Ambassador Marten van den Berg highlights why the Netherlands and India must work together on startups

On Day 2 of TechSparks 2021, Marten van den Berg, Ambassador, Kingdom of Netherlands to India, Nepal, and Bhutan, says startups are key to the development of societies and economies, and reveals why it’s important for both countries to work in tandem.
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Building on the theme 'What's Next: Rethinking the future' at TechSparks 2021, YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference, Marten van den Berg, Ambassador, Kingdom of Netherlands to India, Nepal, and Bhutan, delivered the opening keynote of the international startup network track on Day 2 of the virtual event. 

He emphasised on the importance of startups leading innovation in the world.

“Startups are key for our society, for our economies. They bring innovation and positive changes to our economies. This is why it is so important that the Netherlands and India work together on startups. Both the governments are supporting startups and that’s why events like TechSparks are so important.”

He wished all startups great success in the future and hoped that they would bring lots of innovations to the market, solving the challenges of societies in the Netherlands, India, and the world at large. 

Focus on sustainability

The Netherlands is the country partner for the 12th edition of TechSparks. In this track, dedicated to cross-border collaborations and the potential for global change, Marten van den Berg spoke about the various sectors that India and the Netherlands are working on together. 

“Both India and the Netherlands are trying to find ways to adopt smart agricultural solutions,” he said, emphasising that climate-smart agriculture was the need of the hour in both countries and the world at large. 

“Together, India and the Netherlands work on all kinds of solutions for water treatment, safety, and security,” he said.

Currently, the Netherlands is the biggest exporter of agricultural goods. The 2020 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) named the Netherlands among the top five most-innovative economies, placing it at 5th position in the list. 

Changing patterns of consumption

“The Netherlands is strong in solar energy and offshore wind energy, making both energy sources competitive. It’s important that we change our energy system to a climate-smart energy system. We’ve seen so many red alerts on our environment and biodiversity, and we really need to change our patterns of consumption. India and the Netherlands are working together on this agenda, making it sustainable and inclusive because we have to work for equal opportunity for everyone in our society,” the diplomat said.

He spoke about the high quality of life in the Netherlands, stating that the open society and economy had a large English-speaking population.

“We do see a lot of people from India living and working here. We have also seen a lot of people from the Netherlands living in India, and they really like it here. The Netherlands and India are a really successful combination in so many areas such as innovation, trade, investment, culture and education.

"Every year a lot of students from India go to Dutch universities and Dutch universities learn from Indian students. I think this exchange is wonderful because students are our future,” said Marten van den Berg, talking about the various elements that ensure the two countries are deeply in sync.


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