Keywords: National Growth Fund, Sustainable Earnings, Investments, Knowledge Development, Research, Innovation, Infrastructure, Subsidy Scheme.
The National Growth Fund
The National Growth Fund was launched in 2020 with the aim of strengthening the sustainable earning capacity of the Netherlands. Together with initiators, the National Growth Fund invests in projects that ensure sustainable economic growth in the longer term. Economic growth provides scope for continuing to invest in, for example, health care, education and measures against climate change.
At the start, the National Growth Fund received €20 billion for investments in knowledge development, infrastructure and research, development & innovation.
A total of twenty billion euros is available from the fund until 2026. In the first round (2021), €4 billion has been allocated and reserved (partly conditionally).
In the second round, €5 billion has been allocated (partly conditionally) and an additional €1.3 billion has been reserved for a total of 28 projects that should ensure sustainable economic growth in the Netherlands. With this money from the National Growth Fund, the government is investing in, among other things, the digitization of higher education and MBO, green hydrogen projects and the improvement of the preclinical phase of cancer research.
Additional investment of €3.22 billion in innovation
An investment of €3.22 billion will be made available this year from the second round of the National Growth Fund for innovation, and another €1.33 billion has been reserved. This concerns 20 proposals that focus on, among other things, the use of AI for cancer research, key technologies such as photonics, start-ups in the pharmaceutical industry, hydrogen, green chemistry, making the aircraft industry more sustainable and digitization in the logistics sector. The projects have been submitted by various ministries, including Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), in collaboration with companies and knowledge institutions.
Follow-up investments first round
Follow-up investments in innovative projects from the first round have also been announced. The conditional awards to Quantum Delta Netherlands (€228 million) and RegMed XB (€33 million) have been converted into definitive investments. In addition, the reservation for AiNed has partly been converted into a definitive investment (€ 116.5 million).
Third round for innovative financing from the National Growth Fund
It has been agreed in the Dutch coalition agreement that the infrastructure site will be removed from the National Growth Fund from the third round. In the next, third round, the government wants companies, knowledge and educational institutions, governments, social organizations and other parties to be able to submit their investment proposals directly to the National Growth Fund via a subsidy scheme. Research and development (R&D) and innovation remain 1 of the 2 pillars of the fund.
In March 2022, the House of Representatives approved the law that makes the necessary subsidy scheme possible. The Senate has yet to decide on this.
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