Twin Towns

The city of Enschede has a cooperative with two, so called, ‘partner-cities’: Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, California, USA (since the eighties) and the Chinese harbour city of Dalian (since 2009). Both cities are located in regions that are named among the most innovative in the world. More and more companies, researchers and students look to broaden their horizon via international cooperation and through the network of partner-cities. Next to the economical benefits of such a collaboration, there are also specific cooperation plans in the areas of education and culture.



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Palo Alto

Palo Alto (population: 58.598) is a city on the southern point on the San Francisco bay in California, USA. The city got its name from the tall landmark Redwood tree, El Palo Alto, which stands 33 metres tall in a park in the city. The tree is an official historical landmark of the state of California.


The city is headquarter to a number of Silicon Valley, high-technology companies, such as Google, Apple and Cisco and can be called the global centre of innovation. It is also home to the University of Stanford, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.


Joined activities for, and with Palo Alto:

The partnership between the city of Enschede and Palo Alto, is supported by a so called Economic Alliance. The focus of this agreement is on sharing knowledge and ‘best practices’ in the area of new technologies and stimulating start-ups and growing companies.


Within the context of this Economic Alliance, some 90 companies from the Twente region have visited Silicon Valley. The University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences have intensively worked together with Stanford University in the area of ‘Clean Technology’. And together with the Dutch consulate in San Francisco, a coaching program had been set up for companies from Twente who are looking to do business with companies from the Valley.


The upcoming innovative economy, and subjects such as mobility and waste processing are focus points on the collective agendas. Palo Alto wishes to utilize the expertise that the region of Twente and the city of Enschede have to offer on these matters.


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Dalian is a modern, vibrant, and dynamic city featuring European styled architecture and a promising future.


The city is the product of its turbulent past, from occupations and natural disasters, to opening up and rapid development. Starting out as a small fishing village a little over 100 years ago, the city has extended its reach and recognition, with the aim of building itself into a regional hub for shipping, communication, trade, finance, information, and tourism. It is also a base to many international hi-tech companies and hosts the World Economic Forum; Summer Davos


Not just an industrial city, Dalian has also been voted as China’s most liveable city, and enjoys such monikers as the “Fashion City”, the “Soccer City” and “A City of Romance”. Dalian nestles among fresh green mountains and links them with the deep-blue sea. It boasts many open public spaces including Labor Park, Tiger Beach, Golden Pebble Beach and Xinghai Square, the largest square in Asia.


Dalianese, bearing the amicability of the mountains and hospitality of the sea, welcome you with open arms.


Joined activities for and with Dalian:

China is part of a growing world economy. An economy that offers plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs from the city of Enschede and the Twente region. Support from officials from the government facilitates access to the Chinese market and brings knowledge about this new market area to Twente.


For the entrepreneurs from Twente, meetings with Chinese Companies from the ‘High Tech Zone’ are arranged in collaboration with the Chinese equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce. For quite a few entrepreneurs this resulted in new potential business partners. With two Chinese companies, plans are being made for a possible branch in Twente and/or a collaboration in the area of transport.


Next to joined activities in the area of economics, there are several specific collaboration projects on the subjects of education, healthcare and culture. Enschede wants to enter a long term connection with the city of Dalian in the area of education, offering young people an international orientation regarding their future. China is tackling enormous challenges in the field of healthcare, challenges to which businesses from the Twente region might have a solution. In the months to come, the city of Enschede will be taking steps to establish a trade delegation aimed at the areas of technology and healthcare.