Innovative Opportunities

The Dutch Embrace Innovative Opportunities

When it comes to the most innovative countries in the world, the Netherlands is one of the frontrunners in Europe. The Netherlands’ innovation culture has been long-standing, the inventors of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even the stock market. The Dutch have been innovating for centuries, and they haven’t stopped.


First and foremost, the Dutch foster a forward-thinking culture that is open to experimentation and cross-disciplinary ideas. This open-minded attitude helps Dutch innovators break the mold time and again. Work structures eschew hierarchy, giving workers more flexibility and removing barriers to benefit companies that engage with Dutch work.

International institutions underline the forward-thinking culture of the Netherlands. The EU Innovation Scoreboard ranked the Netherlands as an innovation leader in 2022. The Global Innovation Index named the nation a Global Innovation Leader in 2022.


The government stimulates cooperation between the private and the research sectors, providing fertile ground for innovation to sprout and grow. More than just solid policies, forming partnerships and fostering an innovation-friendly business environment is one of the top priorities of the Dutch government. To ensure companies are enabled to reach innovative ambitions, the Dutch government provides companies with incentives to finance new ideas and businesses.

Research and education

The Netherlands is home to 14 universities, 34 centers of professional education and a variety of specialized training facilities. Wageningen University and Research, for example, is a world leader in agrifood innovation that’s pioneering solutions for global challenges. Another example is Delft University of Technology, which is advancing cyber security and artificial intelligence. The country is also known as a hub for research and development for major companies.

Startup culture

The Netherlands is full of startups, incubators, accelerators and other innovation hubs that provide growth opportunities for innovative concepts. Recent Dutch success stories include Adyen, a payment solutions startup valued at nearly $23 billion and Elastic, which raised $252 million in an IPO and is currently valued around $6.7 billion. The nation is home to 13 unicorns, ranking fourth in Europe for financial investors to support new ideas.

Digital infrastructure

The Netherlands’ innovation sector flourishes thanks to the nation’s high-quality digital infrastructure that provides all of the tech needed to facilitate successful business. The Netherlands is a digital frontrunner , with solid and steady digital growth according to the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index. A skilled, multilingual talent base and favorable work conditions support free thinking, allowing the Netherlands to maintain its role as one of the most innovative countries.

"We are currently working together with the Netherlands cancer institute in Amsterdam across several projects, with the Hubrecht Institute, with University Medical Center Utrecht, to name a few. There is a great willingness to work together with academic teams and with other companies, and I think that’s quite unique to this innovation ecosystem, that’s why the Netherlands is a very good place to be. This eagerness to communicate and connect is one of the central reasons that we are so successful up until now." Jan van de Winkel CEO Genmab

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