According to the European Commission, the region is once again one of the most competitive regions in Europe. The EU Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI) 2019 ranks Utrecht joint second with London. Stockholm is number one. Since the RCI was launched in 2010, Utrecht has been ranked one of the most competitive regions in Europe. The region has continually achieved high scores, across the entire scope of the survey. In fact, it was the leading region in both 2010 and 2013.

The index rates the competitiveness of 268 European regions on the basis of more than 70 indicators. These indicators relate to factors such as innovation, accessibility, digital infrastructure, education, health and the job market. Read more about how Utrecht scores on the various indicators in our brochure, including clear infographics, graphs and stories of Utrecht companies and institutions.

DTN, an independent source of insights, analysis and decision-support solutions, and Utrecht officials recently celebrated the opening of the DTN European headquarters in Utrecht. The company provides critical business-decision solutions and insights to energy, agriculture, financial and weather-sensitive businesses and customers throughout the world.

“This is a major milestone for DTN and further solidifies our global presence,” said Marc Chesover, DTN Europe president and chief revenue officer. “Having a centrally-located European headquarters allows us to best serve our customers in the region. We are located near their operations and have a local understanding of the insights they need to drive their business forward.”

DTN operates in numerous countries throughout the world, with customers in more than 125 countries. The North America headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The DTN European headquarters will be in Utrecht with five satellite offices throughout Europe. DTN also operates offices throughout Southeast Asia and Australia.

Chesover said Utrecht was a good choice for the designated headquarters, due to its central location, accessibility and attractiveness to impressive talent. “It gives us amazing access to talent and innovation, which will be key as we continue to grow globally and support our customers with the insights and information they need to drive their businesses forward,” Chesover added. Utrecht is one of the most competitive regions in Europe based on factors such as innovation, accessibility and digital infrastructure and is already the main Dutch knowledge-hub on climate and weather among higher education institutions.

Vice Mayor of Utrecht Klaas Verschuure spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony noting that the City is focused on growth with companies that will contribute to health and sustainability. “Knowledge on climate change is one of the main topics,” Verschuure said. “Serving as a home to the world’s largest private weather company, DTN, is exactly what we are aiming to do as a city.”

In November 2019, MeteoGroup integrated with DTN, making it the largest private weather information company in the world, with more than 200 meteorologists and 10,000 weather observation stations. The integration between the two companies helps ensure customers have access to mission critical weather decision-support solutions at any time in any part of the world.

“Utrecht is recognized as a strong center of knowledge on weather and climate,” Verschuure said. “Together with DTN, Utrecht will grow as an even more formidable center of expertise.”

Scource: DTN

The Netherlands has the most competitive economy in Europe for the first time. Worldwide, only Singapore, the United States and Hong Kong are ahead of the Netherlands, according to the 2019 ranking of the Global Competitiveness Index prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF ranks the Netherlands highest in the world for macroeconomic stability and the report also sees the country performing particularly well in infrastructure and business dynamism.

The Netherlands has been consistently in the top ten of the most competitive economies in the world since 2005. In 2016 and 2017, the Netherlands occupied fourth place globally and was the most competitive economy in the European Union. This year the Netherlands has passed both Germany and Switzerland and is back in fourth place globally. The entire list consists of 141 countries.

Source: The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency

The International Welcome Centre welcomes you to Utrecht Region. The International Welcome Centre Utrecht Region (IWCUR) is a central place where internationals can go to for government services and practical information about living, working and studying in Utrecht Region. Whether you are a newcomer or a current international resident: they are here to help you settle in! They offer a number of free services designed to advise and assist you during your arrival and stay in Utrecht Region.

Government formalities
Before starting your new life in Utrecht Region, you should be aware that you need to take care of some essential formalities. At the The International Welcome Centre they offer you personalised support to arrange your legal registration. Learn more at

Practical information
After you have sorted out all the formalities, you may still have many questions related to living, working and studying in the Utrecht Region. No problem! Their experts are happy to provide you with information about topics related to housing, education, healthcare, finance, job opportunities, as well as cultural and leisure activities in the region. To start, you can find a lot of information related to these topics on their website.

Utrecht has almost 40,000 companies, 262,000 jobs and is good for no less than 216,000 train passengers per day. Did you know that Utrecht has no less than 39,405 jobs in the healthcare sector? And 120 innovative startups? Find many more interesting Utrecht facts in the short animation film ‘This is Utrecht’.

Utrecht has been shortlisted for the European City of the Year, alongside Porto and Sheffield, by the Academy of Urbanism. The annual Awards, which celebrate and learn from great placemaking, cover five categories of scale, including European City of the Year and Great Town, Neighbourhood, Street and Place. The winners will be announced at the Urbanism Awards in London on November 27 2019.

The Academy of Urbanism is a politically independent, not-for-profit organisation that brings together both the current and next generation of urban leaders, thinkers and practitioners. The Urbanism Awards are the Academy’s primary platform for recognising the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. Learn more about Utrecht, the finalist in the European City of the Year category for the Urbanism Awards 2020:


The municipality of Utrecht and the Utrecht company ‘LomboXnet’ will install at least 145 public charging stations for electric cars in 2019. These innovative charging stations are suitable for storing solar energy in the batteries of electric cars and delivering them back to the neighborhood. The charging stations thus offer both the possibility of charging a car and discharging future cars. This ‘Vehicle 2 Grid’ technology is one of Iris Smart Cities’ 16 targeted solutions creating smarter, more sustainable cities.

‘LomboXnet’, together with various partners, has developed the technology in these charging stations in recent years. These charging stations are now being installed throughout Utrecht. Robin Berg (LomboXnet) explains: “The charging stations will make an important contribution to our future energy transition. By temporarily storing solar energy in electric cars, we can use this energy when it is needed. The charging stations are also suitable for charging at high power. This is great for electric motorists, who can charge their car quickly, but also favorable to use peaks of solar and wind energy for charging.”

A world first
For the first time these innovative charging stations are placed in a large urban charging network. A new international standard for communication between charging station and car is also being applied for the first time. In the future, different car brands can communicate with the charging station about how full the battery is and when charging or discharging can take place. Utrecht has a first. Deputy Mayor Victor Everhardt: ” I am proud that Utrecht has this world premiere and thus stays ahead with smart energy networks. It is an important step for the large-scale storage of sustainable energy in electric cars. Electric driving contributes to cleaner air in our city and a healthier living environment and brings Utrecht closer to an emission-free zone in 2030″.

Scource: IRIS Smart Cities

Between the 19th and 21st of November 2019, Utrecht Region will attend the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. The Smart City Expo exists to empower cities and collectivize urban innovations across the globe. Dedicated to creating a better future for cities and their citizens, worldwide, this yearly expo showcases social innovation and provides a platform to forge partnerships and explore business opportunities.

Discover urban solutions
The Smart City Expo is based around the values of social inclusion and empowerment and is dedicated to promoting awareness, understanding, and critical reflection between inhabitants of different cities worldwide. Sustainability is a top priority. The 2019 edition will gather 25,000+ visitors, from both public and private sectors, across a wide range of industries, representing 700+ cities and 140+ countries.

Holland Pavilion at Smart City Expo
Utrecht Region is part of an innovation mission for Dutch cities and regions active in the Smart City sector. The Holland Pavilion at the Smart City Expo will showcase a wide selection of Dutch smart city solutions. We welcome you to meet our Dutch delegates in Gran Via, Hall P2, Level 0, Street D, Stand 473. Don’t miss out on the Utrecht Region stand and get acquainted with our centrally situated, smart, green, and healthy community, fondly described as the region of Healthy Urban Living.

About Utrecht Region
Utrecht Region is Europe’s hotspot for Healthy Urban Living. The region is the European frontrunner in creating and implementing future health technologies, urban solutions on air quality, smart mobility, urban sustainable planning, an inclusive society, renewable energy and energy efficiency, green public spaces and urban biodiversity.

Utrecht Region has just been ranked once again as one of the most competitive regions in Europe (source: European Commission, October 2019). The Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI) ranks Utrecht in a joint second place, together with London. Utrecht Region is located right in the center of the Netherlands, just 25 minutes from Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam.

For more information about growing or locating your company in Utrecht Region, please contact:

Roel Franken: / +31 6 57 33 89 28

Leonard van Nispen: / + 31 6 41 54 98 28

Or meet our team in Barcelona between the 19th and 21st of November 2019. Our Dutch delegation is eager to learn, share experiences, talk about best practices, and open new paths for international collaboration.

According the European Innovation Scoreboard 2019 (EIS), the Netherlands ranks amongst the four strongest innovators, together with Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

The Netherlands scores far above average in the EIS for the quality of scientific publications, the number of patent applications, indicators for the labor force such as lifelong learning and preconditions such as excellent networks for fixed and mobile communication.

In addition to countries, the EIS also assesses European regions for their innovation power. In this comparison, the provinces of Utrecht and North-Brabant perform strongly. Utrecht is the 9th best region for innovation in Europe, scoring high on higher education and public-private partnerships. North Brabant, ranked 15th, is particularly strong in the number of registered patents.

For the full report see the European Commission website.

Klaas Verschuure, vice-mayor of Utrecht, tells in the fDi Magazine about the city’s talented youth, its historic and green demeanour and the thriving healthcare industry.

Q: Utrecht is one of Europe’s top destinations for FDI. Why is this?

A: Utrecht is the Netherlands’ fastest growing city. We have a strong economy, focusing on smart solutions, green [policies], innovation and health. [What has stood out is the way we have] successfully combined rapid urbanisation and economic growth [while maintaining our] ambition of ‘healthy urban living’. Utrecht is a lively city of knowledge with young, smart residents: 62% of the workforce is highly educated. [We are] a typical student city, attracting a new influx of talented, smart young people every year. After their graduation, a large number of these students decide to live and work in Utrecht. This means innovative talents and ambitious entrepreneurs are within reach.

Utrecht is a central meeting point in the Netherlands. The city offers excellent accessibility via every mode of transport. Utrecht region is the most competitive region in Europe after London, offering a great business climate, a strong economy and a well-educated workforce. Utrecht is a leader when it comes to digital infrastructure, health, higher education, the job market, technology and innovation.

Q: In what sectors would you like to see more foreign investment?

A: Utrecht is focusing mainly on businesses and knowledge institutions that contribute to life sciences, healthcare and sustainability. But this is much more comprehensive than [it may initially seem]. Many IT companies in Utrecht contribute a lot to healthcare and sustainability. The head offices of Vodafone Netherlands, Oracle and Active Cues are good examples. Some of the bigger financial companies in the area, such as Triodos Bank, are focusing on sustainability. The list of companies that contribute to our goal of healthy urban living is not limited to sectors. It has more to do with the way they operate.

Q: What is deterring more investment to Utrecht and how are you improving on this?

A: The great thing about Utrecht is that it has enormous potential. Foreign companies are often very surprised when they visit Utrecht. Everything they appreciate about the bigger cities you find in Utrecht: a historic city centre, lots of culture, a creative industry, an exceptional university and an innovation community. The difference is that Utrecht is much more relaxed, green and compact. It is just nicer to live and work here. Young, talented Dutch people already know this. You will not find any population in the Netherlands that is younger and better educated. The only question is – have decision-makers abroad got all the necessary information about Utrecht? Within the Utrecht region we enhance our collaboration on economic development. For example, together with our regional partners we are now establishing a regional development co-operation programme combining public and private funding for innovation and entrepreneurship that contributes to healthy urban living.

Q: Is Utrecht benefiting or losing from Brexit?

A: We are welcoming all British, Asian and American firms and institutions that fit in our economy. The European Medicine Agency [EMA] will settle in Amsterdam very soon. The remarkable thing is that many of the major scientific institutions that are working on a daily basis with EMA are situated in the Utrecht Science Park, for example the National Institution for Healthcare and Environment and the National Authority for Medicine. We think it will make a lot of sense for new suppliers and advisors of the EMA to settle in Utrecht.

This article is sourced from fDi Intelligence.