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Whether it comes from 1) ING, 2) Rabobank, 3) the Brabant SER or 4) from CBS itself, the figures and data on the economy of Brainport Eindhoven are unanimously positive. Growth is strong and investments in new innovations are high. And this goes on for years in a row now. The unparallelled fall in unemployment has recently been added to this; another showpiece. No surprise, then, that the annual Brainport Monitor confirms all these positive trends.

The report, published today, does have some more figures behind these trends. Industrial exports in Brainport Eindhoven, for example, are growing four times faster than in the rest of the country (+10.5% versus +2.5% on average). Currently, the region accounts for more than one-fifth of the total Dutch exports of these goods. Total value: EUR 25.4 billion. “Brainport Eindhoven is, therefore, the main driver of Dutch exports”, concludes a spokesman for the municipality. Main export goods are machines and transport equipment.

The yearly Monitor, which is appearing today for the tenth time, shows that Brainport Eindhoven plays an important role in both the manufacturing industry and the Dutch economy as a whole with its high-tech industry. Over the past decade, the region has achieved average annual economic growth of 2.5% compared to the national average of 1.1%, despite the double crisis in 2008 and 2013. In 2016, the growth rate was even 2.8%, compared to 2.2% nationwide.

The figures in the field of innovation, in particular, stand out sharply from the rest of the country: of all private R&D spending (Research and Development, everything that has to do with the innovative capacity of a company) more than one fifth comes from Brainport Eindhoven: it is 1.7 billion euros. Almost a quarter of the top 30 R&D companies come from Brainport Eindhoven. Philips, ASML, NXP, DAF, VDL Groep in particular, but also SMEs such as Neways and Sioux are also investing a lot of money in R&D. This innovative strength can also be seen in the number of patents. The top three patent applicants from the region alone account for almost half of all applications from the Netherlands.

National Agenda 
In order to enable further growth, the living and working climate needs to be improved, as it has been sounding from Brainport to The Hague for some time now. “Brainport Eindhoven is an attractive region to work in, but the results on this subject fall short, while this is becoming an increasingly decisive factor in the choice of companies and talent for a region.” With the National Action Agenda Brainport Eindhoven, the new government has been told that more than € 10 billion is needed to bring the level of facilities and accessibility into line with the performance and ambition levels of the region – and of the nation.