When it comes to investments in Research and Development (say, innovation), Eindhoven is on a lonely high within the Netherlands. At least, when it comes to investments done by companies. Should we involve governments and educational institutions, there would undoubtedly be a different image, because of the traditional focus of governments towards the Randstad and especially ‘mainports’ Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

With a short message on Tuesday, ING confirmed a situation that actually dates back to Philips’ high days. “South-East Brabant is heading with a huge distance compared to the big cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague.” Of course, Eindhoven’s global top position as the place-to-be for new patents is closely related to this R&D-effort. For ING, it is proof of the strength of the region: “Not underestimating the importance and contribution of education and public R&D, it is an important sign for the local economy that companies are willing to invest so much more than elsewhere.”

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    According to alderman Staf Depla (Economic Affairs), all this further emphasizes the importance of the National Brainport Action Agenda. “It’s only through innovation that we can solve the big challenges of society, and remain economically competitive on a global scale.”

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.