- Absolute government R&D expenditure rises from 4.7 billion in 2012 to 6.2 billion in 2021
- The ministries of Higher Education, Culture and Science and Economic Affairs together fund 82% of R&D expenditures
- R&D expenditure of the Dutch government is slightly above the average of the EU-19
The fact sheet is divided into five sections. We look at:
- national government expenditure on R&D;
- national government expenditure on innovation;
- national government expenditure in international perspective;
- regional expenditure;
- European expenditure.
1. Developments in government expenditure on R&D
The government finances R&D directly (through basic or project financing) or indirectly (in the form of tax support).
The following graph shows from 2000 the two forms of government support for R&D - both direct financing and fiscal support. Direct investments are presented as a percentage of gross domestic product (gdp) to place them in the context of the economy.
Government expenditures and percentage GDP
In the graph above, we see government direct R&D expenditure (in euros) increasing annually up to 2011. There was a decline in 2012. Subsequently, the total amount of government support in the long-term budget shows a slightly increasing trend until 2017. From 2017 to 2018, R&D expenditure rose sharply due to the extra investments from the 2017 Coalition Agreement. The increases from 2021 are mainly due to the National Growth Fund.
The following table looks at the development of R&D expenditure per department in the period 2019-2025. An innovation-relevant component can be distinguished within R&D expenditure, which we will return to later in this fact sheet. In accordance with international agreements, the expenditure is based on the figures of the 2021 budget.
Government R&D budgets by ministry, in millions of euros and as percentage of GDP
|Education. Culture and Science||4118.3||4201.9||4251.3||4276.3||4300.6||4320.8||4332.6|
|Economic Affairs and Climate Policy||740.3||900.9||892||948.6||934.4||906||876.1|
|Health. Welfare and Sport||332||344||485.7||358.4||359.2||335.1||297.9|
|Agriculture. Nature and Food Quality||212.4||231.6||217.9||209.2||207.8||208.3||208.2|
|Infrastructure and Water Management||71.7||75.4||62.7||60.9||60||59||55.9|
|Justice and Security||22.4||22.7||22.7||23||23||23||22.9|
|Social Affairs and Employment||9.9||12.8||20.8||20.3||13.3||9.1||9.2|
|Interior and Kingdom Relations||9.3||10.6||10.8||10.9||9.7||9.7||9.7|
|National Growth Fund||0||0||165.9||332.4||499.1||665.7||665.7|
|Total in percentage of GDP||0.69||0.74||0.75||0.74||0.75||0.75||0.74|
The table shows that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy are by far the two largest financiers of R&D, together responsible for 82 percent of the expenditure in 2021. rom 2021, resources from the National Growth Fund will also form part of the R&D funding. These ensure that R&D expenditure increases. Within the OCW expenditure, the university's first funding stream accounts for the largest part. The R&D expenditure increases over the years. As a percentage of GDP, R&D expenditure increases and remains reasonably stable from 2020. In 2019, the Dutch government will spend 0.69 percent of GDP on R&D, in 2025 this will be 0.74 percent.
2. Innovation and innovation-related expenditure
Since 2014, figures on government spending on innovation have been gathered alongside government spending on R&D. The collection of data on innovation expenditure is in its infancy, however.
The following table shows the different forms of government support for R&D and innovation for the period 2019-2025. In 2021, 73% of the total government contribution to R&D and innovation will consist of direct expenditure on R&D. 18% consists of indirect tax aid for R&D and innovation. Direct innovation expenditure is 9%.
Direct and indirect financial support for R&D and innovation, in millions of euros
|of which innovation relevant||1159.2||1327.2||1416.3||1550.9||1619.3||1671.5||1641.6|
|Expenditures on non-R&D innovation||376.1||752.9||744.9||871.2||1057.6||1184.5||1155.1|
|Fiscal support for R&D and innovation||1344.0||1436.0||1582.0||1487.0||1425.0||1425.0||1425.0|
|of which only for innovation||156.0||149.0||139.0||139.0||139.0||139.0||139.0|
|Total expenditure for R&D and innovation||7345.7||8117.3||8576.7||8716.0||9006.9||9263.0||9175.1|
3. International comparison of government funding of R&D
How does R&D spending in the Netherlands compare with that in other countries? The figure below compares government spending on R&D (as a proportion of GDP) in a number of European countries. The statistics refer to 2019. The figure shows that the Netherlands is in the middle of the countries in the figure. The Netherlands does, however, have a position just above that of the average for the EU-19 and EU-27 countries.
For a good comparison, fiscal support should also be included in direct R&D expenditure. Most countries have such schemes; only a few do not (Germany, Switzerland and Sweden). If these figures are combined, the Netherlands are still in the middle (2018 figures, see data publication Government support for R&D, in % of GDP). As percentage of GDP, the size of government support through tax incentives varies from 0 to 0.29%; in the Netherlands it is 0.14% (2018).
Activities related to knowledge and innovation also take place at regional level, though few figures have been gathered on this. However, a survey of funding for knowledge development and innovation at regional level was carried out for the 2013-2019 edition of TWIN. This funding comprises European resources, provincial resources and matched funding from central government. Regional development agencies, management authorities and other regional organisations are also involved. Regional resources for knowledge and innovation have been estimated at € 250 million for 2019. It is expected that this level will at least be maintained in the near future.
The European Union also contributes to the funding of R&D in the Netherlands. Since 1984 this has mainly been in the form of funding under the Framework Programmes, which has grown steadily. Dutch institutions, both public and private, acquired a relatively large amount of funding from the last (Seventh) Framework Programme, amounting to one-and-a-half times the Dutch contribution to the programme. The share of European public funding in total public R&D funding in the Netherlands has grown from 9% during the 7th Framework programme to 12% (estimation) for Horizon2020. The average annual income from this source between 2014 and 2019 was €700 million. Financial resources from the EU-Framework Programmes are expected to increase over time.
- Total R&D in the Netherlands by sector of performance and source of funds, R&D activity type and type of costs
- R&D expenditure in the Netherlands by funding source
- Government support for R&D, in % of GDP
- Two and a half percent
- Government funding of R&D
- R&D expenditure and capacity by field of science
- R&D expenditure in the Netherlands by funding source and sector of performance
- Funding and performance of R&D in the Netherlands