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A new Dutch government; what will it bring science, biotech and medtech?

October 10 2017

It took a while, but today we finally got to see the new government policies for the coming 4 years. Although a lot still needs to be detailed and verified, this is what we noticed.


  • An extra € 200 million will be invested in fundamental research (structurally);
  • An extra € 200 million will be invested in applied research (structurally);
  • An extra € 50 million be invested in research infrastructure (it is not specified whether this will be structurally);
  • Scientific funding will be more focused around excellence and impact (not specified how);
  • Open science and open access will be forced standards;
  • NWO will experiment with novel evaluation mechanisms.

Economy and finance

  • Invest-NL will be established, for which € 2,5bn in assets will be made available;
  • Topsector policy will be continued and organised around three themes (energy, food & water, and quantum/high-tech/nano/photonics);
  • SBIR and MIT will be expanded;
  • Start-ups and public-private partnerships will be stimulated (not specified how).

Research on embryos

  • There is no indication that germline modification will be allowed in the very near future. Instead the government will “promote the discussions regarding this ethical dilemma and investigate alternatives”;
  • Regarding IVF: legislation regarding the use of residual embryo’s will remain intact while the possibilities to choose for a specific gender in the case of gender-related hereditary syndromes will be expanded;
  • Funds will be made available to promote iPSCs with the ultimate aim to become leading in this field.

Medicine and healthcare

  • Current policies to reduce expenditures on expensive therapies will be continued with the ultimate aim to save € 460 million;
  • NIPT will remain available but will not be included in basic health insurance packages;
  • € 40 million will be allocated to ensure uptake of medical innovations (e.g. e-health);
  • Strong emphasis on prevention, palliative, and elderly care;
  • Focus on better definition of effective healthcare;
  • No changes to healthcare insurance’s ‘own risk’.

The full document can be found at the Kabinetsformatie website.


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ir. Jasper Levink