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SCAR - National Research Systems - Netherlands
In the field of science and technology the Ministery of Education, Culture and Science is responsible for the governance of the public universities (with the exception of Wageningen University) and several organisations for fundamental research.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation is responsible for the co-ordination of technology and innovation policy and the governance of the applied research institutes and the knowledge and innovation system in the various domains of the bioeconomy. This Ministry is responsible for research and education within the domain of her Directorats-General for Agro and for Nature and Regional Policy. The aim is to create and maintain a high quality knowledge infrastructure for the agrifood sector, and for nature management and rural development.
Total (applied) research budget is about € 150 million (2012 figure, University academic research excluded; the budget for the present government’s new policy on entrepreneurship and innovation is incorporated in this total.
Beside this, Wageningen University has a budget of about € 158 million (research and education, 2012 figure).

Research in the agricultural domain
In the domains mentioned, the research funded by the Ministry comprises basic research (to maintain the knowledge base), policy underpinning research (to support and underpin policy aims) and statutory tasks (research required under legal commitments). Two main policy themes, Agro and Nature & Rural development, are the basis for the Ministry’s research programme for Agro, Nature and Regional policy in budgetary year 2012.

Since 2012 the Dutch Government has developed and implemented a new policy on Entrepreneurship and innovation. The policy focuses on ten economic sectors in which The Netherlands excels. The Dutch government, entrepreneurs and researchers will invest in these ‘topsectors’ to promote further growth. Two of these sectors are in the field of the Directorate-General for Agro: Agro & Food and Horticulture and Propagation materials. The research budget for support of these two sectors is about € 51 million in 2012.

Budgets for applied research on policy themes and green enterprise support in 2012 (in millions of euros).

  Basic research Policy research Statutory tasks Total
Agro € 12 million € 18 million € 45 million € 75 million
Nature & Rural development € 7 million € 10 million € 7 million € 24 million
Green enterprise support:
Agro & Food € 15 million € 19 million   € 34 million
Horticulture and Propagating Stock
€ 4 million
€ 13 million
€ 17 million
Total € 38 million € 60 million € 52 million € 150 million

The research is carried out by the DLO foundation research institutes .

The Ministry has no formal say in the universities’ (academic) research programme of  Wageningen University: research at all universities in The Netherlands is governed by law allowing for a large degree of autonomy.
Wageningen University & Research Centre is an umbrella organisation made up of  of Wageningen University, (applied) research institutes, and a training and advisory centre. In January 2004, the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science, became part of Wageningen UR.

Information on research institutes, researchers and research projects can be found in the Dutch Research Database.

The Ministry also finances the Innovation Network, which is positioned independently from the Ministry. The Innovation Network stimulates, initiates, creates, and implements wide-ranging modernizations by bringing together representatives from industry, social organizations, academia and governmental bodies. The Innovation Network aims to develop wide-ranging, novel concepts to achieve goals such as optimum logistics, sustainable land-use, sound animal husbandry, and the environmentally-friendly cultivation of vegetables under glass. In the coming years the Innovation Network activities for the Agro-domain will be integrated in the plans of the topsectors Agro & Food and Horticulture and Propagating Materials.

Agricultural education

Education objectives:
  • to provide for Agricultural Education in line with the policies of  the Directorates-General for Agro and for Nature and Regional Policy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation;
  • to contribute to national and European government policies;
  • to meet the demands of the labour market with regard to the “agricultural” and environmental sectors.
Number of students in the academic year 2011/2012 (total number)
  • PRE-Vocational education and training: Agricultural: 31.700 (total NL 633.000)
  • Vocational education and training: Agricultural: 30.500 (total NL: 515.400)
  • Higher Education (undergraduate university): Agricultural : 9.100 (total NL 423.100)
  • University: Agricultural: 7.000 (total NL 243.700)
Academic Institutions Institutions for undergraduate professional agricultural education, also called 'universities of professional education' Vocational education: Agricultural Education Centres

Agricultural Education Centres are centres that incorporate all levels of vocational full-time education, prevocational education, adult vocational education and apprenticeship training. Training centres
  • PTC + (a merger of the former IPC Livestock and IPC Plant) is an international training institute which focuses on all the links in the production chain of plant and animal commodities, (agricultural) technology, (food) technology and natural areas.
  • IPC Groene ruimte (in Dutch) Vocational Training Centre for the management of natural resources
Agricultural Education Centres in the Netherlands (information in Dutch)
The Agri Knowledge Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation

This Department is responsible for the co-ordination of research on policy themes Agro and Nature & Rural development, and green enterprise support and  the governance of the agricultural educational system including Wageningen University.

Director: ir. A.S.M. Tabak
The Agri Knowledge Department
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation
PO Box 20401
2500 EK The Hague

Recently  the Agricultural Knowledge System in Europe was evaluated by OECD.
Informatiom on the system in The Netherlands can be found in the respective country document: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/51/37/49151098.pdf.

Science and technology in the Netherlands

Within the Dutch government, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science coordinates science policy. Science policy has a focus on the Innovation Research Incentives Scheme and on support for large-scale research facilities.
The Innovation Research Incentives Scheme  was launched in 2000 to provide special incentives for innovative research. It operates by funding talented, creative researchers to conduct research of their choice.

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science also has a responsibility for the governance of the public universities and several (research) organisations that play an important role in science policy, the main ones being the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), research funder NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (i.e. the ‘Dutch Research Council’), and the Royal Library (National library of the Netherlands).
The KNAW incorporates various institutes where fundamental research takes place. Relevant to the bioeconomy domains are in particular: The Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation  is responsible for the co-ordination of technology and innovation policy and the governance of the applied research institutes, including:
  • Deltares (applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure)
  • DLO (applied research in the field of agricultural production, nature, food)
  • ECN (applied energy research), which incorporates part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Energy and Transport.
  • MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands)
  • NLR (National  Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands)
  • TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Research)

Together with the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and  Innovation also has a responsibility for the international component of Dutch science and technology policy, including subject matter relating to European Union initiatives and policies.

Other ministries have their own mission-related science and research policy for specific areas of interest, such as health, environment, defence, transport and public works.  There is one, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, which is financed by three ministries: The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and (for a small part) the Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
Furthermore, the Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT) advises the Dutch government and parliament on policy in the areas of scientific research, technological development and innovation.

National Research Systems
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  SCAR meetings.

The SCAR plenary meetings are normally organised twice a year. Thirteen meetings have been held so far since February 2005.

The next meeting is scheduled on: [read more]
  Contact info.

The SCAR committee is supported by a Secretariat with staff from the Commission's Directorate-General for Research and staff made available to SCAR from Member States (‘virtual secretariat’). The Secretariat is in charge of the preparation and follow-up of forum meetings (e.g. coordination of the agenda, invitation, documents for the meeting, minutes) and provides assistance to the working groups.
Contact person: François Constantin.