News - December 15, 2011

Government lacks funds for top sector

The Dutch government has 50 million euros less than it needs to do justice to all the innovative proposals coming from the business world in the Agrifood top sector. This has emerged from an interim report by the top sector published on 6 December.

The food industry has come up with so many proposals that 'there will be a shortfall of 50 million euros in public funds in 2015', states the report. The Agrifood top team will therefore have to be stringently selective with the project proposals by the business world. At the end of the year, the top sector will send an 'innovation contract' with project proposals to minister Verhagen. The government will provide 60 percent of the research funding, and the business world the other 40 percent.
 The Horticulture and Propagation Materials top sector, on the other hand, has not come up with enough project proposals. 'The lack of concrete proposals (by financially strong companies) from the Propagation Materials sector is striking', says the progress report. In the field of ICT and biobased economy this sector does have more than enough project proposals by companies.
In March next year, minister Verhagen is expected to give his fiat to the innovation contracts proposed by the top sectors. This will create some uncertainty at DLO, since it does not yet know which research projects it can implement for government and companies in 2012. The ministry of EL&I will send a letter before Christmas outlining how the research funding for DLO will be organized in this transitional phase.