The Dutch government’s agnostic attitude towards economic development has definitively come to an end. Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has announced the implementation of active policies aimed at maintaining the industry’s current share in the gross domestic product of roughly 12 percent.
“We don’t want to be overly dependent on other countries when it comes to the production of medicines, microchips and sustainable energy, for example. All too often, industry is portrayed as a bad thing, but industry is actually a crucial part of the solution. We’re great at innovation and by investing in innovative technology in the field of sustainability, we can become the best and at the same time tackle climate change,” Adriaansens says.
Targets of the new industrial policy include increasing national R&D expenditure to 3 percent (it was 2.3 percent in 2020), supporting the reduction of the carbon footprint of the nation’s biggest industrial polluters, promoting valorization, facilitating the scale-up of young innovative companies and combatting the shortage of skilled personnel.
FME, a trade organization of tech companies, welcomes the policy changes as “a big step in the right direction,” but points to a lack of structural funding. The cabinet has set aside 3 billion euros for industrial green innovations; the near-term investments in innovation are to be funded by the National Growth Fund.