The Netherlands to invest €2.5 billion to strengthen business climate for chip industry in Brainport Eindhoven

Found in objects from telephones to solar panels and medical equipment, microchips play a crucial role in everyday life. Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions lead the way in the global chip industry. But in the Brainport Eindhoven region they’re coming up against limits in terms of personnel, space and energy. The Dutch central and regional governments have made agreements aimed at addressing these problems. This should safeguard the Netherlands’ position as an attractive business environment for the semiconductor industry and its suppliers. This industry is important for the Netherlands' earning capacity, and it provides jobs and contributes to our country's security and autonomy

In ‘Project Beethoven’, central government and regional authorities have worked out a substantial package of measures for education, knowledge and spatial infrastructure, amounting to €2.51 billion in total. The measures are intended to strengthen the Dutch chip industry and support the further growth of activities in the Brainport Eindhoven hub. The package includes investment in vocational and professional talent, and in sufficient space, good accessibility and affordable housing in the Brainport Eindhoven area. The government will also strive for a level playing field internationally and for better European coordination in the area of semiconductor technologies. In the short term the government will present alternative tax incentives for entrepreneurs, but these will require the approval of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Investing in talent

The availability of vocational, professional and academic talent is a crucial precondition for a strong chip industry in the Netherlands. With this in mind, the government will be making additional investments in talent development amounting to €450 million to the end of 2030 and €80 million annually after that. The aim is to rapidly increase enrolment in appropriate engineering courses, for example by recruiting and admitting more school leavers and encouraging more people to retrain for jobs in this industry. Since this is a national commitment, the government is asking institutions for secondary vocational and higher professional education and universities in four regions (Groningen, Enschede, Delft and Eindhoven) to work jointly with the industry on a detailed plan, to be presented in the short term. The plan should also aim to increase the diversity of the student population in engineering courses in order to benefit from all available talent.

Good accessibility, space and affordable housing

A good business climate also means ensuring good access to housing, business premises and public amenities. With an eye to this, central government and regional parties plan to invest substantially in infrastructure in the Brainport region. This will include additional investment in the Multimodal Hub Eindhoven project around Eindhoven central station, which will combine more capacity for domestic and international trains and buses with infrastructure for bicycles and new housing. Other measures will facilitate more express bus services in the region, for example between Eindhoven central station and Veldhoven and to destinations along the A2/N2 motorway. All this will result in quick and easy connections between campuses in the region and with Eindhoven central station. Additional money has been reserved for the A2/N2 motorways around Eindhoven. An evaluation is being carried out into how best to improve traffic flow on these routes. Finally, funding will also go to a broad package of measures that can be carried out in the short term, such as the creation of hubs and cycle routes and agreements with employers in the region. In total, the central government contribution will be €718 million and the regional contribution €340 million.

The government will conduct an exploratory study to identify grid capacity shortages in the Brainport region, after which Brainport Development will look at possible solutions for the areas where this problem is most concerning.

Central and regional authorities intend to build nearly 20,000 new homes by the end of 2030, on top of the 45,000 that were already planned as part of the regional housing agreement. Together they will provide €425 million for this purpose, thus making these newbuild projects financially feasible and investing in making the region a more attractive place to live and work.

Of central government’s total contribution, €1.28 billion will come from the National Growth Fund. Given the enormous growth potential that the chip industry and Brainport represent, as well as the positive role that a strong ecosystem can play in terms of addressing national challenges, these investments are in line with the National Growth Fund's purpose of strengthening the Netherlands’ future earning potential.

The government expects that these measures will lead ASML to continue to invest and base its operations in the Netherlands, including for statutory and tax purposes. The package of measures was designed based on current growth forecasts and investment plans of the semiconductor industry and Brainport Eindhoven. Any changes in these investment plans will result in an adjustment to the forecasts and the requisite public commitment.