Internationalisation: collaboration across borders

Innovation is in the DNA of the Netherlands

The first microscope, submarine and four-wheel drive system, the Deltawerken flood defences, the Compact Disc, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the construction of a satellite network that makes the Internet of Things a global reality; these are all ground-breaking Dutch innovations.

So it is hardly surprising that we are one of the global frontrunners in the field of high tech innovations; a country that helps shape the world. In 2019, for example, the Netherlands was fourth on the European Patent Office's international ranking list, with no fewer than 404 patent applications per million inhabitants.

The demand for high tech products is increasing worldwide. Our top sector develops and produces semi-finished products, components and materials for the entire world. This makes the ecosystem of Holland High Tech one of the largest exporters of our top sectors.

We actively seek solutions to societal challenges and enjoy collaborating with others in the process. Holland High Tech acts as an accelerator of the overall innovation process. Through collaboration in the innovation helix and our specific focus on key enabling technologies, we create knowledge and solutions that contribute to valuable innovations domestically and abroad. Dutch solutions to global issues.

Our ecosysteem

Our ecosystem in the Netherlands employs about 500,000 people, generating €50 billion in exports. Based on those figures, the Holland High Tech top sector is one of the largest exporters of knowledge and goods.

The Netherlands is in an excellent position to take advantage of current market developments. The demand for high tech products is increasing worldwide. Our top sector develops and produces semi-finished products, components and materials for the entire world. This makes the ecosystem of Holland High Tech one of the largest exporters of our top sectors.

Many end products are increasingly composed of electronics, software and new materials. These developments are based on key enabling technologies that are firmly rooted in the Netherlands: microelectronics, nano electronics, nanotechnology, photonics, advanced materials, semiconductors, electronic components and systems.

Holland High Tech's internationalisation strategy

Our internationalisation strategy is based on four main themes:

  • export
  • technological collaboration
  • strategic acquisition
  • human capital

Our goal, together with all the partners in our ecosystem, is to achieve a leading position internationally and to increase our exports to some €75 billion by 2025. We will achieve this by focusing our efforts on four activities:

  • Activation
    Participation in strategic trade shows, trade missions, innovation missions, exploratory missions, etc.
  • Sector plans
    Plans (ready or in progress) for automotive, robotics, photonics, semiconductors, aerospace and composites
  • Country plans
    We have developed specific plans for Germany and France together with Dutch and foreign partners and government authorities in the innovation helix
  • Programme management
    Implementation and monitoring of the action programmes in the sub-sectors and countries in collaboration with the mission teams in other countries, the Netherlands Investment Agency (RVO) and NL in Business.

International country plans

What market opportunities exist specifically for your organisation? What are the challenges, which innovations can be deployed abroad in the short term, and which knowledge institutions and governments are looking for (technology) partners?

Based on needs for Dutch solutions in Germany and France, Holland High Tech has formulated a number of strategic instruments: the international country plans for Germany and France. Dutch companies and knowledge institutions are ready and waiting to contribute to innovative solutions for Energy, Sustainability and Digitalisation. Read more about this in our country plans.

Plan for Germany


This plan focuses on Energy and Digitalisation. It considers e-mobility, smart charging stations, feeding energy back into the grid, Artificial Intelligence, data-driven communication and the application of innovations in lightweight materials in the automotive and aerospace industries. In addition, it looks at regions where there are promising trade opportunities.

Download the plan here (Dutch)

Plan for France


This plan marks the kick-off of a multi-year public-private programme that aims to bring Dutch and French partners together in projects and create opportunities for mutual support. It focuses on Sustainability and Digitalisation, specifically in relation to the aerospace and automotive industries and key enabling technologies, including composites and photonics.

Download the plan here (Dutch) 


Spring event 2021: Internationalisation

At the Spring Event of Holland High Tech (during Dutch Technology Week), the topic was Innovation & export, market opportunities across the border with the focus on Germany and France. Watch this event here (in Dutch).

Plan for Germany

The partners of Holland High Tech have combined their strengths and knowledge to produce this joint plan for Germany. It targets closer collaboration with Germany, not only as a trading partner, but specifically as a technology and innovation partner.

2021 Holland High Tech Yearly Event

Guustaaf Savenije, the managing director of VDL ETG, spoke about the innovation capabilities of the Netherlands. “Committing to quantum computing is important for the Netherlands. [...] Thermal management is a great spin-off of quantum computing! We can become world leaders in this technology, which has the potential to generate a wave of new companies.”



More information? Contact:
Stijn Bouwhuis
Tel: +31629647803

Send an e-mail


For our internationalisation strategy, we cooperate with International Innovation Attachés Network, the Netherlands Investment Agency (RVO) and NL in Business. 

Current dossiers

What is going on in the ecosystem? Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in our top sector and discover the latest high tech applications and ongoing research.

To the current dossiers