On 26 April, the Dutch Cabinet decided in the Council of Ministers to implement the mission-driven innovation policy. In total, eight ministries (Economic Affairs and Climate Policy; Defence; Infrastructure and Water Management, Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Justice and Security, Social Affairs and Employment, Education, Culture and Science; Health, Welfare and Sport), together with entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions from the nine different top sectors, have established 25 missions. These will strengthen the Dutch economy within four societal challenges: 1) Energy Transition & Sustainability, 2) Agriculture, Water & Food, 3) Health & Care and 4) Security & Key Enabling Technologies. Five missions address the Health & Care societal challenge that is directly relevant to the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH).
State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Mona Keijzer: 'We are facing major societal challenges. How can we keep our care affordable and accessible, and how do we deal with issues related to climate, agriculture, care and security? The government's objective is that these challenges lead to economic opportunities in the Netherlands. By jointly determining 25 missions within these themes, our entrepreneurs, from SMEs to large companies and knowledge institutions, can actively address and consciously work towards concrete sustainable solutions for the future.’
Key enabling technologies crucial for exploiting economic opportunities
With this Cabinet decision, the societal challenges and missions have been determined for the coming years. However, the road to achieving these is still open. It is clear that key enabling technologies, such as photonics, quantum, nano and digital technology, play an important role in realising multiple missions. Some illustrative applications are mentioned for these key enabling technologies:
- smart industry, where production robots can tailor any product for the best price without waste;
- laser techniques, which doctors can use to perform operations as precisely as possible with fewer complications and faster recovery;
- smart industry, where production robots can tailor any product for the best price without waste.
Time for top sectors to act
The top sectors, ministries and knowledge institutions will jointly draw up the new Knowledge & Innovation Agendas (KIAs) 2020-2023 based on the 25 missions and key enabling technologies. The Cabinet will announce at a later stage how the financial resources available will be deployed.
Activities of the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health
Within the mission-driven innovation policy, five missions support the societal challenge Health & Care. These missions give direction to the top sectors’ activities (including key enabling technologies) in the coming years and focus specifically on several subareas where the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport sees added value for the top sectors. The missions related to Health & Care are:
- Central mission: In 2040, all Dutch people will live in good health for at least five years longer, and the health differences between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups will have decreased by 30%.
- Mission 1: Lifestyle and living environment - In 2040, the burden of disease as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy environment is decreased by 30%.
- Mission 2: Access to care - In 2030, care will be organised 50% more (or more often) in one's own living environment (instead of in care institutions), together with the network around people.
- Mission 3: Chronic illness - In 2030, the proportion of people with a chronic illness or lifelong disability who can participate in society as desired and in their capacity has increased by 25%.
- Mission 4: Dementia - In 2030, the quality of life of people with dementia has increased by 25%.
Currently, the Top Sector LSH, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and their stakeholders are formulating a new KIA 2020-2023 based on these missions and key enabling technologies.
- All missions can be found in this letter to parliament sent by the Cabinet here (Dutch only).
- Watch the animation below on the new mission-driven innovation policy.