The national government provides support to companies developing innovative products by means of grants, innovation credits and tax benefits. The European Union also offers different grants for innovation.

Innovations create opportunities

Inventive businesses can participate in the quest for solutions concerning fundamental social issues, such as population ageing, deadly diseases and food security. The development of new products can give them access to markets they have not previously explored. Innovations boost the economy and create jobs. Therefore the government embraces innovative initiatives. Its financial support allows companies to promptly place their innovative services and products on the market.

Investment in leading sectors

The innovative leading sectors in the Netherlands are rated among the best in the world. The Dutch government is eager to cement their top position on the international market. There are 9 top sectors in the Netherlands, namely:

  1. The creative industries
  2. The logistics sector
  3. The energy industry
  4. The high technology industry
  5. The chemicals industry
  6. The life sciences and health sector
  7. The water sector
  8. The propagation materials and horticulture industry
  9. The agriculture and food sector

Alliance of the Top Sectors for Innovation and Knowledge (TKI)

The private sector, the government, various research centres and universities are collaborating through the Alliance of the Top Sectors to make these sectors even more competitive. They look for means to establish innovative services or products on the market.

Stimulating innovation in the top sectors

The government stimulates innovation through the following initiatives:

National Icons

National Icons is a biennial competition where the government announces several winning products or projects. The selected entries address main social issues and prove that Dutch innovations qualify among the best in the world.

Innovation Expo

This Expo is organized every 2 years and its purpose is to boost innovation. The event in the spring of 2016 highlighted the EU Presidency of the Netherlands. The Expo is also a network of innovation including 3000 private sector representatives, knowledge institutions and public bodies. They collaborate with the aim to make technological breakthroughs and innovations.

Volg Innovatie

“Volg Innovatie” is a database maintained by the Enterprise Agency of the Netherlands. It gives information about the financial contributions of the Ministry of Economy to different projects.

National Scientific Agenda

The National Scientific Agenda of the Ministry of Economy and Climate Policy (MECP) specifies major topics for research for the coming years. It considers the following questions: Which fields appear promising for the scientific sector in the Netherlands? What can science do to solve social issues? In what ways can science open economic opportunities to introduce innovations?

Attache Network for Innovation

Dutch consulates and embassies have innovation attaches. Their job is to help Dutch companies conducting business abroad by, for example, providing them with contacts of potential partners in the face of other companies or research institutions.

Smart Industry

This initiative strengthens the industries in the Netherlands by encouraging the application of modern technology and IT, such as nanotechnology, robots and 3D printing.

Future Fund for Innovation

The Future Fund of the government provides additional financial support to innovative small and medium enterprises for the achievement of key perspective research goals. Starting in 2018 it will provide 5 million Euros annually and its starting capital is 200 million Euros. All activities of the fund are pending review in 2020.

Tax credit for development and research

The tax credit for development and research approved by the MECP aims to provide an incentive for entrepreneurs to make investments in research.

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