UK-based cybersecurity company Awen collective is expanding its business and establishing an office at Security Delta (HSD) to regain access to the EU market. The Hague was a natural choice for Awen’s EU office, not only to tune into Europe’s leading cybersecurity cluster, but also because of how well the British and Dutch business cultures match and because the Dutch all speak English. Also, the presence of large industry clusters, where digitization dominates priority lists, brings opportunities for Awen to grow its business fast.
Awen’s suite of solutions are fitted to secure digital infrastructures in industrial environments, and contain scanning software to identify vulnerabilities and threats in both modern and legacy infrastructure. In March this year, Awen secured an investment, in which Dutch Security Tech fund was the lead investor. The benefits of having The Hague as its home-base within the EU were stacking up.
Daniel Lewis, CEO of Awen Collective: “HSD seems to be a great (cyber) security community in the heart of the city of The Hague. The city itself is well known for its international defense and security market, and the municipality has some great initiatives around supporting technology innovations such as smart cities.”
Because of the extremely high speed at which cyber threats emerge and evolve, collaboration within the cybersecurity community, but also with industrial soft- and hardware suppliers, government defense bodies and research institutes, is crucial in order to stay up to date. Settling within such a community was therefore a prerequisite for Awen’s new office.
Lewis: “As a UK company just opening up in the Netherlands, we are looking to engage with the Dutch security community. We are looking to build up not only partnerships but friendships also. Together we can create synergy to tackle some of the greatest problems in the cyber security domain.”
Awen Collective is an active member of the Cyber Wales ecosystem in the UK, which, like HSD, is part of GlobalEPIC. Daniel intends to become just as active in the HSD community and do what they can for the local private and public sectors, including getting involved in academic collaborations and business roundtables.
Perfect fit in the local ecosystem
Philip Meijer, senior account manager cybersecurity at InnovationQuarter: “The arrival of cybersecurity companies like Awen is a great asset. The industrial clusters in our region are all in the midst of a major digital transformation, and securing their digital infrastructures is an important issue. We are eager to introduce Awens cybersecurity solutions, which are uniquely tailored to for securing operational technology, to the different industries. This creates a win-win situation for Awen and the companies in our region.”
Digitalisation is a hot topic in the manufacturing industry in greater Rotterdam – The Hague. “many manufacturing companies in our region are digitalizing their operations. Some are more advanced and ambitious than others, but all acknowledge the necessity of making the shift. In the best scenario, cybersecurity is part of the transformation from the very start, at the drawing table. But that is not always the case. Digitalisation is a very complex process in itself and not all business owners are aware of the role and importance of security in it. Being able to provide the right information and advice to these parties, relies on having the right expertise available in the region.” Says Anton Duisterwinkel, Senior Business Developer High Tech at InnovationQuarter.
Rick Scipio, Partner Manager at HSD: “Since we came into existence in 2010, we have seen our cybersecurity community grow and mature, and has created a strong profile in Europe. It is clear that the industrial clusters, NGO’s and government organisations in our region really benefit from the presence of this cluster in our region and the synergy with our community is increasing to the benefit of all parties.”