Education is so important in Utrecht that it features in the local street art, Source: Unsplash

Utrecht is the most competitive region in Europe

Utrecht is the most competitive region in Europe

This is evident from the Regional Competitive Index (RCI) published by the European Commission

The European Commission published its tri-annual Regional Competitive Index (RCI) yesterday, and by the looks of it Utrecht Region (in the Netherlands) has been designated the top spot in the continent. The Dutch region scores especially high in the fields of education and innovation, making it a wonderful business environment for future-oriented enterprises.

Researchers compared 234 European regions on almost 70 indicators for the business climate, such as macroeconomic stability, infrastructural facilities, education quality and the labour market. The indicators themselves are divided into eleven themes:  Institutions, Macroeconomic Stability, Infrastructure, Health, Basic Education, Higher Education, Labor Market, Market Size, Technological Readiness, Business Sophistication and Innovation.

Utrecht continues to score high on the share of the highly educated working population, innovation and market size. The research also shows that the labour market opportunities of young people there are very high compared to other regions and that there is a very high labour market participation of women, which is related to their high level of education.

That Dutch region is a hotbed for healthcare startups

In total, almost 20 percent of all jobs in the Utrecht region are in the health sector and more than 2,000 companies and 100 startups are active in this sector. 50 percent of all national research and development in medical science takes place there and 20 percent of all Dutch researchers in the field of health and biotechnology work there. 

With the Utrecht Science Park, the largest science park in the Netherlands, as the heart of the health economy, there is therefore a strong basis for the ambitions of the Utrecht region.

Mayor Sharon Dijksma commented on the occasion: “Our region is brimming with innovation, talent and economic strength. It is therefore not for nothing that of the more than 200 economic regions in Europe, Utrecht has been named the number one competitive region. Through intensive cooperation between the business community, knowledge institutions and governments within the Economic Board Utrecht, we are committed to remain number one in the coming years.”

Utrecht’s designation as the most competitive region in Europe is also an incentive to promote the recently initiated regional positioning of the city as the Heart of Health even further internationally.



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