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Newsletter #26

May 2017

What's Making News?


Dutch Smart City Delegation back in Australia

For the third time in six months the Dutch Smart City Mission visited Australia. This time the visit coincided with the Australian Smart Communities Conference in Adelaide, organised by the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA).

The first visit took place in November last year when Queen Maxima of the Netherlands was the esteemed guest of the Australian Dutch Smart City Summit in Sydney. A follow-up visit took place in March, when the delegation visited all cities that signed MoUs with the Dutch-led Global Smart Communities and Cities Coalition (GSC3). Since then a significant effort has gone into building collaboration links between smart cities in the Netherlands and the GSC3 smart cities in Australia (Adelaide, Canberra, Bendigo, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Sydney (GSC), Ipswich and Moreton Bay).

Businesses in both Australia and the Netherlands are critical in assisting in the collaboration projects between Australian and Dutch cities. This is particularly interesting for businesses that operate internationally and a range of meetings were planned to explore such business opportunities.

The Dutch Government hosted a successful networking reception in Adelaide on Sunday the 28th May. GSC3 also participated in the Smart City Mayors Meeting hosted by the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, the Hon Martin Haese. Apart from Adelaide the delegation also visited Sydney and Brisbane.

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TransformCity is picking its fruits from participating in the trade mission to Australia

Saskia Beer is creating a new approach to urban development with her Dutch start-up TransformCity. Following numerous visits to Australia, she decided to participate in a trade mission to Australia.

TransformCity provides an online toolkit to the urban planner and the city itself. The toolkit is based on availbable area data and the wishes of existing stakeholders. In addition, TansformCity provides the insights and methods from a pilot: how do you create a participation proces that leads to collective plans?

Saskia Beer was very positive about the role of the Consulate-General in her participation of the trade mission. The Consulate-General is actively involved with organising the trade mission and remains so in the follow-up.

Read the full article in Dutch here.

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Radical Orange travelled to Japan to create a series of online travel films

Radical Orange travelled to the small town of Ugo in Japan’s countryside to create a series of cinematic online travel films to promote tourism to Japan’s Akita region. In the series they focus on traditional Japanese experiences like soba making and the famous bon odori dance.

The videos show the traditional way of living in Japan away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.

You can check out the multiple videos on their website.






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The Netherlands Ranks No. 1 in Connectivity on 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index

Annual report from the European Commission identifies the Dutch as leaders in digital progress

The Netherlands ranks first in the EU for connectivity and fourth in the EU for overall digitization on the 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). Released annually by the European Commission, DESI measures digital progress of European countries based on five different categories. These categories include connectivity, human capital, use of internet, integration of digital technology and digital public services. The Netherlands precedes Belgium, the UK and Ireland on the index.



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ORTEC ANZ sponsored BaptistCare's Halo Ball

ORTEC ANZ sponsored a table of ten at the event of BaptistCare's on 26th May and invited customers and their partners. The ball was attended by over 480 people and was a great success.

The Halo Ball by BaptistCare started out as Sydney's first fundraising event for women and children affected by domestic and family violence. Now in its second year, the Halo Ball will continue to raise vital funds for this incredibly worthy cause.

Domestic violence statistics in Australia are confronting yet they only touch the surface of the true experience of women and children affected. BaptistCare has been providing domestic and family violence services for over 30 years, with a proven track record in supporting women and children who are impacted by abuse.

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METRON wins Sydney Metro design contract

Arcadis and joint venture partner Mott MacDonald as joint lead designers in the METRON consortium have won the Underground Station Design and Technical Services (USDTS) contract as part of Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project.

With 31 stations and 66km of new metro rail, Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project. Stage 2 will include a 30 kilometre extension of metro rail under Sydney Harbour and through new CBD stations.

METRON will lead the engineering design of six underground metro rail stations as part of Stage 2, the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project. The METRON design consortium includes global architecture house Foster + Partners, local architect Architectus, and engineers Arcadis, Mott MacDonald and Robert Bird Group.

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Atlas acquires Programmed Marine business activities

Atlas Professionals B.V. has reached an agreement with Programmed Maintenance Services Limited for the acquisition of the international activities of Programmed Marine and the formation of a 50/50 joint venture for offshore and marine manning services in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

As part of the agreement, Atlas Professionals will buy 100% of Programmed’s international marine activities, and 50% of Programmed’s offshore and marine manning services in Australia and New Zealand. The transaction is still subject to customary conditions and is expected to be completed by 30 June 2017.

Programmed Marine is a provider of manning, catering, maintenance and logistic support to the offshore oil and gas sector.

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The Netherlands as a base for Australian companies in Europe

On the 24th of May, the Dutch Consulate-General together with Exportia, PwC Australia and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) organised a morning briefing in Melbourne. It was a briefing around current developments in the European economy and the Netherlands as a base for Australian companies in a changing Europe.

Consul-General Willem Cosijn opened the event and touched upon the Sectors of Interest. Elmar Bouma of the NFIA gave a presentation about the Netherlands as Gateway to Europe. Subsequently, Christelle Damiens of EXPORTIA talked about the Setting-up of a Multi-Million Euros European distribution. The event was concluded by David Earl of PwC Melbourne who talked about Taxation and its changes in Europe.

The Netherlands is Top EU Country on 2017 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook

The Netherlands is the most competitive country in the EU and the fifth most competitive country worldwide on the 2017 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook.The country ranked fifth globally for first time since 2003.

Published annually since 1989, the report analyses 261 indicators including ‘hard’ data such as national employment and trade statistics. Other indicators include business perceptions, environmental concerns and quality of life. This year is the Netherlands’ first time in the top five since 2003. In total, 63 countries are in the ranking.

The IMD World Competitiveness Center is often acknowledged as “the leading annual assessment of the competitiveness of countries.”

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What's Happening?


ASCA Smart City Conference Adelaide

The Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) facilitates, promotes and advises on how communities can build liveable, sustainable, workable smart cities. They put their citizens, local businesses and stakeholders at the core of their activities.

Their members are made up of local governments, Regional Development Australia committees, Regional Organisations of Councils, industry, businesses and individuals who collectively represent 8.1 million Australians – or 1 in 3 Australians.

Three Dutch experts spoke at the conference: Frans-Anton Vermast, Joziene van de Linde and Marco Maréchal.

The conference took place in Adelaide from the 29th until the 31st of May 2017.

ASCA Conference

Vacancy for honorary consul in SA


Vacacy for honorary consul in SA

The diplomatic missions in Australia have a vacancy for an honorary consul in South-Australia.

Interested? Please send an application letter, with your resume and photo, by email to, attention of Ambassador Erica Schouten.


Applications should be received by 15 June 2017 COB.


Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Sydney


Level 23, Tower 2 - 101 Grafton Street (cnr Grosvenor street), Sydney, Australia Bondi Junction NSW 2022

T: +61 2 8305 6807