Foreword by Ernst Nagel
Supporting innovation

in the Dutch research infrastructure

Since the establishment of the Top Sector policy around ten years ago, there has been a steady growth in the Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector. Our budget has grown from 4 million PPP Allowance in 2014 to almost 70 million in 2021. With these funds from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, we have so far been able to support more than 600 public-private projects with a focus on innovation.


In the last two years, there has been a shift in policy towards “mission-driven” innovation. This means that our policy is increasingly directed towards societal challenges and the economic challenges associated with these. 

Strong cooperation

The cooperation with academic and private partners has developed very strongly over the last years. The Top 10 Life Sciences & Health cash investors in R&D alone increased their spending by more than 25% last year. That makes sense because their investment typically results in a 25-30% PPP Allowance from us, on top of their own contribution. This is one of the ways in which the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health is supporting innovation in the Dutch research infrastructure.

'The development of our LSH sector is important for healthcare and the economy. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy works closely with the Top Sector in this regard. Due to the rising healthcare expenditure and the aging population, it is important to continue to innovate. I would like to see Dutch companies, from small to large, and our researchers continue to play a major role in this.'

- Micky Adriaansens, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

Supporting entrepreneurs

Next to PPP Allowance, we focus on business support, especially our activities to improve various conditions for SMEs. For instance, we have funding available for networking events and innovation consultancy. Over 4000 smaller companies benefited in 2021, either through receiving advice or by expanding their networks. For startups in the Life Sciences and in Care we have realised special programmes (Venture Challenge and the Health Impact Accelerator) to develop bright ideas into feasible business propositions. Over the years, the participants of both programmes have generated many millions in investment for further development.


Entrepreneurs who want to export their innovations can count on a lot of support from the Top Sector. Think about information on various international markets, visits to foreign countries, trade fairs, etc. But also the implementation of MoUs with important areas for the sector, like Massachusetts (Henri Termeer Award), Switzerland and Flanders.

Implementing missions together

And many other activities on subjects like human capital, field labs, strategic partnerships are executed together with a huge coalition of partners and coordinated out of the office of the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health-Holland). The coalition works strongly together to implement the missions that the Dutch government has formulated for the societal challenge Health & Care, with the overall goal that by 2040, everyone in the Netherlands will live at least five years longer in good health, while the health inequalities between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups will have decreased by 30%. Are you helping to realise this future?

- Ernst Nagel, Operations Director Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland)