Project Chopin: another Dutch region looking for chip sector investment

Paul van Gerven
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The Dutch province of Gelderland is asking the national government to invest in its business climate, just like it did in the Brainport Eindhoven region. Like the Brainport, Gelderland is home to a sizable chip sector and is therefore just as much an important “source of innovation and economic strength,” states The Economic Board Arnhem-Nijmegen, a partnership of local governments, companies and educational institutions.

NXP’s fab in Nijmegen. Credit: The Economic Board Arnhem-Nijmegen

A few months ago, the national government set up the Beethoven task force to ensure that high-tech companies in the Eindhoven region, including ASML and NXP, continue to invest in the Netherlands. This operation culminated last month in an investment of 2.5 billion euros, of which the national government is providing 1.7 billion euros. The money goes to infrastructure, housing and education.

Gelderland is proposing Project Chopin. In the east of the Netherlands, thousands of people also work in the chip industry, argues The Economic Board. Examples of major companies include NXP’s chip plant and R&D departments, Ampleon, Nexperia in Nijmegen and Besi in Duiven. Like ASML, these companies might also decide to invest elsewhere if growth is hard to come by in the Netherlands. They therefore want the state to help pay for investments in local road and rail connections, housing and labor market. Reportedly, they are asking for hundreds of millions of euros.

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