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Alternatives to RVO’s depleted Innovatiekrediet for clinical development

January 31 2018

With the new year, a new round of Innovatiekrediet (Innovation Credit) was opened on January 1, 2018. Within the first month, the budget reserved for clinical development projects (€20 million) has already been fully depleted. Within this article, we provide you with more information on Innovatiekrediet and interesting alternatives in case you have missed this year’s opportunity.

What is Innovatiekrediet?

The Innovatiekrediet programme is part of the Dutch governmental body Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Within this programme, with a total budget of €60 million, a loan can be requested for two types of projects: clinical development projects (€20 million) and technical development projects (€40 million).

Clinical development projects are characterised by the inclusion of a clinical trial that is part of the route towards commercialisation. Even though the maximum loan that can be requested per project is €5 million, the total clinical development project budget of €20 million has already been fully depleted by applications within the first month of 2018.

This means that every new submission is highly likely to be rejected due to budget constraints (it is advised to contact RVO before submitting new clinical development project requests). However, the total budget of €40 million for technical development projects has not been depleted yet.

This type of project, with a maximum loan up to €10 million, strictly exclude clinical trials to be a part of the development process (so neither be part of the project nor being performed in parallel to the project). As such, a technical development project is for example focused on further developing technical features of a product or of the manufacturing process.

Read more and stay up to date about Innovatiekrediet in our Life Sciences Funding Database.

Great alternatives to Innovatiekrediet

Did you miss out in the 2018 round? We have identified other interesting opportunities that might be great alternatives:


Like Innovatiekrediet, the WBSO (R&D tax credit) is an initiative of the Dutch RVO. Through this programme, companies are able to lower costs of wage, prototype development or research equipment for their Research & Development. However, unlike Innovatiekrediet this is not a loan, but rather a fiscal arrangement that reduces your Dutch wage taxes. Although there is a maximum budget per year, WBSO can be applied for year-round.

SME Instrument Phase I

This is particularly interesting for companies that are currently in an early phase of developing a strong business case. This lump sum of €50.000 is thought to help you develop your idea into a credible business plan, which in turn should aid in scaling up. While Innovatiekrediet and WBSO are only available for Dutch SMEs, this programme is part of Horizon 2020 and therefore available to all European SMEs. An SME Phase I, in turn, can help you acquire Innovatiekrediet next year. Fortunately, applications for SME Instruments can be submitted multiple times per year.

Business plan and business case

Write a strong business plan and business case for future reference. For Innovatiekrediet, a strong business plan is required. Developing a convincing business plan and case will not only contribute to the quality of your Innovatiekrediet application at a later stage, but will also prepare you for an early and successful submission in the next round of 2019.

As the budget for clinical development projects was depleted early in 2017 as well, early submission of your Innovatiekrediet application is key to acquire the loan in 2019. In addition, writing a strong plan will not only help you to maximise your chances with Innovatiekrediet, but will also professionalise your business and shape and improve the mission and vision of your business for the future. In turn, this will help attract funding and investors.

Request assistance

Do you want to increase your chances of obtaining a loan or funding? At ttopstart we have expertise in writing successful subsidy applications such as WBSO and SME Instrument Phase I.

In addition to this, ttopstart has a proven track record in writing successful business plans that have been used for applying to Innovatiekrediet and attracting investors. To write a complete and convincing business plan, it is often backed by a business case that helps to obtain a thorough market understanding. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you and help you to find and acquire competitive non-dilutive and dilutive funding. 

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