International consulting firm Accenture has invested €500,000 into RoboValley, a Netherlands-based hub for startups specialised in robotics. RoboValley will use Accenture's investment for international research into robotics and to deliver further improvements to its tech campus.
RoboValley was founded by the TU Delft Robotics Institute, one of the Netherlands’ engineering universities, as an innovation hub for robotics, aimed at developing knowledge and international collaboration. As part of the development of RoboValley, the university has made buildings available for the establishment of robotics companies, and currently hosts around 30 startups and as well as several more established robotics companies. The companies develop robotics technologies in the broadest sense of the word: from drones and robotic arms to artificial intelligence and care robots.
Earlier in 2016, Canadian investor Chrysalix Venture Capital invested €100 million into the RoboValley Investment Fund – to support robotics startups working in RoboValley in their step into the market. “RoboValley in Delft, the Netherlands, helps robotics companies and startups create next generation robots and bring them to market,” says Arthur de Crook, Business Development Manager at RoboValley. The funds are expected to, over the coming ten years, create 15,000 to 25,000 jobs in RoboValley, which will require between 250,000 to 360,000 m2 in office and laboratory space.
Accenture recently also invested in RoboValley – the international consulting firm entered into a five-year partnership with RoboValley and invested €500,000 to advance next generation knowledge in the technology. Through the investment, Accenture wants to show its clients how fast robotics and artificial intelligence are developing, and what is already possible with these technologies. By bringing its clients in contact with robotics companies, Accenture will create new opportunities for growth.
“Developments in the area of robotics are moving ultra-fast,” says Frank Rennings, Managing Director and Technology lead at Accenture Netherlands. “Organisations are recognising its importance in driving us into the fourth industrial revolution and are increasingly leveraging the technology to make business operations more efficient and to enhance customer service. We strongly believe in the concept of RoboValley, with research, entrepreneurs and startups all in one place, as part of our commitment to open innovation. Our collaboration will help us speed innovation and bring new applications to market faster. In addition, we can now take our clients to RoboValley, so that they can experience for themselves the latest developments and, above all, be inspired by them.”
Apart from Accenture, RoboValley is looking to reel in four other large partners – involving investments to the tune of €500.000 – for which De Crook is already in talks with other possible parties. Aside from large partners, De Crook is on the lookout for 35 partners whom are willing to invest €50.000 per year, as well as smaller partners that invest €10.000 per year. De Crook, when speaking to Dutch newspaper the FD, said that he expects to have found the new partners by the end of the year. "The interest has surprised us," states the CEO.