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It is already clear that Brainport Eindhoven can claim part of the 950 million euros that the government has made available in the so-called ‘regional envelope’. The only issue is how much of the requested 170 million will come to this region. In March this becomes clear, as Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced today.

There are more candidates, but in her letter to the Lower House of Parliament, Schouten is absolutely clear about the strong position of Brainport Eindhoven:

“Brainport Eindhoven is an economic region of national significance. With a concentration of knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry, the region is the driving force behind innovation in the Dutch high-tech sector. The region has the highest private R&D spending and the largest economic growth in the Netherlands. In order to consolidate and further expand Brainport’s strong position in the international competitive field, Brainport’s proposition is aimed at strengthening a distinctive level of service, attracting, training and retaining technical talent at all levels of education, and achieving innovations with a social impact. The proposition fits in with the broader context of the Brainport Action Agenda, with which the government and the region elaborate on the mainport status of this region and collaborate on the tasks of this region.”

Proposals will be assessed on the basis of their contribution to the development of broad prosperity and a set of extra preconditions. “An important precondition for the development of the proposals will be the availability of cofinancing”, Schouten writes. In the Eindhoven proposal, this seems to be in order; the region has indicated that some 200 million will be contributed to the projects by Brainport itself. In addition to cofinancing, the application will also be tested for efficiency and effectiveness.

Schouten says that she is looking forward to strengthening cooperation between the government and the region in the coming period. “If we act together as governments, making connections with companies, knowledge institutions and social organisations, we will be more effective in tackling our social challenges.”

More than 10 billion is needed to help Brainport Eindhoven remain the top region that it has become in recent years – and thus help the Netherlands to move forward. The first 370 million of this price tag is now concretely filled in. The underlying report of 34 pages (“Proposition Brainport Eindhoven for the Regional Envelope”) was presented to State Secretary Mona Keijzer (Economic Affairs) in January.

This is a one-off investment in the region’s level of facilities, with the main objective to make the region more attractive on the labour market (including internationally) and to stimulate new innovative research.

What does Brainport want to spend the money on?