About PharmaNL

Pharmaceutical innovation holds immense societal value. Medicines contribute significantly to improving the quality of life in our society. It is therefore crucial to ensure that the development of innovative medicines, from the initial phase to actual production, proceeds as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The pharmaceutical sector also makes a significant economic contribution in the Netherlands and worldwide. In the Netherlands, the pharmaceutical sector has enormous potential and a good starting position, with great opportunities for further growth. To fully utilize the existing potential, it is necessary to address or reduce known bottlenecks in the development and production of medicines.


The PharmaNL program is an initiative by and for the Dutch pharmaceutical sector.

It is a national public-private consortium consisting of Leiden University, Campus Groningen, Pivot Park, in close collaboration with FAST (Centre for Future Affordable Sustainable Therapy Development).

PharmaNL is made possible by the investments of the partners and a grant from the National Growth Fund.

Ambition and goals

PharmaNL aims to strengthen the pharmaceutical value chain within the Netherlands and address bottlenecks, specifically by:

  • Creating a shared infrastructure for the development, scaling, and production of innovative medicines in the Netherlands, for use by pharmaceutical start-ups, scale-ups, and academic research groups. (program line 1)
  • Enhancing the pharmaceutical education offerings with international appeal and attractiveness. (program line 2)

More specifically, PharmaNL’s goals include:

1. Improving the prerequisites for pharmaceutical innovation by:

  • Establishing a shared infrastructure for medicine development: making available high-quality and innovative infrastructure facilities essential for groundbreaking pharmaceutical product and production technology developments in areas where the Netherlands has a strong position, for which the required R&D facilities and services are not available and do not come about through regular market mechanisms.
  • Increasing the number of pharmaceutical skilled workers: educating a sufficient number of appropriately qualified personnel for the Dutch pharmaceutical value chain

2. Serving as an open central organization for new initiatives in pharmaceutical innovation, strengthening collaboration in existing initiatives and programs, and enhancing the innovation climate for companies and knowledge institutions in the Netherlands.


The current board of PharmaNL consists of the following members:

  • Brigitte Drees, CEO Pivot Park and Pivot Park Screening Centre
  • Hubertus Irth, Scientific Director Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR)
  • Ton Vries, Head of Innovation and Technology at Symeres
  • Benien Vingerhoed-van Aken, Director Center for Future Accessible and Sustainable Therapies (FAST) – Observer