After more than 50 years in Arnhem, the Netherlands, Novartis has decided to move its Dutch operations to Amsterdam, the new home of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The operation, with 400 employees, will make the 95 km move next year. Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff said the new office will “bring the local operations closer to customers and other stakeholders, has the potential to intensify collaboration with universities and research institutions, makes us more attractive to young talent while providing more optimal infrastructure setting.”
While Althoff said it was a bit “far fetched” to tie the move to the relocation of the EMA, Dutch media did just that, citing comments from Novartis general director Heinrich Moisa to Financieele Dagblad.
Moisa said Novartis chose Amsterdam for its Netherlands site because of the “many important partners, including universities, research institutes and the EMA.”
The European regulatory operation last year said it would make the move from London to the Netherlands after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Nineteen European Union member states submitted proposals for the EMA headquarters, pitching their lifestyle, infrastructure and locations in their bids to win the prestigious operation and its well-paying jobs.
An employee survey ahead of the final vote had staffers favoring Barcelona, Copenhagen, Vienna, Amsterdam and Milan. Voting among members ended in a tie between Amsterdam and Milan, and the Dutch city became the ultimate winner through a coin toss.
The EMA headquarters will bring an agency that employs about 900 staffers and an estimated economic lift of €1 billion while transforming the city into a global medical and pharmaceutical hub. Many of the jobs will be filled locally since the agency said it expects to lose up to 30% of its present staff, who decided not to leave London.