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Utrecht Region once again among Europe's most competitive regions

feb 28, 2017


The Utrecht Region has once more reached the absolute pinnacle of Europe's most competitive
regions. According to the European Commission (EC), Utrecht is ranked equal second, close
behind London and ahead of regions such as Paris and Frankfurt. The index was compiled on
the basis of over seventy indicators. These relate to topics including innovation, accessibility,
digital infrastructure, education, health and the labour market.

"Thanks to all residents, entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, carers, and literally everyone who
assisted us in achieving this leading position. This is a splendid result for all, achieved as a result
of close collaboration in our efforts to create an excellent residential, working, living and
investment environment, during the aftermath of the economic crisis. This makes our region both
unique and extremely competitive," says King's Commissioner for the Province of Utrecht, Van
Beek.

"We are sitting on a goldmine, and are becoming increasingly adept at reaping the benefits
together. The European Commission's recognition has given us the boost required to proceed
energetically on our current course. The world is constantly changing, after all. And we still face
considerable challenges, such as our labour market and the far-reaching digitisation of society.
Our joint commitment to healthy urban living should nevertheless set us in good stead to
successfully tackle these challenges," says Mayor Bolsius of the Municipality of Amersfoort.

Mayor of Utrecht, Jan van Zanen: "We are turning the Utrecht Region into a living lab, designed
to yield solutions to the issue of how a rapidly expanding region like ours might successfully
combine good health, a flourishing economy and conservation of our green living environment. A
new export product."

Labour market
According to the Commission, the Utrecht Region is among the European leaders in the field of
education and the labour market. In order to retain this position, however, considerable
investments will have to be made during the next few years, to ensure that the skills of Utrecht's
working population adequately match labour market demands. The same applies when it comes
to rendering Utrecht attractive to talent from abroad. Furthermore, a higher level of enrolment
in IT courses is essential if we are to remain competitive.

Innovation as a driver of economic growth
The Utrecht Region has a young working population, its scientists possess excellent knowledge,
while the economy is highly service-based, and its local authorities, businesses and knowledge &
educational institutes collaborate closely with one another. These factors enable Utrecht to
perform particularly well in the field of both the development and application of new
technologies. The Utrecht Region also offers ample scope for businesses to devise new solutions
for a healthy urban lifestyle, then validate, swiftly apply and introduce them to the international
market. Flagship firms in this field include Merus, Genmab (based at the Utrecht Science Park),
2Getthere, Energyworx, FocusCura, Energetika and Lomboxnet.

Previous scores in the index
In two previous editions of the index, Utrecht achieved scores which put it in first place, among
all 266 regions participating. This latest edition is based on figures accumulated during the years
2014 and 2015, a period in which the Netherlands in general and the Utrecht Region in particular
were still affected by the aftermath of the economic crisis.

More information:
Economic Board Utrecht
+3130-2382858
info@economicboardutrecht.nl

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-333_en.htm

 

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