Working visit VVD Fryslân: Our money is well spent

News | December 16, 2019

Without hesitation, the Parliamentary Party of the VVD in Fryslân accepts the invitation to come on a working visit to the Innovatiecluster Drachten companies. The visit on December 4 exceeds expectations Member of Parliament Esther de Vrij and the members and staff of the group. On paper, such a collaboration of high-tech companies with schools and governments looks different than in reality. The conclusion: ,,Our money is well spent''.

He is the surprise of the morning. At the invitation of the Parliamentary Party, the brand new liberal alderman of the municipality of Smallingerland, Sipke Hoekstra, came to Gorredijk. He also wants to see with his own eyes what Innovatiecluster Drachten is doing. Not for the first time, by the way, because the high-tech companies are no stranger to him. During the introduction to two presentations and a tour, Hoekstra wants to know whether the companies can still get enough staff. According to Joost Krebbekx, program manager of Innovatiecluster Drachten, that is becoming more difficult. †Philips is currently looking for 150 new employees and is now having problems filling the vacancies for the first time. Our other companies are also noticing the scarcity, especially when recruiting IT professionals. That is why we will present ourselves next week during Connect.FRL, to show IT students which fascinating companies there are in the Northern Netherlands."


Marco Molhoek, councilor for the VDD in Smallingerland, wonders about the filling of these vacancies by employees from the ICD companies. ,,Can they rotate between the ICD companies?'' Gerrit Baarda, owner and founder of ZiuZ, would prefer that people continue to work with him until they retire. “But life isn't like that. If you don't like it anymore, or are looking for a new challenge, you have plenty of choice to move on. We naturally encourage this within the ICD companies. The result is that I am left with employees who are really motivated to work at ZiuZ.”

child porn

That motivation is necessary, because sometimes the work is emotionally heavy. For example, at ZiuZ Forensic, where special software is being developed to help the vice squad and the Public Prosecution Service to investigate child pornography. “We are the market leader in this field and are active in 50 countries. Our software enables detectives to find the right one from hundreds of thousands of images, which can be used as evidence in a sex crime case," explains CEO Bert Garlich. "Criminals keep inventing new things to prevent them from being arrested." Marten Dijkstra wonders whether so-called 'back doors' in software are a solution for detecting child pornography. Garlich: ,,I don't like back doors and I wonder if this is the solution. I am disheartened by the rapidly growing magnitude of this problem. In the Netherlands alone, 30,000 official reports of child pornography are made every year, while the vice squad can only handle a thousand annually. Our work is therefore very relevant to society and presents us with a major technical challenge.”


During the explanation with tour about pharmacy automation, with which ZiuZ supports healthcare providers in the control of medicines, States member Esther de Vrij was impressed. “These are fantastic companies. They work with great clout on solutions to social issues. I didn't expect that.” According to De Vrij, such collaborations between high-tech companies with education and governments always look different than in reality, according to De Vrij. “The combination with education really appeals to me. It is future-oriented and the approach is practical with sufficient opportunities for MBO students. Fryslân desperately needs this way of working together. Our money is well spent here.”

traffic accident

With a short video Dirk Aalbers from Horus In the following presentation, see how 360-degree cameras protect stadiums and events and how virtual reality enables seriously ill children to be in contact with friends or family. "We make software to link data collected by sensors and cameras." Dik gives an example. “These days, cars are full of sensors and cameras. Our software ensures that what the sensors and cameras register appears in the dashboard of the car in an understandable way. We do this so quickly that the driver is able to make a good decision based on the information. For example, a traffic accident can be prevented.”

Coffee break

With the combination of mobile mapping and virtual reality, Horus makes it possible to check traffic signs, the condition of asphalt or buildings from a car, for example. “With artificial intelligence, for example, we are automating a thermal camera that scans buildings for insulation. But you can also check asphalt for quality in this way. Based on the temperature a few years after construction, you gain insight into whether the asphalt of the entire road was laid with the same temperature, or whether there was a coffee break in between. That way you learn for the construction of the next road.”

Visual awareness

The fastest growing market for Horus is that of safety and security. According to Aalbers, you don't just get in between that. “With the police and defense you have to build up a certain name to be able to work for them. We succeeded. We are now receiving one assignment after another for 'visual awarness'. For example, a camera system for accident investigations. A video of a traffic accident explains to the court what really happened.” Horus also helps with systems that allow the police to monitor large groups of people from a bus. "To track down a ringleader and thus prevent escalations or violence." Defense has also enlisted the help of Horus for a system that makes continuous recordings of the environment. "When a shot is fired, you can scan the environment in near real time to see where the shot is coming from and you can locate and arrest the perpetrator faster." The question arises whether you also want to sell this technique to countries with a dubious reputation in the field of human rights, such as China. For Aalders this is not a discussion. "We are careful with our relationship with the Dutch police."