Holland Container Innovations

4FOLD foldable container is awarded with a € 2.5 million grant from the SME instrument of the European innovation program Horizon 2020.


Currently, the transportation industry spends about €25 billion a year on the transport of empty cargo containers. Besides the economic inefficacy, it also adds to unfavourable CO2 emission. Holland Container Innovations (HCI), a company located in Delft, is developing foldable containers (4FOLD) for global transport by land and sea. The 4FOLD container can be, after being unloaded, reduced to a quarter of its normal size. HCI is awarded with a € 2.5 million grant from the SME instrument of the European innovation programme Horizon 2020 to catalyse the market introduction of the containers.

The idea for a foldable container was initially conceived by the Delft University of Technology and resulted in the establishment of HCI in 2008. Following, a successful market introduction on a world-leading exhibition and conference for the container industry in Rotterdam in 2014; HCI is now ready to conquer the market. “The 4FOLD containers are a breakthrough solution and is ready to change the current landscape of the international transport sector,” according to Simon Bosschieter, one of the founders of HCI. “The positioning of empty containers is one of the most complex problems concerning global freight distribution and represents large costs. The cost needs to be reduced while there is also an expanding global demand to reduce CO2 emissions. HCI can make the difference”. The company has a well-defined vision for the use of the awarded grant. “HCI can accelerate the market introduction with the grant from the SME instrument. In order to convince the logistic sector of the added value of 4FOLD, a large scale demonstration will be executed. This will provide the opportunity to introduce our innovative product to the market”.

Expertise Horizon 2020

In the second phase of this SME instrument, a total of 960 European companies submitted an application. Only 33 of these, including HCI, received funding. Annemieke Hulsbergen, Senior Consultant Hezelburcht: “Despite the tough European competition, there is certainly a decent chance to get rewarded with a grant from this complex instrument, when you are an SME with a good project.” Bosschieter: “It is a great result, especially considering the low amount of projects that have been awarded. It shows that the European Committee has high demands for this type of proposals. We are very pleased that the European Union helps companies, such as HCI, to realize its ambitions and innovations.”


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