Representatives from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States cut the ribbon to open Prodrive Technologies’ new manufacturing facility in Canton, Massachusetts. During the hybrid ceremony, Her Majesty Queen Máxima and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker virtually gave remarks and activated an Automated Guided Vehicle robot to begin the opening.
The robot presented the ceremonial scissors to Dutch Ambassador André Haspels and Mark Sullivan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for International Trade and Investment, who then cut the ribbon. The Queen participated in the event partly in her role as a member of the Netherlands Committee for Enterprise.
Prodrive Technologies, based in the Netherlands, researches, develops, and manufactures software, mechanical and electronic parts for machines in several innovative sectors, including the semiconductor, medical, and automobile industries. The company also provides infrastructure and energy technologies.
The manufacturing facility in Canton will expand capacity for both manufacturing and research and development. Over the next five years, Prodrive aims to employ 150 people at the facility.
Her Majesty Queen Máxima stated, “I’m very happy to see you (Prodrive) are creating relationships with education to help create those new jobs and talent of the future. I am extremely proud of what the Dutch are doing in this company. And I want to thank all of the Americans that made it possible for them to feel at home and give them this incredible opportunity.”
At the ceremony and via video, Prodrive co-founder Pieter Janssen announced the company will make donations to schools and community colleges in Massachusetts for robotics-related programs for students. The company will also become a sponsor of the Discovery Factory playground in the Netherlands where children and parents can experience technology through interactive exhibits.
“Prodrive Technologies is the latest Dutch multinational to find a home in the region, joining companies such as Royal Philips, Royal DSM and Arcadis,” stated Ambassador André Haspels. “Prodrive represents the Dutch commitment to strengthen ties with Massachusetts and is a gem that fits naturally in the ecosystem of the Commonwealth.”
The ties between Massachusetts and the Netherlands are strong and deep and stretch back to the 1700s when John Adams was appointed America’s first ambassador to the Netherlands in 1782. Since then, the ties have grown. Both are leading hubs in innovation, technology, and science. In the area of trade, Massachusetts and the Netherlands recognize the value in doing business together. In 2018, the state exported $1.35 billion in goods to the Netherlands and imported $356 million in goods from the Netherlands.
The Prodrive facility builds on the 2019 visit by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who led an economic mission to the Greater Boston Area with more than 80 Dutch companies. Cooperation between the Netherlands and Massachusetts also extends to higher education, with the many Dutch scientists who conduct research at leading universities in Massachusetts. And on a government level, the Netherlands has expanded its presence in the region by hiring additional staff for the Dutch Innovation Attaché Network in Boston.
In addition to Ambassador Haspels, Herman Quarles van Ufford, the newly appointed Dutch Consul General in New York, and Elizabeth Reynolds, Executive Director of the Industrial Performance Center and Lecturer at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, participated in the ceremony.