• General Information

    The Cross-Border Business Development Research Chair of the Fontys University of Applied Sciences aims to support individuals, organizations and regional networks in harnessing development opportunities on both sides of the Dutch-German border. Our mission is to enable people, organizations and networks to create a 360-degree perspective and thereby raise their awareness for, and support them in exploiting opportunities for development on both sides of the border. Through practice-oriented research, we identify opportunities and barriers, conditions, and mechanisms, and develop evidence-based tools to promote integration within and between border regions. We do this in close collaboration with partners in the field and students in the border region.

    Legal form

    University of Applied Sciences (Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)


    Vincent Pijnenburg, Head of the Research Chair


    Tegelseweg 255, 5912 BG Venlo, The Netherlands


  • Role of the institution regarding cross-border issues

    The chair comprises a multicultural and multidisciplinary team of experts in cross-border collaboration, also associated with the Fontys Knowledge centre Lifelong development. The practice-oriented research takes place along three research lines, focusing on the individual, the organization, and the network. Removing border barriers and identifying and exploiting border opportunities is central to all program lines. The team’s researchers have expertise in regional economics, economic geography, HR, learning organisations and/or inter-organisational cooperation. In terms of complementarity, this ties in nicely with the other knowledge institutes along the Dutch-German border, including the TEIN partner ITEM.

  • References regarding cross-border issues


    In recent years, the research chair developed all kind of training and study materials for different target groups. Among them are the bachelor minor ‘Embrace the Border’ (30 ECTS), serious games in order to increase awareness for the Dutch-German borderland and guest lectures for professionals.

    Two examples:

    • The Competence Game. A tool that contributes to the competence of HR managers, intermediary organisations and jobseekers alike about the different ways in which soft skills can be defined and interpreted between Dutch and German people.
    • Minor Embrace the Border. This minor is about doing business in the Dutch-German borderland. We offer third year bachelor students the chance to activate and build their language skills in German and Dutch, learn about the region, the economy and how business is done cross-border style.

    Applied research

    • Euregional recruitment. In the Euregional recruiting project, we examine which tools can support employers in terms of recruiting staff from across the border. explore success and failure factors and mechanisms between supply and demand on the euregional labour market based on the staffing cycle
    • Bridge builders in learning border organizations. The objective is to gain insight into specific challenges cross-border organisations face and how they (can) deal with these challenges. creates the right conditions for a learning culture in the cross-border organisation. In the border region, so-called bridge builders play an important role here.
    • Cross-border collaboration readiness. As part of his PhD project, Max Klöters investigates individual willingness to cooperate (readiness) in cross-border networks. This PhD research aims to unravel the complexity of successful cross-border collaborations, recognising that success depends not only on whole organisations, but mainly on the nuanced social interaction between individual personalities and mind-sets.

    Consulting / Studies

    • The Germany Scan / The Netherlands Scan (Duitslandscan / der Niederlande Scan). The Germany scan supports companies in doing cross-border business and makes entering the German market much easier. The scan offers companies a free, fast and efficient way to get a clear picture of the steps they need to take and which guidance they can call on. The scan is available for both companies already active on the German market and companies that are considering doing business in Germany. The scan is also available for German companies intending to enter the Dutch market.


    The research chair pursues knowledge dissemination in various ways. Because of the practice-oriented nature of the research, the dissemination is mainly aimed at education (students and teaching staff) and the professional field. This includes guest lectures, the organization of workshops or hosting symposia. Knowledge dissemination into the scientific domain and peer reviewing takes place through participation in external conferences.