Is a leading technology region in Europe. Located in the Southeast Netherlands, with Eindhoven at its heart, this top technology region of world standing creates solutions for the societal challenges of tomorrow

About Brainport

Brainport Next Generation strategy

A powerful combination of high-tech, design and social innovation has enabled Brainport Eindhoven Region to adapt to major changes. Brainport is also traditionally a smart region, leading in Research & Development. This unique DNA is the source for Brainport’s success and in recent years, we’ve used these factors increasingly to achieve economic growth. But being smart and strong is no longer enough – today’s rapidly changing world requires adaptability too. It’s for this reason that the Brainport Foundation has chosen a new strategy: Brainport Next Generation.

It’s vital to be able to adapt to new developments with speed and capability, and will ensure success in the long-term. Rapidly changing markets make traditional models redundant, so our region has to align its strategy accordingly. We’re looking for a new route to the future that’s inclusive for all our stakeholders. This means moving away from the Triple Helix model (where educational institutions work together with industry and government) to a Multi Helix model which also involves citizens, customers, consumers, investors, designers, artists and corporations. We must look for connections between technology, design and social innovation, and also build bridges to other international knowledge regions that can help strengthen Brainport’s position.


In the past, the Brainport Foundation has revised its strategy in response to financial crisis ('Stimulus programme', 1995), and government intervention (development of 'Brainport 2020' in 2009). In contrast, the Next Generation strategy has been motivated by the region’s success. Brainport is thriving and we can be proud of the economic results that have been achieved: in the past decade the regional economy has grown on average 50 per cent faster than the rest of the Netherlands, and unemployment has been lower than the national average. The number of start-ups has increased significantly, more foreign companies have opened offices here and the number of international knowledge workers in Southeast Netherlands has tripled in five years. However, past success is no guarantee for future performance, and that is precisely why we’re adopting a new strategic approach.


It seems like there’s never been a time when so much is changing on so many fronts all over the world. Globalization and digitization are driving these changes at breakneck speed. Rather than regarding this as a threat, we’re focusing on the opportunities that it brings for the region. Brainport’s strengths in R&D, technology and open innovation put it in the perfect position to benefit from change. Business and industry, government, educational and research institutions, entrepreneurs, employees and residents of the region all need to be adaptable and responsive to this rapidly changing world. The Brainport Next Generation Strategy will help this future vision become a reality.

Brainport Next Generation strategy


Finding this new route to the future will be challenging. There will be uncertainty and disruption, and we’ll need a ‘trial and error’ approach where we learn from both successes and mistakes. Add to this a ‘go with the flow’ mentality, which will help maximize adaptability. We’ll need to change faster and create smart new coalitions within the Multi Helix: coalitions that are both inclusive and inventive.

Brainport Next Generation strategy


Even though we can’t predict the future, we can still prepare for it. By picking up on early signals, and analyzing and bringing together trends, we can form future scenarios. These will give us an indication of whether we’re making the correct strategic choices. In consultation with experts and representatives from the Brainport ecosystem, three scenarios have been developed, each sketching a completely different picture of the future. By considering these possible futures now, we can respond faster and more effectively when they arrive.


Brainport is characterized by very strong high-tech manufacturing, an outstanding design sector and a unique model of collaboration. This is something we continue to cultivate and strengthen. We need to constantly invest in our enablers for growth - people, technology, business, basics and internationalization – in order to stay competitive and enhance Brainport’s climate for business. Focus on these five areas is the foundation of Brainport’s strategy.

Brainport Next Generation strategy


Brainport sees the route to a successful future by finding solutions to the biggest challenges facing societies in the areas of health, mobility, energy, food and safety. We tackle these challenges with a combination of technology, design and open innovation – which is precisely where the talents in Brainport lie. This offers many companies in the region a new window of opportunity. Companies with top high-tech competencies are able to make connections with other sectors and are thus tapping into global markets that they couldn’t previously reach.


The process of finding these solutions stimulates our industrial and knowledge base to be both creative and innovative. The region is the first to profit from this innovative capacity, both economically and socially. By putting users, customers and residents centrally, we achieve faster implementation and an accelerating rate of innovation. Strong consortiums of innovative companies, knowledge institutions and social partners give shape to breakthrough projects and 'living labs', stimulated by Brainport. Each project has a different degree of impact and success, and some succeed better than others, but that is part of innovation. And innovation is at the heart of Brainport.


When designing solutions and converting them into products and services, it’s useful to be able to test them in large-scale ‘living labs’, for example with the participation of thousands of local residents or motorists. Working on this scale is challenging but can produce results with real impact. If you place users, customers and residents at the center of R&D, then more rapid innovation becomes possible. People that live, work and study in Brainport, will be the first to experience how new technology can improve their lives. This is the power of Brainport’s unique ecosystem and soon its inhabitants will become the region’s best ambassadors.


Brainport’s Next Generation strategy builds on successes and innovates to improve weaker areas. It’s a strategy that focuses on enhancing the business climate and taking advantage of social challenges to build economic growth. Its goal is to bring more people to education and employment, greater productivity and higher per capita incomes. Brainport needs to play smart to adapt to rapid global changes, so the Next Generation strategy is deliberately fluid and dynamic to enable high speed reaction to the new opportunities that will come our way. Consortia of innovative companies, knowledge institutions and social partners will collaborate to tackle rapidly changing conditions and capitalize on economic opportunities. This adaptive and inclusive strategy will make us future-proof. But we can’t do it alone – we invite everyone to be part of it. Part of the cooperation, part of the innovation, part of a stronger Brainport. Will you join us?