Rotterdam is internationally renowned for its passion for innovation and its unpolished charm. Being a city with a distinct character and dynamic energy that is always on the move, Rotterdam offers a world of opportunities. Aside from that, Rotterdam is a city where the old and the new economy naturally go hand in hand, and where industry crossovers and innovations arise organically.

Rotterdam offers unparalleled scope for innovation and entrepreneurship. With the port as the hub of Europe’s largest maritime cluster and ample activity in traditional industries such as logistics, energy, and the chemical industry. And with impressive performance in industries such as life sciences & healthcare, agrifoods, clean technology and business services. In Rotterdam, residents, businesses, and students can count on opportunities to use their brain and physical power to develop, innovate, and actively help build the sustainable city and economy of the future.

New economy

In Rotterdam, residents, businesses, and students are shaping the new economy through their initiatives and sustainable solutions. A floating farm and educational centre in one (Floating Farm), a former swimming pool turned into a breeding place for the ‘blue economy’ (Blue City), or a floating park made of building blocks of recycled plastic soup from the river Maas (Recycled Park): these are all innovative projects in Rotterdam, the city of makers, and inspiring examples to the rest of the world.

Rotterdam Makers District

Europe’s largest innovation workshop is located in Rotterdam. The Rotterdam Makers District extends across the site of the former RDM shipyard and the M4H (Merwe Vierhavens) area. Old docks and port areas that have fallen into disuse are being transformed into an innovation ecosystem. Pioneering institutions and companies come together in this district and join up with start-ups, business incubators and business accelerators. This is where the Next Economy (sustainable, circular economy, digitization, creative industry) for both the city and the port is taking shape.

Knowledge institutions and innovation hotspots

The greater Rotterdam area is home to several internationally leading research and knowledge institutions, including Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus MC, Delft University of Technology, and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. The city also has several start-up and innovation hotspots, such as CIC and Venture Café, RDM Rotterdam, Rotterdam Science Tower, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, SuGu Club, Port Innovation Lab, PortXL, YES!Delft, and many more.

Active support and collaboration

In Rotterdam, innovation is a natural phenomenon; innovations arise out of a specific need, a social issue, or a drive to make the world a better place. As innovations are generally initiated by creative entrepreneurs, creative entrepreneurs in Rotterdam can rely on support from the local authorities, Rotterdam Partners, the Port of Rotterdam, and Erasmus University. It is this kind of active assistance and collaboration between various parties that creates a strong innovation ecosystem that accelerates innovations and transitions in the city and the region.

What we do for you?

Are you considering setting up or expanding a company in Rotterdam? In Rotterdam you will find the right knowledge, experience and expertise to make it a success. Rotterdam Partners International Trade & Investment supports and relieves you. Curious about our services? Check the overview.

More information

Want to find out more about innovation in Rotterdam? Have specific questions? Looking for practical support? Our experts will be happy to help you!

International Trade & Invsetment

Julia Oomens-Meer Accountmanager Innovation & IT +31 10 790 01 40

Convention Bureau

Catherine Kalamidas Accountmanager Congresses +31 10 790 01 40

Convention Bureau

Mirjam van de Kamp Accountmanager Congressen +31 10 790 01 40

Photo header: Claire Droppert

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