Brightlands Innovation Factory

When we started with Brightlands Innovation Factory, we envisioned a community of entrepreneurs, academics, coaches, partners, and visionaries coming together to give startups in the early-stage phases their best chances at striving and excelling in the business world. By combining all our resources in one internationally oriented organization, we can achieve much more than each of us possibly could individually.

Every spring and autumn we offer at least one incubation and acceleration program. These programs are for startups that are active in one of Brightlands focus areas. In addition, we also provide programs for startups that are specifically targeted at a particular area, such as the 2017 program that is fully focused on block chain technology. There are also plans to start a program focusing on additive manufacturing.

Start date facilitator



Brightlands is a vibrant ecosystem, where research, education, and business collaborate to develop sustainable solutions in advanced materials, health, nutrition, and the smart services that support them. The Brightlands ecosystem is home to daring entrepreneurs and visionary investors, forward-thinking corporations and knowledge institutes, talented researchers, and students. Brightlands facilitates open innovation, and the distribution of knowledge across scientific, geographical, and organizational borders.

Target audience

Brightlands is an ambitious community for open innovation in health and sustainability, spread across Limburg. On the 4 Brightlands campuses, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and students develop new solutions in the fields of materials, health, nutrition and smart services.

The 4 campuses have the following areas of expertise:

  • smart materials and sustainable manufacturing. Brightlands Chemelot Campus Sittard-Geleen;
  • regenerative medicine, precision medicine & innovative diagnostics. Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus;
  • data science and smart services. Brightland Smart Services Campus Heerlen;
  • food and nutrition. Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo.

Selection criteria

  • Match with at least one of the focus areas of Brightlands (Health, Materials, Smart Services, Food & Nutrition);
  • Innovation is globally scalable;
  • Solves a problem;
  • Qualitatively good / Good quality;
  • Open to relocation to one of the Brightlands campuses (in the Netherlands).

Intended results

Startups are crucial for the growth of the economy and Brightlands sets the bar high. Over 5 years, we want to be one of the world's top 10 of startup ecosystems, so the best startups can find us blindly and commit ourselves to the South Limburg region.

Our goal? Each year, we aim to attract 40 high-quality startups within the 4 focus areas of the Brightlands Campuses. Our ultimate goal is to increase employment.

Research shows that most jobs are created by companies that were founded less than 5 years ago. Startups are an important part of a healthy ecosystem in which large and small companies, multinationals, educational and knowledge institutions work together and innovate.

Young companies provide dynamism, creativity and energy. Just by working together, innovation is faster and more successful. More innovation provides business, which again creates more jobs, and ultimately a healthy economy. And so it goes on, because a successful region attracts new business, new innovations.



20 – 25 persons

  • Dealflow team;
  • Program team;
  • Operations;
  • Investments;
  • Marketing - Communications.


More information and contact details can be found on the Brightlands Innovation Factory website.

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