The Dutch pharmaceutical sector is good for 65,000 jobs and is the European leader in terms of new biotech patents. These are two conclusions from a report written by consulting firm PwC on the economic footprint of the sector.

However, additional investments are needed to maintain the pharmaceutical production in the Netherlands. PwC made the rapport on behalf of the Association Innovative Pharmaceuticals. “The report tells us two things,” says Gerard Schouw, director of the Association. “On the one hand our sector is still a key economic factor, with a lot of activity and employment. On the other hand there is a risk that the production of pharmaceuticals could disappear from our country. That would be bad for our economy, employers and patients.”

"We can only address the challenges that lie ahead if we work together", says Schouw.

Paul Korte, Chairman Association of Innovative Medicines (left) and Jan Raaijmakers, Chairman Top Sector Life Sciences & Health.

National Meeting on Health Deal for excellent pain care for chronic pain patients

The Dutch government wants to accelerate the wide application of effective care innovations. The ‘Health Deals’ between the government and (private) partners are intended to move these care innovations forward. Three Health Deals have already been signed: Decision support in oncology, Academy ‘Het Dorp’ on new technologies for people with disabilities, and chronic pain care.

Utrecht Science Park officially launched

A year has passed since Bilthoven Biologicals, as former owner of Science Park Bilthoven, municipality De Bilt, province of Utrecht and foundation Utrecht Science Park signed a declaration of intent to collaborate in the field of Life Sciences & Health. On 11 May, the final  cooperation agreement was signed and now the cooperation between Utrecht Science Park and Bilthoven is a reality. Utrecht Science Park is the first science park with two different locations. Knowledge institutions, research institutions and companies are working closely together to find new solutions for a longer and healthier life.

Due to the pooling of knowledge, networks and facilities, fundamental research at the cellular level is finding a direct way to the production of the final medicine or vaccine. Great steps can now be made to develop more and better vaccines and medicines and to make health accessible to all. Besides, with the relocation of the RIVM in 2020 to Utrecht Science Park/De Uithof, room is being  created to attract new companies in Bilthoven that further strengthen the value chain. It also creates new jobs in the municipality De Bilt. Mayor Sjoerd Potters: “Our municipality is traditionally strong in the knowledge economy with the presence of renowned institutions and companies. At a local level we offer a good business location and they often operate internationally. Therefore, the commitment at an international working environment for our municipality and region is of major importance for strengthening the value chain and employment.”

The collaboration will now mainly focus on strengthening the joint proposition. In a second phase a joint acquisition policy will be developed.

On 1 August, Jan Henk van de Velden will become the new director of Utrecht Science Park.

Jef de Clercq, CEO Poonawalla Science Park BV and Friso Smit, interim director Utrecht Science Park
Photographer: Wilma Witkamp

Combining forces on Campus Groningen

The Zernike Campus, located on the North side of the city is a hotspot and testing ground for research, education and entrepreneurship. The Healthy Ageing Campus, where the university of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) work together with companies on prevention, innovative treatment and diagnosis, recently merged with Campus Groningen.

Campus Groningen has great ambitions: each year five more companies and 55 more jobs. However, these numerical ambitions do not even matter: Campus Groningen must operate in an entrepreneurial manner based on a rich ground of knowledge. This will generate opportunities for growth, as with a growing and wider range of companies more knowledge will be requested from the University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences and UMCG. As a result of this the strength of the network will grow. Entrepreneurship, facilities, knowledge, innovation and collaboration are therefore the central themes.

Intensive public-private collaboration between knowledge institutions, companies and facilities form the ecosystem of Campus Groningen.

Campus Groningen

Campus Groningen in numbers (2015) alongside the eight existing campuses of the Netherlands

Present your organisation on a global scale with the Health~Holland Guide

The Health~Holland Guide (HHG) has already had a major impact on the international healthcare sector for fives years in a row. The HHG is a foreign-oriented guide in which Dutch organisations, active in the Dutch Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, are presented worldwide.

Did you know...

The HHG is also digitally available and was viewed more than 15,000 times in 2016! Moreover, this guide is distributed to more than 5,000 healthcare organisations, agencies and governments around the world. For example, it will be sent to relevant Dutch embassies, consulates and Dutch Business Support Offices (NBSOs). Additionally, the HHG is shared with hospitals, investors, distributors and government officers on national- and international level during international healthcare missions, trade fairs, incoming visits and numerous healthcare events.


The guide is an initiative of Top Sector LSH to support Dutch start-ups, SMEs and non-profit organisations. Via this guide maximum (international) exposure is being realised through a minimum investment. Present my organisation to more than 5,000 contacts worldwide!

For more information contact the Task Force Health Care via

Two NRC Live evenings held and three more to come

NRC Live series: Future of Healthcare

Evening 1 on Behavior and health

From fast and cheap to sustainable and slow, many consumers have a growing interest in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. However obesity is a growing problem, especially amongst children and adolescents. Unhealthy food is widely available at rock-bottom prices and an active membership of a sports club costs a lot of money. The gap between educated and privileged citizens and less fortunate members of society is growing. This is unacceptable, according to executive councillor Victor Everhardt from Utrecht. He and other opinion leaders, such as Machteld Huber (Institute Positive Health), discussed this dilemma and its possible solutions with the audience during the first session of a five-evening series on healthcare innovations, organised by NRC Live and powered by Health~Holland.

Max Christern (chairman): “Adapting behaviour is a long-term process.”

Evening 2 on Technology as motor of innovation

The second NRC Live session addressed the technological branch of the sector. Technological developments and capabilities in healthcare have evolved considerably. The advance of medical technology offers opportunities to not only improve healthcare, but to make it more efficient and cheaper as well. However, paving the way for innovation and building a healthy society requires the collaboration of all parties according to Martijn de Bie (Verscentrum Nederland). During this session the cross-compliances and challenges for the development and implementation of eHealth were discussed. One important conclusion was drawn: to further pave the way for technological innovation in healthcare, we must co-create with the patients. Innovations must be realised not from a medical perspective but from a patient perspective.

Some lessons on patient participation can be found in the report of the PatientTOP.

Gerard Boekhoff (Neokidney Foundation): “We must innovate from the patient's perspective.”

Upcoming sessions

Three more inspiring sessions on ‘Organising smarter and better’, ‘New business models and finance’ and ‘The Great Care Debate’ will follow. During these Thursday night sessions, innovators, visionaries and leaders will engage in a debate about important decisions, obstructions and opportunities. Sign up and participate! Top Sector LSH hopes to meet you there.

Biotechgate 2017 report confirms leading position of Dutch life sciences industry

Leading global business development database Biotechgate presents its 2017 trend report for the Dutch life sciences market. The annual trend report for the Dutch life sciences market shows that the country remains an important centre of the industry.

There were 14 major financing rounds in the biotech sector in 2016 for the total amount of 71 million USD. However, the number of newly founded companies was much lower in 2016 than in the previous years. According to our data, there are almost 500 biotech and around 120 medtech companies in Netherlands at the moment. For the first time, we included the health sector in our analysis as it grew significantly in recent years.

Biotechgate is a global business development database containing over 40,000 company profiles and providing the user with information on available licensing products, financing rounds, key management, technology platforms and more.

Whether you are looking to partner with a Dutch company or looking for a specific service, you’ll find the most complete overview of the Dutch life sciences sector at

Is your company not listed in the database or is the information dated? Click here to adjust. For more information contact HollandBIO.