Japan and the Netherlands have had a special relationship lasting over 400 years, one that is still thriving today. During that time, the countries have both grown to become global players in the fields of innovation and technology.
When looking at the Netherlands, Brabant is the province for innovation and knowledge. This province has evolved into a hotbed of innovative ecosystems in high-tech systems and life sciences. It is the No. 1 region in research and development spending and more than 50% of all patent applications in the Netherlands are generated here. No wonder Brabant has attracted so many Japanese companies, whether to settle here or to do business with our bright companies.
Reinvention made possible
Fujifilm Manufacturing Europe is one of those bright companies that was established in Brabant. Tilburg to be precise. It’s a long-lasting relationship that started in 1982.
“Brabant plays a pivotal role in Fujifilm’s transformation journey. Our location in Tilburg transformed from a producer of film and photographic paper into an R&D and manufacturing organization that brings solutions for the challenges in society,” said Albert van Maren, vice president of Fujifilm Manufacturing Europe. “Currently, the focus is shifting toward energy, environment and health care, the result of a transition in which Fujifilm Tilburg is reinventing itself. And Brabant is the place to do so.”
The company is currently building a factory in Tilburg for the production of cell culture media, a product used to make vaccines and medicines. It’s a big shift, but according to Van Maren there are also a lot of similarities with existing processes.
“It concerns other raw materials, but the production methods and the high-quality standards are not new. Our Tilburg site has the possibility to go for carbon dioxide-neutral production, which is also of vital importance for our customers,” he said.
After almost 40 years in Brabant, Fujifilm has established deep roots in the local and regional communities. The Brabant Development Agency (BOM) has supported the company ever since, said Edwin Zonder, senior project manager at BOM. “Fujifilm is of great importance to the Netherlands, Brabant and the ecosystem. We enjoy an excellent relationship with Fujifilm and we believe that their presence is stimulating and will further initiate innovation in Brabant. As BOM, we are proud of their current developments and the support we have been able to offer, together with our partners.”
BOM offers services and support designed to provide foreign companies with information and a network to explore business opportunities in Brabant.