Continuity of investments in research and innovation is vital

Press release by NWO, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science (KNAW), TO2, VSNU, the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, VNO-NCW and the Royal Association MKB-Nederland

26 June 2013

Industry and knowledge institutions underline the importance of continuity of investments in research and innovation in a statement released today. Cutting spending on research and innovation at this time would be disastrous for our economy’s future earning potential and would lead to erosion of our excellent knowledge infrastructure. The Netherlands must preserve and achieve its ambition to be one of the world’s top knowledge economies.

Continuity of investments in research and innovation is vital

More research leads to new knowledge. If this can be done to the utmost in conjunction with industry, community-based organisations, universities, universities of applied sciences and knowledge institutions, new knowledge will generate new products, services and processes. New knowledge ultimately safeguards our prosperity and welfare. Funding for knowledge is not a cost item but an investment that eventually pays for itself many times over.

The Dutch Cabinet took steps in the right direction when it published its joint manifesto on 3 September 2012:

  • continuation of top sector policy
  • investments to strengthen the knowledge economy
  • taking advantage of the EU programme, Horizon2020.

They feel that transparent 'rules' for public-private partnership in both fundamental and applied research and for intellectual property provide a good basis for the further implementation of the top sector policy. Today the Cabinet presented these rules to the Dutch House of Representatives and they have the support of industry and research institutions. They want to set to work and use them. The organisations emphasise that it is not simply about rules: if the Netherlands is to remain internationally competitive then research and innovation are essential for the Dutch economy in general and for the top sectors in particular.

Industry and knowledge institutions are therefore calling on the Cabinet to spare research and innovation when new spending cuts are introduced and to follow the knowledge investment levels of Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia as soon as possible.

Bernard Wientjes (VNO-NCW), Jos Engelen (NWO)
Hans Clevers (KNAW),
Thom de Graaf (the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences),
Jan Mengelers (TO2),
Hans Biesheuvel (Royal Association MKB-Nederland)
Karl Dittrich (VSNU)


Source: NWO

Further information

NWO, Information and Communication Department, tel.: +31 70 344 07 41