India and the Netherlands- Partners in Information & Communication Technology (ICT) 

Bangalore, Decmber 1, 2018 :  As a “Technology Partner” in the Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS) from 29th Nov to 1st Dec the Netherlands is Partnering with the Government of Karnataka to bring in Dutch expertise in sessions on Healthcare, IT and cyber security. The Bengaluru Tech Summit marks an important step in the bilateral cooperation between the Netherlands and the state of Karnataka in terms of cyber security & IT.  

The Netherlands considers India an important partner in the field of ICT, with the sector being recognized as a key enabler for bilateral relations between the two countries. The Netherlands may be a relatively small country, but as one of the world’s most “wired” countries the Netherlands acts like a Digital gateway to the world.

With state of the art facilities and cutting-edge research, the Netherlands is also highly innovative. The AMS-IX Internet exchange is often referred to as the Netherland’s third main port (after the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport). Netherlands is also the first ever 100% IoT enabled country in the world. Besides world class infrastructure, we also have a Government that is strongly committed to the digital economy and actively invests in public private partnerships to help push forward state of the art technology IT. 

The Netherlands is an important hub for Indian businesses in Europe. Major Indian IT companies such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and HCL have made significant investments in the Netherlands. Some of the other companies such as Mind-tree, Mphasis, ZoHo and Host Circle have also found traction in the Netherlands and actively tap into our IT ecosystem. 

Triple Helix & Innovation :  India has an excellent IT knowledge base, and Indian IT companies and talent pool have a formidable role in the global IT industry. Ensuring that the country is well positioned to play a leading role in an era where Ubiquitous connectivity, the promise of big data, and an exponential increase in computing power, will increasingly shape innovation and industry disruption. This has led to various successful research collaboration between the Ministry of Electronics & IT (Meity), Government of India and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), The Netherlands, where industry participation is mandatory. The agencies have jointly launched two calls for proposals in the area of ‘Big Data &IoT’ to support public-private-partnerships in this field. First joint call resulted in 5 joint projects  and the results of second call are currently awaited. 

Cyber Security :  The Netherlands has great strengths in the area of Cyber Security. Dutch companies including Fox-IT, Group2000 have been very active in the Indian market and Indian companies like E2Labs, Skillcube, Cloud4c, KrypC Technologies have established a concrete presence in the Hague region. Together, the Netherlands and India are working on reducing the increasing number of cyber attacks and assessing their impact on economies.  

As companies focus more on containing cyber risks, they are witnessing a significant digital talent gap in terms of cyber security skills. This calls for innovation in the ICT field. The Netherlands has a rich tradition in open innovation and cooperation between businesses, government and science to stimulate and accelerate entrepreneurship. India has shown keen interest to adapt this so-called Triple Helix model at state levels.   

The Netherlands and Karnataka :  Cooperation between Karnataka and The Netherlands is supported by a MoU between the State of Karnataka and the Municipality of The Hague (2016), and a MoU between The Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security and the Hague Security Delta (HSD) signed during the visit of Minister Sigrid Kaag and the Mayor of The Hague in May 2018. Through these partnerships, both parties promote mutual exchanges, R&D collaborations, skilling and training, and identify opportunities for commercialization of high value-added innovations in the area of cyber security. HSD facilitates active dialogues on security issues and knowledge sharing on areas such as cyber security and forensics. 

Speaking about state level cooperation on the occasion, GertHeijkoop, Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangalore emphasized, “We value our partnership with the state of Karnataka in the area of cyber security. The two sides have what it takes to develop an ecosystem favorable for international partnerships to address our joint needs in areas such as R&D and capacity building, thereby creating a skilled workforce, ready to take on challenges that future holds for us.”

Emphasizing the importance of Cyber Security cooperation between the state of Karnataka and the Netherlands, Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, BT, S&T, Govt. Of Karnataka said, “Karnataka has set-forth a comprehensive plan to build a platform for Cyber-Security-technology-capability through its Centre of Excellence for Cybersecurity. We are eager to work on the challenges that we are all facing in the common cyber world today. We look forward to collaborate with Netherlands and strengthen our partnership for a safe and secure cyber presence.”

On 4th October 2018, during the Cyber Week in The Hague, various public-private partners in the Netherlands signed ‘Partners in International Business’ agreement to explore market opportunities in India, with Karnataka as a priority state. One of the partners for this PIB, Michel Rademaker, Deputy Director at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, who is currently in Bengaluru to attend BTS,said “Cyber security needs a multidisciplinary approach to solve the challenges now and in the future. It also needs different stakeholders to be involved be it businesses, scientific communityor governments. And it doesn’t stop at our borders so we certainly need to work together internationally!”

Nuffic Netherlands Education Support Office (NESO) is organizing a peer learning cyber security workshop at the Bangalore Tech Summit with the Dept of IT & BT, Government of Karnataka. The workshop is focused on peer learning and has been developed by the five students who were selected by the government of Karnataka to attend the Hague India Cyber Security Summer school in July this year. The workshop will be attended by students from various education institutes of Bangalore. With the conclusion of the workshop, Orange Tulip Scholarship will be discussed where 19 Dutch Universities are participating which has a valuation over INR 3 crores to attract talented Indian students.  

Efforts are also being made to organize The Hague India Cyber Security Summer School at CoE for Cyber Security at Bengaluru so that a large number of PhD and Masters students from Karnataka may get an opportunity to learn technical skills and interact with researchers in the cyber security ecosystem in The Netherlands. 

Photo Caption :  (L to R) Shri Raj Kumar Srivastava, Advisor for Govt. of Karnataka & IT, BT & ST ,   Michel Rademaker, Department Director, Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, Marten Van Den Berg, Ambassador of Netherland to India, Gert Heijkoop, Consul General of Netherland Bengaluru,  Niels Van Leeuwen, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Ministry of Economic Affairs).

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