Welcome to the Brainport Eindhoven Region
WIRE 2016 takes place in the Brainport Eindhoven Region in the Netherlands. A top technology region that is well-known for its high tech manufacturing and engineering and its culture of close collaboration. The Brainport Eindhoven Region is one of the three economic pillars of the Netherlands (with Amsterdam and Rotterdam) and belongs to the technological backbone of Europe. The integrated collaborative approach of the Brainport Eindhoven Region has received international recognition and acclaim over the last years. The region has been honoured with a Eurocities Award (Eurocities, 2010), the world´s Intelligent Community of the Year (ICF, 2011), 3rd overall FDI Region of the Future (Financial Times, 2014) and finalist for European Capital of Innovation (European Commission, 2016).
Company town with groundbreaking inventions
Exactly 125 years ago the Philips brothers came to Eindhoven and started their lightbulb company in a small factory in the centre of town. Their company would soon grow out to a multinational electronics manufacturer, providing employment for many people in the region and elsewhere in the Netherlands. Aside being a household name, the company was responsible for groundbreaking inventions and products such as the X-ray tube, compact audio cassette, CD, DVD and Blu-ray. Technology developed at Philips in the 1980s led to the foundation of ASML, currently the world’s largest supplier of lithography machines for the semiconductor industry.
Dominating private R&D and patent registration
In the early 2000s, Philips scaled down and divested its divisions, such as semiconductors, optics and x-ray systems. These developed into OEMs in the high tech systems sector, including NXP, FEI and PANalytical. Another economic driver of the Brainport Eindhoven Region is truck builder DAF. Nowadays the region dominates the private R&D expenditure in the Netherlands, with 5 out of the top 7 enterprises, accounting over € 2.5 billion annually. The Brainport Eindhoven Region also registers the most patents in Europe by far, almost doubling runners-up Stockholm and Munich.
EU funding paved the way for open innovation collaboration
After a major crisis hit the region due to global production shifts in the early 1990s, industry, government and university came together to counter the massive unemployment. With help of European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) they established projects that lead to a joint agenda and strategy. Eventually leading to the formation of the Brainport Foundation in 2006. The economic profile of the region has changed from industrial production to a high tech open innovation ecosystem. These days the region is a European and even global frontrunner in high tech systems, high tech software, integrated photonics, robotics, data science, nano technology, industrial design, additive manufacturing, precise manucaturing, medial equipment, smart mobility systems, remote sensoring, thin film solar, wearable electronics and food processing.