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East Netherlands: Innovation Profile

The differentiating power of innovation for our region.

East Netherlands is ‘Smart & Healthy.’ A large number of education and research institutes as well as companies in our region are leaders in Europe when it comes to innovations in the sectors Agro-Food, Life Sciences & Health, High Tech Systems and Materials, Energy and Environmental Technology. But what truly sets East Netherlands apart from other comparable regions in Europe? The Innovation Profile East Netherlands gives us the answer.

The European Commission stimulates innovation by providing access to funding and other resources. But the competition in Europe for these resources is fierce, with a growing number of companies and other organisations all vying for support. Ever more the reason to turn the spotlight on the unique qualifications of our region of East Netherlands.  In the Innovation Profile East Netherlands we offer a clear profile of what sets us apart from other European regions.

The two flagships of East Netherlands

The Innovation Profile is organised under two ‘flagships,’ each with three separate focus areas. Companies and other organisations that choose to develop innovations under either one of these two headers can count on strong support and profiling in front of the EU. They will be the embodiment of the power of innovation in East Netherlands.


Flagship 1.

Smart and Sustainable Industries

The strength of the manufacturing industry in East Netherlands is not to be underestimated. Industrial activities, especially in the areas of sustainability combined with cooperation up and down the value chain, make our region a strong leader for developing towards a true ‘Smart Industry.’ The business community, government institutions, institutes of research and higher education, as well as respective partners, all work together on executing the Action Agenda Smart Industry East Netherlands (BOOST). This cooperation has resulted in innovations that are clearly focused on common European topics, such as the ‘circular economy’ and ‘digital society.’ Examples of this cooperation, which also extends across the border to German companies, include the ROCKET (Regional Collaboration on Key Enabling Technologies) and SPECTORS (Sensor Products for Enterprises Creating Technological Opportunities in Remote Sensing) programs.


The three focus areas within Smart and Sustainable Industries are:

  • Smart Manufacturing and Materials: development and application of materials on a molecular and nano-scale;
  • Smart Food Production: producing healthy food without damaging the environment;
  • Bio-based Production: sustainable use of natural resources for manufacturing and energy production.


Flagship 2.

Concepts for a Healthy Life

In East Netherlands, new knowledge, insights and techniques are used to develop concepts for broad application in the healthcare and medical sectors. Examples of initiatives in East Netherlands are the ‘Healthy Brain’ and ‘Food for Health’ initiatives, as well as the cross-border cooperation taking place in the INTERREG-sponsored project MIND (Medical Innovations Netherlands / Deutschland).


Within the Concepts for a Healthy Life flagship there are three focus areas:

  • Health Technology and Delivery Systems: development and application of technological as well as societal solutions in the healthcare and medical sector;

  • Healthy Brain: developing knowledge in regards to the human brain (molecular, behaviour, etc.), to support solutions in healthcare;

  • Personalised Health and Nutrition: bespoke medical diagnostics, treatment and guidance, as well as improving the applicability of the opportunities that biochemical developments can offer.





The Innovation Profile East Netherlands is a collaborative initiative of networking and trade organisations, institutes of higher learning and research, universities, trade organisations and the two provinces in East Netherlands: Province of Gelderland, Province of Overijssel, CHE, FoodValley NL, HAN, Health Valley, Novel-T, KiEMT, Radboud UMC, Radboud University, RCT Gelderland, Saxion, Oost NL, University Twente, Van Hall Larenstein, VNO-NCW Midden, Wageningen University & Research Center, Windesheim.