The plans are in the Growth Agenda South Holland, which was launched on Tuesday 16 March during a conference with, among others, Edith Schippers president of DSM Nederland, Kim Putters the director of the Social Cultural Planning Office, Ingrid Thijssen president of VNO-NCW, Tim van der Hagen rector magnificus of TU Delft and King's Commissioner Jaap Smit.
Jaap Smit, commissioner of the King: “The South Holland Growth Agenda solves the greatest social challenges and earns many billions of euros extra for the Netherlands. But that will only work if the government adds € 1 billion annually to our investments and takes a more integrated look at the region. Closer cooperation with the government is logical, because the whole of the Netherlands will reap the benefits of investing in South Holland.” The Growth Agenda consists of numerous concrete projects that can be implemented quickly and that, among other things, tie in well with the National Growth Fund and the funds of the European Union.
South Holland is facing major challenges. Almost a quarter of the Dutch population lives in the region and another 400,000 people will be added in the coming decades. This puts pressure on the housing market, the labor market and accessibility. At the same time, 1/3 of the national CO2 emissions come from South Holland. This is the place where the energy transition must take shape. Finally, the economic performance of South Holland is lagging behind with comparable regions and there is a risk of high unemployment. Due to their size, all these South Holland challenges have national urgency. The Growth Agenda South Holland provides a long-term action agenda that makes a major contribution to the Dutch economy and society.
Edith Schippers, president of DSM Netherlands: “DSM is one of the world's top bioscience, with Delft as a global hub. By investing in the South Holland economy, this region can develop into the Silicon Valley of bioscience. The Growth Agenda offers an excellent opportunity to strengthen the region as a global hub in the field of healthy and sustainable food and raw materials. For example, more than ten young innovative companies are located on the Biotech Campus Delft, such as Meatable, which is a global leader in the development of cultured meat. It is crucial for the innovative capacity and growth of the Netherlands to help these types of companies grow on their own soil. ”
The OECD, Erasmus University and NEO Observatory have calculated that the coherent implementation of the South Holland Growth Agenda will structurally lead to 1 percentage point extra annual growth in the region. This means a structural 12% extra economic growth after 10 years. In the long term, this will lead to € 24 billion in structural extra GDP for the Netherlands. It has also been calculated that this approach will generate 120,000 jobs.
Aziza Akhmouch, Head of the Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, OECD: “With the Growth Agenda, the South Holland region has taken a major step in implementing previous OECD recommendations. This agenda should not be a one-off effort, but a long-term collaboration between local, regional and national partners to realize a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive future. ”
South Holland has many innovative SME entrepreneurs, leading knowledge institutions, strong sectors and the largest European port. This gives the region a good starting position to continue to make a major contribution to widespread prosperity and inclusive employment in South Holland and the Netherlands in the coming decades. But then investments must now be made to renew the economy and the business climate in the region. Private and public parties from South Holland are therefore simultaneously investing in: knowledge & innovation ecosystems and key technologies; the manufacturing industry; the energy infrastructure, biotechnology, the mobility transition and lifelong development. The key players in South Holland are in the starting blocks and are asking the government to participate.
The full South Holland Growth Agenda can be found here (note: document is in Dutch).