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REGION OF THE WEEK:

Noord-Brabant (The Netherlands)

Noord-Brabant

02/02/2012

Commissioner Hahn will visit Noord-Brabant on 3 February. During his visit, he will attend a special session of the provincial parliament (Provinciale Staten) which will focus on the future of regional policy and he will meet several regional and national policymakers while visiting ERDF co-financed projects on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

What are the region’s priorities?

Noord-Brabant is a province of the Netherlands centrally positioned between the port cities of Rotterdam and Antwerp and the German Ruhr area. 

In the heart of the province, lie five larger cities form the second largest urban network of the Netherlands. Breda, Eindhoven, Helmond,'s-Hertogenbosch and Tilburg: together they form BrabantStad. Brabant has a population of 2.4 million inhabitants and a density of 497 inhabitants per km².

Brabant is economically an important province, contributing substantially to the Dutch national accounts. On average, the GDP per inhabitant was 133% of the EU27 average in 2008. Noord-Brabant is a high innovating region and is host to innovative enterprises such as Philips and to several outstanding knowledge institutions.

The Brabant region is a trend-setting centre of industrial innovation and technology. Its successful economic development is not only based on technology, but has been carefully supplemented and merged with activities linked to social innovation, sustainability, sports, culture and creative design, considered indispensable for economic competitiveness.

Public and industrial research is clustered in different cities and regions: High-Tech Systems (Eindhoven and its Environs), Automotive Technology (Helmond and its Environs), Social innovation (Tilburg and its Environs), Agro-food (‘s-Hertogenbosch and its Environs) and World Class Maintenance and Logistics (Breda and its Environs).

Provincial government and the Brabant cities, in close connection with its surrounding regions, are now combining their innovation policy efforts to turn this strong knowledge base into business by creating top-level science-industry interfaces, open innovation environments and clusters with Small and Medium Enterprises around these interfaces. The mission of the so called Brabant Agenda is to create an excellent environment for economic and social development towards a high quality of life and, through this, to achieve an innovative and globally competitive region.

However, as in many other regions in Europe, the economic crisis is exerting enormous pressure on public resources. At the same time, far-reaching social developments pose increasing challenges. To successfully confront these different challenges, Noord-Brabant is investing heavily to consolidate and foster its position as high innovating region and to make an important contribution to the Netherlands' ambition to be one of the top 5 competitive economies.

The means offered through Cohesion Policy are used in order to support these ambitions and to support a coherent investment strategy for the future.


What contribution has been made by the EU's regional policy?

During the 2007-2013 period, the EU is investing € 186 million in the three southern provinces, Noord-Brabant, Zeeland and Limburg. About 50% of this amount will be invested in Noord-Brabant.
Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship are the priorities of the operational programme. This is done by encouraging research and development especially in the private sector and to support the process of commercialization of R&D results. Furthermore, the programme pays much attention to the development of an attractive living and working environment. Several actions lie at the core of the programme and contribute to the larger objectives of Europe 2020.

  • increasing the economic efficiency of the economy;
  • promoting innovation in small and medium enterprises;
  • inciting entrepreneurship and facilitating start-ups and spin-offs;
  • creating excellent conditions for enterprises and knowledge workers in and outside the cities;
  • encouraging more people to work, especially in the cities.

Examples of projects

High Tech Campus in Eindhoven

The High Tech Campus Eindhoven will be visited by Commissioner Hahn on 3 February. The Campus is synonymous with open innovation. In an area of just one square kilometre, more than 8,000 researchers, developers and entrepreneurs work closely together developing the technologies and products of tomorrow. The Campus is home to several ERDF co-financed projects such as ColPac: ColPac Collapsible Containers is based in Eindhoven and has a wide range of foldable storage options. The ColPac foldable containers are an innovation in the field of storage, transport and logistics and provide storage solutions for both the business market as well as the consumer market. ERDF contribution for ColPac is EUR 49,722.

Automotive House Campus Helmond

The Automotive House is the centre of activities for promoting and strengthening the Dutch automotive industry. Both physically and programmatically, the Automotive House forms the central hub within the High-Tech Automotive Campus and, as such, provides an important stimulus to market-based cooperation between government bodies, industry and knowledge-based institutes in the field of automotive engineering. ERDF contribution is EUR 908,000.

Tilburg Innovation Center

Helping and promoting innovative entrepreneurs in the region, focussing on health, ICT and medical technology. ERDF contribution is EUR 839,323.

Logistics Accelerator

A consortium of Dinalog and regional partners has recently started the project ‘Logistics Accelerator’. The objective of the project is to maximize the impact of Dinalog, its innovation program and the Supply Chain Campus on logistics & supply chain business and activities and the existing hotspots in the Southern regions of the Netherlands. The consortium of Dinalog and regional partners aims to create an extra impulse for the Campus and the innovation program. ERDF contribution is EUR 1,902,935.

Further information