The world around us is changing rapidly. Staying internationally competitive is more challenging today than ever before. Brainport is taking an innovative route to future economic and social success by finding solutions to the major challenges faced by Society. How can we stay healthy for longer? How can we make our mobility more sustainable and efficient? How do we meet the growing demand for clean energy and healthy food? These are questions that force us to act creatively and effectively. The Brainport region, centered on Eindhoven, plays an important role as one of the cornerstones of the Dutch economy, and, as a top technology region, is crucial to the Netherlands’ competitiveness abroad. Brainport’s strength lies in its combination of high-tech, design and a unique model of collaboration where, by working together, we can seize the opportunities created by the rapidly changing world. As a high tech growth accelerator, Brainport helps boost the economy and contributes to a sustainable, healthy and secure society.
BUSINESS THROUGH SYNERGY
In Brainport, high-tech and design go hand in hand with high-quality manufacturing and entrepreneurship. Collaboration and knowledge-sharing are part of our DNA, forming the basis for the characteristic open innovation that makes Brainport smart and strong. This approach enables us to accelerate growth, on an economic as well as a social and individual level.
What drives us forward is growth in prosperity and wellbeing. To achieve this growth we’re constantly making new connections both within the Triple Helix collaboration between businesses, government and educational & research institutions, and increasingly beyond. Reaching out to form alliances between sectors and other strong economic regions around the world. Making these connections is where our strength lies. Synergy is created where high-tech and social challenges meet, and this can be seen at the Brainport region campuses, for instance the Automotive Campus, Food Tech Park Brainport, TU/e Campus and High Tech Campus Eindhoven. These intelligent sites are home to hundreds of companies and institutions where researchers, developers and entrepreneurs collaborate to develop the pioneering technologies and products of the future.
Synergy comes from collaboration. Together we’re smarter,
stronger and better able to react to change than on our own. This makes Brainport
a very attractive environment which energizes both people and the economy.
Together we achieve growth and this is a powerful magnet for attracting
talented students, knowledge workers, entrepreneurs and investors from around
the world. It’s not surprising that Brainport
received the accolade of ‘the world’s most intelligent community’ (Intelligent
Yesterday: foundation of trust
This unique collaboration and cooperation, based on mutual trust, has its roots in the history of the region. Traditionally an area with poor farmland and scarce resources, the local population realized that they needed to work together to produce an income and create opportunities. At the start of the 20th Century, manufacturing began to flourish, with Philips and DAF as the most influential players. Eindhoven became a ‘company town’, unique in the region. As Philips, among others, branched out, the foundation was laid for today’s network of knowledge and smart innovation, where large companies like Philips, NXP, ASML, VDL and many SMEs form a unique ecosystem.
In the 1990s, the bankruptcy of DAF and re-organization of Philips cost the region 36,000 jobs and brought Eindhoven to the verge of disaster. Local government leaders decided to follow the initiative of the Mayor at the time, Rein Welschen, to start a new style of co-operation. Together with Henk de Wilt, Executive Chairman of TU/e, and Theo Hurks, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Welschen initiated a close Triple Helix collaboration between government, industry, and research and educational institutions. Together, they attracted investment and brought organizations like TNO research to Eindhoven. This collaboration also gave rise to the Brainport Foundation in 2005, a public-private partnership with its own ambition and strategy, and earned the city of Eindhoven the International Eurocities Award in 2010.
Over the past 20 years the Brainport region has made an impressive transition, from a region of shrinking industry and high unemployment to an international high-tech hotspot in a global network. This development, from manufacturing base to a community linked through knowledge, trust and innovation, is characteristic of the strategic versatility and mentality of the region. It’s a style of working that forms the basis for open innovation and teaches us that by sharing knowledge you multiply knowledge. It’s precisely that mentality which gives Brainport its strength.
Tomorrow: the future starts in Brainport
We have worked hard to become one of Europe’s leading high-tech centers, with highly developed specializations in fields like mechatronics, robotics and advanced materials. Brainport makes a major contribution to national exports and dominates the top of Dutch R&D companies. This creates many new jobs in the region and beyond. Brainport also registers the major share of Dutch patents (44%), double that of European top regions such as Stockholm and Munich. In addition, according to the Financial Times, Eindhoven has Europe’s best investment climate after London and Helsinki. Our potential is clear, but we’re not going to rest on our laurels. To keep our prominent position, we must continue to develop, innovate and form new alliances.
Technological developments are happening at unprecedented speed and changing how we perceive the world. We can’t afford to stand still; we have to move with the times and adapt. By continuously developing and embracing new technologies, we achieve growth that everyone can be part of. In the Triple Helix collaboration, we involve citizens, customers, consumers, investors, designers and corporations and experience high-tech developments together. It’s an exciting journey where we create new markets by finding solutions to the challenges that face societies. We’re taking a route which will keep Brainport ahead of the economic curve.
To move forward, we’ll continue to work hard to retain and
attract more R&D, more highly qualified personnel, more start-ups &
fast-growing companies and more investors to help them get off the ground. We’ll improve the business climate, foster
innovative partnerships and create international connections in order to bring
companies, investors and workers to our region (and keep them). Brainport should become such an attractive
environment for business that new initiatives and new forms of collaboration will
continue to develop organically.
Brainport will continue to make a difference. We can respond to a rapidly changing world with a far-reaching network and ever-changing coalitions. Together we can develop products and services that meet the needs of future societies. Brainport is, and will remain, the high-tech accelerator of the Dutch economy.
Co-creating the future.