Southeast Brabant has transformed itself from a mainly rural area to a strongly industrial one. One of the initial driving forces for this was Philips, which is one of the world's biggest electronics companies today.
Started in Eindhoven as a lighting producer, Philips was involved with the first experiments in television and radio by 1925. In the 1970s, Philips Research made key breakthroughs in the processing, storage and transmission of images, sound and data, which led amongst other things, to the invention of the Compact Disc.
The region's reputation for high-tech activities has attracted new companies to invest here, and former Philips concerns have also grown into independent companies such as ASML and FEI. Founded in 1956, the Eindhoven University of Technology has also contributed to this economic development.
In the 19th century, a powerful food industry developed in Helmond, and today the sector provides more than 13.000 jobs. The Food Technology Park Brainport is set to become a campus operating on the interface of food processing, design and technology. The campus provides space for laboratories, demonstration lines, education, business premises, and leisure facilities.
● is the Netherlands' second main economic centre.
● is a key economic pillar of the Dutch economy, accounting for a quarter of the country's exports, a third of all private R&D investments and half of all patents filed each year.
● is also an important breeding ground for start-up companies.
● is a name for the "Eindhoven region" which originated as a result of its international reputation for cutting-edge R&D, a recognised hotspot within the Southeast Netherlands.
● ranks high on the European Innovation Scoreboard and belongs to the top technology regions of Europe.
● encompasses 21 municipalities around Eindhoven, which are home to 729.000 people and 400.000 jobs.
● produces annual growth that is well above the national average.
The High Tech Automotive Campus in Helmond is an important knowledge and innovation centre, within a cluster with a strong international focus. The campus is the hotspot for smart mobility and (academic) automotive education. The city is a living laboratory, with smart traffic systems, intelligent vehicles that can communicate with each other and their surroundings, hybrid trucks and electric cars.
The semi-circular route formed by the A2 and A50 highways -- running from the South (Leenderheide) to the North (Ekkersrijt) around the West of Eindhoven -- is also known as Brainport Avenue. It is a showcase of the bustling high-tech region.