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Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in The Netherlands

image of Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in The Netherlands

The higher education sector in The Netherlands offers excellent examples of what it means to be innovative and entrepreneurial, and promote entrepreneurial mind sets, entrepreneurship and knowledge exchange. Creating value from academic knowledge through innovative services, products, processes and business models that meet economic, social and environmental needs lies at the core of this strategy. The current challenge is to strenghten the anchoring of value-creation processes in education and research. This can be achieved through increased interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurial mindset development across all subject areas, incentives for effective wider world engagement of researchers and students, and growth-oriented support for startups. This report presents an in-depth analysis of the policy framework and institutional practices and provides useful guidance for policy makers and university leaders across the world. HEInnovate is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the OECD to promote the innovative and entrepreneurial higher education institution.

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Executive summary

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Netherlands are involved in an important new endeavour – to promote "valorisation"; i.e. the creation of value from scientific knowledge through economic and/or societal use. From 2005 onwards, HEIs have included valorisation in their institutional strategies. Significant national government funding has also been available for HEI projects from 2010-18 through the "Valorisation Programme". Although the programme has recently come to an end, HEIs are likely to take over much of the funding for key structures and activities from their core budgets. To avoid overdependence on project-based funding, future policy interventions will need to consider how to ensure sustainability.

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