Sustainable & inclusive entrepreneurship

Top sectors

The Netherlands strives to create integrated joint solutions across sectors through partnership between government, companies and research and knowledge institutions. This approach, known as ‘Triple Helix’ is proven to be successful. To maintain top-level engagement in helping the world to solve global challenges, all businesses in the Netherlands are engaged ten key sectors nominated by the Dutch government.


    All sub-themes

    Agri & Food

    To achieve food security for an ever-increasing population, we need to rethink the way our food system is designed. The FAO predicts 840 million people will suffer from hunger by 2030, COVID-19 could add another 100 million to this figure. Meeting the nutritional needs of the world’s population requires us to increase food production without further endangering the environment. Food that meets the highest environmental and animal welfare standards, produced in a way that is economically viable for both producers and consumers.


    As a country with a small surface area, the Netherlands relies on inventiveness and efficiency to drive high production in our horticulture sector, across the supply chain. Today, we produce 46% of the global export value of base materials, vegetables, ornamentals, potatoes and grasses. The collaboration between government, entrepreneurs and research institutes boosts the pace of innovation in our country. It allows us to attain the highest efficiency in agricultural technology in the world.

    Water and maritime

    Water covers 70 per cent of the planet. It sustains and connects continents, cities and communities. The impact of climate change on our vital resources is huge. Rising sea levels, drought and increased extreme weather events are signs that we need to take urgent action. Only by working together can we ensure clean and safe water for all, and healthy and productive oceans.


    To achieve the international climate goals set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world is undergoing a profound energy transition. The Netherlands aims to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) to net zero by 2050. And together with like-minded European countries, we have successfully achieved that the EU raise its interim target to a 55-percent reduction by 2030.

    High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM)

    The sector High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) offers modern, innovative new solutions to technological challenges. The sector consists of a well-functioning ecosystem of specialised companies and knowledge institutions. Their strong links lead to high concentrations of tech companies in areas with technical universities.

    Creative Industries

    In the Netherlands we believe in the power of design and creativity to transform society. Money, governments and science alone cannot solve complex global issues. We need open ideas, inventive thoughts, and inclusive strategies.From Rembrandt and Van Gogh to Iris van Herpen and Roosegaarde, Tiësto and André Rieu to The Voice: the Dutch creative minds strive to inspire and connect us all. These icons exemplify the strengths of Dutch design: pragmatic, open-minded, conceptual, and out-of-the-box.


    Today’s societal challenges require mission-driven innovations. Chemical industries in the Dutch Top Sector ChemistryNL have initiated many innovations to address such challenges. They do so through multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral work in the fields of health, energy, industry, recycling, plastics and transport.

    Life Sciences and Health

    The Netherlands is known for its scientific innovations. The Dutch invented the microscope, developed the first artificial kidney and discovered immune therapy. Yet, we face the same global challenges as many other developed countries. Challenges caused by a rise in chronic conditions due to an ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles and obesity. This correlates with an increase in healthcare expenditure.


    Speed, sustainability and safety are the core values of logistic operations in the Netherlands. Situated on Europe’s west coast, the Netherlands is strategically positioned at the heart of Europe’s Single Market. Its main sea and inland ports facilitate the flow of goods to and from Europe’s hinterland.


    The Dutch approach: smart solutions, human purpose Digitalisation is transforming the way we live and the way we do business. It is also key to sustainable growth and solving the social challenges of our time. Better ICT infrastructure, and more, better and affordable access to ICT infrastructure contribute to achieving various Sustainable Development Goals. Using ICT, we can find solutions for problems such as rising healthcare costs, increasing traffic congestion or ensuring enough, healthy and sustainably produced food.