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Which Biotech and Medical Device Hotspots Matter to your Job Search?

29 July 2021

By Jay Freeman

Which Biotech and Medical Device Hotspots Matter to your Job Search?

With so many organisations flourishing during a period of accelerated growth, many candidates are looking towards locations that are hotspots for professional opportunities. 

There are a multitude of options available, each with their own benefits for candidates relating to economic stability, specialisms, scientific innovation and funding.

Many candidates will be looking for a sense of stability in the wake of the pandemic, specifically seeking out opportunities for growth, professional development, and the opportunity to be part of a thriving and dynamic working environment.

Here are the hotspots that should be on your radar for your job search, from the fast-paced, collaborative locations, to the locations with a strong emphasis on career growth.


The Dutch life sciences market has grown exponentially in the last few years and has always been a key location for the biotech and medical device industries, for many reasons.

Firstly, the Netherlands is considered to be an ideal commute location with great transport links, meaning that employees have the reduced stress of long, tedious journeys, with major flights being easily accessible from Schiphol Airport to many major European cities. 

Another major advantage in terms of potential relocation is that the Netherlands has the highest English proficiency in the world outside of native English-speaking countries. 

But why consider relocation?

Amsterdam has the strength of physical integration of companies and university-run research labs, meaning communities of experts can collaborate and grow alongside each other. 

Additionally, those looking to combine skills in life sciences and other disciplines are well placed, as IT, logistics and software development companies often collaborate with the sector, making skills in the two highly advantageous.

With 3,100 R&D companies, a thriving medtech market and an increasing number of pharmaceutical companies, the Netherlands is an area of note for all candidates considering relocation.


A robust economy, innovative start-ups, world-class manufacturers, and strong infrastructure all make Germany a powerhouse in the industries.

In the heart of the intersection of Central and Western Europe, Germany is well situated to provide access to a number of global cities, making it an ideal commuting location and also contributing to Germany’s well-developed infrastructure. 

For those who are interested in leading facilities, Germany is home to The Fraunhofer Institute, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Paul-Ehrlich Institute, and the Leibniz Association, to name a few.

This strong research infrastructure is key to Germany’s treatment development and medtech industry, given that they are highly versed in medical advancements as a result of billions of euros worth of federal funds.

Candidates looking for R&D opportunities will find the innovative, cutting-edge approach in Germany extremely appealing – given that Germany is Europe’s leading patent applicant – if they wish to contribute to technological advancements.

With straightforward entry requirements, high-quality living standards, Germany offers great appeal for life sciences professionals and candidates across the globe. 


Another receiver of high investments, Belgium is thriving across pharmacy, medtech, biotech and diagnostics, bolstered by a robust financing landscape and government support.

In Flanders, the R&D environment is thriving, with high rankings for clinical trial procedure speed, biotech market capitalisation, pharma and biotech patent applications, and even biopharma researchers per capita.

The research centres in Flanders are known for innovation efforts, such as: VIB, which focuses on biotech, with teams of scientists from multiple countries, and Imec which specialises in nanotech and digital technology, playing an integral role designing electronics for pharma. 

What makes Belgium unique for life sciences candidates is the eclectic mix of entry-level, younger professionals and industry experts that are highly collaborative, fostering a dynamic and lively environment.

‘Combination jobs’ are also an integral part of the working process in Belgium, with many life sciences professionals also having expertise in software, data integrity and quality assurance. 

Candidates who are looking to expand or develop their multidisciplinary skills would be well suited for the life sciences sector in Belgium.


Globally renowned for life sciences in Europe, one third of Swiss exports come from the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry and there are over 250 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies based across Basel, Zurich and Geneva.

Equally beneficial is Switzerland’s proximity to other leading life sciences hubs such as Germany, Italy and France, making Switzerland a key and integral location to the industry.

Switzerland has over 47,000 employees across the life sciences, which is a testament not only to its success in the industry, but also the appeal to life sciences professionals.

When it comes to growing, attracting and retaining talent, Switzerland ranks highly in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). Areas it scored highly in include encouraging personal growth, notably high employee retention, and enabling employees’ development.

These all combine to form the perfect working location for life sciences candidates, with a strong emphasis on staff training, professional development and, most importantly, quality of life due to the typical compensation packages offered.

This sets Switzerland apart as it is not only a strong performer in the life sciences sector, but also the ideal environment for professionals to establish and grow their career across a range of specialist fields.

One of the most promising aspects of relocating to Switzerland, given the uncertainty that broke during the pandemic, is the high ranking for change readiness, growth promise indicators, economic freedom in Europe, global resilience and world competitiveness.

All in all, Switzerland is the ideal environment to not just find a job, but to grow a sustainable, stable and rewarding career.

The key takeaway

At a time when so many other industries are simply in a mode of recovery, life sciences aren’t just continuing on as normal, they’re prospering.

There’s no shortage of locations in which life sciences is booming simply because investments have continually been increasing, and the spotlight on the industry during the pandemic has resulted in even more innovative, collaborative processes that have kept the wheels turning.

For candidates, it’s a case of aligning skillsets and qualifications with their ideal environment, as relocation can offer huge advantages for personal growth that may not be available in their current location.

To learn more about the opportunities in the life sciences sector, get in touch with the Panda team today.

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