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Eidhoven (NL)

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With approximately 210,000 inhabitants, Eidhoven is the fifth city of the Netherlands. However the economy of the Eindhovenregion is the second largest in the Netherlands- and it is the economy of the future.

The Eindhovenregion is one of the powerhouses of the Dutch economy and is widely regarded as one of the high tech hotspots inEurope. The region accounts for fourteen per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Forty per cent of all investments in Research & Development in theNetherlandsare made in theEindhovenregion. But Eindhoven and the surrounding region is not only an excellent place for investments. It is also the place to start up innovative businesses, to study, to work and to relax.

The City of Eindhovenis a local authority with all regular competences of public authorities in theNetherlands. Apart from the regular competences in the field of economic, social, environmental, mobility, public safety and other policies, Eindhoven has the ambition to be an economically strong region focusing on leadership in technology and innovation. Following from this, the city strongly focuses on creating supportive structures in the domains of labour market, technology development and business development. To this end, Eindhoven has established the Brainport Foundation, a triple helix structure involving also the knowledge sector and private enterprise.

As the fifth largest city and the generally recognised centre of innovation in the Netherlands,Eindhovenhas an important capacity to influence key national and regional policies. With Brainport, the city and region have also created a vehicle that is proving its strength in successfully influencing national policy agendas on innovation, manufacturing industry and Science & Technology related subjects.

Through its unique triple helix organisation, Brainport Eindhoven also is able to match the policy objectives with the specific wishes and the needs of the knowledge and private sectors in the region.Eindhoven, partly through the Brainport structure, has ample experience in developing market driven platforms and structures that help companies, both MNEs and SMEs, gain innovative edge and competitive strengths. This goes from supply chain driven projects, to technology development platforms, R&D programming and related HR issues in terms of attracting and retaining (international) knowledge workers.

Having created an adaptive structure and a good knowledge of the absorption capacity of new and novel tools and platforms for individual companies, Eindhoven is now focusing on the search for good practices from elsewhere that could be used as a ‘plug-in’ solution for unsolved issues in the Eindhoven-Brainport region. 

Eindhoven & CSR

Eindhovenhas identified sustainability as an overriding ambition for the city, both the Council and its local partners. The city ofEindhovenis currently implementing an integrated methodology to become a more sustainable organisation: the Natural Step. This will ensureEindhovenwill achieve a more sustainable and responsible municipal organisation. It includes purchasing and procurement policies, both of which have important consequences for relations with the private sector, particularly SMEs.

During this process,Eindhovenwill work with partners in the city that share its vision and ambitions in this field. SMEs are one of the main target groups in this 2nd step. The Council would like to inspire them, work with them and promote mutual learning on sustainability of their respective organisations.

Although theNetherlands, according to a 2006 CSR Europe study, was considered one of the Green 7 for CSR and the city ofEindhovenworks according to CSR national guidelines,Eindhovenstill has important improvements to make in sustainability policies in relation to the local business community.Eindhovencan offer an exemplary national system, but considers itself to be only at the very beginning of the process and has much to learn from others. The COGITA project is considered as a great learning opportunity and a support to turning the city’s political ambitions into practice.

Website: www.eindhoven.eu 

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