Eindhoven Region, Netherlands, named Intelligent Community of the Year 2011
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the Eindhoven Region of the Netherlands as the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year 2011. Eindhoven, which made ICF’s list of the Top Seven finalists for three consecutive years, was succeeded Suwon, South Korea, the 2010 recipient.
The Eindhoven Region, south of Amsterdam, has long been the industrial center of Holland, with 730,000 inhabitants and a workforce of 400,000. Eindhoven generates €24 billion of GDP and €55 billion in exports, one-quarter of the Dutch total. It is a manufacturing center in a high-cost country. By focusing on producing high-value, technology-based products, it is in competition with fast-growing manufacturing centers in nations with much lower costs.
Eindhoven’s driving force to these achievements is a public-private partnership called Brainport Development. Its members include employers, research institutes, the Chamber of Commerce, the SRE, leading universities and the governments of the region’s three largest cities. A small professional staff meets regularly with stakeholders to identify their strengths, needs and objectives, then looks for opportunities for them to collaborate on business, social or cultural goals. Its range of projects includes broadband deployment and applications, workforce development, digital inclusion, marketing and advocacy for the region – and especially innovation.
ICF Co-founder Louis Zacharilla congratulated the new Intelligent Community of the Year, saying,
Eindhoven is the model for a new way of thinking about collaboration and regional development. It has developed an ecosystem that links its private sector, government and its academic and creative communities in a way that looks like an economic ‘triple helix.’ What has emerged is an extremely efficient local economy that can compete with anyone, anywhere. It is focused on what I call ambient innovation. It is constantly creating and redesigning itself based on its goals. It never loses focus. I am pleased that Eindhoven has finally achieved what it has sought, recognition as one of the world’s communities we can all learn from.