High Tech Campus Eindhoven
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In the Dutch knowledge economy, campuses are essential for innovation and economic growth. To determine which forces play a crucial role in this, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has asked Innovatiespotter to conduct a data-driven study for up-to-date insight. The research analyzes activities within the physical boundaries of the campus and the broader innovation ecosystem beyond. The research confirms the importance of campuses as hubs of innovation and knowledge: “They are essential to the country’s economic and technological progress.”

Why should you read this?

Campuses are the new backbone for our economy. Research commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate shows that they are essential for our country’s technological and economic progress.

Dutch research and innovation campuses are the backbone of the national knowledge economy. From technology parks to university complexes, they are the breeding grounds for future technologies and companies. Innovationspotter’s report shows that these campuses are not only centers of academic and research activities but also important economic zones that contribute to regional and national economic development.

Three categories

The study divides campuses into three categories: mature, growing, and developing. We are already familiar with this division from Buck Consultants‘ studies. Mature campuses such as the High Tech Campus Eindhoven and the Leiden Bio Science Park are already well established, with solid networks of companies and institutes collaborating intensively. Growing campuses are in a phase of rapid expansion, both in terms of physical infrastructure and in the number of companies establishing themselves there. Developing campuses are often newer initiatives that have yet to prove themselves but already show potential through unique, innovative projects and start-ups.

© Innovatiespotter
© Innovatiespotter: mature, growth, and developing campuses in the Netherlands

The economic impact of these campuses is significant. They generate thousands of jobs and attract investment essential to economic stability and growth. Innovative companies within these campuses benefit from close ties with research institutions, leading to faster commercialization of research, a key factor in the innovation process. The report emphasizes that the number of innovative companies is an important indicator of a campus’ maturity.

Collaboration across borders

Remarkably, campuses’ dynamism manifests itself beyond their physical locations. Collaborations and knowledge networks often extend far beyond campus boundaries, indicating the formation of vast innovation ecosystems. These ecosystems include universities, private research institutions, start-ups, and established companies and are crucial to driving innovation nationally.

Researchers say Dutch campuses’ future looks bright, but there are challenges. Global competition for talent and investment requires that the Netherlands continue to innovate in its education and research facilities and its policies to support technological and economic development. The report calls for ongoing dialogue between government, industry, and educational institutions to ensure that campuses continue functioning as growth and innovation engines.

Regional differences

Of interest is the geographic distribution of campuses and their specific focus areas. North Brabant, with its focus on high-tech and chemistry, and South Holland with a strong life sciences sector, illustrate how regional specializations contribute to the overall diversity and strength of the Dutch innovation landscape.

© Innovatiespotter
© Innovatiespotter

Kennispark Twente has the highest number of innovative companies (203), and Amsterdam Life Sciences District has the highest number of companies (1066).

© Innovatiespotter
© Innovatiespotter

High Tech Campus Eindhoven scores highest on the number of FTEs at all companies (73,605) and on the number of FTEs of innovative companies (36,684). Pivot Park Oss, High Tech System Park Hengelo, and Biotech Campus Delft score high on the number of FTEs among innovative companies. They also score relatively low among all companies. TU/e Campus Eindhoven, NL Space Campus Noordwijk, and Amsterdam Science Park score relatively low on the average number of FTEs at innovative companies.

The results of the report have important implications for policymakers. Supporting the growth and development of these campuses requires targeted investments and policy measures that stimulate innovation while creating attractive environments for Dutch and international knowledge workers.