The Netherlands is ranked first in Europe for outstanding use of IT: 70% of all Dutch innovation is IT related (World Economic Forum Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report). Utrecht Region is a driving force behind IT innovation and design in the country as well as a major hotspot for the Dutch media and applied gaming industry.
Utrecht Region: the centre of the Dutch digital creative industry
Leading tech and IT companies have long been drawn to our region because of its excellent digital infrastructure, tech-savvy, multilingual workforce and competitive tax climate. Many multinational IT companies, such as Capgemini, Fujitsu, Oracle, Sogeti and VodafoneZiggo, but also creative digital companies like Media Monks have their headquarters in Utrecht Region.
IT innovation and design
In the region, many companies are using new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. Lisk Centre Utrecht, for example, offers co-working spaces and organises events for companies and individuals working on blockchain-related activities. The blockchain lab at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht aims to develop and share knowledge about applications of blockchain technology in pillars of Utrecht Region’s economy, such as supply chains, fintech and health. Utrecht Inc., Utrecht University’s incubator, and the forthcoming accelerator Delta Ventures Lab enable innovative start-ups to grow.
A creative centre of digital media
Hilversum is the media capital of the Netherlands that boasts an exceptional concentration of creative talent and companies. It is located right in the centre of the Media Valley and functions as a creative hotspot where the digital media industry embraces and implements the newest innovations and technologies. Media giants, digital agencies, gaming companies, and media-related startups and scaleups are all settled here. Think of MediaMonks, ASPEN Digital, Robot Kittens and NEP. This is the place where creative professionals build on the groundbreaking future of the creative digital industry and media, both nationally and internationally.
The AI Hub Central Netherlands
Utrecht Region has started the AI Hub Central Netherlands as part of the Dutch AI coalition. Our goal is to create a community for all companies working with or interested in AI. The network consists of knowledge institutions, companies and the government. The knowledge of application of AI in different industries such as LSH, Culture & Media and Sustainability is high level. Combined with innovative companies, Utrecht Region is a strong player in R&D and forming communities around AI initiatives. Together with other hubs, we fulfill a central place in the Netherlands and European AI initiatives.
A hotspot for applied game development
The region is home to a thriving applied game development community where many game developers innovate and design games for different purposes and sectors. Dutch Game Garden (DGG) is the main hub for game development. It is the largest game incubator and business centre in The Netherlands and arguably in Europe as well. Over the years, they have housed many award-winning independent game studios, including Abbey Games and Vlambeer. In 2020, one of the biggest e-sports companies, Team liquid, opened the doors to their new training facility in the centre of the city of Utrecht.
Key business opportunities
- Software and services
- Video games and virtual and augmented reality
- Cloud computing
- Digital media
- Media technology
- Applied games
- Geo cluster