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In 2018, more than 20,000 Dutch companies - 97% of which are SMEs - benefited from the WBSO innovation and research scheme to the tune of € 1.1 billion. The scheme encourages entrepreneurs to carry out more research (R&D) into new innovations and helps to turn ideas into successful products and services more quickly.
The results of the Research and Development Promotion Act (WBSO) can be found in the 2018 annual report.
The WBSO demonstrably stimulates the number of innovation activities and strengthens the Dutch business climate. Earlier this year, research by Dialogic in collaboration with APE and UNU-Merit showed this to be the case. The consultancy also concluded that the WBSO is a cost-efficient scheme that is appreciated by the majority of users. The Cabinet has made € 1.2 billion available for this year's scheme.
State Secretary Mona Keijzer: "25 years ago, the Ministry of Economic Affairs chose to give innovative entrepreneurs a helping hand with the WBSO. We still do this today, and with success. The great thing about the WBSO is that behind all those 20,000 companies is a unique story. Entrepreneurs with guts, enthusiasm and a good idea. I'm proud that we contribute to this with the WBSO."
The WBSO allows companies to reduce part of the labour costs and other expenditure on research and development. In 2018, the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO.nl), which implements the WBSO on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, awarded over 130,000 R&D projects. The scheme thus supported some 83,000 high-quality jobs. The vast majority (96%) of the projects consist of development projects for a new product, production process or software. The other projects concern technical and scientific research.
Over the past 25 years, the WBSO has supported numerous innovative entrepreneurs with their R&D plans. This has resulted in many beautiful and surprising innovations that offer solutions for a wide range of social challenges: from Seaweed Harvest Holland, a company that developed a method for using seaweed as a sustainable raw material, to Hiber, a company that is working on a global satellite network. A selection of the past 10 years will soon be available on our website!
Click here for the full report (Dutch only)
Source: © RVO