The offer of the Cabinet is conditional: the Eindhoven Region also has to contribute 240 million euro by itself
The “regional envelope” that was brought to Eindhoven today by no less than three cabinet members is valuable, but also subject to conditions. The Hague invests 130 million euros in the innovation of Brainport Eindhoven, but that money will only come if the region itself supplements that amount to a total of 370 million euros. The region had initially asked for a national contribution of 170 million but now calls the 130 million that was offered “a substantial investment”.
Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Minister Ollongren of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and State Secretary Keijzer of Economic Affairs announced the investment today at the TU/e Innovation Space in Eindhoven. The contribution from the region’s envelope is a one-time investment, but according to the ministers it ends in a Regional Deal which must be ready before the summer recess and which is linked to the much larger Brainport National Action Agenda. By doing so, the government and Brainport Eindhoven want to further elaborate on the ‘mainport’ status.
The 370 million will be spent on projects to attract, train and retain technical talent at all levels of education and to realize innovations with social impacts, such as in photonics. It is also about strengthening cultural and sports facilities and improving the quality of life in the city and region for the existing population. The region itself invests 240 euro; if this contribution is not achieved, the national contribution from the region’s budget will decrease proportionally. Funds for photonics will be used to set up a National Photonics Master Plan, in which Overijssel and Gelderland will also be involved.
Mayor John Jorritsma of Eindhoven, chairman of the Brainport Foundation, sees the government’s contribution as a “substantial contribution to attracting, training and retaining talent, it strengthens our level of facilities and realizes innovations with a social impact, for example in the field of healthcare and mobility. But more importantly, I see it as confirmation that the government wants to enter into a long-term relationship with us.”
The further development of the Regional Deal is led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. State Secretary Keijzer (EZK): “At the beginning of this year I visited Brainport Eindhoven and I immediately got a picture of what the contribution of this region means for the Dutch knowledge economy. Thanks to fast-growing and internationally oriented manufacturing industry, Brainport Eindhoven is enormously important for the innovative power of the Netherlands. In addition, the region is known for the close cooperation between governments, the business community and knowledge institutions in strengthening the economy. In the short term, we, therefore, want to further develop and complete the long-term Brainport National Action Agenda.”
Bert Pauli, Provincial Commissioner for Economics and Internationalisation, of the province of North Brabant, sees the Cabinet’s investment as recognition of Brainport Eindhoven: “This confirms that Brainport is playing a pioneering role in the new economy of the Netherlands. With its extensive network of companies and research institutions, the region is firmly anchored throughout the country, and certainly in Brabant. Investment, therefore, represents a major boost to the competitiveness of the province as a whole.”
Photos: Bart van Overbeeke