Millions of euros in innovation subsidies unused

The majority of the €500m available in government subsidies for innovation has not yet been allocated, reports Wednesday’s Financieele Dagblad.

So far the cabinet has approved just €32m worth of research projects for the 2009 to 2014 period, the paper says.
The biotech institutes Groene Genetica and Pharma will receive €10m, €8m has been awarded to a nuclear fusion project and €14m to the so-called Netwerkschool scheme. This is an initiative by vocational training organisations who want to find a away to make education more efficient through the use of IT.
According to the Financieele Dagblad, the government’s advisory body CPB was ‘extremely negative’ about the Netwerkschool project in its assessment in April. However an economic affairs ministry spokesman told the paper that the CPB has now approved of the scheme.
Six subsidy applications by the chemical, energy, education and high tech sectors (good for a combined subsidy of €361m) which failed to meet the necessary criteria initially are expected to be passed once they have been improved, says the paper.
The €500m comes from the profits generated from Holland’s natural gas reserves.

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