledge exchange. 

The GBIP programme consists of three main phases:

• Getting ready for the market

• Visiting the market

• Exploiting the opportunity

There are several open Horizon 2020 calls relevant to the visit. More information and support will be available throughout the programme.

The Netherlands is one of the leading global innovators in service robotics and robots. According to a recent report commissioned by Microsoft, they are leading the way in AI in Europe. With a strong track record in mechatronics, AI, vision, digital maps and semiconductor technologies, they turn robot systems into robot solutions. In the Netherlands, several research institutes are working on robot technologies ranging from precise surgery robots to tomato harvesting robotics and truck platooning. 

They develop these technologies in close partnership with companies, end users, systems integrators and start-ups to define a roadmap for robotics. The Netherlands is well connected to the EU-Robotics roadmap and is the lead co-ordinator in important EU projects. It is a vibrant community that gets support from networks like Holland Robotics, Brainport Industries and Robovalley.


• Strong ecosystem of industrial users, system integrators, startups and knowledge institutes

• Culture of open innovation (testbeds, shared facilities, etc.)

• A strong and well-connected research and development community

• A government that supports the EU-Robotics roadmap

• Home to leading institutions that also consider the social and ethical side of robotics 

Visit dates:  Tuesday 9 April – Friday 12 April 2019

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 27 February 2019

Diversity and inclusion are a key focus of this market visit. Our Dutch partners and ourselves are hoping to take a diverse delegation with a multitude of viewpoints and backgrounds. We would like to take this opportunity to encourage female and BAME innovators to apply for this visit. 


Flights, three nights’ accommodation (one representative per company) will be funded through GBIP.


  • Tuesday 9 April Depart UK - Arrive Schiphol Airport. Group networking dinner
  • Wednesday 10 April - B2B session with EEN Netherlands / Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate / Delft / Robovalley / Field Lab Robotics / Lely
  • Thursday 11 April - Twente / I-Botics / Wearable Robotics Lab / Demcon Friday
  • 12 April - Eindhoven / Brainport / High Tech Campus / Holland Robotics / VDL  Depart Netherlands (Eindhoven Airport) - Arrive UK                                                                                                                                                                                                    


• Access individual coaching sessions to ensure that participants are fully prepared for the visit

• Visit the three major tech clusters in the Netherlands

• Meet key players in AI and robotics in the Netherlands

• Networking with between 20 and 30 like-minded businesses from the UK

• Access post-visit support to exploit the opportunities from the programme

• Services of experienced EEN advisers before, during and after the visit


On acceptance to the visit, a commitment fee of £500 will be taken from you. This sum will be returned on completion of the programme and an agreed action plan. Non-attendance after formal acceptance will result in forfeiting the commitment fee.


This visit is part of Innovate UK’s GBIP. For approved companies, Innovate UK will fund flights and three nights’ accommodation (two nights in the Hague and one in Eindhoven).


To participate in this visit, you must be an innovative SME, active in the AI or robotics sectors and established in the UK.
You must participate in the pre-visit workshop taking place in London on Monday 18 March and work closely with your assigned EEN adviser before and after the visit.


For more information and to express an interest in participating, please contact: Elena Molinari, Adviser, Enterprise Europe Network, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, T: +44 (0)20 7203 1929, E:

Please note that it is a competitive process; places are limited and applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts. You will be notified of the outcome by Monday 4 March.

We are aware that this GBIP visit takes place shortly after 29 March 2019. We do not expect this visit to be affected by the UK’s departure from the EU and we are committed to continuing our work to support cross-border innovation partnerships through market visits and other activities. 

Please note that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be an impact on passport requirements for British passport holders. Relevant information is available at