In accordance with the goals of the Lisbon Strategy, three per cent of GDP should be spent on Research & Development (R&D) by 2010. With this in mind, the Netherlands is encouraging businesses to invest in research and innovation with the aim of stimulating growth and employment.
The Promotion of Research and Development Act (WBSO) enables the Dutch government to compensate a proportion of businesses' research & development costs. The Act is applicable to any business in the Netherlands.
Alongside R&D, innovation is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.
Intellectual property must be protected to encourage research.
TechnoPartner has an array of initiatives which are designed to improve the climate for business start-ups in the technology sector.
The Innovation Voucher Subsidy Scheme is designed to bring business people into contact with knowledge centres, the aim being to harness existing knowledge in order to improve products, services and production processes.
Information from the Dutch government can be found on the Antwoordvoorbedrijven.nl website, which lists the various relevant dos and don'ts, e.g. licences and requirements, laws and regulations, taxes and subsidies.
Research can be commissioned from one of the Netherlands' nine 'science shops'. Attached to universities, they carry out research requests from all parties, start-up businesses included.
The Small Business Innovation Research Programme (SBIR) helps SMEs to develop innovations which contribute to tackling social issues.