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hub for tech and AI collaboration in Amsterdam Science Park
Image from Jannes Linders fotograaf

Innovation districts in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an established innovation hub led by a network of local and international businesses, research institutions, top tier universities and supported by municipal and regional governments. Throughout the region emerging innovation districts are helping to create a more liveable, healthy, and sustainable society.

Collaboration towards a better future

Ranked #1 most innovative small city in 2023, the Amsterdam Area thrives on creativity and collaboration making it the perfect place for companies to contribute to world-leading research and develop human-centric solutions. With a strong focus on ethical technology, Amsterdam is leading the way in smart city solutions, advancements in life science and health, as well as climate action.

Innovation districts in Amsterdam are vibrant hubs offering opportunities to work, live, study, and collaborate. These areas foster partnerships among knowledge institutions, cultural entities, businesses, and the municipality, focusing on crucial innovations for the city's future. 

There are eight main innovation districts, each catering to certain sectors yet all areas embrace the collaborative spirit that makes Amsterdam a true innovation hub.

The eight knowledge quarters and campuses

These innovation districts focus on complex technologies like artificial intelligence, future medicines, energy efficiency, and societal equality. The renowned research institutions, cultural organisations, and companies converge to innovate for a better society.

Amsterdam Science Park

Home to some 176 companies – from start-ups to multinationals – Amsterdam Science Park is a thriving hub for research, education and entrepreneurship in the fields of digital innovation & AI, sustainability, life sciences & health and high-tech systems & materials.

Opened in June 2023, Matrix ONE is a multi-function office/lab space designed to help students, researchers, and companies work together towards sustainable solutions. The building facilitates forward-thinking collaboration by providing a space for students, researchers, entrepreneurs and companies that are focused on accelerating the transition to a sustainable society. One example of this is Sustainalab, a co-creation hub that aims to connect research and education with solutions that tackle climate issues. 

Image from Courtesy of Amsterdam Science Park

Kenniskwartier/Innovation District Zuidas

Kenniskwartier also known as the Innovation District Zuidas, houses numerous life science and healthcare organisations with a strong focus on innovation. This district offers aspiring entrepreneurs an ideal environment to transform their research ideas into thriving businesses, with access to extensive expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.  This area is driving advancements and collaboration in medical knowledge led by the VU University Medical Center within Amsterdam UMC.

Merged with the Vrije University Medical Center in 2018, Amsterdam UMC is a leading medical centre that serves as a collaborative research, education, and test ground for the latest innovations in patient care, such as using AI to assist in discharge of ICU patients.

Modern Medical Research Laboratory: Portrait of Latin, Black Young Scientists Using Microscope and Giving High Five after Receiving Successful Results. Diverse Team of Specialists work in Advanced Lab
Image from Gorodenkoff

Amsterdam Life Science District

Situated in the southeast of the city, Amsterdam Life Sciences District is an innovative ecosystem of entrepreneurs, companies, and scientific researchers all focused on using technology to solve healthcare’s greatest challenges. Home to innovative companies like Wacker Biotech and Amsterdam Skills Centre, the district cultivates advancements in med-tech, e-health, and gene therapy.

Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute (ahti) is at the heart of the district and aims to enhance urban healthcare by connecting the dots between individuals, technology, and medical expertise through innovation and entrepreneurship. With a broad network of healthcare and business experts, ahti supports healthtech solutions that improve care quality, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness locally and around the world.

life science and health
Image from Photo by on Unsplash


Since 2013, the government and the municipality of Amsterdam have been working together to turn Marineterrein Amsterdam into a cutting-edge urban district. This transformation aims to make the area inclusive and innovative by experimenting with solutions for urban challenges, contributing to the development of a future-proof city.

This former navy base is now a space for experimentation to address the growing number of challenges urban areas face. These include projects that aim to test sustainable solutions like a hanging wall of plants that filter waste water to make it reusable for things like flushing the toilet and watering your garden.

Home to The AMS Institute which focuses on driving applied city solutions through urban experimentation, partnerships, and data analysis. It collaborates closely with public and private partners, as well as citizens, to translate data-driven ideas into practical applications.

living lab for water recycling located at Marineterrein
Image from CINDERELA / AMS Institute

Knowledge Mile

Led by local leaders, The Knowledge Mile has evolved and undergone a transformation throughout the years, serving as a dynamic living lab. Collaborating with the municipality of Amsterdam, the BIZ Knowledge Mile initiated the Knowledge Mile Park project in 2019. This partnership aims to engage residents and entrepreneurs in greening and enhancing the sustainability of the Knowledge Mile, envisioning it as a green and sustainable city street by 2025, marking the city's 750th anniversary. The area includes approximately 200 companies, hotels, museums and social and municipal institutions that are united in the BIZ, intending to innovate sustainably together.

Knowledge Mile
Image from Knowledge Mile

Roeterseiland Campus

Roeterseiland Campus is a dynamic urban campus in constant evolution. Serving as a nexus for education, research, knowledge institutions, and business, it plays a collective role in shaping the future. This centrally located Amsterdam campus is a dynamic hub for economics, law, behavioural sciences, and science enthusiasts, seamlessly blending academic life with city interaction. It fosters collaborations between faculties and society, accommodating students, employees, residents, and entrepreneurs, hosting the faculties of Economics and Business, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Law since 2017.

In the centre of the campus is CREA, a dynamic student centre hosting creative courses, lectures, workshops, debates, and performances. Embracing both mainstream and subculture, contemporary and classic, it provides a unique space for diverse thinking, perspectives, and engagement with social issues.

University of Amsterdam
Image from Romaine, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


The University Quarter thrives in the lively and historic heart of Amsterdam, encompassing a square kilometre of knowledge and culture. It hosts the Faculty of Humanities and the newly established University Library, along with the Allard Pierson and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. As the birthplace of the University of Amsterdam, it embodies a commitment to progressive education and groundbreaking research. 

The University Quarter symbolises tranquillity, contemplation, and both national and international collaboration, fostering connections with esteemed research institutions, cultural entities, and businesses. It serves as a meeting place for students, staff, and entrepreneurs, shaping the intersection of UvA and the city—a stimulating environment for those passionate about science and culture.

Spring at the Kloveniersburgwal Bushuis UVA
Image from Edwin van Eis


Health and Innovation District (Hid) is situated in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. This community is a collaborative effort involving Sanquin (the Dutch national blood bank), Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Cordaan, and Centrum voor Zorg Slotervaart, striving to integrate care, research, living, and education seamlessly.

Focusing on Red Biotech, Hid strives to tackle societal challenges and enhance patients' well-being uniquely. The organisation actively supports innovators in expediting their solutions for patients and society, making a meaningful impact. In this collaborative community, established institutions mingle with emerging startups to exchange knowledge and develop new solutions for the betterment of patients worldwide. Emphasising connection, collaboration, and innovation, Hid fosters advancements in health.

Image from Courtesy of Sanquin

Collaborative hubs advancing life sciences and health

Amsterdam fosters a community of innovation by bringing together scientific talent, academic institutions, companies, and startups to foster knowledge-sharing and growth in the field of healthcare. With Europe’s latest concentration of scientific talent, the focus is on future-forward solutions that incorporate AI, data science, high-tech systems, materials, and sustainability. Supported by the presence of the European Medicines Agency, the area is a hotbed of high-quality research and practical application.

Image from Too van Velzen

Tackling the transition to sustainable practices

The City of Amsterdam has set ambitious energy targets, aiming to become emission-free by 2030, eliminate natural gas by 2040, and achieve complete climate neutrality by 2050. In order to meet these ambitions, there is a need for innovative solutions that can revolutionise current practices. The city actively invests in energy transition by establishing dedicated hubs, which bring together businesses, researchers, and policymakers, fostering a collaborative environment to develop and implement sustainable energy solutions.

The innovation areas and significant collaborations are safeguarding our future. It is noteworthy that the Amsterdam Area, despite its relatively small geographical size, displays a vibrant atmosphere of creativity and forward-thinking. The region's dynamic landscape is characterised by bustling innovation hubs and living labs, showcasing a commitment to pioneering ideas and ensuring a secure and progressive future.