Cabinet invests 450 million euros in technical talent for Eindhoven region

The long-awaited support operation code-named “Project Beethoven” has now been officially announced. Today, the outgoing cabinet decided to allocate 450 million euros for investments in technical talent for the Eindhoven region until the year 2030. For the period following 2030, the cabinet will set aside an additional 80 million euros per year to be spent on education.

photo Wesley Klop

The Eindhoven region can expect a total boost of 2.5 billion euros, as was announced today after the meeting of the council of ministers. In addition to a substantial share of this amount going to TU/e, money will also be invested in infrastructure, retaining technical companies such as ASML and NXP and expanding the NS Eindhoven railway station. 

In a statement, TU/e Board President Robert-Jan Smits says the following: “The Brainport region is one of the world’s most relevant semicon ecosystems, with Eindhoven University of Technology playing a pivotal role within it, both in terms of talent and knowledge development as well as the startup scene. Investing in the chip industry means investing in the future earning power of the Netherlands and contributing to Europe’s sovereignty agenda.”

The 450 million for education is intended for the rapid training of more technicians for the microchip sector “through the recruitment and admission of more students” and through retraining. The cabinet states that this is a national challenge and calls on senior secondary vocational education institutions (MBO), universities of applied sciences (HBO) and universities in four regions (Groningen, Enschede, Delft and Eindhoven) to come up with a detailed plan in the short term in cooperation with the microchip sector. 

Smits: “With this, a big step can be made to significantly increase the numbers of students in the technical disciplines, at mbo, hbo and university. As educational institutions in Brainport, we are looking forward to working together with partners in the regions of Twente, Groningen and Delft to shape the national talent plan. Summa College, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Eindhoven University of Technology, as purveyors to the Brainport region, will obviously take their responsibility in this.”


Earlier this week, Board President Robert-Jan Smits said he was cautiously hopeful about the outgoing cabinet’s plans. A financial boost of this magnitude would revive the previously shelved upscaling plans to educate twice as many technically skilled personnel. Now that Project Beethoven has been approved in the council of ministers, it seems that this hope was not in vain.

According to Smits, the university’s growth is needed to “meet the demand from the high-tech industry in Eindhoven Brainport.” “Therefore, it makes sense to invest extra money in TU/e in order to provide more engineers for companies like ASML.” Smits previously stated that it was “fantastic news” that the cabinet was considering this.” Now, it seems the cabinet agrees on the importance of this approach.

Project Beethoven

Project Beethoven was set up in utmost secrecy after political The Hague saw the departure of large companies like Shell and Unilever from the Netherlands. By negotiating with companies like ASML and NXP and preparing a package of new measures, the cabinet hopes to prevent another exodus. Whether the announced multi-billion-euro boost will help achieve this, remains to be seen

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