Half of the total Dutch production value in Life Sciences & Health (around ten billion euros) is accounted for by the province of North Brabant. Almost a quarter of all jobs in this sector end up in this province. Biotech, in particular, is growing rapidly: the number of new establishments has grown by 43% since 2014 and the number of jobs in this industry has doubled.
Brainport (Medtech) and North-East Brabant (pharma) are the hotspots. Other top locations in the Netherlands are the regions of Leiden and Utrecht.
All this is evident from the recently published study ‘Life Sciences & Health Sector‘ commissioned by the Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM). The more than 200 pages of the research report offer a broad picture of this sector and the role within it of the Brabant based companies, campuses, knowledge institutions, and governments.
“The aim of the study is to give foreign companies a detailed overview of the Life Sciences sector in Brabant, including the strengths and opportunities of our region,” says BOM project leader Thijs Taminiau.
Leading in LS&H production
Brabant makes an important contribution to the production value of the Life Sciences & Health sector in the Netherlands. In 2014 (the last year for which CBS published figures), the Brabant Production Value in the sector amounted to more than 5 billion euros, more than the production value of the other eleven provinces combined.
The success in the field of Life Sciences & Health is no coincidence, the researchers write. “Brabant has the highest innovation intensity in the Netherlands. The total Research & Development expenditure in the private sector, relative to the Regional Gross Domestic Product, amounts to 2.99%: more than double the national average (1.15%). To illustrate this: in Europe, Brabant is number five in the list of regions with the highest number of patent applications.”
Brabant has 910 registered establishments of Life Sciences & Health companies, accounting for 18,160 jobs. This is respectively 15.6% and 23.5% of the total Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector. With Philips and MSD, there are well-known big names within the sector, but there are also plenty of relatively unknown ones. Below are, in terms of employees, the largest LS&H companies in Brabant. These are the organizations that are officially marked as part of this sector. According to the BOM, there are also hundreds of other companies that are active in the sector, either independently or as suppliers, but for administrative reasons formally fall outside the sector. Think of companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, VDL, Neways, Siemens, Sioux, and Kulicke & Soffa.
The strength of Brabant
According to the researchers, there are 7 aspects that indicate the strength of Brabant in the field of Life Science & Health:
“The presence of a complete value chain in the field of Medtech and Pharma shows that Brabant has a mature and thriving LS&H sector”, concludes Taminiau. “The presence of, among other things, research, production, and logistics in a relatively small geographical area is something to be proud of, but it is above all an invitation to foreign companies to become part of this ecosystem.”