The province of Friesland (Fryslan) in the Northwest of The Netherlands is proud of its independent, innovative heritage. They not only speak the regional Friesian language, many websites support a URL domain name ending in .frl.
Yet no-one can accuse this region of being behind – in many respects they take the lead. Provincial capital Leeuwarden hosts the recently expanded Water Campus, regarded by many corporates and startups as the European Water Technology Hub. Friesland is also home to global “scale-ups” such as AppMachine. With headquarters in Heerenveen, CEO Siebrand Dijkstra and his team are setting the new standard for enabling users to build their own native mobile apps.
Leeuwarden is also doing a lot with various creative industries in preparation for 2018 when it will celebrate as the Cultural Capital City of Europe.
Van Hall Larenstein is the largest 'Green' University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, focusing on nature management, rural development, food production, security and safety. The other two large Universities of applied science, both Stenden and Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden, contribute to student entrepreneurship. Amongst others the three universities participate in the Noorderlingen programma. Both NHL and Stenden support the Inqubator Leeuwarden which boosts entrepreneurship throughout the province of Friesland.
The Drachten ICT Innovation cluster is the latest partnership to take off. It’s an alliance between eight companies, Neopost Technologies, BD Kiestra, Variass, Irmato, Norma-IMS, SMST, Philips CL Drachten and WhisperPower. Together they invest over €90 million annually in new innovation.
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