Can you tell us something about the City of Maastricht?
Maastricht is the oldest and one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in the Netherlands.
The power of the Maastricht is defined by the combination of its innovative economy, its international location and an inspiring living environment. A city that operates on various levels of scales. Primarily as part of the Province of Limburg, but also on the scale of Brainport and the Euregion Germany-Netherlands-Belgium. Maastricht is the Gateway to Europe and beyond and home to the research, distribution, and EMEA finance, customer services, sales & marketing headquarters of Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Bayer, Medrad, Acist Medical, and many more pharmaceutical, bio material, and medical device companies.
The rapidly-growing knowledge economy in Maastricht has become highly visible at the Brightlands campuses, where knowledge and business work together. The campuses are the driving forces in this region, working together with a number of large companies that share this vision. Along with chemicals & materials, life sciences & healthcare and smart services, the Maastricht Region is also a key player in systems and healthcare, renewable energy, customer services, logistics and leisure.
Maastricht: an international university city in the heart of Europe with outstanding quality of life, where emerging (medtech) companies locate their European headquarters to continue production and R&D on their technologies with local scientists and technology partners, and grow sales revenues and customer marketing of their products into the EMEA markets.
What is the relation between the City of Maastricht and Texas?
For many years, there have been exchange visits between economic developers from Houston, Greater Houston Partnership, Centerpoint Energy, Pearland, Conroe, Woodlands and the City of Maastricht. Sharing economic developments and each other networks to strengthen companies that are looking to invest or grow their activities is the main goal. From the beginning, the ‘connection’ between the people involved was strong and based on mutual goals for collaboration.
I represent the City of Maastricht in the Netherlands and the Maastricht Health Campus, as Director of Business Development and Foreign Investments. While visiting Texas/Houston, I’m interested in meeting with medical technology companies – particularly those that develop products that are a match to the mainstream medical fields in the Maastricht Health Campus. Those are cardiovascular diseases, oncology, neurological diseases, public health, and mental health. Other areas of industry focus are imaging technologies, biomaterials, medical devices, cell culturing, and nanodiagnostics.
What kind of advice can you give to Dutch entrepreneurs who want to do business in Texas?
Doing business in the US is different from doing business in the Netherlands. As an entrepreneur, you need to adapt to the American way of dealing with customers, staff and authorities. The ‘direct’ approach will not be helpful or even appreciated. Learn from experienced Dutch entrepreneurs in the US and adapt your business style towards your US clients and staff. But keep that significant Dutch ‘can do mentality’; it is much appreciated.
My advice is also driven towards US entrepreneurs who want to do business in Maastricht. Both in Texas as in Maastricht there is an extensive collaborative network of contacts between Texas/Houston and Maastricht economic developers. Companies in Texas that want to expand into Europe and vice versa can benefit from single point of contacts that give direct access to research institutes, global companies, governments and rules and regulations. And most important: the Texas/Houston-Maastricht network consists out of reliable, trustworthy economic developers who work free of charge!
Director Business Development