Drenthe is number 1 in Europe when it comes to specialised fibre chemistry. Ever since the 1950s, many companies operating in the plastics processing industry have been concentrated in Emmen. As a result of the arrival of companies such as AKU (General Rayon Union) the village of Emmen has quickly grown into a city. The progress slowed down a little in the 1970s, but by 2016 the plastics processing industry had made a full recovery. And that is not surprising. Emmen is very favourably situated in Europe, it offers the right facilities (e.g. the emmtec Industry & Business Park), has a knowledge network with people specialised in plastics at an MBO, HBO and university level and nationally Drenthe also scores in the top 3 locations in terms of livability, living environment and business climate. In addition, the region has about 22,000 hectares of agricultural land in its backyard that is rich in raw materials for the fibre chemistry. With this in mind, the Province of Drenthe and the Municipality of Emmen are actively contributing to further strengthening and reinforcing this favourable climate. For instance by providing assistance to innovation assignments from local entrepreneurs, offering support with regard to questions about funding, contributing to building a network and by opening the door to the EU. The provincial and municipal authorities also work together in order to ensure a smooth licensing process.
Another, not inconsiderable advantage of the Southeast Drenthe region is the close connection with North and East Overijssel and the presence of a strong and extensive manufacturing industry. The region offers opportunities, for instance, with regard to cooperation between SMEs and multinationals. In addition, there are excellent connections with Northern Europe. Emmen, in Southeast Drenthe, is situated close to the main trading countries such as Germany, the Baltic States and Scandinavia. In short, entrepreneurs who want to do business in green chemistry, particularly polymers, composites, fibres and yarns, will find everything they need in Drenthe.