Non-public Research

Most research in the Netherlands is conducted by the private sector, mainly in large enterprises which focus on product development. Private sector entities are organised in a variety of industry organisations which partly have separate research and technology commissions.[1] Research conducted by the private sector is financed, for the vast majority, by the private sector itself, but the sector also receives significant funding from abroad (14.4 %) and some public (1.9 %) and third sector (0.4 %) funding. Aside from funding its own research, the private sector invests in research abroad and, to a lesser extent, in research in HEIs and other institutions.[2] The government, in order to encourage private sector investment into R&D, initiated a number of general (tax incentives) and specific funding programmes. The latter includes the Regional Attention and Action for Knowledge Circulation (Regionale actie en aandacht voor kennisinnovatie) focussing on cooperation between regional SMEs and hogescholen.[3]

At together less than 16 % of overall funding for research in the Netherlands international and third contributions play a smaller role in the Netherlands than in England. However, foreign funding has steadily increased. It is mainly received by the private sector and to a lesser extent by HEIs and other organisations.[4] The main sources of foreign funding are foreign companies and the EU. The latter was originally somewhat disregarded, but has increasingly gained in importance; today the Dutch research sector receives significantly more than the Netherlands contributes. The government currently tries to further encourage international cooperation, particularly to attract more foreign firms to invest into research in the Netherlands.[5] Whilst the third sector plays a small role as a funder, it is hardly distinguishable as a research provider.[6] The funding provided by the third sector mainly comes from charities engaged in the medical field[7] and is, for the vast majority, received by HEIs.[2]

  • [1] Braun 2006, pp. 4, 7; Leisyte 2011, p. 440; Mostert 2012, p. 13 seq, Euraxess (n 116),Matthijs et al. 2016, p. 18.
  • [2] Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek 2016.
  • [3] Mostert 2012, pp. 3, 6 seq, 13; (2016) Regionale actie en aandacht voorkennisinnovatie (English translation: Attention and Action for Knowledge Circulation). Accessed11 August 2016.
  • [4] Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek 2011, 2016.
  • [5] van der Meulen 2010, p. 522 seq; Directie Kennis 2012, p. 122; Mostert 2012, pp. 6, 14,21 seq; Matthijs et al. 2016, pp. 56, 65, Rathenau Instituut (n 108) section ‘Investments—Government funding of R&D’.
  • [6] Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek 2011 explanatory note section ‘Door instellingen’,Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek 2016.
  • [7] Mostert 2012, p. 15; Matthijs et al. 2016, p. 43, Rathenau Instituut (n 108) section‘Investments—Funding and performance of R&D in the Netherlands’.
  • [8] Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek 2016.
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