Ambassador Henne Schuwer and Deputy Mayor Ingrid van Engelshoven look on as InnovationQuarter’s Director of Foreign Investments Chris van Voorden, Maryland’s Deputy Secretary of Commerce Ben Wu, and Hague Security Delta Executive Director Richard B. Franken (from left) sign the memorandum of understanding.

Cybersecurity has been a topical news item lately with the cyberattacks on the United States political system. Additionally, a Dutch and an American teenager were arrested for operating cyber-attacks on companies and individuals. The news shows that cyber security is becoming a high priority for companies and governments.

The Netherlands and the State of Maryland have a shared interest in cybersecurity as well as supporting the development of new cybersecurity solutions by industry and academia. For this reason they have taken the initiative for a bilateral soft-landing program for cybersecurity companies.

During a seminar at the Netherlands ambassador’s residence on Oct. 13, The Hague Security Delta, InnovationQuarter, and The Maryland Department of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Through the bilateral soft-landing program, cybersecurity companies from the Netherlands are encouraged to invest in operations in Maryland, whereas Maryland cybersecurity companies are able to discover the Dutch market on a trial basis.

“The Netherlands is an excellent market for top cybersecurity technologies,” stated the Deputy Secretary of Commerce of the State of Maryland Mr. Ben Wu during his speech. “The Netherlands is a major trading partner for Maryland, and is a top foreign investor in Maryland with over 40 Dutch-headquartered firms in the state.”

Dutch Ambassador to the United States Henne Schuwer agreed.

“Our land has been protected by physical dykes for years. Now, our countries and its data must be protected by digital dykes,” said Ambassador Schuwer during the seminar. “In the fight for cybersecurity, cooperation is crucial. Only together can we prevent hackers from succeeding,“ emphasizing the importance of collaboration on cyber security between companies and governments.