Maryland and the Netherlands are exchanging cybersecurity companies over the next few months.
By mid-February, four Maryland companies will be in Europe connecting with the Hague Security Delta, a big European cybersecurity cluster with a campus in The Hague, and InnovationQuarter, an economic development agency for the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland. Likewise, five Dutch companies are coming to Maryland, and will be based out of bwtech@UMBC.
The “soft landing” program is designed to help the companies open up business opportunities in the respective areas. Announced by the Maryland Department of Commerce in October as a three-year agreement, this will be the first group of companies, said Jessica Reynolds, regional manager for Europe in the Department’s Office of International Investment and Trade. The participating companies will have a chance to learn more about each market and seek out potential business.
“Our hope for Maryland companies is that this is a chance for them to export into the broader Dutch and European markets,” Reynolds said.
They hope the Dutch companies can do the same here. It can add more players in Maryland’s growing cybersecurity community, which the state government here is making a concerted effort to back.
“We do see this as an opportunity to market Maryland as a key player in cyber in the U.S.,” Reynolds said.
The Dutch firms also bring new technology. One such company, Guard from Above, uses birds of prey to intercept drones. Robin Radar has a system to prevent bird strikes.
The program is basically a way to test the waters in a new market. The companies will get some intro to the ins and outs of doing business in a foreign country, as well as what the landscape looks like and the key players. If all goes well in February and March, they will have the option of setting up a permanent office.