One of the priorities that the province of Zuid-Holland is working on in the coming years, is to make better use of our rich economic potential. Zuid-Holland in general accounts for around one fifth of the total added value from business activity in the Netherlands. The province has a strong concentration of knowledge, human capital and economic capital. Our ports, industries, agriculture and horticulture sectors, research institutes, colleges and universities are all world-renowned.
We intend to maintain this leading position, ensuring that the Port of Rotterdam retains its leading position in world shipping and that our agriculture and horticulture sectors remain among the world’s best. We are doing so by encouraging modernisation and the adoption of sustainable practices, and by making sure that these economic powerhouses can count on excellent accessibility by road, water, rail and air.
European partners and networks
Europe offers important instruments for exploiting our economic potential, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Horizon 2020. In order to effectively deploy these instruments, Zuid-Holland collaborates with the other Randstad provinces (Flevoland, Noord-Holland and Utrecht), with Eindhoven’s Brainport and other strong regions in Europe, for instance within the Vanguard network .
Technological developments and globalisation create a new economy with different dynamics. The province aims for a flexible, innovative and responsive economy, able to take advantage of the growth markets of the future.
Key clusters make this economically smart region an incubator of innovation. The region ranks among the world leaders in these sectors:
Zuid-Holland is a European hotspot of high-tech companies and knowledge institutes, and the region belongs to various top clusters. For that reason, Zuid-Holland does not focus on one or two priority clusters in the European Smart Specialisation Strategy (or S3, a strategic approach to economic development through targeted support to research and innovation). Instead, the province aims at strengthening the cross-overs of the strong clusters. These characteristics make Zuid-Holland an excellent real-life testing ground or real-life laboratory for smart urban regions.
Climate change, air pollution, a fast-growing world population and extreme urbanisation are the challenges of metropolitan regions across the globe. Our innovative companies work closely with universities, higher and intermediate vocational colleges and schools, and world-famous knowledge institutes in order to create solutions to these global challenges. We do not only conceive of solutions, but also develop and test them in our fieldlabs, for example the Green Village fieldlab that focuses on sustainable energy solutions, and the FreshTeq fieldlab that aims at ensuring a sufficient supply of fresh and healthy food to (mega)cities. The solutions that these fieldlabs deliver are crucial to safeguarding the quality of life of current and future generations.