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Prinsjesdag 2017: Budget changes for research, innovative SME’s and healthcare

September 20 2017

Yesterday was the third Tuesday of September, also known in the Netherlands as “Prinsjesdag.” Annually, this is the day that the national budget for the coming year is presented by the Dutch government. As you likely know, since the new government is still in development after last elections, no major changes were expected. Here’s an update on what did change for research, innovative SMEs, and healthcare projects in 2018. Overall, the main changes are amongst WBSO and NWO budgets (see below for details).

High-tech SME’s


WBSO is an R&D tax incentive to lower wage costs and other relevant R&D expenditures, which has had a major overhaul last year. This is tax incentive is relevant for each and every company that does some form of R&D. Since the budget was exceeded in the previous year, the WBSO budget has decreased by €42M to €1163M for 2018.


A very popular financing means amongst innovative SME’s has a similar budget to the previous year. The allocation of €18M remains unchanged, which ensures Eurostars remains one of the most attainable subsidies for R&D.

MIT (MKB-Innovatiestimulering Topsectoren)

With a positive evaluation of the MIT programme in 2017, it will continue next year with a similar budget of €29M to foster the same successes as this year.

Research and education


The NWO budget will increase by roughly 4%, thus the allocation for 2018 is €495M. Additional to this, allocations for talent development and large-scale research infrastructure remain unchanged and together amount to €216M. Principal change in strategy for 2018 is that the “Nationale Wetenschapsagenda” (the national science agenda) will take on an important role with the goal to conduct investments in a cohesive manner.


The budget allocation for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences remains unchanged at €89M.



ZonMw, which finances healthcare research and stimulates its translation and application to improve healthcare will see a slight increase to €148M for 2018.

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