The BOM helps entrepreneurs in Brabant to make optimal use of opportunities in international markets. We focus on a small number of promising markets for the Brabant top sectors, where we have a well-developed network and local representation: the Chinese region of Jiangsu, the United States (Midwest & Texas), southern Germany and Israel.
“Israel has a huge startup community,” says Mark Koppers, Senior Project Manager International Trade for Germany & Israel. “It really is one of the largest tech regions in the world, comparable to Silicon Valley or Singapore. These companies often develop innovative high-tech products that companies in Brabant can easily join to do business with. We visited various companies, including the Philips Healthcare office, but the most important part of such a mission is the networking and matchmaking between business developers from Brabant and Israeli companies. Whereas in countries such as China and even in southern Germany you already have to take cultural differences into account, those conversations actually went very smoothly. Israeli entrepreneurs like clarity and are very direct in their communication. That actually fits very well with the Brabant mentality.”
Jeroen Langendam, VP Marketing & Business Development of Eindhoven-based ItoM, was one of the participants in the trade mission. How does he look back on the visit to Israel? “It was the second time that we went to Israel on this mission. The previous edition left us with two customers. Of course we visited them. And this time too we have made great contacts. You notice that BOM and Brabant have a good reputation in Israel and that the doors open a little easier for such an official delegation. But the added value also lies in the companies that accompany them on such a journey. They are chosen with care. Together we were able to offer the entire supply chain for a number of Israeli prospects. I can definitely recommend going along.”
In addition, a number of visits were done to companies that are considering investing in Brabant or are now established in Brabant. “We help those companies set up their business, and there is a lot of interest in that. There are now 19 Israeli companies registered in Brabant”, concludes Guido Leestemaker, Project Manager of the Foreign Investment team of BOM. “We visited Sodastream, known for the device that turns tap water into sparkling water. The head office is not far from Tel Aviv. But the European market is supplied from their new site in Tilburg. We have also been invited by UBQ Materials, which turns waste into biobased thermoplastic composites. That company has had a branch in Bergen op Zoom for some time now. Everyone was very impressed by Redefine Meat, which creates meat products using plant-based ingredients and technology such as 3D printing.
The new location in Best, near Eindhoven, will be the company’s first production location.”
“Companies like these offer great opportunities for companies in Brabant and also fit very well with the challenges we face in our province. I expect that the ties with Israel will become even stronger in the coming years.”