New Dutch: Building on a Rich Heritage of Innovation to Advance Solutions for the Future

Spotlighting the Netherlands’ dynamic role in global business innovation, pioneering ideas and collaborative solutions

Aerial view of an open aquaduct. Roadways on either side with water flowing in between—Invest In Holland.

For many, the Netherlands evokes ideas of picturesque windmills, tulip fields, masterpiece paintings, and cheese. However, beneath the traditional postcard image lies a thriving ecosystem of innovation, technology and cutting-edge R&D that powers industries, helping create global solutions for a better future.

A future-facing culture that pushes the needle

The Netherlands is a center of innovation. From orange carrots to the microscope, Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, every day, people use inventions that blossomed from the entrepreneurial Dutch spirit. The country’s inventiveness also shines through with its contemporary industry leaders with Dutch roots such as Booking.com, ASML, TomTom, Unilever, and Adyen, to name but a few. The Netherlands is also the birthplace of cultivated meat; where Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, co-founder of cultivated ground beef producer Mosa Meat, created the first cultured hamburger 10 years ago.

Besides world-known companies and breakthroughs, some of the most impactful innovation is taking place in the vibrant Dutch start-up scene. Across all industries, the nation’s tech-savvy, entrepreneurial nature plays an instrumental role in attracting global businesses. A creative and inclusive country, the Netherlands has fostered a forward-facing culture that welcomes international business to join them in developing a safe, secure future beyond its own borders.

The New Dutch mentality is about the continuous drive for innovation and creativity, driven by the belief that healthy societies can exist when we are willing to try new things and work together.

A small white robot with black arms plucks a red tomato off a green vine. In the background are more tomatoes on the vine—Invest In Holland.

Empowering solutions for economic and societal transitions

While windmills and tulips still make the Netherlands a top choice for visitors in Europe, we’re also recognized as one of the best countries for business. We understand that innovation excels through collaboration. By providing a setting where business, academia and government bodies can work together, we help drive sustainable solutions and progress across industries. With a strategic emphasis on fostering an open innovation environment, the Dutch government, research institutions and cutting-edge companies have united to propel technology breakthroughs through a triple helix approach.

IT and tech, energy, life sciences & health, high tech systems, chemical and agrifood companies find fertile ground to flourish and create in the Netherlands. There is a vast network of industry clusters and innovation campuses around the country bringing together researchers and companies to collaborate and accelerate innovation.

Harnessing the country’s New Dutch spirit, companies in the Netherlands are actively shaping the future by developing new and sustainable solutions that are needed for the societal transitions that the world is facing. Think of advancements in quantum and chip technology, data-driven agricultural innovations, water solutions, renewable energy developments, global health and recycling solutions to further support a circular economy.

A quantum computer technology concept with 3D rendering CPU chips on the board—Invest in Holland

A country of innovation

The European Innovation Scoreboard ranked the Netherlands fourth amongst countries in the European Union. In 2020 and 2022, the country earned a top 5 spot in the Global Innovation Index and this year reclaimed a spot in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking. The Netherlands’ consistent top rankings in global ratings demonstrates its commitment to innovation through collaboration and is boosted by its research and development industry. It’s no wonder that companies from all over the world choose the Netherlands as a place to innovate and build impactful solutions for the future.

With an excellent knowledge infrastructure, innovation thrives throughout the country. Dutch universities and research institutes consistently rank among the world’s best. Home to 14 universities and 34 professional education universities and many specialized training facilities, the Netherlands has one of the top five education systems in the world. The Dutch education system focuses on meeting the needs of today’s businesses, ensuring a steady pipeline of talent is readily available for companies within our borders to access.

Engineer working at laptop near robotic arms

Opportunities await in the Netherlands

Looking beyond windmills and tulips, the Netherlands is a dynamic and enterprising country that continues to shape the future of business across industries. The Netherlands’ true essence lies in its ability to seamlessly blend tradition with innovation, making it a beacon of progress in an ever-evolving global landscape.

Want to be a part of this dynamic ecosystem? NFIA helps and advises foreign companies interested in expansion in the Netherlands. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer as a business location.

26 September 2023

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