How the Netherlands is Building a Healthier World Together

The country – known as Europe’s connected life sciences & health metropolis – was on full display at the 2023 BIO International Convention & Dutch Mission

Last month, the Invest in Holland network, along with partners from Health~Holland, HollandBIO, the Dutch Association of Innovative Medicines and the Netherlands Innovation Network in Boston, were at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention to highlight the Netherlands’ thriving life sciences and health sector and its appeal as a location for international investment. In particular, we were able to discuss opportunities for collaboration within the Dutch life sciences and health ecosystem and share success stories of the global life sciences companies that have found fertile ground in the Netherlands.

Group of people gather during the 2023 BIO International Convention

Transatlantic ties from Massachusetts to the Netherlands

In tandem with the BIO International Convention which took place in Boston, NFIA participated in an economic mission to Massachusetts. This effort was led by Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Micky Adriaansens and Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport Ernst Kuipers. NFIA Commissioner Hilde van der Meer represented the Invest in Holland Network.

“The Netherlands is building a healthier world thanks to Dutch innovation alongside collaboration from international companies that invest in Holland,” noted van der Meer. “As a life sciences and health metropolis of Europe, our small but mighty country is centrally located and home to a vibrant ecosystem innovating for the future.”

In particular, the economic mission celebrated the successes of the Netherlands’ and Massachusetts’ Program of Cooperation in Life Sciences. With U.S. investment in the Netherlands and vice-versa, the mission also allowed partners to ideate on deepening the already extensive partnership.

Group of Dutch-American life sciences and health executives.

Nurturing partnerships: sustaining connections with biotech firms

As more companies establish a presence in the Netherlands, maintaining open connections remains top of mind. During the mission several global life sciences companies that have established their presence in the Netherlands were visited.

Biopharma company Merck – known as MSD outside the United States and Canada – is the largest and most multi-faceted pharmaceutical company in the Netherlands. Last year, the company received the Holland on the Hill Heineken Award, which recognizes entrepreneurs and businesses that have made a positive impact on economic ties between the Netherlands and the U.S.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical company Charles River Laboratories advances new therapies through the development phase and to patients rapidly from its sites in Den Bosch, Leiden and Groningen, the Netherlands. Amgen also made the Netherlands its base for assembling, packaging, labeling and distributing its medicines to Europe and the world. These companies and others find fertile ground to grow in the Netherlands, which is known as Europe’s connected life sciences & health metropolis.

Map of the Netherlands highlighting the life sciences and health ecosystem.

Innovating smart solutions for the future

Home to one of the world’s most concentrated life sciences & health communities, the Netherlands stands out as a top location for biotech innovation. In fact, the Netherlands is home to more than 3,100 R&D life sciences companies and 420 biopharmaceutical companies. Some examples include MIDA Biotech, a global innovator in cell and gene therapy that conducts R&D in the Netherlands, and Bristol Myers Squibb, which will soon open a CAR T cell therapy production center at the Leiden Bio Science Park. These companies and others strengthen knowledge through collaboration with the 12 universities, 28 campuses and eight University Medical Centers engaged in life sciences research. This strong educational foundation also graduates a dedicated and highly educated talent pool each year. The country even ranks No. 6 worldwide for biotech patents.

Opportunity for international partnership

Orange magazine cover with a microscope and text that reads "Welcome to the Netherlands."

The Netherlands is ready to build a healthier world together, with innovative life sciences and health companies from around the world.

“As a country, we’re committed to finding solutions that deliver better, more affordable and more sustainable healthcare solutions for patients globally,” explains Sandra de Wild-Chardonnens, NFIA’s Head of Life Sciences & Health. “The Netherlands offers a great business environment to scale with impact and we welcome foreign companies to join us in this mission.”

Life sciences and health companies interested in European expansion can refer to a new Dutch Life Sciences & Health Magazine, highlighting opportunities within the Netherlands. To learn more, reach out to the Invest in Holland Life Sciences and Health team.

13 July 2023

Receive a Personalized Information Deck!

Let us provide you with information relevant to your company.
Request More Information

Get In Touch

Contact us