Brainport: The Eindhoven region’s “eco-innovation system”

Over the last few decades, the Eindhoven region has been redesigned. Concepts such as “The High-Tech Campus” and “Brainport” have positioned the region as a knowledge-intensive hub within the European and global economies.

Partially because of restructuring at Philips and DAF, new companies, spin-offs, and initiatives have evolved from the disentanglement of these traditional industries. Industrial and knowledge clusters around metal and machine industry, electronics, transport, and food have arisen since the 1980s.

In 1984, ASML took over Philips’ aims regarding chip-making technology. Starting in a temporary wooden building, ASML soon became the world’s leading company in machinery for semiconductor fabrication. In 1997, the Philips electro-optical department merged with FEI, a leading American company in electron microscopes, which established its European headquarters in Eindhoven.

In addition, governments, knowledge institutions, and industry – the so called Triple Helix –worked closely together to safeguard employment and strengthen the manufacturing industry, entrepreneurship, and knowledge in the areas of high technology and design. The Triple Helix created favorable circumstances in which to attract new technology companies and knowledge institutions from around the world.

Located in a dense geographical area, knowledge-intensive industry and R&D institutions are invited to collaborate on new products and ideas in a climate of open innovation. This should help make Brainport one of Europe’s top three R&D regions.

How to cite this page


Eric Berkers, 'Brainport: The Eindhoven region’s “eco-innovation system”', Inventing Europe,


  1. Lintsen, Harry. “‘Brainport’, de toekomst: Hightech en design in een netwerkeconomie.” in De canon van Eindhoven, edited by Harry Linsten en P. Thoben, 205 – 216. Eindhoven, 2009.
  2. Brainport Eindhoven: Crossing Borders, moving frontiers. Eindhoven, 2004.
  3. Van de Meer, J., and others. Stille krachten. 25-jaar sociaal-economische ontwikkeling regio Eindhoven. Eindhoven, 2008.



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Eindhoven: Bulbs, Brains, and Design

In the course of a century, Eindhoven developed from a regional trade center to a global technological hub. Philips, car and truck factory DAF, and subsequently VDL Group and Philips offshoots ASML, FEI, and Neways Electronics made the city famous for technology and innovation. While design became another of the city’s trademarks, innovation center Brainport is working hard to secure the region’s future in valorizing knowledge.

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