Eindhoven: The rising star for global investors

The London Financial Times has just published the results of its 2014/2015 European Direct Investment Index. Brainport Eindhoven has the best investment climate in Europe after London and Helsinki.

Financial Times FDI ranking Eindhoven 365x230The city was the highest new entry for any city in the Netherlands. Eindhoven ranked first in the “FDI Strategy” category for all small European cities thanks, in part, to its “offer of incubation facilities for young companies at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven”. The province of Brabant also did well in other categories, being placed first in the FDI Strategy for Mid-Size Economic Regions.

Competition for recognition was fierce. 468 European Cities and Regions were independently analyzed in this extensive financial report, issued every two years. Eindhoven also scored well in the FDI’s Infrastructure category, ranking fourth of all European cities with a population of up to 350,000.

“We are obviously pleased with such a top result in a particularly authoritative study,” says Rob van Gijzel, Mayor of Eindhoven. “This is confirmation that our approach in recent years has been the right one. Eindhoven has developed into a successful collaborative ecosystem in the area of high tech and design, where creativity and knowledge come together and reinforce each other”.

One of the investors who anticipated the rapid growth of the city and the surrounding Brainport region is Marcel Boekhoorn. “Together with a group of private investors, we took over the running of the High Tech Campus Eindhoven in 2012. It’s continually living up to its reputation of being the smartest square kilometre in the world. Incredible innovative things are happening here. It is due to shared common goals between business, knowledge centres and government, this “Triple Helix” strategy is clearly working.”

Frans Schmetz, Managing Director at High Tech Campus Eindhoven, is delighted with the Financial Times’ findings. “We congratulate both the city and the Brainport region for their hard work on everyone’s behalf. We’re also honoured that the analysts in London have recognised our foreign direct investment strategy as being the best for a city of our size. This remains a highly competitive field. We know that other cities – as well as foreign investors – are closely monitoring our progress. We’re particularly pleased that the Financial Times gave High Tech Campus Eindhoven a special mention in their extensive report. The city’s top ranking in their strategy category was due in part to the incubation facilities we’ve built here. They include the Brainport Beta & Mµ buildings which were purposely designed to match the needs of young companies working in high-tech, Lifetech and New Energy. And the EIT ICT Lab activities also contributed to this ranking. International companies understand the value of being in the heart of a vibrant ecosystem, thriving on open innovation. The critical selection team from FDI in London recognizes that we’ve got the infrastructure right. So I believe we can all be proud of this international recognition.”

The Financial Times also acknowledged that Eindhoven has provision for ‘soft-landing’ services, which allow investors to establish links and develop a base in the city. This international recognition is also good news for Guus Frericks, CEO of the Startupbootcamp HighTechXL accelerator program. “On Friday 21st February we’re holding our Demo Day in the Evoluon. We’re bringing together over 500 high-tech investors to this city, many from neighbouring countries and as far away as the USA, India and China. The word is getting out that we’re on to something. And we’re really delighted to be amongst the world’s brightest and best.“