Introduction of the Economic Board Zuid-Holland


The EBZ, the Economic Board Zuid-Holland (region South Holland in the Netherlands), is a high-level council that brings together knowledge institutions, industry and government. Based on this ‘triple helix’ concept and by combining a wide range of expertise, insights, administrative know-how and networking potential, this ‘board of boards’ aims to develop strategic initiatives that are designed to strengthen the economy and achieve the region’s economic objectives.

South Holland is a real-life testing ground with an impressive record in devising, shaping and marketing pioneering solutions, not least in the fields of health and nutrition, maritime and logistics, security and water management. We need to draw on our innovative talents at this point to further strengthen our region by focussing on four specific areas: the economy, energy, physical and digital connectivity and cities and their surroundings.

Making the region attractive is a perquisite for growth. Together with the government, the EBZ is working towards an economic strategy that has better and simpler regulations, which may involve regulation-free zones, and quicker administrative procedures.

DNA of South Holland

South Holland has everything required to become one of Europe’s top economic regions. It already hosts many leading international companies, first-class education and knowledge institutions, the largest port in Europe and state-of-the-art green ports centred on the agro-food and green sectors. The region also enjoys an international reputation in the field of peace and justice.

From clean technologies and health and life sciences to food production, recycling and safety and security, South Holland has developed a global reputation. Its high concentration of companies and knowledge institutions in these sectors alongside the port as an international hub and industrial centre is a powerful mix.

Interaction as a condition for innovation

But we can and must do better. The region’s potential has not yet been maximised. We need to ensure adequate employment opportunities for all sections of the population. Moreover, although our region has the highest population density and number of facilities and knowledge institutions within the Netherlands, both physical and digital connectivity needs to be improved. Our economy is based on some very strong sectors, but the connections between them, precisely where innovation is taking place, are not taking shape quickly enough.

The region must become more attractive if it is to achieve its full potential. Interaction is an important condition for stimulating ideas and innovation. Renewing the economy by bringing together sectors with the aim of forging links – agglomeration power – is the region’s key challenge.

If you have any questions, please contact us via the secretariat.