The TKI premiums have led to a much larger than expected private contribution from the business community to research and the public knowledge infrastructure, says the Dutch government following an interim assessment of the scheme. This is part of the reason the Minister of Economic Affairs, Kamp, has asked the Dutch Lower House to extend the TKI scheme, which is supposed to end in November 2017, for another five years. Kamp proposes that a next government consider increasing the premium so as to ‘raise private contributions to public-private partnerships to an even higher level of ambition.’
Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs has sent the interim evaluation report, ‘Top Sector Alliance for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI premiums) over the 2013-2015 period’ (in Dutch), to the Lower House. The TKI scheme provides a premium to private contributions to the TKI programmes, such as TKI Water Technology in which KWR plays an important role. According to the report of the research consultancy Dialogic, the TKI premium scheme does achieve the desired strengthening of public-private partnership (PPP) and boosts the private contribution of business to research and the public knowledge infrastructure. The scheme is an effective means of stimulating PPP projects in key technology areas, while it also leads to a perpetuation of PPP networks and their extension with new (SME) players.
Result far surpasses objective
The objective set by the current government was that in 2015 the public and private parties should together participate to a minimum level of €500 million, of which at least 40% would be funded by business. In the 2016 budget, this objectives was adjusted to €800 million. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) estimates the extent of the basic projects of the PPP programmes for the TKIs in 2015 to be €1,020 million. Of this, 48% is financed by the business community. The government’s initial objective has already been more than doubled, reports Kamp in his letter to the Lower House.
Recommendation to extend the scheme
Because the TKI scheme is succeeding in meeting its objectives, in his letter to the Lower House Kamp endorses the recommendation of the Dialogic researchers to extend the scheme by a standard period of five years. The proposal to this end will be sent to the Lower House during the first half of 2017. Inasmuch as possible, the other modifications to the scheme in 2017 will be kept to a minimum. The researchers also recommend that the premium percentage be raised to incite more companies to invest in PPP, thus increasing the volume of research and where possible furthering the pooling of strengths. Kamp transmits this recommendation to the next government which will, in his words, have the opportunity ‘to raise private contributions to PPP to an even higher level of ambition.’
TKI Water Technology at KWR
Since 2013 KWR has launched more than 50 different TKI projects together with the business community and the water sector, as the launching customer. The research is directed primarily at practical applications. Business and end-users account for half to three-quarters of the project financing (cash or in-kind), with the TKI premium covering the rest. Businesses that would like to receive TKI support for their research and innovation through KWR are invited to contact us. Together we can develop suitable collaboration projects and innovation activities.
Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs