Chemistry in the Netherlands Sparks: Chemical Companies Find a Sustainable Base in the Netherlands

With a strong tradition in the chemical industry, companies looking at being at the forefront of new developments and innovation in the sector find an ideal location in the Netherlands. Companies like Royal Shell, DOW, SABIC, Avantium, Covestro, DSM and Teijin, have a strong presence in the Netherlands, tapping into the innovative opportunities in sustainable development, the connectivity, language skills and international mindset the country offers.

Ideal location in the heart of the European chemical industry

Chemical companies in the Netherlands benefit from the access it offers to the European market. The country is ideally located in the heart of the European Union, making it a great base where you can reach 170 million consumers in a 500 km radius. The Netherlands is also right in the middle of the greater Antwerp-Rotterdam-Rhein-Ruhr Area (ARRRA), one of the top 5 chemical clusters in the world hosting 30-40% of the chemical turnover in Europe. This ideal location brings the sector’s end markets in automotive, construction, agriculture and consumers products in a similar close reach.

The chemical industry as a problem solver

Global challenges in the field of climate change, circularity, mobility, health and food provide an opportunity for the chemical industry. The Netherlands offers a vibrant home to over 2,000 chemical companies, including 19 out of the 25 major chemical companies in the world. And it continues to attract investments from both major companies like SABIC, Neste, Mitsui and Teijin, as well as from innovative new foreign scale-ups like Recycling Technologies and Coolbrook.

This ecosystem of innovative chemical startups and SMEs finds public-private partnerships (PPPs), university campuses and knowledge institutes focused on finding future solutions. This Dutch chemistry network can support companies in their ambitions to contribute to solutions to global challenges, next to providing them with an ideal springboard to reach the rest of Europe.

Ecosystem for collaborative research

At the heart of the Dutch chemical ecosystem are world-class education, cutting-edge research and robust public-private R&D partnerships that support inter-company and public-private research.

The Netherlands hosts key R&D labs of e.g. DSM, SABIC, AkzoNobel, Shell, Avantium, Corbion and Arlanxeo and also has a vibrant ecosystem of innovative chemical startups and SMEs. Public-private partnerships (PPPs), campuses, iLabs, COCI’s and tax incentives stimulate R&D. PPPs include consortia on sustainable processing, materials, electrochemistry, biobased and novel chemicals.

Finding collaboration between research institutes, companies and government is in the genes of Dutch research and development, leading to new solutions for the chemical industry in smart manufacturing and digitalization.


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