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Tough choices

Image: Alberto G. [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The Dutch government must decide whether it is a facilitator or a director of innovation

At the start of the 1990s, the Dutch government made a set of daring investment choices. Biotechnology, for example, was all but invisible at the time but gained momentum when the government decided to spend income from natural gas exploitation on its development.

Although the extra money mainly went to universities and research institutes, industry had an important say in the choice of research topics. This turned out to be successful: now, in 2020, the Bio Science Park in Leiden is home to more than 100 flourishing biotechnology companies.

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