The Southeast Netherlands

Talent topspot
& Technology hotspot
Europe, the Netherlands
Southeast Netherlands
Table of contents
1 International top technology region
2 World-class clusters
3 Excellent education system
4 Well connected region
5 Outstanding knowledge position
6 Welcoming international community
7 Leading in open innovation
8 Vibrant working community
9 Productive labour force
10 Pleasant living climate
11 Attractive business location
The Netherlands
Eindhoven Region
in the Southeast Netherlands
The top technology region Southeast
Netherlands is a hotbed for innovation
and home to world-class businesses,
knowledge institutes and research
institutions. Together, they design and
manufacture the technology of tomorrow,
technology that will facilitate a safer,
greener and more caring society as well as
the sustainable economic development of
the Netherlands.
Talent topspot & Technology hotspot
describes the interesting and attractive
Southeast Netherlands with Brainport
Eindhoven Region as important hotspot.
It opens with the international profile and
allure of this region. Going on to describe
the region’s six world-class clusters. These
clusters, High Tech Systems, Smart Materials
& Chemistry, Smart Mobility, Lifetec & Health,
Food and Design, all contain companies
engaged in open innovation partnerships,
where they collaborate on new innovations,
pushing the boundaries of technology. Next
are the conditions that contribute to the
world-class performance of the clusters in the
Southeast Netherlands. Attention is focused
on the education system, the renowned
knowledge infrastructure, the highly qualified
labour force and the attractive business
climate. And also, there is the excellent
accessibility, the dynamic international
community, the Dutch working climate and
the range of facilities, culture & leisure this
region has to offer. The sum of these factors
makes the top technology region Southeast
Netherlands a great place to work, live and
invest in.
top technology
The Southeast Netherlands can justifiably
claim to be an international top region. This
is more than apparent from its high scores
on international indices, its cross-border
cooperations, its international appeal through
its participation in the European Institute
of Technology and Innovation and the global
players it is home to. The region has a unique
environment, which fosters crucial cooperation
and open innovation. People combine
challenging work with a Burgundian lifestyle.
And, of course, Dutch culture is known for its
diversity and consensus-based nature.
Top technology region Southeast
Strategically located in North-West Europe, the
Southeast Netherlands has three international
airports within easy reach and is surrounded by
55 million consumers.
The region is characterised by a combination of
world-class companies, a range of specialized,
highly innovative supply companies and a lot of
small and medium sized enterprises. A large number
of jobs and high R&D expenditure are to be found in
High Tech Systems, Smart Materials & Chemistry and
Food. Strong interrelated supply chains are anchored
in this region where public and private research
development, design and sales all take place in
close proximity. >
Source: Brainport Development, 2011,
Technisch Weekblad, assimilated by Brainport Development
“You don’t have to go to Silicon Valley to truly
experience innovation. Just visit Brainport.”
- Koray Karakaya
The Southeast Netherlands is the R&D hotspot
for world-class companies in the Netherlands
Top 10 corporate R&D in the Netherlands (mln euro, 2010)
Source: Brainport Development, 2011, Technisch Weekblad, assimilated by Brainport Development
> There are three major universities with
different and complementary profiles in
Tilburg, Eindhoven and Maastricht, a university
hospital, a medical centre, an open university,
several universities of applied sciences and
dedicated vocational education schools.
One of the region’s most important
characteristics is its open innovation. Here,
companies (both large and small) cooperate
with internationally oriented knowledge
institutes like universities, university
hospitals and research institutes. Together,
they share and expand knowledge in an open
innovation environment before they enter
the marketplace with their own products and
services. There are two hotspots for open
innovation in the Southeast Netherlands that
both provide outstanding research facilities:
the High Tech Campus Eindhoven and Chemelot
Campus Sittard-Geleen. These campuses have
strong foundations of top players in both high
tech systems and chemicals: Philips and DSM.
A high international score
The Southeast Netherlands is one of the top
regions in the world for high tech research and
business. Moreover, the Netherlands has been
a top-ten player in the Global Competitiveness
Index for many years. Within Europe, the
region is one of the twenty high tech regions
that form the technological backbone of the
member states of the European Union and the
region participates intensively in the European
Institute of Technology and Innovation.
On top of all this, the Southeast Netherlands
is part of the cross-border EindhovenLeuven-Aachen technology triangle (ELAt).
This is a region with 5.9 million inhabitants,
an economy worth 157 billion euro of GDP
that spends 4 billion euro on research &
development. The stakeholders in ELAt join
forces because they are convinced that, by
doing so, their regions will stand a better
chance in the face of global competition.
A remarkable example of the value of this
cooperation for the regions is the Holst
Centre, a world-class research institute
started as a joint initiative between TNO in
the Netherlands and Imec in Leuven.
Intelligent community of the
year 2011
Brainport Eindhoven Region, a hotspot within
the Southeast Netherlands, was named the
most intelligent community of the year 2011 in
a worldwide contest by the international think
tank Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The jury
praised the powerful economy, the capability
to innovate on the crossovers between sectors,
and the unique partnership between business,
government and knowledge institutes joined in
the triple helix.
Brainport 2020 programme:
top economy, smart society
It is the ambition of the Southeast of the
Netherlands to be among the top 3 regions
in Europe in 2020 and the top 10 in the world
compared to other regions with a similar
business and technology profile. This goal,
with accompanying vision and strategy, has
been crystalized in Brainport 2020, including
an extensive action programme. The Brainport
2020 approach is more or less in line with the
European Union integral programme EU2020.
This programme deals with social challenges
Brainport Eindhoven Region in an impressive
list of intelligent communities
Winners of the Intelligent Community Award
Source: ICF website, 2011
2011 Brainport Eindhoven Region,
2010 Suwon, South Korea
2009 Stockholm, Sweden
2008 Gangnam District,
Seoul, South Korea
2007 Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
2006 Taipei, Taiwan
2005 Mitaka, Japan
2004 Glasgow, Scotland, UK
2002 Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2002 Seoul, South Korea
2001 New York, NY, USA
2000 LaGrange, Georgia, USA
“With challenging work and a good, safe
and social environment, you get the best
of both worlds.”
- Savithri Rangarajan
The Southeast Netherlands
is one of the high tech top
regions in the world
on a European scale through building on the
strengths of smart, specialised regions just
like the Southeast Netherlands.
Ranking of high tech regions, based on Gross Domestic Product
per capita (in USD*1000) 2007
OECD, Brainport Development, Wikipedia
About the Dutch
The region is part of the Netherlands, a
small, but densely populated country with
16.7 million inhabitants. Most Dutch people
embrace the country’s cultural diversity,
tolerance of differences, and receptiveness
to foreign influences. The Dutch population
are down to earth and perceive consensus,
equality, reliability, utility, creativity and
a well organized society as essential. The
Netherlands is home to a wide variety of
cultures, primarily in the larger cities. The
Netherlands is a safe country to live in. The
consensus-based nature ensures no drastic
political changes in foreign or domestic policy
with a change of government.
The strength of the Southeast Netherlands
lies in top clusters that are in the global
Champions League: High Tech Systems
and Smart Materials & Chemistry. At the
interface of these top sectors there is the
strong Lifetec & Health cluster and Smart
Mobility and Food.
The presence of powerful major companies
like ASML, Océ, DAF trucks, DSM, Fuji, NXP, FEI,
Philips, Stork, VDL Group and Vion is unique,
as is the related extensive network of high
tech small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
suppliers. The internationally renowned
Design cluster in the Brainport Eindhoven
Region is a catalyst for creativity within each
of these clusters. These companies cooperate
within open innovation networks on new
innovations at the edge of what is technically
feasible. The companies are surrounded
by world-class universities, hospitals and
research institutes they can call on, as well as
a strong and entrepreneurial workforce.
Smart Materials
& Chemistry
High Tech Systems
Lifetec & Health
Smart Mobility
High Tech
High Tech Systems is the ‘mother’ of other key technology areas
in the Southeast Netherlands and is crucial to the development of
knowledge, technologies and enterprises.
It is strongly represented in the Brainport Eindhoven Region, with
top international technology companies such as ASML, FEI, NXP, Océ
and Philips and the High Tech Campus Eindhoven as R&D hotspot. The
interface between the High Tech Systems industry and disciplines like
industrial design, life sciences and food provides the springboard for a
wide range of innovations and applications.
The potential for growth is significant: for individual sectors and crossindustry. The multiple markets range from semiconductor, precision
and nanotech systems, micro- and nano-assembly systems to logistic
systems, office and production automation, and systems for handling,
packaging, printing and processing goods.
1.9^billion euro R&D*
21% Turnover from new products*
3.10 billion euro added value**
23 billion euro export*
Company top 10 in order of size (right)
* Southern part of the Netherlands, 2008 data, ** 2007 data. ^ Incl. Smart mobility cluster
Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS, Year 2010. Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS
strong position
excellent supplier position
photovoltaic solar energy
and thin film
Case > Solliance The Brainport Eindhoven Region is the focal point for a solar research alliance: Solliance.
Knowledge institutes ECN, TNO, Holst Centre and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) bundle
their knowledge and research and create a synergy of more than 250 researchers with shared ambitions in
the area of photovoltaic solar energy (PV) and thin film research. Solliance makes a handsome contribution
in acquiring a strong position in the High Tech Systems Cluster in this market with an annual growth of no
less than 50%. The cluster excels worldwide in the construction of complex machines for, among others,
the micro-chip industry – ASML for example has a market share of 80%. This puts the cluster in an excellent
position for supplying the allied solar market with machines. Solliance seeks long-term cooperations with
companies in the chain, like Scheuten, Smit Ovens and OTB Solar.
Materials &
In global terms, the chemistry and chemical industry in the
Southeast of the Netherlands is a world leader in sectors
like basic chemistry, food ingredients, coatings and highperformance materials. This position is evident from the
strength of exports, with chemical exports from the region
over 13 billion euros, and Japan being a major importer of these
chemical products.
A hotspot for chemicals is the Chemelot Campus, the second largest
chemical site in Europe. Chemical companies and research institutes
at Chemelot and throughout the region address unmet needs resulting
from societal trends like climate change, energy, health and emerging
328 million euro R&D*
14% Turnover from new products*
1.1 billion euro added value**
17 billion euro export*
Company top 10 in order of size (right)
* Southern part of the Netherlands, 2008 data, ** 2007 data.
Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS, Year 2010. Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS
Case > DSM Olympic 470 sailing boat In collaboration with NOC*NSF and the Dutch athletes, DSM has
developed several innovative solutions for the Olympic Games. For example the 470 sailing boat, built with
specially designed DSM composite laminates resulting in a highly rigid minimum weight construction. This
construction minimized the drag on the boat and maintained its velocity, allowing the boat to remain rock
steady in the choppy waves typical of the waters of Qingdao where the Olympic races took place. With this
boat, Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout won a silver medal in the Women’s 470 class at the 2008
Beijing Olympics.
highly rigid
minimum weight
minimize loss of energy
composite laminates
Collaboration with Dutch athletes
Smart Mobility is a fusion of automotive knowledge and business
in the Southeast Netherlands. The growing consensus within the
industry is that the car, bus and truck of the future will be a high
tech system on wheels.
There is a shift towards vehicle technology based on electronics, with
a link to nanotechnology, embedded software and mechatronics. The
Southeast Netherlands is strong in all these fields and combines this
with a very good position on the development and manufacturing of
trucks and busses. And this is why dozens of companies have been
successful in focusing on the automotive industry.
The automotive industry in the Southeast Netherlands is clustered
in the Brainport Eindhoven Region and home to world leaders in
manufacturing of trucks and busses, DAF trucks and VDL Group. Also
TomTom, NXP semiconductors, Nedschroef and Philips as well as top
research and training organisations like Eindhoven University of
Technology, TNO Automotive and TTAI are located here. One of the
most advanced car manufacturers in the world -Nedcar- is located in
Born. The High Tech Automotive Campus (HTAC) in Helmond is the preeminent automotive centre of the Netherlands.
41% Turnover from new products*
323 million euro added value**
Company top 10 in order of size (right)
* Southern part of the Netherlands, 2008 data, ** 2007 data.
Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS, Year 2010. Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS
prevent ‘phantom traffic jams’
70 cars
in a long queue
Case > Test bed A270 The A270 highway between Eindhoven and Helmond can and has been used
as a test bed for electrically powered vehicles and smart transport. TNO, the Eindhoven University of
Technology (TU/e) and the automotive industry employ the A270 highway to research driving behaviour and
the concept of connected cars. TNO performs practical tests to prevent ‘phantom traffic jams’. These traffic
jams occur when car drivers suddenly brake, or change lanes. In this test, 70 cars drive in a long queue.
Some cars are equipped with special devices that react to the behaviour of other road users, and in other
situations the drivers are advised by an on-board computer to adjust their speed.
& Health
The Lifetec & Health cluster focuses on human health and design
products to preserve and improve people’s health, a highly
relevant issue for an ageing society. Technologies in this cluster
are so-called health care technologies and include the segments:
pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals, medical technology
encompassing devices, imaging equipment & diagnostics and
new emerging technologies like regenerative medicine and
personalized medicine.
The region is home to some of the world’s leading developers and
manufacturers, for example Medtronic, Pharmacell and Philips
Healthcare. Philips Healthcare invents and manufactures products
like the MRI scanner. There are also several smaller, but growing
companies in the Southeast Netherlands like MagnaMetics and TiGenix.
In addition, Maastricht University, Maastricht Academic Hospital,
Máxima Medical Centre, Catharina Hospital and Eindhoven University
of Technology are all investing in biomedical and medical technology
in collaboration with industry and medical institutions in the region.
Activities in this cluster are mainly centred around the Maastricht
Health Campus, Chemelot Campus, High Tech Campus Eindhoven and
the Eindhoven University of Technology. The cluster is highly innovative
and breakthroughs are to be expected in new key technologies.
545 million euro R&D*
8% Turnover from new products*
Company top 10 in order of size (right) Source: KvK, LESA study LifetecZONe
* Southern part of the Netherlands, 2008 data, ** 2007 data.
Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS, Year 2010. Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS
Case > Social robots for care of the elderly Technological applications are considered
as a solution to be explored in order to be able to cater to the serious growth in the need for
care. An example of this are social robots in the care of the elderly. Robots like the Paro (see
photo) and Pleo have a high ‘strokability factor’ and the capacity to interact with people.
The seal robot’s behaviour is aimed at fostering affection in dementing elderly persons.
Paro is deployed for psychological effects to prevent depression and passivity, to cheer
up and encourage motivation. Knowledge and education institutes like the Eindhoven
University of Technology and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences play an initiating and
stimulating role for such innovations in healthcare.
encourage motivation
prevent depression
cheer up
strokability factor
dementating elderly persons
In the Southeast Netherlands, the added value of the Food
cluster lies mostly in the synergy it has with technology
spearheads like High Tech Systems and Lifetec & Health.
This region is a hotbed of food technology R&D thanks to its worldclass research institutes. In terms of food production and processing,
the Southeast Netherlands is ranked the third largest Dutch export
region. The food and refreshment industry focus extends beyond
consumer goods to semi-finished products for other industrial
sectors, including sugar, cocoa, flour and starch. It also supplies the
farming sector with animal feed while other products are destined
for the chemical, pharmaceutical and paper industries. Major food
producers like Campina, Bavaria, VION and Nutreco are complemented
by hundreds of SMEs active in food production and processing, whose
product range varies from confectionery, meat, dairy products, beer
and vegetables to ingredients and ‘powders’ for the food industry.
In addition, the Food cluster comprises major companies like GEA
Group and Stork, specialists in the design and construction of large
production lines for the meat processing and sugar industries, to name
but a few.
96 million euro R&D*
13% Turnover from new products*
2.3 billion euro added value**
10 billion euro export*
Company top 10 in order of size (right)
* Southern part of the Netherlands, 2008 data, ** 2007 data.
Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS, Year 2010. Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS
Extremely high
vitamins remain intact
nutritional values
Case > Pascalisation A highly innovative technique in the Food cluster in the Southeast Netherlands is
pascalisation, a healthy preservation method. A disadvantage of current preservation methods is that the
nutritional value, the vitamins or the taste suffer(s). In the case of pascalisation, the packaged foodstuffs
such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruit are subjected to extremely high pressure, eliminating bacteria and
moulds. Food stuffs retain their original nutritional values and the vitamins remain intact, because the
pressure on the foodstuff is equally high everywhere.
Design has been important for the region for many years. From
an industrial and technological background, the Southeast
Netherlands with the Brainport Eindhoven Region as important
hotspot has experienced the transition to an innovative and
creative region, borne out by the many innovative products
that are invented, developed and produced here. The strongly
developed Design sector in the region has icons as the Design
Academy Eindhoven, Philips Design and the faculty of Industrial
Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).
In the Southeast Netherlands, design is regarded a ‘business creator’,
where advanced technology and the manufacturing industry largely
determine the context for design. Here, designers are involved in a
company’s innovation process right from the start. In the region, the
strength of design lies particularly in the contribution it makes to
product development in the technologically advanced manufacturing
industry. Top design is not only ‘good-looking technology’, but also
encompasses ease of use and comfort. In short, products designed in
the Southeast Netherlands make life more pleasant.
0.4 million euro R&D*
17% Turnover from new products*
Most renown on design (right)
* Southern part of the Netherlands, 2008 data, ** 2007 data.
Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS, Year 2010. Source: CBS CIS 2008, LISA 2010, EIM, CBS
More than
1,500 exhibitors
different locations
More than
300 events
Case > Dutch Design Week The Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, held every October, is an international
event organized not only to exhibit design, but also to stimulate business development in the field of design.
On show is design in every shape and form and in all its disciplines. It is an event in which more than 1,500
designers exhibit their work, varying from industrial, spatial and graphic design, to textile, fashion and
architecture. There are more than 300 events to visit in 65 different locations. In addition to exhibitions, there
are countless lectures, workshops, fashion shows and seminars. An important example is the World Design
Forum, a seminar with top-notch keynotes from the international design and business world who share the
vision of a challenging new role of design at the cutting edge of innovation and business strategy. Participants
include renowned agencies, high-profile designers and talented newcomers, such as freshly graduated
designers. During the Dutch Design Week, a link is laid between the public, companies and designers through
the exchange of knowledge and information. This event positions Brainport Eindhoven Region internationally
as a design region.
3. Excellent
The Dutch education
system is among the
best in the world
Ranking of countries based on PISA scores 2009
(Programme for International Student Assessment)
Source: OECD
People in the Southeast Netherlands
are highly educated. One in three school
leavers completes a first university degree.
Moreover, schools in the Netherlands offer
high-quality education. The philosophy
behind Dutch education reflects Dutch
society and aims to encourage students
to be open-minded, and to be able to think
and learn creatively.
The Dutch education system
In almost every city district and village
in the Southeast Netherlands, there are
several primary schools. In the Netherlands,
primary education begins at the age of 4.
Secondary education starts after completion
of primary education, usually at the age of
12 and generally continues to the age of 16
to 18. Children are obliged to go to school
until the school year in which they become
16. The Southeast Netherlands offers plenty
of opportunities for bilingual education. In
bilingual schools, the lessons for several of the
non-language courses are given in a different
language from the pupil’s mother tongue.
The two important objectives of bilingual
education is to improve the pupil’s mastering
of foreign languages and to give them a more
international outlook.
There are also international schools, both
primary and secondary. Located in the region
are the International School Eindhoven,
United World College Maastricht and the
European School Mol (Belgium).
Research Universities
In the Netherlands, it is still common to
do a Master’s after obtaining a Bachelor’s
degree. After the Bachelor and Master
phase, the third stage of higher education
is only offered by research universities.
They are entitled to award the country’s
highest academic degree, the doctorate
which is primarily a research degree (PhD).
What makes the Netherlands different
from other countries is the fact that, here,
students earn a salary while studying for
their PhD degree at a university.
Universities of applied sciences and
research universities offer various
scholarships to students. European
students can also be considered for an
Erasmus grant, a scholarship, if they
decide to study or complete an internship
temporarily abroad. All three research
universities in the Southeast Netherlands
offer courses in English.
“I feel I am being taken seriously. In the
Netherlands when you do a PhD, you’re not
a student but a paid employee.”
- Marcello Andrade Oliveira
In the Southeast
Netherlands many
people continuously
improve their working
Participation in life long learning
(% of active population) 2007
Source: Eurostat
The OECD Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA) is an internationally standardised
assessment that was jointly developed by
participating economies and administered to 15-yearolds in schools. PISA assesses every three years how
far students near the end of compulsory education
have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that
are essential for full participation in society. In all
cycles, the domains of reading, mathematical and
scientific literacy are covered in terms of important
knowledge and skills needed in adult life.
The Netherlands ranks a 10th position in the ranking
of 64 countries worldwide. The overall score is
calculated as an average over the three disciplines:
reading (10th position), mathematics (8th position)
and science (10th position).
Internationally oriented research universities
and universities of applied sciences
The number of national and international students registered per university (2009-2010)
Source: University websites
Research Universities
x 1,000
x 1,000
Tilburg University
• Provides high-quality education and research on a compact campus
• Offers programmes in business & management, economics, law, culture & society
• Scores 1 in Europe in economics (European Economic Association research ranking), scores 1 in Europe and 15 in the world in law (Social Sciences Research Network
research ranking) and scores 3 in Europe and 44 in the world in business (UT Dallas
Business School research ranking)
• Is part of a select group of European Business Schools having the prestigious
American AACSB accreditation
Maastricht University
• Is known for its international orientation and education system
• Offers programmes in behaviour, economics, healthcare, language, law, arts and
• Ranks 111 in the World University Rankings; the Medicine programme was one of the
top 20 European institutions in the clinical medicine ranking
• The Master’s programme in International Business is ranked one of the top 25 business
programmes in the world according to the Master in Management Programmes
published by the Financial Times.In terms of value for money Maastricht ranked 2nd.
Eindhoven University of Technology
• A research-driven, design-oriented university
• Provides academic education within the engineering, science and technology sectors
• Ranks 114 in the Times Higher Educational World University Rankings of 2010,
the highest scoring Dutch university in the list
• Among the world’s ten best-performing research universities in terms of research
cooperation with industry (University-Industry Research Cooperation (UIRC)
Scoreboard 2011)
Together with the two other technical research universities in the Netherlands, the TU/e
offers a two-year post-master track, leading to the certificate: Professional Doctorate
in Engineering (PDEng). Knowledge and experience are broadened by means of a
personal and practical design assignment, under the supervision of experienced
design professionals, and in close co-operation with business and industry.
Universities of applied sciences
Design Academy Eindhoven
• An applied university focusing solely on all areas of design
• Specialised in industrial design, the development of ideas takes centre stage
• Internationally oriented institute providing an English language foundation course
• Ranks 13 th on the global list of design schools in Bloomberg Businessweek
Fontys University of Applied Sciences
• A learning community providing more than 200 bachelor courses
• Offers education in the areas of economics, engineering, health care, ICT, communication
and sports
• Locations in Bergen op Zoom, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Tilburg,
Sittard, Veghel and Venlo
• Providing English-language degree programmes with multicultural teams
• All degree programmes are accredited by the the Dutch/Flemish Accreditation
Organisation, or by equivalent British accreditation bodies.
Avans University of Applied Sciences
• Offers more than 100 applied science courses with customised course packages
• Focuses on the areas economics, technology, ICT, health care and arts
• Locations in Breda, ’s-Hertogenbosch and Tilburg
• Internationals study in a pleasant, ambitious environment with countless English-language
study programmes and good contacts with the business community
• Proclaimed the best major university of applied sciences in the Netherlands by the leading
Dutch magazine Elsevier
Zuyd University of Applied Sciences
• Offers economics, languages and communication, behaviour and society, health care,
fine arts, music and drama, education, technology and engineering
• Locations in Heerlen, Maastricht and Sittard
• 13 Of its 40 bachelor programmes are taught in English and many of the programmes have
ties with foreign educational institutions in the German and Belgium border regions
• Ranked 1 in ‘Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs 2010’ and 2 in the 2011 edition
University of Applied Sciences HAS Den Bosch
• Is a strong knowledge centre in the agri- and food business and the green environment
• Has a centre of expertise for the sectors: food, agriculture, horticulture,
green open spaces, nature, environment, agribusiness
• Three Bachelor courses are taught in English and offer international
students a business-oriented and practical approach to education
4. Well
The intercontinental accessibility of the
Southeast Netherlands is good. Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport, located in Amsterdam,
has many and fast intercontinental
connections and is a European hub. The
Southeast Netherlands is centrally located
between Schiphol Airport and two other
large, international airports: Brussels
Airport and Dusseldorf International
Airport. There are two other airports in the
region: Eindhoven Airport and Maastricht
Aachen Airport. Eindhoven Airport is the
second largest airport in the Netherlands,
after Schiphol, handling 2.1 million
passengers in 2010.
Rail mobility by people
in the Netherlands
Source: Eurostat
Kilometres travelled by train
per inhabitant in Europe 2007
The region is well connected thanks to the high
quality and reasonably priced national railway
system. Cities like Eindhoven and Maastricht
are directly linked to other major cities in the
Netherlands like Amsterdam, Utrecht and
Rotterdam. From Eindhoven, for example, it
takes 50 minutes to travel to Utrecht, 1 hour
and 20 minutes to Amsterdam and 1 hour an 10
minutes to Rotterdam. Through Breda, Venlo and
Maastricht, the region is fairly well connected to
the European railway system.
Road transport in the Netherlands is good and
usually flows without too many jams. Cities like
Antwerp, Brussels and Düsseldorf only take
a 1 to 1.5 hours drive. An alternative - that is
sometimes even faster - is the frequent and good
public transport. Of course, you can always do
what the Dutch do and jump on your bicycle.
Rail (Inter City)
High-speed rail
Intercity station
High-speed rail station
“What I like about the Netherlands is
that life is very efficient. There is a lot to
see and do within a short distance.”
- Pär Broman
The Southeast Netherlands is famous as a
leading region in the areas of knowledge,
technology and design. It is one of the top
European regions for patent applications.
Four patents are registered in the region
every day. There is also a tremendous
amount of high-quality scientific research.
Dutch researchers are the second most
productive and the fourth best in the
world: they publish almost twice the
average number of articles. The quality
of these articles is 30% above the global
International networks
The knowledge institutes in the Southeast
Netherlands are well connected with other top
regions in the world, Europe and nearby. The
region is part of the cross-border EindhovenLeuven-Aachen triangle (ELAt). Excellent public
knowledge institutes are present in ELAt that
have knowledge that is extremely relevant for
the companies in the Southeast Netherlands.
All the universities in ELAt are included in
the top 200 of the Times World Universities
Ranking, including the RWTH Aachen, one of
the largest universities in Europe. The institute
Imec in Leuven leads the world in the field of
nano-electronics and nanotechnology.
An important European network the region
participates in is the European Institute of >
> Innovation and Technology (EIT). The
EIT establishes thematic Knowledge and
Innovation Communities (KICs) between
excellent companies, educational and
research institutes in Europe concerning
social challenges. Each KIC comprises
a number of co-locations. The two colocations that the EIT acquired in the
Southeast Netherlands are the result of the
strong international knowledge position.
The Southeast Netherlands achieved this
Eight top technology
institutes in
the Southeast
DPI the Dutch Polymer Institute performs
pre-competitive research into polymers and
their application. Hereby, the DP links scientific
knowledge to the industrial need for innovation.
ESI the Embedded Systems Institute is a research
institute that addresses embedded systems design
at the multidisciplinary systems level.
Holst Centre is an independent openinnovation R&D centre that develops generic
technologies for Wireless Autonomous Sensor
Technologies and Flexible Electronics.
TNO is an independent research organisation
with a multiplicity of knowledge that attempts to
innovate accurately on predetermined objectives.
TNO Automotive is an independent research
organisation that aims to contribute to making
our future means of transport safer, cleaner and
more efficient.
TTAI (TÜV Rheinland TNO Automotive
International B.V) is a leading independent
European centre of excellence for vehicle safety
engineering and passive safety testing.
ECN the Energy Research Centre of the
Netherlands develops high-level knowledge and
technology for the transition to sustainable
energy management.
FOM the Foundation for Fundamental Research
on Matter promotes, co-ordinates and finances
fundamental physics research in the Netherlands.
success in the same way as the top innovation
regions Stockholm, Berlin and Paris did. Since
2010, Eindhoven has participated in both
the Knowledge Innovation Community (KIC)
programme KIC InnoEnergy and the KIC ICT
Lab programme.
Research institutes in the Southeast
Netherlands take advantage of the challenges
within the clusters, in a scientific and
business economics sense. The Eindhoven
University of Technology (TU/e) has focused
its research on three strategic areas, namely
energy, health and smart mobility. Together,
the three universities in the Southeast
Netherlands contribute significantly to
the region’s excellent knowledge position;
they have a large output of publications
and are frequently cited. The public R&D
infrastructure in the Southeast Netherlands
has eight institutes.
The Southeast Netherlands: a top region in Europe
on high tech ( ) patent applications
Ranking regions on high tech European patent applications (EPO) per million inhabitants 2006
Source: Eurostat
Brainport Eindhoven Region: Europe’s no. 1 on total patents
Patents per million inhabitants
Source: Eurostat, 2006
Brainport Eindhoven Region
has the highest patent
density in Europe. Especially
Philips generates each
year many patents. With
1,435 patents, Philips was
the global number five and
Europe’s number one in 2010.
Also NXP and ASML file a lot
of patents.
Universities in the Southeast Netherlands produce
high quality research in close international cooperation
A large and strong research base
Number of researchers per university, 2009
Source: University websites
Eindhoven University
of Technology
Maastricht University
Tilburg University
Number of researchers of the three universities (x1,000). Total 4,700
Many publications, 44 percent, result from international cooperation
The number of publications and international co-publications, 2005-2008
Source: NWOT
Total publications (x 1,000)
International co-publications (x 1,000). Total 12,900
Scientific quality of research outperforms the international average of 1.0
The citation-impact of total output and the international co-publications, 2005-2008
Source: NWOT
Citation-impact output
International average
Citation-impact international co-publications
The Southeast Netherlands is a region with
a dynamic international community. Among
the many nationalities in the region are
people from many continents and countries
like Germany, Spain, India, Turkey, Finland,
China, Brazil, USA, Canada, Russia and Poland.
Knowledge institutes, educational institutes and
companies in the region are very internationally
oriented. In almost all the major companies,
communication takes place in English; there
are organisations of which half the employees
are foreign nationals. SME companies are
increasingly working more globally and will
also start to do this in the field of labour. The
Southeast Netherlands has an ideal work and
residential climate for foreign nationals. Almost
all Dutch people speak fair English and are
interested in many different cultures. After all,
the Netherlands is itself a multi-cultural society.
Facilities, education, culture and leisure are all
internationally focussed – the region offers an
international, high quality standard of living.
Brainport International
Brainport International Community (BIC)
enhances all the regional initiatives and is the
network for all internationals coming to, settling
in and living in the Southeast Netherlands.
> Coming to
To be able to recruit much needed knowledge
workers and students, Brainport International
Community promotes the Southeast
Netherlands worldwide and develops and
maintains networks with international
organizations and educational institutes. BIC
attends career fairs and other recruitment
events around the world and has a useful
website with study and career opportunities:
The Southeast Netherlands is home
to an international community of
12,000 international knowledge
The number international knowledge workers
in the (Southeast) Netherlands
(average 2007-2009)
Source: CBS
“The Brainport International Community
programme actively aims to attract
and keep international knowledge
workers and students for the
Southeast Netherlands.”
- Sueli Brodin
> Settling in
> Living in
The expat centres in the Southeast
Netherlands make sure that international
knowledge workers and their families receive
a warm welcome to the region.
At their offices, internationals can arrange
all the formalities and services required for
studying or working and living here.
For international knowledge workers, their
spouses and children it is very important that
they feel at home. Which is the why Brainport
International Community is building an active
international community through uniting various
smaller networks (expat clubs), and through
the organisation of events like the Brainport
International Weekend. Furthermore, BIC ensures
that the international knowledge worker and his or
her partner know about the career opportunities
in the region so that they stay in the Southeast
It was not by mistake that my business
partner and I decided to come from New
York and Paris to the Netherlands, choosing
Brainport Eindhoven Region as the central
location for our creative studio. An important
reason comes from a social and cultural
Jorges cultural experiences
Jorge Alves Lino is an internationally
experienced knowledge worker with an own
company and a university lecturer position
at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
“A past in different countries makes one
very sensitive to different social, living and
working dimensions, and how do different
combinations of these have an impact on
your life.
The region is particularly known by its local
friendliness, and this makes business become
not only efficient, but very friendly and
human. Surely, working together with the
known directness and historic marketing
traditions of the Netherlands play an active
role in success, and companies benefit from
this cultural openness to knowledge and
innovation trades.
From an international point of view, this is
very beneficial because companies have the
space not only to be competitive, but to be
in the avant-garde of innovation. In the end,
Eindhoven maintains its identity ‘good old
Eindhoven’. That human cosiness makes this
region not just a place to work, but a place to
call home.”
Case – Social media Social media has now become
an essential ingredient in the building of a community.
Facebook especially is of global importance. BIC has also
taken advantage of this development through actively
networking through social media. The most important ones
in the Netherlands are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. BIC
communicates daily through these channels to keep all
the international workers up-to-speed on the latest news
and events, whether or not exclusively for expats. Through
the building of a high-quality, large online international
community, the region also shows the rest of the world its
international importance and appeal.; group Brainport International Community
A self-reliant society
Cultural dimensions of the Netherlands by Hofstede
Source: Website Hofstede, 2011
The Netherlands
Hofstede and Florida
about the Dutch culture
The famous cultural model developed
by Hofstede characterizes every country
according to its culture. The model is based on
five dimensions that every culture possesses
to a certain extent. These dimensions are:
power distance, individuality, masculinity,
uncertainty avoidance and long term
orientation. The Netherlands highest
Hofstede dimension is individuality at 80, the
fourth highest worldwide ranking. The high
individualism ranking for the Netherlands
is indicative of a society with more
individualistic attitudes and relatively loose
bonds with others. The populace is more selfreliant and looks out for themselves and their
close family members. Privacy is considered
the cultural norm. The second highest
Hofstede dimension for the Netherlands is
uncertainty avoidance at 53, a moderate
score. This indicates a balance between a
tendency to reduce the level of uncertainty by
enacting rules and laws on the one hand, and
openness to new challenges on the other hand.
Power distance at 38 is indicative for
relatively low social inequality and a low
level of hierarchy in the Netherlands. And,
the long term orientation at 53 explains the
urge for truth and direct results people in
the Netherlands have. The lowest Hofstede
dimension is masculinity at 14. This low
value may be indicative for a low level of
differentiation and discrimination between
genders. In this culture, females are treated
equally to males in all aspects of society.
Richard Florida is another well-known
researcher who compares countries, on
creativity and the knowledge economy. His
conclusion is that in order to be successful in
the current economy a combination of the 3 Ts
is crucial; technology, tolerance and talent. A
composite measure incorporating the 3 Ts is
the euro-creativity index, ECI. This provides a
fuller assessment of national competitiveness
in the Creative Age. In this comparison made
in 2004, the Netherlands score a 4th position,
after Sweden, USA and Finland.
7. Leading
in open
The Southeast Netherlands distinguishes
itself with its unique open innovation
system that results from collaboration,
exchange of knowledge and close
proximity. Partners share and multiply
knowledge in an open environment,
prior to marketing their own product.
Open innovation is almost always
multi-disciplinary; those with a
scientific education work together with
market researchers, sociologists and
psychologists. Since cooperation and
trust in one another is critical in open
innovation, the high degree of trust Dutch
people place in other people goes some
way to explain why this is so successful in
the Netherlands.
From this open innovation ecosystem, clusters
of companies and knowledge institutes
develop, at the cutting edge of technology,
possible solutions for social challenges. They
also work on products and services with
great added value. These strengths make the
Southeast Netherlands an attractive place for
new R&D institutes and companies.
A great proportion of the innovative strength
is concentrated on the campuses that are
linked to international networks. The hubs
are formed by the internationally competitive
campuses: Chemelot Campus in the south of
Limburg and High Tech Campus Eindhoven in
the Brainport Eindhoven Region. >
High Tech Campus
Location Eindhoven, surface 103 hectare,
90 companies
Research topic: Human Focused Innovation
Goal: Developing innovations that make human
life healthier, easier and more pleasant
Examples: Intelligent pills, smart shop windows
and extremely energy-efficient lighting
Chemelot Campus
Location Geleen, surface 852 hectare,
111 companies
Research topic: Chemicals & Materials
Goal: Accelerated business growth through a
unique chemistry and materials community
Examples: Polymers and networks, advanced
(bio)organic synthesis and chemical engineering
Campuses form the centres of gravity for the open
innovation ecosystem
Location and type of campuses in the Southeast Netherlands and across the border
Source: Websites HTCE, Chemelot, Buck Consultants International, Brainport Development
> These campuses form the centres of gravity
for the open innovation ecosystem in the
field of high tech systems and chemicals,
with to an increasing degree cross-overs
to other technologies. The campuses have
excellent research facilities that are open
to use for third parties and manifest as
essential hubs for the European knowledge
economy. In addition to these two major
and internationally competitive innovation
campuses, the Southeast Netherlands has
four specialised campuses with potential for
There are also several other attractive and
well connected locations for companies in
the Southeast Netherlands. For example, the
thematic business parks Brainport Industries
Park (Eindhoven), Health Technology Park
(Veldhoven), Avantis Science & Business Park
(Heerlen) and Food Technology Park Brainport
(Helmond). New initiatives are: Document
Service Valley (Venlo), E-Automotive Nedcar
(Sittard-Geleen), Health Campus Boxmeer,
MSD Campus (Oss), Sunrise Business park
People in the Netherlands express high trust in others
Ranking of countries that express a high level of trust in others worldwide 2008
Source: OECD
Companies in the Southeast Netherlands are highly
innovative and cooperative
% of companies involved in innovation and % companies that cooperate with each other
Source: CBS CIS
% of innovative
companies 2006-2008
% of innovating companies engaged
in cooperation 2006-2008
% of innovating companies engaged
in international cooperation
Supply chain
The Southeast Netherlands has an
exceptional number of innovative small and
medium sized businesses; almost 26% of all
businesses in the region - a modest 2,900
companies - are involved in innovation.
Especially in the Brainport Eindhoven
Region, the SME companies work closely
together in the various component supply
chains in the development and manufacture
of large complex machines and intricate
measurement equipment. Thanks to the short
lines, these chains are extremely flexible and
they can cater rapidly to the developments in
the market. Which makes it possible for the
manufacturing industry to excel globally in
highly specialised niche markets.
Competitive advantage through strong and
interrelated supply chains
Supply chains of high tech cluster
Source:Brainport Industries, 2009
Case - Brainport Industries Brainport Industries connects several suppliers in the high tech industry.
They are all convinced that, in the future, it is not their company’s single competitive position, but the
position of the entire supply chain that will determine economic performance. For its members, Brainport
Industries organizes supply chain improvement projects. The members gain knowledge, meet others, share
experiences and opportunities. Brainport Industries are mostly SMEs, but they also include a few larger
first-tier suppliers.
8. Vibrant
In the Southeast Netherlands, employees
have the opportunity to make the most
of their potential. To a certain extent,
employees can map their own career path;
and employers are willing to provide the
necessary resources for employees to work
on their professional growth. People in the
Netherlands have their own distinctive
working culture and practices. Human wellbeing in the Netherlands is high and most
employees are very satisfied with their jobs.
Egalitarian approach
The apparent egalitarian approach in the
Netherlands fits very well with Dutch company
structures, which have traditionally been
amongst the flattest in Europe. Therefore, the
Dutch manager will rarely take an authoritarian
approach to the team, preferring to be seen as
the colleague who has most influence rather
than as the ultimate arbiter on all decisions.
This does not mean that the boss is powerless;
his or her influence and control are subtler
than in some other countries. Equality between
genders is encouraged, so women have the same
opportunities in the workplace as men.
Working culture
The way of working in the Netherlands differs
from other countries. People are rather direct
in their approach and communication. This also
means that they are honest and have no hidden
agendas. A brief, firm handshake, with good eye
contact, is the normal business greeting. Verbal
communication is expected to be fairly open and
transparent. >
On job satisfaction the Netherlands is
among the top 5 countries in the world
Ranking countries based on national job satisfaction in Europe 2008-2009
Source: The European Employee Index
The Netherlands has the highest portion
of part-time employees worldwide
Part-time employment (% of total employment) 2009
Source: OECD
> Although the official language in business life is Dutch, most business
people speak English, so it is not necessary to have correspondence
translated. At companies where internationals are employed, the
official language is English. Importance is placed on the efficient use
of time and punctuality. Therefore, Dutch people find it important for
their guests to be on time at meetings. Facts, statistics and other hard
data are greatly valued in Dutch business. And, arguments based on
rationality are preferred to those based on emotions.
The Netherlands scores the 7th position
worldwide on human well-being Ranking countries based on Human Development Index 2010
Source: United Nations Development Programme 2010
“My employer gives me plenty
of opportunities, also in terms of
personal development.”
- Vincent Lima
Working practices
Working practices in the Netherlands show
that business hours are usually from 9 am
to 5 pm. Lunch time is around 12 o’ clock
and many people bring their own lunch. As
opposed to southern countries, no alcohol
is served during lunch time. Vacations are
normally taken during the months of July and
August as well as late December. A relatively
high proportion of Dutch people work parttime, especially women. This is often a
deliberate choice, allowing employees to
combine work with caring for their family.
Other practicalities concerning working in the
Netherlands are: an average of 25 to 35 days
holiday, a legal right to a once-yearly payment
of 8% holiday money (of yearly gross wages),
a payment of 100% salary during illness (legal
requirement is 70%) and a pension scheme
at almost every company, partly paid by
the employer. Wages in the Netherlands are
among the highest in the world.
Life expectancy
at birth (years),
Average of mean and
expected years of
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite
single statistic that serves as a frame of reference
for both social and economic development.
Gross national income
(GNI) per capita
(PPP US$ 2008), 2010
The HDI, expressed as a value between 0 and
1, facilitates instructive comparisons between
different countries. The statistic by the United
Nations Development Programme is constructed by
indicators on the three dimensions health, education
and living standards. Overall, the Netherlands
is classified as a very high human development
country, with an HDI of 0.89; the seventh overall
ranking. The health indicator shows that in the
Netherlands life expectancy is 80.3 years. On the two
education- indicators, the Netherlands scores on
average an 8 th position implying that children receive
many years of schooling. And the living standards
dimension shows a gross national income (GNI) per
capita (PPP US$2008) of the Netherlands of 40,658.
labour force
The labour force in the Southeast
Netherlands is highly educated and the
area is especially attractive for engineers
and technicians. This is due to a regular
growth in employment in recent years; the
total number of jobs in the region increased
to 1.5 million in 2010. The growth in jobs is
largely the result of structural economic
reforms that have been implemented.
Moreover, few people are unemployed; an
average of 3.9% of the potential working
population was unemployed in 2009, while
the corresponding rate in the Eurozone
countries was more than 8%.
Especially in technical areas, there are many
employment possibilities. “Around the
highway A2 from the Randstad to the Brainport
Eindhoven Region there are good employment
opportunities for the technically educated,”
according to a report on the future labour
market for technicians. In the technical areas,
there are also many opportunities for changing
jobs in the Southeast Netherlands. People can
easily switch from one job to another within a
supply chain. This means that there is versatility
and diversity in the available jobs.
Another important aspect of the labour market
is labour productivity. Dutch labour productivity
per hour is amongst the highest in Europe. This is
because the Dutch working population is highly
educated, employees have an international
outlook and many speak more than one
language. This high level of education enables
employees to be highly productive.
High labour participation rate
of the Netherlands worldwide
Ranking countries on labour participation rate (total employment by working age population in %)
Source: OECD
Low unemployment rate in the Netherlands
Ranking of countries based on unemployment rate (% of labour force) 2009
Source: OECD
“The Netherlands offers so many
opportunities for personal development
and for shaping your future! It gives me
confidence in life.”
- Miao Wang
10. Pleasant
living climate
Dutch people consider getting the
right balance between their career and
private life to be very important. In the
Southeast Netherlands, that balance is
easily achieved, with plenty of leisure
time activities. There are many types of
entertainment to choose from, such as
theatre, film or music.
The range of culture in both the Southeast
Netherlands and the surrounding metropoles
of Amsterdam, Brussels and Dusseldorf
increases the region’s attractiveness for
The Southeast Netherlands is a great place
for arts and leisure. There are various theatre
performances in English, films are always
shown in their original language, and people
can dance or listen to music in any language.
People in the Southeast Netherlands are
actively involved in lively associations and
clubs in music, sports and culture.
“What I like most of working
here is the quality of life.”
- Ryan Young
Environment - In the Southeast Netherlands
there are four national parks; De Loonse en
Drunense Duinen, De Maasduinen, De Groote Peel
and De Meinweg. These are preserved landscapes
that harbour a wealth of rare or unusual plants and
animals. Moreover, this region has beautiful park
land in almost every city, with city parks for people
Restaurants - The Southeast
Netherlands has a large number of
to relax and enjoy. In this part of the Netherlands,
there are also many places where you can swim in
the great outdoors.
restaurants, cafés, bars, and other
places to go out and have a good
time. The restaurants are of good
quality and serve a wide range of
regional, European, Asian and other
ethnic cuisines. The province of
Limburg is especially renowned for
its culinary delights. Dutch people
like to go out for dinner and they
prefer to start eating around 7pm.
Museums - There are interesting
museums in the Southeast
Netherlands and they offer
something for everybody. Amongst
Recreation - For children and adults, there
the most frequently visited are the
are several amusement parks in the Southeast
van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the
Netherlands. From ‘fairy tale’ themes, to thrill-
Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht
seeking experiences and from wildlife watching to
and Vincentre in Nuenen.
indoor skiing; the Southeast of the Netherlands has
much to offer. An international renown attraction
park is the Efteling, with over 4 million visitors a
year the most popular attraction of the Netherlands.
Other examples are Snowworld in Landgraaf,
the Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek, Toverland in
Sevenum, Discovery Center Continium in Kerkrade
and Historisch OpenluchtMuseum in Eindhoven.
Sports - The Netherlands prides
itself on being a sporting nation
and people who want to exercise
will surely find what they are
looking for. People in the Southeast
Netherlands can indulge in over 70
different sports, indoor and outdoor
in either an active or a recreational
way, within a club, or individually.
Apart from that, there are several
professional sports clubs in the
region. The most popular sport is
football, PSV Eindhoven is one of the
most successful and popular football
clubs of the Netherlands. National
swimming centre The Tongelreep is
the largest swimming pool complex
in Europe which is also the home
for Olympic swimming champions.
Other popular sports are field- and
ice hockey, tennis, judo, equestrian,
golf and baseball.
Events -Events organized in the
Southeast Netherlands attract many
visitors to and from the region.
Most events are organized around
a theme. For example the Dutch
Design Week in Eindhoven focuses
on design, Pinkpop in Landgraaf
is a pop music event and Festival
Boulevard in ‘s Hertogenbosch is
a combination of theatre, music
and dance. Then, there are also
more traditional and typical
Dutch festivities in the Southeast
Netherlands, the best example is
Carnaval, a four-day event that
is celebrated extensively in the
Southeast Netherlands and takes
place yearly in the month of
February or March.
Entertainment - The region has
many things to offer, from music and
theatre to cinema, museums, events
and nightlife. Examples are the
Theater Vrijthof in Maastricht and
the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven,
with it’s International Music Master
Programme (IMMP). In addition, the
region is close to other fascinating
cities such as Antwerp, Amsterdam,
Shopping - In the Southeast Netherlands, there
are great places to shop. There are high streets in
every city and there are also many top-end fashion
boutiques. Supermarkets in the Netherlands
are well organized and well supplied. Prices are
reasonable compared to European levels.
Aachen and Brussels, all of which
are great places to go for concerts,
cultural events, or sightseeing trips.
A caring society
Health care
The Netherlands has a high level of health
care. Health insurance costs are on average
100 euro per month. The Dutch medical system
is set up around the family doctor. Everybody
in the Netherlands is registered with a family
doctor, who is the key person to coordinate
physical and mental healthcare. This medical
culture distinguishes the Netherlands. For
example, antibiotics and other medication
are prescribed with great reserve. This has
resulted in a very low incidence of antibioticresistant infections.
Health care characteristics
Infant mortality rate, deaths per 1, 000 live births (2007)
Life expectancy at birth, males and females (2007)
the Netherlands and OECD average
Source: OECD
Another cultural difference concerns
childbirth: since pregnancy and childbirth
are considered a natural condition in the
Netherlands, pain relief is used infrequently
(but becoming more and more popular) and
many women prefer to give birth at home.
Child care
The general term for day care in the
Netherlands is ‘kinderopvang’, which covers
options such as host parents, day care
facilities and nursery school. Some employers
and universities have their own child care
facilities, but parents mostly use special
day care institutes. The demand for day
care facilities in the Netherlands is high and
therefore it is not unusual to encounter sixmonth waiting lists.
The Southeast Netherlands, with Brainport
Eindhoven Region as important hotspot,
is an attractive place for both national
and international companies, start-ups
and suppliers. Companies in the region
easily develop and they grow quickly. The
Southeast Netherlands is the leading area
for technology and the portal to Europe for
knowledge-intensive companies wanting to
share in its concentration of such excellence.
The previously described campuses offer
an excellent environment; 25% of foreign
investments in the Netherlands over the
last few years were made in the Southeast
Netherlands. In addition, the region enjoys
world-class facilities in the area of business
International business dynamics
More than 1,300 international companies
have chosen the Southeast Netherlands as
their top location in Europe to do business.
Companies from all continents in the world
are present in the region, with the top three
countries being: USA, Germany and the UK. The
international companies are closely anchored
in regional networks and provide the Southeast
Netherlands with access to a broad and varied
international network. Due to the vibrant mix
of regional and international companies, the
local working climate is open, welcoming and
internationally oriented. This results in an
attractive business climate.
The number and origin of foreign companies
in the Southeast Netherlands 2010
Location and the number of foreign companies
Source: BOM, LIOF, Brainport Development
29 25
Bergen op Zoom
Veldhoven 15
Ranking of countries based on the number of
businesses located in the Southeast Netherlands
“The business registration process for my
new business was particularly smooth,
which comes as a surprise to many expats.”
- Ashish Dharap
Top in Business Incubation
Business incubation in the Southeast
Netherlands is targeted at increasing and
accelerating the growing number of (high
technology) businesses. Young entrepreneurs
(from -1 up to 5 years) are strongly supported
in their ambition to create or accelerate a
healthy, promising and worthwhile enterprise.
There are several thematic incubators and
accelerators in the Southeast Netherlands
that focus on the clusters. These facilities are
set up via public-private partnerships and
offer full-service accommodation, including
offices, business space, labs, research
facilities and restaurants. Moreover, via
these incubators and accelerators techno
and design start-ups are supported with
coaching, financing, advice, facilities, location
possibilities and publicity. This successful
formula has resulted in many successful
startups and is further expanded through the
construction of new centres.
The incubators are also a perfect landing
spot for foreign firms that want to move to
the Southeast Netherlands or want to set up
a branch here. The centres offer inexpensive
temporary housing and facilitate the
embedding of firms in regional innovation
networks. Two incubation facilities: Twinning
and Beta 1 have received the ‘Soft Landings’
accreditation by the American organization
NBIA (National Business Incubation
Crossborder international
support for high-tech
Besides regional initiatives taken to stimulate
business development, stakeholders in the
cross-border Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen
technology triangle (ELAt) join their forces
for specific disciplines. An example is the
Masterclass High Tech Entrepreneurship.
This is an intense three day masterclass that
covers the broad spectrum of challenges
high tech entrepreneurs will meet on their
journey towards the successful set-up of a
new venture. Teams have the opportunity
to share experiences and get feedback from
outstanding experts in the high-tech world,
by attending lectures from successful hightech entrepreneurs, seed & early stage
investors and legal coaches and university
spin-off managers.
Attractive business dynamics for international
and start-up companies
Thematical incubators and accelerators in
the Southeast Netherlands 2010
Source: BOM, LIOF, Brainport Development
Companies easily start and develop in the Southeast
Netherlands and they grow quickly
Number of fast-growing companies (>50 FTE) andnumber of start-ups over the years.
Source: LISA 2011
Brainport Development NV, programme Brainport International Community
Brainport Development NV: Natasja Eerens, Yvonne van Hest,
Linco Nieuwenhuyzen, Jasmijn Rompa
Concept and design
Mariëtte van Oort
Mendel Robbers
Sjoerd Eickmans, Bram Saeys, Bart van Overbeeke, Jos Lammers, Patrick Meis, NASA images,
DSM, ASML, Stichting Regiobranding Zuid-Limburg, Philip Driessen (p48), Robin Utrecht,
PHILIPS (Photo: Capital Photos), Boudewijn Bollmann, Bart Notermans, Dreamstime, Istock,
Typical Holland.
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