EBB: Ukraine invasion will send highly skilled talent across Europe, including to Eindhoven

(Editor’s note: Dispatches Europe tracks the tech scene – startups, scale-ups and mature companies – in Eindhoven because so many of our highly skilled internationals are engineers, physicists and developersThe Eindhoven Business Briefing is part of our Tech Tuesday series.)

Wars are never good, but let’s be brutally honest – there are always beneficiaries. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred about 500,000 people to flee to Poland, Hungary and beyond. That’s an opportunity for a lot of European countries that have tech talent deficits because Ukraine has long had a strong IT/tech sector. Lyft, Grammarly and other companies are there, tapping into the countries estimated 200,000 tech workers, according to media sources.

The Wall Street Journal has a post with an overview of just how strong the software and IT sector are and SAP, Revolut and Fiverr are all tapping into talent. UNIT.City in Kyiv is the center of the Ukrainian digital economy, and it got a 50 million euro loan last year from the European Investment and Development Bank to expand.

Our point here, and we do have one, is that if the Netherlands can act quickly enough, it can do itself a favor, as well as a good deed for war refugees. Which already seems to be happening. Ukrainian nationals are free to travel within the European Union for a maximum of 90 days a year without a visa. That will be extended in the Netherlands, asylum minister Erik van der Burg said in an interview.

Finding them work will be the easy part. Right now, we hear there are an estimated 2,000 positions open in Eindhoven at any given moment, including those we have listed below. The question is, where to put everyone, with housing at a premium?

Kentucky and Netherlands begin formal partnership

At Dispatches, we’re all about connecting innovation centers. Which is why we created our Tech Sister Cities program back in 2017 and did several events before the pandemic shut down travel and (temporarily) stopped the fun.

So, this one is personal.

It’s the unlikeliest of partnerships – one of the most advanced European countries and one of the poorest states of the United States. But our home state of Kentucky was looking for an agtech partnership, and they found it in the Netherlands. Which is a relationship we’ve been pushing for years, now.

In late February, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced “Let’s Grow Together,” the partnership between governments, universities and companies in Kentucky and the Netherlands added nine new members. Joining the collaborative effort are the Kentucky Horticulture Council, Kentucky State University and Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, as well as Kentucky-based companies AppleAtCha and Kentucky Fresh Harvest and Dutch companies Arcadis, Delphy, HortiTech and Royal Brinkman.

There were a lot of self-congratulatory soundbites in the announcement including this one from Dutch Counsel General Baart Twaalfhoven:

The commitment of renowned Dutch organizations like Wageningen University and strong Dutch companies like Arcadis, along with the entrepreneurial spirit of new Kentucky businesses like AppleAtcha and Kentucky Fresh Harvest, sends a clear signal to the rest of the United States and the world: Kentucky means business.

The Kentucky/Dutch link seems to be solid. We talked a couple of years ago with executives at AppHarvest, a huge, advanced greenhouse project in Eastern Kentucky and they told us they’ve been working with Dutch suppliers for the latest LED lighting and other greenhouse essentials. And Dutch executives on this end tell us they expect a lot of, ahem, growth in the Bluegrass State.

We see real synergy between Dutch universities, which have some of the best engineering schools and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, University of Pikeville, Berea College, and Netherlands-based HAS University of Applied Sciences and Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

Now, we need to start exchanging professors and students.

Kentucky’s long term strategy is to truck fewer crops from Florida and Texas while creating jobs in impoverished Eastern Kentucky, which was once a center of coal production, with tens of thousands of mining jobs. That’s no longer the case, and only about 4,000 underground coal mining jobs exist in Kentucky.

More information on the Governor’s AgriTech Initiative is available at Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at

It’s ‘Back to Business’ on High Tech Campus Eindhoven

If you’re dreading going back to the office, don’t. High Tech Campus and the Workplace Vitality Hub are putting on “Back to Business,” a live event on Monday, 21 March from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

During this interactive seminar, Ida Damen will present her dissertation research titled “Designing for active office work,” a look at the role of technology in “stimulating and facilitating an active and vital office environment,” according to a news release. Damen holds a master’s degree in Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life sciences from VU University Amsterdam and a PhD degree in Industrial Design from Technology University of Eindhoven. 

There are lots of speakers and lots of topics, including how you can bring more vitality into your office through, for example, Steve Jobs-style “weetings” – walking while meeting.

This free event includes networking and drinks, so you’ll want to register here.

LUMO Labs invests in Maaind

Speaking of High Tech Campus, it’s been a super-active Q1 for HTC-based venture builder LUMO Labs, with at least four new investments we know of. The latest is in Maaind, which combines neuroadaptive machine learning and AI-enabled platform integrations for everyday products and services. Think personalized smart cars and smart homes.

Maaind combines and connects third-party smart systems and wearables. Maaind’s algorithms measure the emotional and stress state from speech analysis, wearables and the environment, then uses the data to offer suggestions and recommendations for users tailored to their psychological or physical state.

Maaind is active in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands and has partnerships with several well-established consumer-facing companies that want to know more about how humans react to their products. The LUMO Labs funding will be used to solidify these partnerships, to attract new partners and to continue research and development of neurotechnology and the AI algorithms behind the Maaind platform.

You can see the full news release here.

LUMO Labs has also invested in Chunkx, Aiosyn and Linksight. You can see the details here on the LUMO website.

5G Hub Innovation Challenge

High Tech Campus’ 5G Innovation Hub is throwing out its second challenge to all startups who want to use its facilities. This year, the theme is sustainability, and hub officials are looking for the most promising concept and team to help take to market.

All teams selected to join the 5G Hub Innovation Challenge will be eligible to speed date with the hub’s partners, which include major telecom companies. All participants will have an opportunity to interact with the 5G Hub ecosystem and exchange knowledge with successful companies who might help them get valuable information to scale up in the market, according to the website.

Martijn Boerkamp, right, explains the inPhocal technology while Christos Bousis hits record.

EBB visits inPhocal

This the fun part of what we do. On behalf of client HighTechXL, the Eindhoven Business Briefing/Dispatches team visited inPhocal’s top-secret lab in Waddinxveen, Netherlands (we can’t pronounce it either.) inPhocal started in Eindhoven as part of HighTechXL’s first deep-tech cohort back in 2018 based on laser technology from CERN. Things didn’t, ah, go all that well and as so often happens, there was a total reboot. But now inPhocal has cutting-edge technology. Literally, because they use a patented laser-based system to do all sorts of stuff including mark containers and cut silicon wafers.

Oh, and it can print on curved surfaces, which no one else’s laser-marking tech can do.

Don’t blink
So, we loaded up the car with HighTechXL cinematographer Christos Bousis and headed north toward Den Haag to interview CTO Martijn Boerkamp in their lab and to get a demonstration. We’re including some video, but you have to watch quickly because the inPhocal gadget imprints so quickly we kept missing the shot.

Careers at HighTechXL’s new startups and growing alumni

Speaking of HighTechXL, since 2015, the venture builder/accelerator has been doing what it was created to do – create tech companies that create tomorrow’s jobs. And make Eindhoven future-proof. If that sounds like a sandbox you want to play in, well, it just so happens we have a complete list of all the current openings. And there are a bunch!

See all CTO/Tech Lead jobs for new startups

All jobs can be found here.

Senior Business Developer
Thermal Control System Internship
AI & Data Generation Internship
Data Analysis Internship
Electrical Engineering Internship
Mechanical Engineer Internship
Business Development Internship
Mathematical/Physical Internship
Thermal Simulations Internship

Mechatronics Engineer
Software and PLC Engineer

Adaptive Optics Internship
Atmospherics Internship
Data Analysis Internship
Experimental Optics
Research Scientist Quantum Key Distribution Internship
Development Engineer Optical Positioning Systems Internship
Development Engineer Optical Sensors Internship
Market Competition Technical Internship

See all vacancies here
Meditating Software Developer C++
Mindful Full Stack React Native Developer

Junior Financial Administrator

Business Development Manager
Backend Developer
Mobile App Developer
Fleet Operator

Quality and Regulatory Manager
Embedded Software Engineer Medical Devices
Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Intern
Sales Director
Senior Data Science AI Engineer
Clinical Success Specialist (German)
Clinical Success Specialist (Netherlands)
Chief Product Officer
Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Human Resources Manager
Frontend Developer
Signal Processing Engineer
Python Software Developer
Hardware Engineer Medical Devices

Eindhoven Medical Robots
Mechanical Design Engineer
Systems Engineer-Architect and testing for safety and reliability
Embedded Software Engineer
Quality Officer
Software Engineer: Medical Image Processing

ASML Computer Science and Data Engineering Days

Speaking of careers, Eindhoven’s biggest employer and Europe’s most valuable tech company is opening its virtual doors to talent later this month. ASML’s online career event, Computer Science and Data Engineering Days, is coming up 31 March and 1 April. It’s designed for bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD students looking to start their careers at ASML.

You can apply here.

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