Traditional Holland meets modern innovation

The region North of Amsterdam – located in the north of the province of Noord-Holland and including the cities Alkmaar, Den Helder and Hoorn – is renowned for its traditionally Dutch atmosphere, tourist-friendly windmills and tulip fields. But despite the peacefulness of the pleasant, expansive coastal landscape and historical Dutch villages, North of Amsterdam is anything but sleepy: it is an economically healthy and enterprising region brimming with ambition, a leader in the maritime and offshore sector, a frontrunner in agriculture, horticulture and energy, and a hotspot for tourism.

The region’s entrepreneurs, academic institutions and research institutes are internationally acclaimed for their innovative solutions in the fields of water, energy and agrifood. Nationally and internationally, North of Amsterdam is a hotbed for new, innovative and sustainable tech companies.

The region stands out thanks to its enterprising spirit and dynamism. They get things done North of Amsterdam; it's a strong region in which governmental agencies, research institutes, academic institutions, entrepreneurs and residents join forces and share knowledge, visions and objectives. It is a region where solutions are born.

USPs for business

  • Plenty of space and sustainable energy, both factors that attract data centres and related businesses
  • Excellent research facilities and talent
  • Seed Valley is an international hub for innovative horticulture and agri-tech
  • Logistical advantage due to proximity to the Port of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Cheese Alkmaar market canal Cris Toala Olivares

Photo: Cheese is transported along a canal in Alkmaar

How to get there

From Alkmaar, it is just over half an hour on a direct train to Amsterdam Central Station, and the same applies to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The Zaanstad area, which includes the Port of Amsterdam, is located directly to the south of the region.

Prevalent industries, including sub-sectors

Because of an abundance of space and the expanding sustainable energy market, the area is an ideal location for data centres. The Port of Den Helder is a gateway to the North Sea’s offshore energy. There are several research businesses in the region as well. In addition, the area is a major hub for horticulture and agriculture due to the presence of GreenPort Noord-Holland Noord and Seed Valley.

Who is here?

The establishment of Microsoft’s €2bn data centre has led to an increase of tech and ICT companies. Other big names include Syngenta, Monsanto, Action, Taqa Energy, Incotec, Pepsico, LM Windpower, Gaz de France and Engie E&P. Innovative businesses in the horticultural and agricultural sectors are at home in Seed Valley and GreenPort Noord-Holland Noord. Research businesses and institutes include ECN part of TNO (an energy research centre) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, plus the Nuclear Research Group and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).

Good for business

New opportunities within the tech and energy sectors are developing following the establishment of the Microsoft data centre. Horticultural businesses benefit from the networking and collaboration opportunities provided by the Seed Valley. The energy transition is fuelling new opportunities in this area, leading to breakthroughs in sustainable energy from the sun, wind and water, but also from geothermics and biomass. The Energy & Health Campus in Petten is attractive for businesses related to the research and production of medical isotopes and cancer treatments.

Attracting talent

Living North of Amsterdam means being near the beach or countryside, while remaining within easy reach of Amsterdam for culture and nightlife. For families it is a significant advantage that the European School Bergen (for ages 4 to 18) offers the European Baccalaureate programme. As internationally-renowned businesses continue to choose the region, more and more talent will move nationally and internationally to make the most of fantastic career options and the high quality of life. And the influx of internationals living and working in the area is already resulting in an increasing number of new social and networking groups for expats.