The National Growth Fund should be turned into a structural financing instrument for R&D, TNO argues in an exploratory study published Tuesday (link in Dutch). The research organization expects the Dutch high tech to generate more than half of its turnover in new value chains by 2040. Capturing top positions in those sectors requires a national high-tech strategy supported by structural funding.
“Dutch high tech has the potential to produce a handful of new ASMLs in the coming decades. That requires a joint approach from a strong innovation agenda,” says Arnaud de Jong, managing director TNO High Tech Industry. TNO has identified transformational digital technologies (including integrated photonics, quantum technology and 6G communication), health (robotics, organ-on-chip), sustainability (electrolyzers, batteries) and safety (AI, sensors) as promising sectors. The National High-Tech Strategy must also address important paradigm shifts such as the increasing need for strategic autonomy, the fragmentation of global markets and the transition to fully sustainable production.
With the National Growth Fund, the cabinet is investing 20 billion euros between 2021 and 2025 in projects that will ensure long-term economic growth. High tech is richly represented in this with funding for Quantum Delta NL (a 615-million-euro grant), AiNed (276 million euros), Photondelta (471 million euros) and Nxtgen Hightech (450 million euros), among others. A third round of proposals is currently under review.