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Life Sciences & Health

Five Reasons Why Life Sciences & Health Feels at Home in the Netherlands

Companies in the Life Sciences & Health sector find a welcoming home in the Netherlands, renowned for its connected communities, strategic location, opportunities for public-private partnerships, leading knowledge institutions, and the presence of key regulatory bodies such as the European Medicines Agency. Ranked No. 1 in the EU in KPMG’s Growth Promise Indicator (PDF), the Netherlands is brimming with Life Sciences business potential, both in biopharmaceutical and medical technology (MedTech).

Innovation is in our nature

From inventing the microscope in the 17th Century to pioneering oncology, the Dutch have a proven record of ground-breaking developments in Life Sciences. In the Netherlands, innovation is stimulated by incentives for research and development, with the country investing approximately 2 billion euros in Life Sciences R&D annually. This ongoing commitment to innovation pays off: the Dutch currently rank No. 4 worldwide in patent applications for MedTech, No. 6 for biotechnology patents, and No. 8 for pharmaceutical patents. The Netherlands is also the world market leader in medical isotopes, while companies and hospitals embrace future-oriented solutions such as eHealth and personalized medicine.

Connected Life Sciences & Health community

Life Sciences businesses in the Netherlands profit from countless opportunities for growth and collaboration. The highly collaborative Dutch Life Sciences & Health community includes 3,100 R&D life sciences companies, 420 biopharmaceutical companies, 65,000 employees in pharmaceuticals and a 4.7-billion-euro medtech market. Not to mention, 26 campuses, 8 University Medical Centers, and 13 universities engaged in Life Sciences research. All this potential is located within a 2.5-hour drive radius.

Public-private partnerships

The Netherlands welcomes foreign companies to pursue partnerships in its compact, open, and well-connected environment. More than 300 public-private partnerships, such as Lygature, RegMed, and Oncode thrive in the Netherlands, facilitated by the Topsector organisation Health~Holland. What’s the secret to success for public-private partnerships in the Netherlands? The Dutch take a ‘Quadruple Helix’ approach to collaboration, involving the participation of businesses, knowledge institutions, government, and citizens.

In the heart of Europe

With its optimal location on the European continent, the Netherlands provides rapid access to 95% of Europe’s most lucrative consumer markets within 24 hours by air, rail, road, or water. Major pharmaceutical and MedTech distribution centers benefit from the Netherlands’ advanced physical and digital infrastructure as well as from a highly efficient (cold chain) logistics sector. The Netherlands is the No. 1 European importer and exporter of medical devices and exports more than 31.7-billion-euros-worth of pharmaceuticals (PDF) per year.

Thriving regulatory landscape

As a stable country in the heart of the EU, the Netherlands ensures high-quality innovation through numerous regulatory authorities. The country is home to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and U.S. Food & Drug Administration, as well as the Dutch regulatory body: Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB).

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