Netherlands: Dutch penny-pinching on innovation

“The Netherlands is increasingly falling behind in terms of innovation,” reports NRC Handelsblad. According to two studies on the strength of the economy, current investment in research and development will not be enough to fulfill the government’s ambition to become one of the world’s top five most innovative countries. The Amsterdam daily is surprised that the government, which created a Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation and makes liberal use of the term “innovation” in its coalition agreement, has no plans to fund additional spending. The newspaper also regrets what it perceives as a short-sighted policy on investment in education, and points out that Germany, France, Denmark and Finland have not used the economic crisis as a pretext for penny-pinching on innovation. The European Commission wants member states to devote 3% of GDP to research, but as it stands the five billion euros per year spent by the Netherlands only amounts to 0.88% of the country’s GDP.

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