Design and innovation has been at the core of Eindhoven since the city started to boom in the late 19th century. Located in the south of the Netherlands, Eindhoven was just a village in 1900.

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It grew exponentially when the electronics giant Philips was founded in 1891 and is now the Netherlands’ fifth-largest city. During the 1990s Philips moved to Amsterdam, with consequent industrial decline in the area. Eindhoven built on its heritage and today remains a centre of high-tech research and industry with a top technology institute, and is a magnet for knowledge workers. Drawing on the Phillips legacy, design is also an important product.

. The Dutch Design Academy is now located in the former Philips factory and is considered central to the city’s success.


Eindhoven is also the centre of the ‘Brainport Region’, one of the top three economic engines of the Netherlands.  Brainport refers to the economic status of the wider Eindhoven Region as compared to the other key drivers of the Dutch economy; the Seaport Rotterdam and the Airport Amsterdam.

Alongside the ‘Brainport Next Generation’ strategy, the City of Eindhoven works with its Smart Society program to guide the city through the current era of digitalisation.


With a goal as the improvement of quality of life, the city is advanced in terms of developing, testing and applying smart technologies and ICT for urban services and sustainable development. Eindhoven is known for its ‘Open Innovation’ approach.  The city now combines open innovation with the quadruple helix approach and whilst it may seem to happen naturally in the Netherlands, it is the product of years of partnership working where partners are prepared to make compromises and work beyond their normal context. By working in clusters the private sector has been put in the driving seat and expect financial contributions in return. This is a new way of working for public officials and requires a more flexible approach.

City Insights - Eindhoven