Amsterdam's life sciences and health industry

Amsterdam is a world leader in life sciences and health. Research institutions, universities, established corporations and young startups are found throughout the city, which benefits from a central European location and an incredibly high level of digital and logistical connectivity. It also has an educated workforce ready to take on the challenges that will change the future, and ultimately, improve our everyday lives.

  • Benefits from the Netherlands #1 ranking in the Global Connectedness Index 2018

  • Features an innovative research, business and learning hub at Amsterdam Science Park


  • One of the world’s top 5 tech cities with the highest level of broadband penetration

  • Has a talented academic community and two dedicated science faculties

  • Home to a growing community of over 300 life sciences companies

  • Offers a multilingual, highly-skilled workforce

Europe’s densest and most innovative life sciences and health community

When it comes to life sciences and health in Amsterdam, “community” is much more than a buzzword. The local area has internationally-renowned universities, academic hospitals and research institutions, including the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. Also, the European Medicines Agency relocated to Amsterdam from London in 2019, bringing 650 staff members along for the journey. The decision to establish a Dutch base was inspired by the presence of robust, accessible business and academic communities that are a source of innovation, inspiration and feedback. 

The life sciences and health industry thrives on cooperation and the proximity of businesses and institutions, which creates a unique synergy few other locations can offer. Multinationals, startups and other organisations focused on everything from how doctors treat depression to smart wheelchairs collaborate and form partnerships in specialised hubs like Amsterdam Science Park and the Amsterdam Life Sciences District

Merging medicine and technology

In Amsterdam, life sciences and health have a close relationship with technology. Many of the industry’s leading businesses focus on things like artificial intelligence, paving the way for a future where robots perform complicated procedures and other important tasks. The city even has a think tank that focuses on improving the life expectancy of its citizens through AI.  

Data science is also a hot topic in the Dutch capital, which is home to over 600 researchers focused on this cutting-edge field. Working closely together, they explore how machine learning can improve healthcare by using computers to analyse vast amounts of data and determine the optimal course of treatment for patients. For instance, a doctor might have limited experience treating a rare condition, but a computer can study outcomes across hundreds or thousands of cases, helping determine the best way to care for someone.

A truly connected city

The Dutch capital is connected on many levels. Serving as a gateway to Europe, it makes reaching a meeting in Brussels or an academic conference in Paris quick and easy. The city is also prepared to cope with the challenges of logistics in the life sciences and health industry. For instance, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has a specialised pharma zone, while the Port of Amsterdam has biomass transhipment facilities, so professionals know they’re in safe hands. 

Considering the prominence of the local tech and startup scenes, it’s little surprise that Amsterdam is digitally connected, too. The Netherlands has three million fibre optic connections, allowing local businesses to enjoy lightning-fast internet speeds. Data centres are located throughout the country as well, and many recycle the heat they generate, which is even used to grow vegetables in greenhouses

The future of life sciences and health is looking bright in Amsterdam. Backed by a skilled workforce, reliable connections of every kind and a team spirit, the city is set to be the birthplace of game-changing innovations in the years ahead, making it one to watch.

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