Life Sciences & Health

Life Sciences & Health Invention and Innovation Driven by Collaboration

The Netherlands – home to top health and biotech companies like Merck, Amgen and Philips – is Europe’s most connected Life Sciences and Health metropolis, because:

  • The Netherlands is a well-connected European hub linked globally via excellent digital and physical infrastructure
  • The Dutch Life Sciences and Health community offers seamless collaboration on prevention, cure and care that improves quality of life while keeping healthcare affordable
  • The Netherlands hosts an array of leading life science and health knowledge institutions, talent and test labs

The Netherlands’ Life Sciences and Health Ecosystem

Situated at the heart of Europe, with world class physical and digital infrastructure and a robust services sector, the Netherlands is the ideal location for establishing global or European operations in Life Sciences & Health.

The country is Europe’s connected life sciences and health metropolis. A compact, thriving, and collaborative LSH ecosystem, and the perfect example of the Dutch openness and willingness to form creative partnerships, share knowledge, and generate innovative solutions.  ­

From inventions like the microscope to today’s advanced therapies – and its own, exceptional healthcare system – the Netherlands leads in therapy development, health tech, digital health, clinical research, manufacturing, and distribution.

Therapy development

For decades, the Netherlands has been a primary location for medicine development – with a variety of well-established ecosystems, including in biopharmaceuticals, oncology, regenerative medicine and cell therapy, infectious diseases, and vaccine development for human and veterinary use.

Health Tech

The Netherlands’ mix of medical, IT, and smart logistics communities opens doors for MedTech innovators. Allied to the Netherlands’ rich industrial and mechanical engineering heritage, this means leaders find like-minded businesses, partners and academia here: eager to collaborate, share their learnings, and offer capabilities that accelerate your growth.

Digital health

A nation of early adopters, many health applications, information infrastructure and primary care services were born here. And as new technologies drive the future of medical treatment and patient care, there are an abundance of diversified approaches and resources that give you a competitive advantage.

Clinical research

Renowned for its expertise in early-stage clinical research and performance in other clinical phases, around 600 new clinical drug trials are initiated in the Netherlands each year. This fertile research environment is partly due to a typically Dutch phenomenon: University Medical Centers where fundamental medical biological research and high-quality patient care come together, often under one roof or within walking distance of each other.

Regulatory science and innovation

The Netherlands has a close-knit regulatory science community. In particular, the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) is a pioneering force within the European network of regulatory authorities. And that proximity to EU decision-making was one of the reasons behind the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) relocation to Amsterdam.

EMA’s presence has bolstered the Netherlands’ role as Europe’s connected Life Sciences & Health metropolis – a leader of European initiatives, and gateway to other countries, foreign companies, and international patients. MEB also works closely with EMA, putting Dutch expertise at the heart of advanced therapy development, cohorts, regulatory science, and other themes.

Manufacturing & distribution

A favorable geographic location, high-quality local expertise, and excellent logistics infrastructure makes the Netherlands an attractive manufacturing and distribution base. There are 125,000 sq m of temperature-controlled storage space in and around Schiphol Airport, as well as a world-class physical and digital infrastructure. It is no surprise the country has topped DHL’s Global Connectedness Index since 2005.

This is all enhanced by collaborations like Pharma Gateway Amsterdam and Vaccines Gateway Netherlands, which bring large numbers of logistics firms together to provide ‘closed-loop’ air cargo chains. MSD also employs over 5,000 people along the product lifecycle, and export to 140 countries worldwide. In fact, the country exports more medicines, vaccines, and medical devices than cheese, flowers, and meat.

A living lab for life sciences and healthcare

Whether your focus is on life sciences, biopharma, pharmaceuticals or another area, the Netherlands’ 1+1=3 focus on collaboration is deeply ingrained within the Dutch DNA.

Day-to-day, there is a clear Quadruple Helix approach, with businesses, academia, government agencies and wider society collaborating with ease. At any time, ideas could be shared between knowledge institutions such as Rotterdam’s Erasmus Medical Center and Radboud UMC, all manner of industry partners, and ambitious, innovative start-ups.

It stems from working in a country where nothing is far away. A train can take you from one border to the other in just 2.5 hours. And this natural advantage has created a living life science and health lab. An open, welcoming community of experts solving global and local challenges.

With English as a business language, attractive cities to live in, a diverse population and exceptional quality of life – it is no surprise many industry leaders choose to expand in the Netherlands. It is arguably the business metropolis doing the most to shape the world’s understanding of life science and health.

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