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Key industries

East Netherlands has developed a strong focus in four sectors:


  • Wageningen and the surrounding Foodvalley are home to a vibrant, highly educated, international research community dedicated to food, nutrition and agricultural sciences.

  • With more than 3,000 agri-food related companies, institutes and a community of more than 15,000 agri-food experts from over 110 nationalities, Foodvalley is an internationally acclaimed R&D hotspot.

  • Wageningen University & Research, the number 1 Agriculture university in the world.

  • Companies like Unilever, FrieslandCampina, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé and Yili chose Foodvalley as a location for their R&D centers.


  • The Netherlands is a leading nation in High Tech and is home to original equipment manufacturers, skilled suppliers and innovative materials companies.

  • East Netherlands has its fair share of economic activities within this top sector, especially when it comes to High Tech Systems and Materials, Artificial Intelligence, Photonics, Semiconductors and Robotics. The University of Twente has a focus on High Tech research.

  • Examplementary is PHIX, which supplies the photonics industry with assembly and packaging services for Photonics Integrated Circuits.


  • Health has developed into a top economic sector in The Netherlands. East Netherlands is home to Health Valley, a dynamic cluster of companies, universities, research institutes, supported by a collaborative government.

  • Key players are Radboud University with over 24,500 students, and Radboud university medical centre in Nijmegen.

  • Molecular medicine, diagnostics & imaging, nano-technology for point-of-care solutions, rehabilitation and medical robotics are among the key focus areas.

  • Many of the world’s leading life sciences and health companies have already chosen to settle here. Among them are well recognized multinationals such as AbbVie, AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, MDxHealth, Mindray, Symeres, Synthon and Vaxxinova.


  • With its concentration of companies active in the Energy and Environmental Technology sectors, the Apeldoorn/Deventer/Zutphen region in East Netherlands has a reputation as the Clean Tech Region. The Arnhem region focusses on energy storage, positioning itself as a Battery Valley.

  • East Netherlands as a whole is developing expertise in renewable energy, hydrogen, innovative fuel technologies, battery storage, smart grids and circular economy. Contributing to the international ambition to reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment.