Strategies for Improving Performance
Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri
Chapter 10: Brainport Eindhoven: a proactive approach towards innovation and sustainability
The Eindhoven region is considered one of the most innovative regions in Europe. It is one of the few regions that meet the Barcelona standard (expenses on R & D = 3 per cent of the gross regional product), which has been formulated to reach the Lisbon aims (turning Europe into the world’s number one economy). The region owes this position to the presence of innovative companies – like Philips, ASML and FEI Company – and renowned knowledge institutions – like the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) and TNO. In the Eindhoven region, leaders of the administrations, business companies and knowledge institutions (the so-called Triple Helix) are aware of the possible temporality of success. Joint efforts are needed to secure the competitiveness of the region, particularly in view of the increasing competition from other upcoming locations (like in China and India). Moreover, history has taught the lesson that the Eindhoven region is very vulnerable to global downswings. After the problems with Philips and car manufacturer Daf in the early 1990s – hitting the regional economy severely – several initiatives were launched to strengthen the economic structure. The EU-subsidised Stimulus Programme (effective in the 1990s) was succeeded in 2001 by the so-called Horizon Programme. And more recently, the Eindhoven region introduced the Brainport Navigator, which can be considered the follow-up of the Horizon Programme. One of the distinctive features of the Navigator is the geographic scale.
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