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The spread of innovations in the Netherlands is faltering. “The Netherlands is a major innovator, but too many innovations remain small or unused because they do not spread well. The government needs to focus its innovation policy much more strongly on spreading innovations.” The Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI) notes this in its advice on Dissemination – The underexposed side of innovation. The Council handed over the advice on 7 September to State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs and Climate. The AWTI has 10 members, including Fontys director Nienke Meijer, TU/e professor Emmo Meijer and ASML manager Jos Benschop.

Uri Rosental AWTI-chairman Uri Rosenthal: “The diffusion of innovations is important for the earning capacity of Dutch companies and for solving various societal problems, such as the consequences of climate change, ageing and the overburdening of the care system.”

From the conclusions:

►  Innovative enterprises earn back their money through dissemination. They can reinvest this money in the further development of innovation.

►  Innovations become better because they spread. People gain experience with it and based on that experience the quality of the new product or work process improves.

►  Dissemination is needed from the nature of the innovation, think of the first telephone owner, who alone has nothing to gain from such a great innovation. Without dissemination, many innovations are worthless.

►  Dissemination reduces the price, thereby also reaching a wider audience for innovation. And so the spread increases even more.

The AWTI encourages the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate to systematically integrate the dissemination of innovations into its innovation policy, including the top sector approach. AWTI chairman Rosenthal says: “All ministries can stimulate the spread of innovations, among other things by purchasing more often themselves in an innovation-oriented way and by presenting themselves as the launching customer of innovative companies.”