Holland Turkey Business Forum 2014: Innovation

Fruitful exchange on business and innovation at the Holland Turkey Business Forum 2014!


This years’ business meet, hosted by ING and PwC is organized to build and strengthen ties between the Dutch and Turkish business community. About 200 government and business representatives from the Netherlands and Turkey gathered at the Amsterdam ArenA to discuss this year’s theme: Innovation.
After a welcome speech by Ben van de Vrie from ING there were keynotes from Mr. Simon Smits (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), H.E. Ambassador Ron Keller and Mr. Fatih Bilal Yülek of Tubitak. From different perspectives the importance of innovation and research and development were highlighted, for which the contribution from Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions is welcome.

After the Inaugural session, relevant Netherlands - Turkish business opportunities have been discussed in the 4 parallel sessions.

Agri & Food
Turkey has a large and growing food and agriculture industry. They have set ambitious targets for the agricultural sector. By 2023 Turkey aims to be among the top five producers globally. In order to achieve this goal innovation is necessary, which provides ample opportunities for the Dutch agrofood sector.
During the session Michael Westenberg (Trade & Investment Center Turkey and partner Fenedex Turkey Desk) pinpointed the various market opportunities for Dutch companies at the Turkish agrifood market. The Dutch agrifood sector is highly innovative. Marjolein van der Glas (Wageningen UR Food & Biobases Research) showed our high innovative level with several business cases. Last but not Least Dick Verweij (Van der Knaap Group) shared his experience on setting up a business and production facility in Turkey. After having overcome many difficulties they have managed to set op a succesfull production and sales entity.

Design Management
Turkey plans, designs, and works for increasing exports from $162 (2012) to $500 billion in 2023. Design is to be considered key in transforming Turkish SME’s from suppliers to OEM's. Turkish design leadership has to be developed. Dr Erik Roscam Abbing (Zilver Innovation) and Maarten Jurriaanse (Ping Pong Design) provided the audience with the latest insights on brand-driven innovation. Surprisingly a most inspiring discussion not only left food for thought on the cultural aspects design but also tasted morish.

Life Science & Health
The session on “Life Science and Health” was comprised of presentations from TNO, TÜBITAK (Mr. Fatih Bilal Yülek, Director of TUBITAK Technology and Innovation Funding Programmes TEYDEB) and the Dutch Deerns BV, who have ample experience in Turkey and are now entering the health market as well.
Next to the information as to how entrepreneurs could get a substantial part of their research financed by TÜBITAK and the reconnaissance of the Life Science and Health market opportunities in Turkey by TNO, the experiences of Deerns so far was another appeal to Dutch SME’s to include Turkey in their internationalization strategy. A reliable network, a strong local partner and the willingness to invest in a long term relationship seemed, like always in Turkey, the key factors to success.

Dutch Sports Infrastructure
In a round table setup the Dutch Sports Infrastructure session discussed the exchange of information on sports infrastructural projects in Turkey.

Right after the parallel sessions the Closing ceremony followed with key note speakers Henk van Raan (AmsterdamArena) and H.E. Ambassador Sadik Arslan. The closing remarks were made by Jan Willem Velthuijsen from PwC which included the invitation to the networking reception.