Paul van Gerven
26 June 2019

The recently green-lit public investment bank Invest-NL will initially focus mostly on speeding up the energy transition, director Wouter Bos told Het Financieele Dagblad (link in Dutch). At a later stage, companies addressing other pressing societal problems may qualify for an investment from the 1.7-billion-euro fund. Bos specifically mentions the semicon, photonics and nanotechnology sectors, as well as Hyperloop technology.

Dutch innovation policy was recently overhauled to become mission oriented, meaning public funding of innovation projects will depend not only on the potential economic activities they generate but also on which major societal challenges they tackle. A total of 25 missions have been divided over four themes: energy transition & sustainability, agriculture, water & food, health & healthcare, and security. Key enabling technologies such as high tech and photonics have been classified as a fifth, non-mission-oriented theme.

Invest-NL was supposed to support projects from all five themes, but the energy transition has been given priority for the moment.