Member Participation


The Netherlands has formally joined Mission Innovation in September 2016. The Netherlands is convinced that research, development and demonstration of clean energy technologies will help achieve the long-term goal of a sustainable low-carbon energy system.

With a view to joining Mission Innovation, the Netherlands reaffirms its commitment to stepping up its efforts on clean energy research and development by 2020. In the 2013 Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, concluded with major stakeholders from the private sector, research organisations, local governments and NGOs, the Dutch government committed to an ambitious level of public investment on clean energy RD&D, most notably in the demonstration phase of clean energy technologies, giving a strong boost to investments in this field. The Netherlands therefore proposes taking the fiscal years from 2013 to 2015 as its baseline. The following ambitions of the National Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth form the core of the Dutch government’s public funding commitments up to 2020:

  • In 2014 the Dutch government introduced a grant program for demonstration projects in the area of energy innovation, which have considerable export potential. Under this program, Dutch companies may receive up to 6 million euros per project to demonstrate new sustainable energy technologies and energy efficiency innovations.
  • The Netherlands will also invest in offshore wind energy projects demonstrating innovative techniques and aimed at achieving a cost reduction of 40% (through process innovation).
  • From 2016 to 2019 the Netherlands will provide 50 million euros per year (from the Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Production (SDE+) operating fund) for energy innovation aimed at making renewable energy production more cost-effective.
  • More public funding is available for innovative energy-efficiency projects in the built environment, with a view to accelerating the cost-effective adoption of energy efficiency technologies. Funding is available for projects in the social housing sector, e.g. zero-energy buildings, and in the owner-occupied sector, through a joint approach by municipalities, businesses and other parties offering innovative product-market combinations.
  • The Energy Agreement also announced a demonstration project for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), the ‘Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject’ (ROAD).
  • The Netherlands’ baseline also includes ongoing research and innovation activities specifically targeting clean energy. From 2016 to 2020 funding will be maintained at more or less current levels for activities in the following areas:
    • Fundamental research on clean energy technologies.
    • Public funding for clean energy technologies in collaboration with the private sector and knowledge institutions, within the Top Sector for Energy.
    • Applied research into energy innovation.

The abovementioned measures add up to average spending in this area of 237 million euros per year from 2016 to 2020, compared to average spending of 100 million euros per year in the baseline years 2013 to 2015 – a doubling of investment by the Netherlands on the basis of existing commitments from the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth.

Baseline and Doubling Plans

  • Country-Determined Baseline Year(s): 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Baseline Funding Amount (million EUR): 100
  • Baseline Funding Amount (million USD): 113
  • Doubling Target-Year: 2020
  • Doubling Target Amount (million EUR): 237
  • Doubling Target Amount (million USD): 269

Methodology for Determining Baseline

The baseline is the average annual budget in the fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015. It includes the main programs for research, development and demonstration activities (RD&D) in the area of clean energy innovation currently funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

Country-Definition of Clean Energy RD&D Investment

In the Netherlands the following clean energy technologies are eligible for funding from research, development and demonstration programs: renewable energy technologies (including offshore and onshore wind), energy efficiency technologies, carbon capture and storage, and other crosscutting technologies.

Overview of Clean Energy R&D Focus Areas Emphasized in Mission Innovation Portfolio

Industry & buildings


Vehicles & other transportation
Bio-based fuels & energy


Solar, wind & other renewables


Nuclear energy
Hydrogen & fuel cells


Cleaner fossil energy


CO2 capture, utilization & storage


Electricity grid


Energy storage


Basic energy research


Indicators are for key areas of Mission Innovation R&D investment but do not imply a comprehensive representation of a country’s full R&D portfolio.


Additional Information

The Netherlands has a long tradition of public-private partnerships. The Dutch government collaborates closely with the private sector, knowledge institutions and NGOs in the ‘triple helix’ to achieve its energy and climate objectives. This also involves establishing collaborative platforms for sharing knowledge and developing and implementing energy innovation policies.

This collaborative approach also underlies the Dutch government’s Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, which was concluded with more than 40 parties, including industry, business associations, knowledge institutions, trade unions, NGOs, and regional and local governments, and which sets out the goals of national energy policy with a view to 2020.

The triple helix approach also informs the activities of the Top Sector for Energy, a public-private platform for energy research and innovation. Knowledge institutions, businesses and the government are represented on the platform and jointly set the priorities of Dutch policy on energy research and innovation. Joint innovative projects are carried out by Top Sector Alliances for Knowledge and Innovation. Communication in the top sector alliances is always two-way. The collaborative approach and the development of joint goals and roadmaps have multiple benefits:

  1. The government can depend on businesses and knowledge institutions to cooperate in the implementation of energy innovation policies. By setting targets that are aligned with businesses activities and research priorities, the most critical innovation needs are addressed.
  2. The Netherlands’ institutionalized cooperation platforms are an efficient structure for information-sharing between knowledge institutions and businesses. Having a clear picture of planned business and research activities facilitates the identification of knowledge gaps and opportunities. By mapping existing knowledge, capabilities and resources, the most critical innovation needs can be identified.
  3. Setting common goals further strengthens business and investor engagement in clean energy projects.

The Netherlands aims to extend this alliance-based, systemic and integral approach to the Mission Innovation initiative. Through its well-developed information-sharing structures joining government, knowledge institutions and businesses, the Netherlands can contribute to the identification of innovation needs at global level. Furthermore, the Netherlands has broad experience with engaging businesses and the general public in the development of clean energy priorities. Its methods include organizing workshops and exchanges.

Moreover, the Netherlands would bring its experience in several areas of energy innovation, such as in offshore wind energy on the North Sea, into the Mission Innovation initiative. The Netherlands is firmly committed to building several offshore windfarms by 2023 that will significantly boost cost-efficiency and innovation. The Netherlands is also focusing on integrated innovative solutions for urban environments, such as energy efficiency and greater flexibility on the grid.

The Netherlands, as a sustainable urban delta with a high population density, a well-developed (ICT) infrastructure and a well-educated population, is eminently suited for social innovation labs and field testing, which are essential for learning. For example, innovative experiments are being carried out in electric mobility and ‘smart energy cities’. Dutch universities and institutes like the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) take the lead in research on clean energy technologies, and participate actively in European and international platforms and networks.

The Netherlands has a large energy-intensive industry which operates internationally. Our chemicals industry, for example, is the fourth largest in Europe in terms of turnover. Dutch industry needs to make significant progress in the coming years in the energy transition towards 2050. Both public and private investment in this sector may benefit from the spillover of innovation efforts in other industrialized countries.

The Netherlands is active in various international collaborative platforms on clean energy innovation, including the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, and the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) at European level, and the Working Groups and Technology Collaboration Programmes within the International Energy Agency (IEA) at global level. Within these frameworks, the Netherlands shares its expertise and data on energy innovation, contributing to global innovation analysis and roadmapping.

The Netherlands is an active participant in a variety of bilateral and multilateral research partnerships and cooperative engagements to help enhance collective global capacity in energy innovation. For example, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of California on challenges concerning energy and sustainability. The Netherlands is also participating in seven ERA-Net Cofunds – co-financing mechanisms between the European Commission and the EU Member states under the Horizon 2020 program – for clean energy technologies such as offshore wind, smart grids, solar power and carbon capture and storage. Finally, the Netherlands has signed bilateral Memorandums of Understanding on clean energy with 22 countries, including Brazil, China and India.

As a member of Mission Innovation, the Netherlands would be able to share its broad experience with multi-stakeholder collaboration, outlined above, and best practices in order to strengthen global cooperation frameworks between governments and with private sector parties and knowledge institutions. As a member of Mission Innovation, the Netherlands would be able to contribute in a positive way to global efforts and partnerships on clean energy innovation, and to the joint achievement of major steps towards a low-carbon economy.