It’s come to this: A Dutch tech center is selling the American Dream or at least a very tempting version of it. Brainport Eindhoven, the economic development agency for the Brabant region – headquarters for a dozen of the world’s top deep-tech companies – is touting Eindhoven as the place where highly skilled internationals are welcome after American officials pulled up the welcome mat.
On 22 June 2020, the Trump Administration renewed its suspension of visas for foreign workers through the end of 2020 to “give American workers a break in the pandemic.” Those include L-1 visas allowing highly skilled multinationals to rotate in employees to the United States from overseas operations and H-1Bs, which allow American companies to hire highly skilled internationals when they can’t find comparable domestic talent.
On 23 June, economic development officials across Europe’s tech centers, including in Dispatches’ HQ of Eindhoven, realized this is the opportunity of a lifetime and started wooing those highly skilled internationals no longer welcome in America to new careers and new lives.
Brainport’s new social media campaign on Instagram and Facebook – “Stop waiting for the American dream; come to where the magic happens” – is an appeal to international students coming out of American universities into an off-limits U.S. job market as well as to international tech talent facing visa issues under the suspensions.
Brainport officials present Eindhoven as a booming alternative for highly skilled internationals, and their message is simple: “Silicon Valley isn’t the only technology hub in the world.”
Eindhoven is headquarters for multiple tech giants including ASML, which has a huge share of the photolithography market crucial to the semiconductor industry.
In essence, Brainport’s message is:
Stop waiting for the American dream, which is on hold for the rest of the world. Instead, there’s a bright future for the brightest talents in Brainport, where qualified applicants can get new work visas at the speed of light.
Other major companies include:
• NXP, which produces chips for smartphones and the auto industry
• Philips, an old-line industrial company that’s now a market leader in advanced healthtech
• emerging companies in photonics and other deep-tech sectors such as SMART Photonics
Those companies have literally thousands of openings, some of which you can see here on the Brainport campaign landing page.
The Brainport campaign targets six American tech centers:
• San Francisco Bay area/Silicon Valley, home to Stanford University and University of California, Berkley along with the world’s dominant tech companies
• Boston, with Harvard, MIT and Boston Dynamics
• Pasadena (Los Angeles), home to California Institute of Technology
• Atlanta, which has the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and a growing tech sector
• Seattle, along with The Valley, one of America’s original tech centers and home to Microsoft, Amazon and dozens of other companies
Eindhoven’s campaigns are targeted at highly skilled professionals in tech and IT as well as at graduating foreign students looking for jobs in the tech sector.
Highly skilled internationals from India tend to make up the largest group working in the U.S., but Eindhoven attracts highly skilled internationals from across the globe. We know that from our daily experience, working regularly with expats here from India, China, Central America and all parts of Europe.
Eindhoven is up against other European innovation centers including Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Dublin, and, ultimately, tech talents weigh all the variables such as quality of life and access to recreational travel.
Still, Eindhoven is not merely one of the most job-rich destinations, it’s also one of the most convenient, with everything within 20 kilometers and lower housing costs than Amsterdam, Berlin or Copenhagen.
With the most advanced tech companies in the world and a location in the center of Europe, Eindhoven does seem to have a competitive advantage.
See Dispatches’ Eindhoven archives here for more information on tech sector opportunities.