Summary Brainport 2020
Brainport 2020: Top Economy, Smart Society • In 2020 Southeast Netherlands will be among the Top 3 of Europe’s top technology regions and in the top ten on a global scale. Southeast Netherlands is current number 9 in Europe and number 13 in the world. • The annual contribution to the gross national product will have risen in 2020 by 40 billion to 136 billion euros. • The economic growth in Southeast Netherlands of around 3% is double our country’s average. • The three field labs will be world renowned in 2020 as an incubator of innovative solutions for home care, mobility and sustainable buildings. • In 2020 Southeast Netherlands will be heading for near full employment. The job market needs everyone, both the knowledge workers and highly educated technicians and manual skilled workers and craftsmen. These are the ambitions expressed in 2020, Top Economy, Smart Society. Brainport 2020 is a Cabinet assignment comprising a vision and strategy along with a tangible implementation programme. The assignment reads: “Develop, parallel with the airport and seaport visions, a cohesive and comprehensive vision of Brainport. At the level of Southeast Netherlands with Brainport its pivot and with a focus on cross-border links to Flanders and Nordrhein-Westfalen.” The Cabinet wants to make the Dutch economy one of the world’s top five economies and has therefore opted to focus on top sectors. Especially High Tech Systems & Materials, Chemistry and Agrofood are substantial contributors to the Dutch economy. These three sectors account for 68% of all private spending on research and development, and together make up almost half of all Dutch exports, the engine of the economic growth. World players, multinationals and small and medium sized enterprises with strong export positions in these sectors are located in Southeast Netherlands. It is only if the knowledge economy of Southeast Netherlands gets the room it needs to grow that a top 5 spot can be achieved fot the country. Compared with top regions around the world with a similar business and technology profile, a European top 3 spot in and world top 10 ranking are feasible for Southeast Netherlands. But to achieve this, specific action and investment are necessary. And these are outlined in Brainport 2020.
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World players in top sectors The strength of the region lies in two top sectors that are already in the Champions League: High Tech Systems & Materials and Chemistry, including the strong Lifetec cluster at the interface of these top sectors and Life Sciences. The presence of powerful major companies like ASML, Canon, DSM, Fuji, NXP, Philips and VDL is unique as is the related extensive network of high-tech SME suppliers and an internationally renowned Design cluster. These companies not only compete but cooperate on new innovations at the edge of what is technically feasible. Such open innovation partnership makes them strong. They also have world-class universities, hospitals and research institutes they can call on, and a well educated workforce. This makes Southeast Netherlands a place where companies and knowledge workers from the Netherlands and abroad want to locate, especially since they arrive in a green and welcoming environment where life is both sociable and enjoyable.
Cornerstone of the Dutch economy Southeast Netherlands is a significant earner for the rest of the Netherlands, with 35% of all Dutch export coming from this region. Together with the mainports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Southeast Netherlands is the bulwark of the Dutch economy. The very strong performance of Southeast Netherlands can be attributed to the investments made by companies in research and development (R&D) into new products, services and technologies. Nearly half of all R&D investments within our national borders happen here. And more than half of all patents originate in Southeast Netherlands, part of the cross-border top technology region of EindhovenLeuven-Aachen (TTR ELAt). This is a region of some 9.3 million residents, an economy larger than that of Finland with more R&D investment than Singapore. It makes Southeast Netherlands one of Europeâ€™s strongest innovation regions.
Societal challenges Southeast Netherlands has a highly promising base, but the world is changing rapidly. The major societal themes of our era have considerable impact also on the competitiveness of the region: scarcity of raw materials, ageing population, climate change, growing need for energy and food, congested roads and strong international competition. The European Union wants to tackle these problems and opportunities at a European level through an all-embracing programme: Europe 2020. Europe 2020 is a strategy that uses economic actors to tackle the societal issues. The approach of Brainport 2020 and the European Union correspond to a great extent, and the Cabinetâ€™s policy fits in perfectly with this.
Existing strengths, new markets The Brainport 2020 challenge is to find answers to these developments by strengthening the existing top clusters even more and by searching for new sustainable markets of which there are more than enough. It is well known that solutions are found in Southeast Netherlands for problems that occur all over the world. Smart remote care, solar energy, electric cars and led lighting are just a few examples. Southeast Netherlands and the Netherlands itself earn their bread with these solutions and society benefits from them. The strategy of the region is to supplement efforts in existing top clusters with the further development of several new clusters like smart mobility, smart materials, homecare, industrial design, solar energy, energy in the built environment, and agrofood. In this respect connections are crucial: between High Tech Systems & Materials and Chemistry as well as biology and psychology, between technology and design, entrepreneurship and behavioural sciences, hightech systems and the agrofood cluster in Greenport Venlo, between Southeast Netherlands and top regions in emerging countries.
Top to base To keep Southeast Netherlands internationally competitive and market stronger, the region must be made as attractive as possible for companies, residents and visitors. Some accommodation conditions are geared to the very top international players, such as the excellent innovation campuses of international repute: the High Tech
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Campus Eindhoven and the Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen. To push that top even higher requires an even broader base and more solid foundation. In terms of a broader base this may involve acquiring more business from knowledge institutions and larger companies coupled with accessible funding for entrepreneurs aiming for growth. Examples of where the foundations can be strengthened include the sufficient growth of young people following education in engineering disciplines and vocations as well as an attractive living climate. All players and layers of administration have a role to play in this: companies and educational and knowledge institutions, local and provincial authorities, national government and the European Union.
Complete programme As already intimated, Southeast Netherlands has a strong position. If the clusters in Southeast Netherlands want to remain internationally competitive, then the location climate must be improved. For the future of the Netherlands in the lead up to 2020 crucial measures, both immediate and further along the line, have to be taken in five areas. And in tackling these improvements, there must be tangible yardsticks. So what goals have to be achieved within which time span? People. High quality education that fits in with what companies need is necessary at every level, with an emphasis on engineering and entrepreneurship. Southeast Netherlands is especially keen on attracting engineering and entrepreneurial talent, both domestic and foreign. Huge opportunities exist also for men and women with professional expertise. Knowledge workers and skilled workers are needed because without them thousands of vacancies will remain unfilled. The flexible job market of 2020 will see work for young and old, men and women, and every kind of job-seeker. Technology. It is necessary to safeguard open innovation, one of the main strengths of Southeast Netherlands. Open innovation contributes to solutions for societal challenges and products as well as services with high added value. A stronger public R&D infrastructure is vital to product development, export and the conditions in which companies can locate and business can take place. The current low government spending on research and development leaves Southeast Netherlands vulnerable. If companies close or relocate their R&D departments, gaps will appear in the system and damage the top clusters. A strong and accessible public knowledge infrastructure has the power to bind, encourage and attract private R&D end ensure that the leading knowledge and technology position of TTR ELAt is better used both inwardly (innovation) and outwardly (international image). Business. Southeast Netherlands needs more market-focused start-up companies and rapid innovative growers. This requires additional capital for promising companies in every phase of development. The public sector must take the lead by purchasing innovative products as a customer. The strong chains of small and medium sized enterprises must act in unison in order to bring together different disciplines, to develop new products and service with high added value, and to explore new foreign markets. Basics. High-tech connections to customer regions, suppliers and international branches are a precondition for a top region like Southeast Netherlands. Moreover, researchers must be able to travel quickly between the European knowledge hubs. The region does not perform as well in this respect as other top regions throughout the world. The location of related companies and knowledge institutions close to each other will enable them to benefit optimally from the knowledge and expertise of others. A recognisable image gives Southeast Netherlands a powerful regional identity and greater international charisma. It must also be a nice place to live and work, with plenty of natural landscape, attractive cities, good education and varied cultural life as well as an image that generates enthusiasm far beyond its borders. Brainport must beat in the hearts of everyone. Organisation. Cooperation is contained in the genes of Southeast Netherlands and has been a key criterion for success. Lively interaction among industry, knowledge institutions and government â€“ at all levels - is a major cornerstone of the success. So it is essential to build on and extend the strength of this 'triple helix' to make Southeast Netherlands an innovation region of world class by 2020. Not as a heavy
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structure but a light network configuration. In this regard the deployment of existing strong executors is indispensable. Structural cooperation between the state and the region is key given the national interest in realising Brainport 2020. The current muscle in the Netherlands does not match up to that of emerging economies. International cooperation. Many companies have branches all around the world and produce for the global market. As such they set world standards. A high-tech international network is vital to both these companies and to Southeast Netherlands. Therefore, the region must continue along this path with extra impetus. Governments are also crossing over the border, both internationally and in the crossborder region of TTR ELAt. By seeking connection with developments occurring in Flanders, Wallonia and Nordrhein-Westfalen, the potential of TTR ELAt can be utilised to a better and smarter effect.
Investing with a high return To execute the plans and proposals contained in the Brainport 2020, Top Economy and Smart Society programme will cost money â€“ an additional annual investment of two billion euros, half of which will have to come from the knowledge institutions and industry and the rest from local and provincial authorities and the state. The return will be a multiplication of this investment as the region is able to add 40 billion euros extra per year to the Dutch economy in 2020. Brainport 2020 also helps to flatten the effect of fluctuations of the economic cycle. By focusing strongly in Southeast Netherlands on clusters like food & technology and homecare, the impact of economic fluctuations, to which high-tech systems and chemistry have traditionally been susceptible, is inhibited to some extent. However, Brainport 2020 does not just add to the earning capacity of the Netherlands and to a stronger economic basis. The programme also pays off in broad societal terms, contributing substantially to the goal of full employment. More jobs will have to be filled than the expected influx of employees from the education system can provide. So the call that goes out to everyone who is able to work is a loud one: everyone is needed!
The implementation programme: tangible actions that have support The Brainport 2020 implementation programme contains some seventy actions that are geared to raising the top, extending the base and consolidating the foundations. These actions emanated from discussions with hundreds of representatives in the region and at national as well as European level: from companies, large and small, from knowledge institutions, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations and local and central government. The following themes come to the fore as priorities: talent and professional expertise, knowledge, entrepreneurship, clusters, infrastructure connections, innovation campuses, public R&D, â€˜brandingâ€™ and cooperation.
The urgency programme 2011-2015 The urgency programme 2011-2015 contains the actions that require priority and a parallel commitment from the state and the region. Implementing Brainport 2020 will be facilitated for the top sectors that are key to the Dutch economy by working on an internationally innovative and sustainable economic top region through focus and cooperation in a green environment. Brainport 2020 champions the future: top economy, smart society.
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