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Successful EEN Matchmaking event Grand D├ępart Utrecht

Friday the 3th of July, one day before the ‘Grand Départ’ of the ‘Tour de France’ in Utrecht, the EEN (Enterprise Europe Network) Matchmaking event took place. This event, called SportTechMatch, was co-organized by Orange Sports Forum. A number of 169 companies and organization, from 9 different countries subscribed for this event.


The program was opened by Mr. Jeroen Kreijkamp (councillor Economy and International Affairs, City of Utrecht). During his speech he mentioned the possibilities for the City of Utrecht for hosting the Grand Départ, especially for the promotion of Utrecht and the business opportunities that this event offers. After the opening, the first presentation was held by Mr. Marc van der Zande (Director of InnoSportNL). He spoke about the Dutch innovations in sports, like ice-skates and the fastest bike in the world (with a maximum speed of 133 km/h!). Furthermore he underlined that one of the most important success factors in Dutch innovations, is the cooperation between several organization, like SME’s, Universities and sports. This absolutely contributes to the success of Dutch innovations in sports. The second presentation was given by Mr. Bas van Rens (CEO Mylaps and Board member of Topteam Sports & Innovation). Mylaps develops methods for time observations in sports, for example in the Formula 1, Olympic Games, NASCAR, et cetera. He spoke about the importance of innovations in this industry, but also for sports in general. The final presentation was given by Mr. Gert Jan Hofstede (Wageningen University), he gave insights in the cultural differences between the Netherlands and France and how it can influence doing business.


The second part of the program was a network lunch, including an innovation market where several Dutch and French companies showed their latest innovations in sports. After the lunch there where over 130 bilateral meetings, with 86 companies from 9 different countries.


At the end, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Kamp and the French Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Macron opened the France – Netherlands Economic Year, which will take place until the UEFA EURO 2016 in France. Furthermore Dutch ‘Tour de France’ winners Mr. Joop Zoetemelk and Mr. Jan Janssen were distinguished by Mr. Bernard Hinault with the 'Légion d'Honneur', for their contribution to the cycling sports.











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