Mon, Jul 29, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Dutch city is patently the world’s most inventive

AFP, EINDHOVEN, Netherlands

Brainport contributed about 13.5 billion euros (US$17.8 billion) or 8 percent to Dutch exports in 2011 and aims by 2020 to be one of the top 10 technology regions in the world.

However, Henk Volberda of Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management warns that more investment in small startup companies is needed if Eindhoven wants to remain competitive on a global level.

“We need to see ... less dependence on the big companies like Philips and ASML [the leading lithograph maker used to manufacture computer chips],” Volberda said.

Last year already saw a 10 percent drop in patents filed by the Netherlands at the Hague-based European Patent Office, partly down to a drop in applications from Philips as it streamlines activities.

Currently, the Netherlands is ranked fourth in the world in this year’s Global Innovation Index report, ahead of the US, Finland, Germany and Japan.

Switzerland, home to a plethora of pharmaceutical multinationals, claimed the top spot for the third year running, in the report, released by Cornell University, the INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

However, the Dutch ranking could be jeopardized if the delicate balance between public and private money, always difficult to maintain in times of economic downturn, is threatened.

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