Updated on 22 May 2012
There are now strong local life sciences and health clusters that operate on a global scale, with their own focus and strengths. Businesses cooperate successfully within and between clusters, and with other sectors with strengths in the same region.
Asian companies are also moving to the Netherlands. Japanese company Astellas recently made a decision to move to the Leiden Bio Science Park. At the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, the Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group, one of the largest pharma companies in China, established a joint venture with SU Biomedicine, a spin-off of the Netherlands' TNO Quality of Life. Soon to be located at the Park, SU Biomedicine focuses on the introduction of herbal medicines in the western market. The Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group produces both generic and herbal medicines and they will enter the European market through this new joint venture that focuses entirely on the safety, quality and effectiveness of their products.
What kind of investment does the Netherlands plan to make in the life sciences sector in 2012?
Ms Rancuret: The Dutch government has identified nine top sectors that they plan to strengthen with the help of Dutch businesses, as part of its new economic policy. The life sciences sector is one such sector in view of its current strong position and scope for growth. It is investing about $657.2 million (500 million euros) in public-private life sciences partnerships in the health domain. The industry, universities and medical centers have doubled the public investment to a total of $1.3 billion (1 billion euros).
The country has a national genomics program, eight universities in biomedical sciences, two agriculture universities and one veterinary sciences university. The Life Sciences and Health innovation program plans to invest $78.8 million (60 million euros) in some 100 projects over the next five years. Committed to its integrated approach to innovation, the program connects efforts being made by Top Institute Pharma, Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine and Biomedical Materials Program.