Amsterdam looks to lure more companies from London after EMA move

The EMA's new headquarters are under construction. Artist's impression EMA
EMA new building: photo provided by EMA, Minstry of Health and City of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is stepping up efforts to attract collateral firms to work with the European Medicines Agency when it relocates from London.

The move, prompted by Brexit, is expected to provide spinoffs for the local economy, alderman for finance Udo Kock wrote to the city council on Tuesday. The D66 politician has added another €300,000 to the €1.2m action fund to cover costs in attracting such companies.

The EMA will open for business in Amsterdam next March. EMA director  Guido Rasi said an ‘ecosystem’ of about 2,500 companies in the ’life sciences and health’ sector has grown up around the EMA in London. A significant number of these companies now appear to be considering a move to Amsterdam, a spokesman said.

Kock said Wouter Bos, who headed the lobby which persuaded the EMA to move to Amsterdam, would continue in his role to try to attract the spinoffs. Currently head of the VUmc medical centre, Bos is about to step over to run the newly founded state bank for start-ups and scale-ups called Invest-NL.

The EMA has 890 staff jobs in London. Many of these will make the move to the Netherlands but there are expected to be local hires as well.

In addition, the EU agency is expected to provide work for 1,500 people working in catering, cleaning, security, childcare and teaching. Specialised lawyers, patent specialists and consultants are also expected to move to Amsterdam to be close to the organisation, and pharmaceuticals firms are likely to also open offices.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation