Five reasons to establish your Life Sciences and MedTech company in Brabant

8 October 2021

Blog - by Thijs Taminiau

As a person who is proud to be born and bred in Brabant, I have one of the best jobs – promoting Brabant abroad. What makes this such a great job is that the region has so much to give to both local and foreign businesses. The province offers plenty of opportunities to companies from abroad as well as to Dutch companies seeking to expand. Brabant has everything that businesses might need to grow, develop, and innovate. My job entails showing these companies the ropes, specifically those operating in the Life Sciences and Health sectors (LS&H). And that is why I am often asked, "Can you give me five reasons why I should establish my company in Brabant?"

Seeing is most certainly believing! Let me take you on a voyage of discovery through Brabant and the LS&H sector.

Reason 1: Like knows like ... resting on the foundations built by Organon and Philips

Like knows like, as we say in Brabant. The province has an extraordinarily strong culture, history, and tradition when it comes to informal and constructive partnerships that are based on trust and open innovation. Staff employed in innovative LS&H and other companies nearly all have past experience with or a connection to Organon (MSD) or Philips. That means that companies can easily find each other and also that there is a great deal of industry knowledge on the ground, expertise that in turn means that companies know what is required to bring a product to the market.

In Brabant we solve problems while gathered round the metaphoric kitchen table, tackle projects together, and company CEOs are ready to help each other at the drop of a hat.

Reason 2: Breeding grounds for innovation

Many MedTech and other innovations and startups in Brabant were born at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), with one of the three focus-areas of the institution being "Health". Affiliated institutions such as ICMS, JADS, and EASI are all well-known on the national and international stage. The recent success of spinouts such as Microsure, Xeltis, and Preceyes amply demonstrate the success of this approach.

Furthermore, Brabant is also home to Pivot Park in Oss and the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven (HTCE), two highly developed campuses that act as a growth accelerator for companies, with Pivot Park focusing on BioPharma and the HTCE on MedTech. To witness the entrepreneurial spirit on these campuses is always an extremely inspiring experience. Both institutions have a strong startup ecosystem that includes many promising companies, such as Glycostem, Usono, Cytrill, and many more.

Then there are also locations like the Holst Center, Pivot Park Screening Center, Philips Innovation Campus, and the AI innovation Hub where you can see the very latest innovations in the fields of AI, drug development, medical wearables, and imaging. And, standing together with impressive neighboring companies such as MSD, Organon, Astra Zeneca, Philips, Intel, and Aspen, foreign companies will always view you in a positive light.

Reason 3: The presence of the entire MedTech and pharmaceutical value chains

The fact that the entire MedTech and pharmaceutical value chains are in place in Brabant is evidence enough that the province is home to a mature and flourishing LS&H sector. Brabant is proud that research, manufacturing, logistics, and many other aspects are present in this relatively small geographic area, while that also acts as an invitation to foreign companies to become a part of this ecosystem. One need only look at the impressive figures that underscore this fact, such as:

  • Half of the total Dutch Life Sciences & Health production value (some ten billion euros) is generated in Brabant.
  • Nearly a quarter of all jobs in this industry are located in the province.
  • Biotech is growing at a particularly dramatic pace, with the number of new businesses increasing by 43% since 2014 and the number of jobs doubling.
  • 90% of MedTech patents originate in Brabant.
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Reason 4: A close relationship with other clusters in the Netherlands, while continuing to focus inwards

Brabant is a part of the Dutch LS&H ecosystem. From this perspective, Oss is an inextricable part of Nijmegen, as is Boxmeer of Wageningen and Eindhoven of Utrecht, Leiden, and Maastricht . While Brabant has a very clear focus, the great thing is that this focus complements and adds to the other clusters in the country. An excellent example is the recently approved growth fund application submitted by Regmed XB, which saw the various strengths of the different regions brought together to cover the entire chain of development and small-scale production of biomaterials, stem cells, and microtissues and macrotissues for personalized applications. Meanwhile, in Brabant we are hard at work setting up the Smart Biomaterials Consortium, yet another great example of how companies in Brabant work together on future innovations.

Reason 5: The perfect geographic and logistical location in Europe between all the LS&H hotspots

And last but not least, leading LS&H companies such as Amgen, Repligen, Hollister, Illumina, and Janssen Cilag have always chosen and still choose Brabant simply because it is perfectly located in Europe. However, over and above the logistics, marketing, and sales, it is also apparent that these companies are becoming increasingly familiar with the ecosystem in Brabant and are establishing operations such as manufacturing and R&D in the province. Amgen in Brabant illustrates this perfectly, and it is one of the region's biggest employers while also engaging in a high level of social commitment.

I sincerely hope that you are now just as enthusiastic as I am about what Brabant can offer in the world of Life Sciences. If you would like further information about the industry or are thinking of establishing an LS&H company in Brabant, then please get in touch. After all, seeing is believing!

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Thijs Taminiau

Teamleader foreign investments Life Sciences & Health