In 2021, InnovationQuarter successfully assisted 51 (foreign) companies with opening a new branch or expanding their existing activities in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area. These companies expect to create 2,483 high-quality jobs in the coming years and to bring € 596 million in additional investments to the region. The number of jobs and invested capital are higher than in all previous years. The majority of these companies are of strategic and economic added value for the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area. The companies are mainly attracted by the strong sectoral clusters in the region, the logistical accessibility and the availability of talent.
Companies mostly active in innovative technologies and Life Sciences & Health
The companies that InnovationQuarter has supported with a new or an expansion investment in 2021 are innovative and technologically advanced. No fewer than 12 companies are starting R&D and/or production activities in the region. Most companies operate in the sectors Digital Technologies, Life Sciences & Health and High-Tech Systems & Materials.
Most of the Life Sciences & Health companies have established themselves in Leiden, while the high-tech and Digital Technology companies are mainly located in and around The Hague, Rotterdam and Delft.
In addition, many new branches and expansions took place in the Cybersecurity and Horticulture & Food sectors, followed by Aerospace, Energy, Circular Economy and Maritime & Port. The companies often seek affiliation with these strong clusters in our region and are attracted by the availability of talent. For example, the largest space company in 30 years is settling in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area: the world leading Earth Observation satellite manufacturing and data company Satellogic. The international space company is setting up their largest satellite production facility to date in Berkel en Rodenrijs and will provide at least 80 jobs. The rich space and aviation ecosystem – with ESA-Estec in Noordwijk, Technology Park Ypenburg in The Hague, and close proximity to talent from TU Delft and Inholland University of Applied Sciences – were the deciding factors for establishing a location in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area.
Contribution to regional societal challenges and sustainable goals
Most of the foreign companies that made a new or an expansion investment in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area in 2021 are of strategic economic value for the region. They contribute to tackling societal challenges and are in line with the sustainable objectives of the region. These are, for example, companies that work on regenerative medicine, sustainable aviation and the circular economy.
An example is the American Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) that chose the Leiden Bio Science Park for the construction of a European production center for cell therapy. The Finnish Neste is investing €190 million in the region in the construction of a production location for sustainable biokerosene and the British/American ZeroAvia is active in sustainable aviation fuel. Deep Branch, which works on the production of protein based on carbon dioxide, is joining the innovative ecosystem in Delft with a branch on the Biotech Campus Delft.
Another example of a site that contributes to ecosystems in the region is Nikon Biolmaging Lab. The lab provides specialized services to biotech and pharma organizations, such as access to advanced microscopy instruments and software and services from expert biologists and microscopists. Access to these tools and services at an affordable entry level is particularly important for start-ups and scale-ups.
The vast majority of companies come from Europe, followed by the US and China
No fewer than 22 companies come from Europe, an important part of which are from the United Kingdom, followed by the Nordics. For the second year in a row, most companies are from the UK, followed by China. The projects from the UK are often related to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The United States and China have decreased in share as countries of origin in 2021 due to (geo)political developments and the COVID pandemic.
“The 2021 results are exceptional, especially given the ongoing Corona pandemic and global travel restrictions. Not only is 2021 the year with the highest number of attracted investments and jobs; the type of companies in particular catches the eye. Mostly high-tech and innovative, aimed at providing products and services that contribute to societal challenges worldwide, in the Netherlands in general and in our region in particular”.
– Chris van Voorden, Head of Internationalisation at InnovationQuarter
Invest in Holland – national results
In challenging international times, the Netherlands is still well on the map for foreign companies. In 2021, 423 international companies chose our country with the help of the Invest in Holland (IIH) network. This includes both new and expansion investments into the country. IIH is the partnership in which the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), together with InnovationQuarter and other regional partners, attracts foreign companies at a national level. The 423 projects are expected to create nearly 13,400 direct jobs and an investment value of EUR 2.3 billion in the first three years. This brings the number of companies that opt for the Netherlands back to the level of 2019. Brexit is still an important pillar in the annual results of the NFIA and the regional partners.
Successful national and regional cooperation
Completion of these 51 investment projects is partly a success due to the good national and regional cooperation. On a national level, InnovationQuarter works closely with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency – an operational unit of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy – and is a partner of the Invest in Holland network. At a regional level, InnovationQuarter has been working both strategically and operationally with Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Business Agency and DEAL Drecht Cities since 2014.