Dutch Cleantech connects with Silicon Valley

By John van den Heuvel

A perfect storm

If you watched The A Team TV Series in the 80s, you’ll most likely remember the famed expression of John ‘Hannibal’ Smith: “I love it when a plan comes together“. Fast forward 30 years. last week felt like one of those moments! Anchored by the annual San Francisco Cleantech Forum, a group of 15 Dutch cleantech entrepreneurs, accompanied by a core government team, visited San Francisco for a week long cleantech immersion program. In addition to attending the Cleantech Forum, the group was hosted by the Consulate for introductory presentations, by SF Newtech for a typical San Francisco tech pitch event and UC Berkeley. And if that didn’t make us run out of steam already, Coast2Coast and e-Traction, one of its member companies, represented the Netherlands at AltCar Expo in Richmond, well into the following weekend.


I have written about the virtues of the Silicon Valley Cleantech ecosystem before, so I’m not going to repeat them here. The companies were in for a treat when F. Noel Perry, founder of Next10, took center stage at the Consulate. He clearly demonstrated that in California, cleantech, business and government go hand in hand really well. Our OrangeGoesGreen and Coast2Coast e-Mobility public private partnerships went on to show how such a market approach, involving Dutch and US stakeholders works in practice. And to top it of, our colleague Anne Donker provided yet another exciting introduction, discussing the famous Silicon Valley technology company and venture capital landscape. Continue reading

Advocating for changes in the food system in California

by Maureen de Haan

On 26 and 27 February Maureen de Haan represented the NOST during the California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) meeting in Sacramento to observe new trends and developments in the California food system. The Roots of Change team organized this meeting for bringing different local food policy groups together to discuss some important food topics. Representatives from councils and food Alliances from all over California were presented during this event in Sacramento.

The California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) is a collaborative of local food policy groups working to ensure that California’s food systems reflects the needs of all of its communities. Their purpose is to build the capacity of local food policy bodies to find common ground on policy priorities, generate public support for those policies, educate policymakers on issues in the food system in the United States, and advocate for food system change in California.

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The Netherlands is rapidly gearing up to become Europe’s prime location for entrepreneurs

By Robert Thijssen

The entrepreneurial spirit of the Netherlands has been lately been positively highlighted in US online media. As a small country perched in the North-western corner of the European continent bordering the North Sea, the Netherlands has always been an out-looking country full of entrepreneurship, innovation and foreign trade which are the reasons why we became a prosperous country already in the 16th century.

The Ministry for Economic Affairs in the Netherlands is responsible for technology and innovation policy. Entrepreneurship is a topic that has reached to top of the political economic agenda in the Netherlands over the past years. The fall out of the world-wide financial crisis and subsequent economic recession make it clear that we cannot stand still and that innovation and entrepreneurship are paramount for economic growth. Also the government has stepped in and partners with the private sector in order to safe guard our prosperity for the next generations. Continue reading

The Netherlands: proud sponsor of the 2014 San Francisco Cleantech Forum

By John van den Heuvel

[Participating companies updated as of February 18]

With half of the country below sea level, the Netherlands is quite susceptible to the effects of Climate Change. Add our dense population and high cost of energy and you’ll understand why we’re very much focused on energy efficiency, reducing emissions,  water management and smart urban solutions. Stewardship of the environment and advances towards a more resilient society are high on our agenda.

Cleantech is a key enabler to quite literally keeping our heads above water and building vibrant cities. And as California clearly demonstrates, Cleantech also provides enormous potential for innovation and economic well-being.  Therefore, the Netherlands is a proud sponsor of the 2014 San Francisco Cleantech Forum. Continue reading