Life Sciences & Health in the Northern Netherlands

The Northern Netherlands has an exceptionally deep affinity with the life sciences and health sector, thanks to its strong universities and associated research institutes, as well as the many innovative companies in this sector that have chosen to base themselves in Groningen, Friesland, or Drenthe.

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Much of this sector is supported by initiatives led by University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG)- the largest hospital in the region- and the Medical Centre Leeuwarden (MCL), another large, modern research hospital.

A particular focus within the life sciences and health sector in the Northern Netherlands is ‘healthy ageing’. To this end, ERIBA (the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing) has been based at the UMCG since 2013, and has several research groups that dovetail with activities by companies in the life science sector. These research groups include: Ageing Biology and Stem Cells, Asymmetric Cell Division and Ageing, Cellular Senescence and Age-Related Pathology; Quantitative Epigenetics, amongst others. Another facet of age-related research and business within the Northern Netherlands is the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN). One of a number of cluster groups in the North, HANNN is a coming together of government organisations, researchers, and businesses all come together to tackle problems posed by biological ageing.
In the city of Leeuwarden, and in close co-operation with the MCL, the LIMIS institute is a world-renowned centre for expertise in laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. LIMIS has been in existence since 2002, and was formed by the laparoscopic team from the MCL. LIMIS is supported by a huge number of public and private groups, including the medial giant Johnson & Johnson, the province of Friesland, the NHL Hogeschool university; and the imaging company Olympus.

Another important resource located in the Northern Netherlands in this field is the Lifelines Biobank and Databank. Lifelines is a multidisciplinary study that records the health-related behaviour and general health of three generations of people in the Northern Netherlands, with an overall sample size of around 167,000 people. The Lifelines project is divided into two ‘BV’s’ (Dutch registered companies), that are incorporated with the support of the UMCG and University of Groningen.

Campus Groningen, who are responsible for harmonising scientific research and the business community, have created the Healthy Ageing Campus in the vicinity of the UMCG. It covers around 30 hectares, and aside from having ample space for incubator buildings and business laboratories, it also has an ‘R&D Hotel’, where companies can ‘check in’ for project work and to utilise flexible office space, and then ‘check out’ again once their project is over. This nimbleness and versatility is one of the guiding principles of the various support networks for life sciences and health companies.

Those interested in starting a life sciences and health-focussed company can make use of a number of facilities and organisations dedicated to the start-up environment. Aside from the various start-up incubators in Emmen, Groningen, and Leeuwarden there is also the Knowledge Conversion Fund that invests in young and high-tech companies; mainly through share capital. Perhaps the most important addition to the life sciences start up ecosystem is the Life Cooperative. In short, the Life Cooperative works as a ‘campus’ for SME’s, where resources are pooled and knowledge sharing is emphasised. Companies within the Life Cooperative may combine to (for example) purchase a particularly expensive piece of equipment, or exhibit together at various fairs around the world, or lobbying policy makers to provide more support for the sector. Aside from this, the Life Cooperative organises social events, interesting trips and mixers with other organisations and businesses that might be useful for a burgeoning life sciences company.

Companies and jobs in lifescience and health

Cortalix

Cortalix

  • Groningen
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • For jobseekers
  • Lifescience & Health
  • 1+

Junior contract sales representative

  • BD Kiestra Lab Automation B.V.
  • Fulltime (36-40hr)
  • For jobseekers
  • Innovatie Cluster Drachten
  • 4+
ThermoFisher

Thermo Fisher

  • Groningen
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Biotech
  • Lifescience & Health
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Valtes

  • Assen
  • Interested to hire permitholders
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Interested to hire PhDs
  • 5+
Cover Ivymedical

Ivy Medical

  • Groningen
  • Interested to hire PhDs
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Lifescience & Health
Poly

Polyvation

  • Groningen
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • (Green) Chemistry
  • Lifescience & Health
  • 1+
Download

Abbott Pharmaceuticals

  • Groningen
  • Interested to hire permitholders
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Interested to hire PhDs
  • 2+
Imds Hero

IMDS R&D B.V.

  • Roden
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Lifescience & Health
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Hint Engineering B.V.

  • Groningen
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Energy
  • Electronics
  • 5+
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Menicon

  • Emmen
  • Interested to hire PhDs
  • Interested to hire internationals
  • Lifescience & Health