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Stakeholders take initiative in the Netherlands

The Knowledge Investment Agenda (KIA), a coalition of nearly 30 organisations of the academic and business world, has presented an agenda entitled Knowledge & Innovation Agenda 2011-2020, an ambitious set of recommendations to bring the Netherlands back to the top five of knowledge societies in the world. Presided over by Alexander Rinnooy Kan, KIA believes the Netherlands is lagging behind on the world innovation stage and needs to significantly change its practices in order to reach the top five.

This new agenda is a revised version of their earlier strategic document Knowledge Investment Agenda 2006-2016 by the Second Innovation Platform, of which KIA was a working group. The Innovation Platform was a temporary council of experts and stakeholders from the field, created by the Dutch government to tackle the challenges of knowledge economies; however, the Second Innovation Platform ended its run in May with the changeover of government. KIA has now taken the opportunity to present the still to-be-formed government with clear and concrete policy steps to realise their ambitions. The political arena, claim the KIA members, is not a reliable means to lay out an effective innovation policy, and they consider the involvement of politicians as the main ‘defect’ of the Platform stage. Instead, they call for a new ‘Knowledge and Innovation Council’ without government representatives. This new structure would be an authoritative advisory body to the government, weighing in on important decisions. KIA further laments that funding is too scattered to have a critical impact on the Netherlands’ standing and calls for more focus and stability in innovation policies and research itself.

KIA (in Dutch)