Following the upheavals of Brexit and the consequent relocation of the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam, the Dutch government made a conscious decision to capitalize on this new momentum and to establish a clear positioning for its Life Sciences & Health sector.
Place Branding + Life Science
Brand Positioning & Communications
The Invest in Holland Network is a collaborative team encompassing the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), regional economic development agencies, several large cities and Holland International Distribution Council. The group engaged UP THERE, EVERYWHERE to help develop a clear positioning for the Netherlands as a leading destination in Europe for (investment in) Life Sciences & Health. The brief was to develop a business proposition and positioning —not just a slogan.
Experts from both UP FOR LIFE (UP’s Life Science and Medical Device specialty practice) and UP FOR REAL (UP’s Place Branding and Destination Marketing specialty practice) worked together to develop the initiative. The first step was to gather together the many stakeholders of The Dutch Top Sector initiative in Life Sciences and Health. Using a participatory approach, UP developed a positioning and a core message that differentiated the Netherlands from other powerful contenders on a global level: Silicon Valley/San Diego, Boston, and the UK.
The starting premise was: the Netherlands is the most important place in Europe for Life Science & Health.
Because of the unique density and closeness of everything in the Netherlands, and the strong spirit of collaboration, we recommended a core idea: Connected. The concept was further developed by imagining the country as a metropolis. This concept was well-received, especially since any region (Rotterdam, Amsterdam or Eindhoven) could use the positioning and adapt it for its own purposes.
The positioning created for the Netherlands was:
The Netherlands: Europe’s connected Life Sciences & Health metropolis.
We developed a Positioning Argumentation Book and a Hero Tube Map Graphic, showing the key Life Science and Health organizations across the country.
“As Invest in Holland, we continue to facilitate collaborations and discoveries because by working together in a collaborative ecosystem, we create better health outcomes not only for the Netherlands, or Europe, but for the whole world.”
Hilde van der Meer, Chair of Invest in Holland
UP went on to work with Rotterdam Partners to extrapolate the strategic positioning work done at a national level for the Dutch government to then interpret and bring to life this vision at a local city level.
The work received the United Nations Investment Promotion Award 2021 for Excellence in Promoting Investment in Health. The Netherlands was selected from 188 participating Investment Promotion agencies to receive this award for its achievements in promoting the Life Sciences & Health (LSH) sector.