The Netherlands has one of the most vibrant medical technology (MedTech) industries in the world. It is constantly at the forefront of implementing new medical technologies, and is ranked second in MedTech patent applications at the European Patent Office and sixth globally in life sciences & health citations in 2017.
The country has strengths in medical imaging, rehabilitation technologies, minimal invasive devices and digital health. Currently, it invests S$3.1 billion in R&D annually, and has 12 research universities and 82 hospitals, as well as public-private partnerships between science, industry and government.
The Dutch are known for their “Quadruple Helix” innovation model, where innovation clusters work closely with government, industry, healthcare/ knowledge institutions and patent organisations. You can leverage the strong links within the clusters to bring your technology to market.
In addition, prominent brands like Abbott, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Siemens and Philips, mark the Dutch life sciences and health landscape.
If you are in the MedTech space, the Netherlands is ideal as a testbed, with its streamlined healthcare system that is one of the best in the world and the Dutch people’s early adoption of technology. The Netherlands’ healthcare system was ranked first among European countries 1 and is the only country to be consistently ranked among the top three since 2005. The country has also topped the EIU's Global Access to Healthcare Index, which measures countries worldwide on accessibility of healthcare and strength of the overall healthcare system2.
1 Euro Health Consumer Index 2017, Health Consumer Powerhouse, 2017
2 Global Access to Healthcare Index, Economist Intelligence Unit, 2017
The Netherlands is a key transportation hub in Europe with excellent connectivity to the rest of Europe. This makes it an attractive location for your business to transport goods to the rest of Europe.
The Netherlands is ranked first in DHL’s Global Connectedness Index in 2018 and among the top six in the Word Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. The country has two significant European cargo mainports, Schiphol Airport which is Europe’s top airport for cargo and passenger, and the Port of Rotterdam which handles 54% of all trade shipping in West Europe. Both are connected to an extensive network of roads, railways, inland waterways and pipelines, and supported by world-class logistics service providers.
The country is expanding its logistics infrastructure by pursuing innovations in supply chain optimisation and smart logistics solutions. It is also expanding the high-speed rail freight line between Rotterdam and Germany which can leverage the Germany-China rail freight service. There is also increasing use of the China-Europe rail transport and onward sea freight to the US east coast via the Port of Rotterdam.
Tap the Netherlands’ strong trade and connectivity to the rest of the world for a global reach. As the second largest exporter in the European Union, top Dutch exports include food which ranks second globally, and pharmaceuticals which ranks ninth globally.
Your business can take advantage of the new European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) slated to come into force, which has the potential to increase outbound goods flow from Europe to Singapore.
AgriFood is one of the Netherlands’ key sectors thanks to its strengths in knowledge-intensive, high-tech, productive farming. While the country’s land surface area ranks 134th in the world, it ranks second globally in food export.
The Dutch agricultural entrepreneurs utilise efficient and sustainable production systems and processes, resulting in productivity that is five times higher than the European average and highest in the world. Consider working with companies based in the Netherlands to tap their strengths across the agricultural value chain, such as inputs, farming and processing.
Your company can explore opportunities in the country’s AgriTech space that are supported by a strong innovation climate and infrastructure. The Netherlands is home to more than 1,500 international food companies, and it has the second highest private R&D investment in AgriFood in Europe. The country has more than 20 research institutions, of which Wageningen University is renowned for being the world’s top agricultural research institution. Out of the top-40 food and drinks compnies in the world, 12 have R&D centres located in the Netherlands.