Key industries

A playground for technological and scientific innovation, Groningen is one of the nation’s leading cities in the energy transition, healthy ageing, digital society, biobased economy and agrifood. With its excellent digital infrastructure no wonder the city is home to two world class universities, a University Medical center and companies like Google, IBM, HackerOne and Chordify.

Energy transition

Groningen is taking a leading role in the transition to sustainable energy and was recently appointed as a European ‘lighthouse city’ for its leading role in the energy transition. The Eemsdelta region also forms an important European connection port for sustainable energy sources such as the Gemini offshore wind farm and Norwegian hydroelectric power plants, as well as a location for more wind and sun farms, such as Sunport Delfzijl, the biggest solar energy park in the Netherlands. This solar park supplies the Google data centre at the Eemshaven with energy, making it the first 100% renewably powered centre for Google.


Groningen is a main cradle of knowledge in the area of Healthy Ageing and various research institutes such as the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) and Lifelines attest to this. According to the latest EU innovation monitor, Groningen ranks as the third Dutch city in the biotech field (after Amsterdam and Leiden) due to the high number of companies, highly educated employees, and turnover of dedicated life sciences enterprises in the region.


Groningen is the second tech city in the Netherlands for five years in a row now. Campus Groningen is the fastest growing start-up campus in the Netherlands and home to many tech companies. Tech companies IBM and Google are located in the province, with Google recently expanding its data centre in the Eemshaven. In terms of infrastructure, the Eemshaven is considered a top European dataport.

Biobased Economy

The European Union has designated the North Netherlands region as one of the six leading regions for the bio-based economy. Groningen is also the home of the world-renowned Zernike Institute of Advanced Materials and Ben Feringa, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 for his research on a light-driven rotary molecular motor.


The province of Groningen has been an agricultural region for many centuries, with a focus on potato and sugar beet crops, seed potatoes and livestock. Avebe, a cooperative of over 2500 farmers together forming the largest producer worldwide of potato starch products, and Koepen, world leader in the field of artificial insemination of meat and dairy cattle. The Carbohydrate Competence Centre is the leading knowledge centre in the Netherlands in the field of carbohydrates.

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