ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Economics

Restructuring research funds: issues, innovation and competition

Updated on May 7, 2015
Prof. Alexander Rinnooy Kan and Prof. Beatrice de Graaf, duo-chair of the Dutch national committee for the scientifical agenda
Prof. Alexander Rinnooy Kan and Prof. Beatrice de Graaf, duo-chair of the Dutch national committee for the scientifical agenda

Fundamental innovation and gradual improvement of products and services support economic growth. That's not just valid for nowadays society, but for the human being in itself. Inventions -and off course human creativity- have allowed mankind to develop. The natural body of society is the habitat for inventors. Not obedience but chaos seem to be at the base of evolution. Today's best products and main steps in technology are seldom directly linked to Nobel prize nor Phd works. The debate on science policy, including restructuring funds and management of the funds in the Netherlands has grown since november 2014, when “new governance and the NWO” was sent to the parliament.

Decisions about the direction of research funds are limited by the rationality of insiders in research positions and not naturally driven by general interests of the society, as it should be.

Recently, professor Alexander Rinnooy Kan and professor Beatrice de Graaf, chairing the dutch Committee for the National Scientifical Agenda, organised a national 'poll' for destination of the research funds to issues. On the website of the committee, anyone could submit ideas and proposals until May 1st. 11.656 submittals were made. The result was shown in one picture with the main issues that get support by the suppliers of proposals. Depending on the number of submittals, the word is larger.


Source
Results of the public poll for issues to spend taxpayers money in research
Results of the public poll for issues to spend taxpayers money in research

National science agenda and business plan competition: how are these connected?

Most of the financial sources for research are linked with traditional and public institutions. Are these institutions the best environment to start a company?

Society is spontaneous and chaotic: that makes it the best driving force for innovation, while (academical) formality seems limitative. Interesting new, basic research is almost never supported by private business; in the business plan competition private business companies fund almost 100% of the research.

I interviewed two experts in the field of start-ups and business plan competitors, Harald Kerres (Kites & Darts) and Claire Arens (Xebra) to share their views after years of participating and organising a business plan competition, called New Venture, introduced in 1998 in the Netherlands to support the growth of innovation and the economy. The department of Economic Affairs has supported the competition, year after year, with a substantial part of the costs of the competition.

I asked them their opinion on the outcome of the national poll on themes for the national scientific research agenda.

Kerres: “The positive impact of this poll from Rinnooy Kan and De Graaf is that everyone, who has submitted a question or proposal, feels connected and becomes a participant in the process. It can have the effect among the contributors that everyone can start research at 'kitchentable' talks. In research the essence is in the originality of the hypothesis (question) if you will become a hero or a loser. Everyone can be participating, all the time, to science. At the other hand, the results of this 'market research' should not be used to dictate the experts at universities and research institutions. The contributions that I have done with participating in the business plan competitions is almost always related to high tech research. The national research funds for applied research in the Netherlands have decreased with 10-25% since 2011. At the same time, the New Venture competition has changed the attitude at many universities to a more entrepreneurial one. Innovation has really developed over the last years.”

Arens: “The most important issue in the research funds is that small and medium sized companies don't have the experience and capacity yet to be succesfull in submitting proposals. If the funds would be available for those companies who really need the money to start, that would be a major step forward. The New Venture competition is better suited in attracting new initiatives and supports small teams to become more professional. The competition has created a community and has been a driving force for innovation since the moment we started in 1998. I am very proud to have delivered a contribution to the changing attitude at universities. The number of excellent proposals over the years has been impressive. The national research agenda is connected with New Venture competitions in many proposals, for example from the topsector-policy. Many proposals are focusing on improved sustainability of products and services. For the future, I think the ambitions for business plan competitions should evaluate the success and keep improving. The ambitions need to be as high as the most excellent teams can show.”

Taking the experience seriously, we can say innovation has not to be imposed but proposed. When it is driven by societies needs, people's curiosity and potential profits, it's one of the most inspiring activities in which people can partecipate.

Harald Kerres (Kites & Darts) and Claire Arens (Doe-Tank)
Harald Kerres (Kites & Darts) and Claire Arens (Doe-Tank)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ernst Vuijk profile image

      Ernst Vuyk 3 years ago from Utrecht

      Small companies and especially start-ups are seldom experienced in getting access to research funds, even when these companies are directly a spinn-off from universities. Many start-ups face the 'death-valley' of the innovation phases. That's the moment when larger companies pick the results. General facilities like the tax reduction for start-ups are necessary to create an innovative economy.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)