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No other region in the Netherlands has such a dynamic, innovative and knowledge based economy.

The Southern Netherlands is a highly innovative manufacturing region. Where its focus used to be on traditional sectors of industry (e.g. textiles, ceramics), it has today turned into a knowledge intensive high tech region. Smart specialization is a “modus operandi” since the early 90s, that will get a further incentive the Southern Netherlands’ opera­tional programme;

The Southern Netherlands accommodate some of Europe’s most successful clusters. Two main centres of trade and industry could be identified; one in the Southeastern and one in the Southwestern part.

Southeast Netherlands’ clusters concentrate on High Tech Systems, Chemistry and LifeTec. The “Brainport 2020” vision and strategy strengthen and interconnect these top clusters and support the development of new clusters. It is a unique triple helix cooperation in which high tech research and business, facilitated by public authorities, work closely together in an open innovation ecosystem.

Southwest Netherlands is part of the Strategic Board Delta Region, which focusses on biobased, logistics and maintenance. The Strategic Board Delta Region is a triple helix partnership of business and industry, knowledge institutions and authorities. Its objec­tive is to boost innovation (at product level as well as in working methods) by creating new networks and connections, both on a cross-sector and cross-border level. One of the leading examples is the Biobased Delta. This cluster is specialized in bio-aromatics, or in a more general sense, platform molecules, based on which specialty chemicals are produced;

The Southern Netherlands clusters cooperate with many European partners in several important interregional partnerships. Some of the most interesting ones could be found below.

  • Several partners from the Southeast Netherlands cooperate in the project “MPow­er EU”, which focusses on future internet innovation and an entrepreneurial ecosystem to empower manufacturing SMEs.
  • Flanders, Southern Netherlands (the provinces of Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Zeeland) and North Rhine-Westphalia are currently working on a cross border cluster on bio based materials.
  • Partners from the Southern Netherlands cooperate with other European partners in “Silicon Europe”, a cluster alliance for energy-efficient ICT.



(respectively) King’s Commissioner for the Province of Limburg, King’s Commissioner for the Province of Noord-Brabant and King’s Commissioner for the Province of Zeeland