Six triple helix regions in Southeast Netherlands and the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg are united in Brainport Network: a unique network of business and industry, government and knowledge institutions, all with a common aim: to develop Southeast Netherlands into the leading European open innovation and top technology region. A powerful provider of the solutions the world needs now.
From Brainport 2020 to Brainport Network
The driving forces behind Brainport Network are Agrifood Capital, Brainport, Greenport Venlo, Keyport 2020, Limburg Economic Development, Midpoint Brabant and the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg. These eight organisations had been the pillars of Brainport 2020: the economic programme for Southeast Netherlands that started in 2011. The cooperation intensified and a strong network emerged, good reason to operate under the Brainport Network flag as of 2016. An appropriate name, too, given the growing, surrounding national and international network in which West-Brabant and Delta Region are specially close coalition partners.
Heading the agenda: Employment, Capital and Europe
Brainport Network works on the conditions that are paramount for a top innovation region. The programme 2016 – 2020 contains three priorities: an innovative approach to the employment market, more accessible capital for innovative companies and extend European cooperation. Furthermore, the agenda is flexible so that account can be taken of the developments and needs of the moment.
Supraregional up and running
Brainport Network is using the joint strength of the eight partners on a Southeast Netherlands scale. The lines are short and knowledge-sharing among all those involved embedded in the shape of prominent, supraregional projects. The sub-regions also form a single front in a theme-based lobby to both The Hague and Brussels.
The Employment theme
No innovation and international competitiveness without sufficient well qualified personnel. In that respect, Southeast Netherlands is confronted by relevant challenges. There is still more demand than supply when it comes to engineering and technology talent, especially in view of the rapid emergence of many new ICT-driven jobs. At the same time, there are sectors in which employment is contracting.
The Capital theme
Access to capital for innovative companies that want to grow is crucial for economic growth and employment. Figures produced by the Dutch Association of Participation Companies (2014) reveal that private equity and venture capital investments in Southeast Netherlands lag behind, which is remarkable, and undesirable, given the innovative character of the regions.
The EU theme
There are still too few top sector players in Southeast Netherlands that engage in European projects. Lack of experience and right contacts are often the cause of not getting the requisite collaboration, hence a failure to secure international partnering and European funding. Also the power of innovation that from a European perspective can help solve societal issues remains unutilised.