The province of North Brabant is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign companies seeking to carry out R&D activities in Europe. In 2019, the Brabant Development Agency (BOM) assisted fifty foreign companies with establishment or expansion in the province. 28 percent of the projects had an R&D component, compared to 17 percent the year before.
In doing so, Brabant is evading a downward trend that other regions around the world are facing. Eelko Brinkhoff, manager of foreign investments and international trade at the BOM, explains: “Geopolitical tensions, trade wars and the uncertainty surrounding developments such as the Brexit lead to great reluctance among foreign investors. The current results confirm the value of a strong brand in a turbulent world, and show that our strategy is working.”
In recent years, Brabant has worked hard, in collaboration with the BOM, to strengthen its international network and reputation abroad. Brinkhoff states that 2019 was a peak in terms of R&D activities, but thinks that an average level of 20 to 25 percent per year is feasible.