Utrecht Region offers a competitive, innovative and stable business climate with excellent academic and research infrastructure. The region’s thriving economy is focused on smart solutions, green policies, innovation and health. Over 1,000 foreign companies have already joined our vibrant business community and forward-thinking research and development activities.



Most innovative and competitive

The Netherlands steadily belongs in the top 5 Innovation Leaders in Europe (European Innovation Scoreboard, 2020). You'll find Utrecht Region in the heart of the Netherlands: the sixth-largest EU economy, the world's fifth-largest exporter and the fourth-best country in the world for doing business in (Forbes, 2018). Utrecht Region is the most innovative region in this thriving, prosperous country (Regional Innovation Scoreboard, European Commission 2019).

Since 2010, Utrecht has consistently been in the top three most competitive regions on the European mainland according to the European Commission’s Regional Competitiveness Index. This index covers 263 regions throughout Europe and comprises 11 pillars focusing on different aspects of competitiveness. Utrecht Region scores particularly well on infrastructure (digital and physical), health, human capital and innovation. The region offers a supportive, collaborative environment where companies, research institutes, government and residents work together to foster a healthy, innovative and sustainable society.

Dynamic research and development environment

The Netherlands is one of the leading destinations for research and development (R&D) activities due to its renowned research institutes and universities, test facilities and highly educated talent. Besides, the Dutch government has several supportive incentives, making it attractive for companies to establish their R&D activities in this country.

Education, expertise, research and entrepreneurship come together at Utrecht Science Park. 10 knowledge institutions and 128 R&D companies (half of which start-ups) are established at this science park, primarily active in the field of Life Sciences & Health (LSH) and Sustainability. The fact that all these institutes and companies are within walking distance from each other, makes it possible to quickly translate research into innovative solutions. Together they form an integrated ecosystem that unlocks the full potential of business, industry and academia. It helps create a healthier, safer and more sustainable world for everyone, including future generations.


The supportive incentives of the government at a glance

  • An overall excellent tax climate (e.g. WBSO and Innovationbox, 30% ruling).
  • Income related to development and patents is only taxed at 7%.
  • An innovation loan supports companies in the development phases of new products or services.
  • SEED capital is available through loans or venture capital funds. The Dutch Venture Initiative II is a 200 million euro fund supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economy and Climate Policy.

Our Team International is happy to advise you about setting up or expanding your R&D activities to Utrecht Region. They can connect you with the right people and networks who can help you to utilise all the advantages for innovative project fully. 

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Inventive and creative

Utrecht Region’s rich history, welcoming character and natural beauty have long inspired invention and creativity. The region also boasts an innovative start-up community. Joining its start-up ecosystem has been made easy with the introduction of the Start-up Visa, a special residence permit for international entrepreneurs. Visit the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website to find out more about this permit


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