Netherlands

NL-10:Innovation Contracts

Policy Description

Companies, research institutes, universities and the government have collaboratively entered into several contracts intended to stimulate innovation and improve the competitiveness of the Netherlands economy. These contracts, referred to as ‘innovation contracts’, were signed in April 2012 with nine Top Sectors, including chemcials, agro-food and high-tech sectors.

Description

Companies, research institutes, universities and the government collaboratively drafted several contracts intended to stimulate innovation and improve the competitiveness of the Netherlands economy. These contracts, referred to as ‘innovation contracts’, were signed in April 2012.

Innovation contracts use a top-down approach to stimulate greater industrial energy efficiency and competitiveness. It sets sector-wide research agenda and commits participants to invest financial and human capital towards research and development. The government has research and innovation contracts in place with industry and small and medium-sized enterprises in nine sectors, including chemical and high-tech industries.

In these contracts, measures, plans, deals and targets are described and agreed upon and cover fundamental or applied research. Through innovation, the contracts aim to add value to Netherlands' future economy by improving its competitiveness.

All participants commit to the contract and can contribute in different ways. Contributions can be financial or supplied human capital are provided within a ‘Top-consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI)’ for each innovation contract. A TKI develops a research agenda, establishes collaboration between participating actors or disseminate knowledge with the aim of developing innovative products, services and technologies. 

TKI contributions for 2012 and 2013 have been quantified. Starting in 2013, the government co-funds innovation and research by TKIs and invests € 0,25 for every euro invested in the TKI by a company. 

The nine top sectors that have contracts are: chemicals, horticulture and its raw materials, water, agro-food, life sciences, high-tech systems and materials, energy, logistics and the creative industry (*1).

A “Top Team” is formed to manage each innovation contract, consisting of an innovation entrepreneur from an SME, a scientist, a government representative and a sector leader. 

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Economic, Incentives & Subsidies, Information & Outreach

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Voluntary

Period

Start Date: 2012

Agencies Responsible

Ministry of Economic Affairs
AgentschapNL

Primary Objective: Other (environmental)

Objective

Innovation in a broad sense, although sustainability, environmental and energy issues are often incorporated within the considerations of the contract.

Target Group

Top nine top sectors that have Innovation Contracts are: chemicals, horticulture and its raw materials, water, agro-food, life sciences, high-tech systems and materials, energy, logistics and the creative industry. In addition, there are “Action Agendas” in the the cross-sectorial fields of ICT, nanotechnology and the bio-based economy (*1)

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Technology implementation rate, knowledge levels

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.

Coverage

Quantitative Target? no

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? no

Enforced? yes

Requirements on the Target Group

Active participation and contribution, either financial or expertise and know-how, to fullfill the research agenda and other requirements outlined in the contract.

Support by Government

Financial Aid, supplementary to industry contributions. Starting in 2013, the government co-funds innovation and research by TKIs and invests € 0,25 for every euro invested in the TKI by a company. 

Implementation Toolbox

Complexity of Implementation

Government

Intensified collaboration and discussions between companies, institutions and government to develop and execute innovation contracts

Target Group

Intensified collaboration and discussions between companies, institutions and government to develop and execute innovation contracts

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions N/A ­Improved market penetration of innovative products and services and improved allocation of research funds.
Estimated costs/benefits for industry Total contribution across all top sectors: In 2012: €1788 million In 2013: €1819 million. N/A
Estimated cost for government Total contribution across all top-sectors from the government and research institutes: In 2012: €981 million In 2013: €916 million N/A

References & Footnotes

References

[1] Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (2012). Investing in top-sectors. Available at http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/ondernemersklimaat-en-innovatie/investeren-in-topsectoren/

Footnotes

(*1) In addition to the TKIs of these nine top sectors, the cross-sectorial fields of ICT, nanotechnology and the bio-based economy have been included in the initiative through “Action Agendas”. Action Agendas are created by participants to define their ambitions, and the underlying actions, that will be undertaken in order to fully develop a collaborative approach resulting in an innovation contract and/or TKI.