Transforming Utrecht Science Park into a dynamic economic engine for West-Netherlands

The construction of additional business facilities in the Utrecht Science Park has turned the former university campus into an employment engine for Utrecht and the surrounding area. Recognised as a key business location for knowledge-intensive companies, the Science Park is now part of a nationwide network of campuses, raising the profile of the Netherlands as a knowledge economy. The project has also resulted in the Utrecht Science Park Foundation, fully funded by the knowledge institutes and companies located on the site.

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Utrecht Science Park has become the economic engine for West Netherlands. © Utrecht Science Park Utrecht Science Park has become the economic engine for West Netherlands. © Utrecht Science Park

" This is definitely the most vibrant science park in the Netherlands. Our work has attracted a great deal of international interest, and we're proud to be a magnet that benefits the entire region and is broadly supported. "

F.A. de Gelder, Managing Director Utrecht Science Park foundation

The Utrecht Science Park (USP) hosts two science clusters focused on life sciences, with an emphasis on public health, cancer and regenerative medicine, and on sustainability, with an emphasis on smart sustainable cities and bio-based economy.

USP has attracted innovative companies, knowledge institutions and research centres to stimulate business activity, economic growth and employment in the region. By fostering an entrepreneurial climate, the project also aims to promote the commercialisation of new technologies and to attract investments to the region.

Fostering regional employment and cooperation

USP is the largest science park of The Netherlands and hosts 22 000 employees and 50 000 students. Currently, 85 campus-based companies (there were 60 in 2012) offer work to 1 300 people. During the project 12 companies, including several biotech start-ups, have located their research activities at USP.

In addition, several research organisations have decided to move to USP, including the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG) and the Princess Maxima Centre for paediatric oncology, which will result in 2 150 additional jobs.

The project has also created a major boost for public and private partnerships between businesses and research institutions such as the Utrecht Centre for Specialised Nutrition.

A reputation for entrepreneurship

The Utrecht Science Park has achieved a reputation as an entrepreneurial knowledge cluster through marketing and promotional activities, including visits from governments’ representatives, companies and foreign delegations, as well as media activities and international events.

The project, which started in 2008, has been implemented in cooperation with the City Council and the province of Utrecht, the Utrecht University, the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and the University Medical Centre Utrecht.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Utrecht Science Park” is EUR 2 200 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 800 000 through the “West-Netherlands Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Innovation and entrepreneurship.”

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