Overview RDM Innonvation Dock - Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe Credit: Claire Droppert

Innovation Ecosystem

Working on tomorrow's innovations

Create a 3D print file of a ship’s propeller and order it on-demand? In Rotterdam, you can already invest in innovations that will soon be ‘business as usual’.

So you play a role in developing the very latest and cleanest technologies for the maritime industry. And you are part of an ambitious Innovation Ecosystem, with a complete network that collaborates intensively and anticipates the future.

Man controlling a robot Credit: Claire Droppert

Always one step ahead

If you want to be at the forefront of developments and stay one step ahead of your competitors, Rotterdam is the place to be. The Innovation Ecosystem is a logical result of Rotterdam's DNA and its maritime sector. It is the ideal city for people who see opportunities and go for them. People who have boundless ambition and persevere where others start to doubt. For both start-ups and companies that aspire to be a ‘launching customer’ or want to accelerate their own innovations.

For Artificial Intelligence-based technologies that will eventually sail ships autonomously. For the largest wind turbine in the world. For new fuels and energy sources such as hydrogen, batteries and biofuels to make ship operations cleaner. For block chain technology to make logistics processes and value chain collaboration even more efficient. All innovations that boost digitisation and the energy transition process in the port. Because they go beyond the existing supply chains and create new value models.

RDM Innovation Dock - Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe
maritime start-ups
start-up accelerator program for a port worldwide
country in the development of new talents

A complete ecosystem

With its innovative climate, Rotterdam is the place to be for entrepreneurs and investors. The number of scale-ups in the city quadrupled in 2018. Former students of the world-famous Delft University of Technology founded Ampelmann, Next Ocean, We4Sea, 4Fold, AeroVinci and Airborne Composites. Thanks to the presence of specialised educational institutions such as Erasmus University and the ‘Scheepvaart & Transport College’ (Shipping & Transport College), maritime and technological knowledge is constantly developing in this region. A great deal of fundamental research takes place here and the results are transposed to applied research and innovative solutions.

Maasvlakte 2 includes a large test and demonstration site for immediately testing innovations and developing them further. RDM Rotterdam is an attractive business location and houses the 1st 3D printing lab for maritime components. PortXL and its highly committed network offers knowledge, coaching and funding for start-up entrepreneurs in collaboration with large and established companies such as Van Oord, Boskalis, Vopak, IHC, Mammoet and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Innovatie Ecosysteem - Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe Credit: Claire Droppert

Less risk, greater chance of success

Most innovations are conceived and brought to maturity in collaboration across the value chain and in co-production between government agencies, the business community and education. Collaborating at an early stage reduces the financial risks and increases the chance of success. Together with the end customer, innovative ideas are conceived, developed, tested as a scale model, modified, tested and modified again. Flexibility that delivers speed. The likelihood that innovations will find their way to the market is high, which makes your business competitive. With large and reputable companies as customers, new technologies not only become viable, start-ups can also flourish to become sustainable partners in the maritime sector.

Hanneke Bruinsma

Hanneke Bruinsma

Process manager Maritime Innovation
City of Rotterdam

+31 (0)6 48 43 30 97