The next cabinet must spend an extra €1bn a year on boosting research and development in the Netherlands to avoid damaging the economy, employers and academics said on Thursday.
The money is needed to solve central problems surrounding healthcare, energy, sustainability, governance and food, and to keep Dutch scientific research up to strength, the alliance of employers, universities, research institutes and teaching hospitals says.
‘We need more money to keep at a level in terms of new technology, new research and fundamental research at universities,’ Hans de Boer, chairman of the VNO-NCW employers lobby group told Nu.nl. ‘At the moment, things are a bit lean and that is damaging the economy.’
Extra measures can also free up a further €2bn in private sector R&D spending, De Boer said.
‘The current cabinet has not invested enough in innovation and research,’ said Karl Dittricht, who heads the university umbrella group VSNU. ‘It is as if we have been treading water for two years, not making advances.’
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