Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category

The power of music (BEST PRACTICE)

September 9, 2010

The Cockatoo Network has numerous members in Canada, and one of them is Barry Critchley, Canada’s leading journo on the corporate sector, bond issues and stuff that makes your head hurt.

Well Barry has forwarded an inspirational video based around a collaborative performance from musicians in New Orleans, Santa Monica, the Netherlands, South Africa and other places. It also sums up a lot of the work that the Cockatoo Network does!

The video is especially significant in that New Orleans used to have a worldwide reputation in jazz, and Cockatoo members (notably Paquita Lamacraft) were heavily involved in the creative arts clusters there.

Since the Cockatoo Network is currently linking clusters across the world as a means of generating trade and investment opportunities, anyone in the creative arts space should be talking to our man in Louisiana, David Dodd at In any case, tell your mates about his video clip!

Addendum – Russ Fletcher (Montana) wrote: Here’s the full story of this great video and what’s it’s fostered in the years since it was filmed.

Brainport, Netherlands

May 9, 2010

We have been sharing a dialogue with John Jung (Canada) about hubs and precincts, and he suggested we take a look at Brainport.

John was there recently, and he noted that ‘not only is the cooperation very close within the region, but also ‘over the border’ where Brainport clusters its strengths. Globally there are Brainport connections among industry, knowledge institutions and governments.

So we chased up more details on Brainport, and the following came to light.

1. Specific European cooperation in technology and innovation is conducted in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) – Leuven (Belgium) – Eichen (Germany) triangle.

2. Brainport is an attractive place for foreign companies and knowledge workers to locate because of the favourable combination of knowledge and manufacturing, education and career opportunities.

3. Population of 210,000 – one of the powerhouses of the Dutch economy (14% of GDP) and 40% of Dutch R&D.

4. Region holds 3rd place on European Innovation Scoreboard. Ambition to take No. 1 spot by 2013.

5. Sometimes referred to as ‘Light Town’, due to Philips Lighting as anchor investor.

6. Closest big cities are Antwerp (Belgium) Düsseldorf (Germany). Amsterdam 125 km away.

7. Located on major transport routes, with an airport.

8. City of sports – PSV football team, swimming, horse riding. Excellent sports facilities – pools, hockey fields, ice rinks, indoor ski/snowboard centre, climbing wall, country clubs, spectacular golf course.

9. Van Abbe museum is internationally recognised for its modern art collection.

10. Quality and diversity of shopping facilities – weekly markets, designer boutiques.

11. Nature reserves, cycling/hiking routes, camping & holiday resorts.

Angles for Cockatoo members

– Is this place as good as it reads?
– What would really be useful is an understanding of the processes by which it was developed – the champions, the nature of national government support, the role of Philips, the governance system.
– Is it a model for other cities?
– How can other regions form an alliance with Brainport?

Dutch knowledge networks

January 12, 2010

May be this dissertation might be of interest for your readers. regards, Johan Visser (Netherlands)

Title: The structure and dynamics of knowledge networks: a proximity approach
Author: Wal, L.J. ter
Year: 2009
Publisher: Utrecht University
Document type: Dissertation


Through the application of social network analysis this dissertation provides an in-depth study on the structure and dynamics of knowledge networks. It analyses how geographical, social and cognitive proximity can explain the evolution of knowledge networks. The effect of geographical proximity on network formation is not constant over time. Longitudinal analysis of the collaboration network among German biotech inventors shows that geographical proximity is most relevant for network formation for young emerging industries where knowledge is predominantly tacit.

In many other contexts, geographical proximity between firms does not result in the formation of local knowledge networks. In particular, social proximity is more important for local knowledge networks to emerge. The research demonstrates that a lack of social proximity might prevent the emergence of networks of local collective learning in clusters despite geographical proximity.

Dutch work on knowledge channels

November 12, 2008

Dear Rod, thanks again for your newsletter. Please find enclosed a paper based on a serious piece of research of one of my colleagues Rudi Bekkers. You might be interested to refer to this article for your next cockatoo newsletter. In case you want to know more about the actual research, please contact Rudi Bekkers.


Best regards, Pim den Hertog (Netherlands)


The Abstract – There is a wide variety of channels through which knowledge and technology is being transferred between universities and industry. This paper aims to explain the relative importance of these different channels in different contexts. For this purpose, responses from two questionnaires were analysed, addressing Dutch industrial and university researchers, respectively. A reassuring result is that the perceived importance of the 23 distinct transfer channels we distinguished hardly differs between industry and university – we did not observe a major mismatch.


Overall, our results suggest that the industrial activities of firms do not significantly explain differences in importance of a wide variety of channels through which knowledge between university and industry might be transferred. Instead, this variety is better explained by the disciplinary origin, the characteristics of the underlying knowledge, the characteristics of researchers involved in producing and using this knowledge (individual characteristics), and the environment in which knowledge is produced and used i.e. institutional characteristics.


Contact us for the PDF of go direct to Dr. R.N.A. Bekkers  Dialogic, Innovatie & Interactie
Hooghiemstraplein 33-36, 3514 AX Utrecht, The Netherlands


Euro view of NZ innovation system

October 17, 2007

 Henri Janssens, senior project manager with Oost NV, in the Netherlands, has kindly alerted us to a CORDIS News report on developments in NZ.

The reasons for pursuing international collaboration within NZ’s research community vary from a desire to be at the cutting edge to a need to secure human resources, funding and access to equipment. Whatever their reasons, there is no doubting the interest within NZ in increasing links with European researchers, as CORDIS News discovered on a recent visit to the country.

  Many NZ researchers already have links with Europe at both an individual and institutional basis – now a growing desire by researchers and the NZ government to increase these linkages.

 ‘If we want to be world class and cutting edge, we have to get out there and show the flag,’ (Dr Murray Mitchell, National Research Centre for Growth & Development.)

‘It means doubling our output for half the price…international collaboration would halve the time it takes to get products to the market. We don’t necessarily need the money, just the
commitment to work on joint projects,’ Dr Alison Stewart, Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection Technologies.

NZ Research, Science & Technology Ministry’s strategy for increasing international research linkages includes involvement in the EU’s Sixth Framework Program (FP6) and positioning for FP7.

Some are put off by a perceived complexity and lack of willingness within Europe to open up to the world, but others have joined consortia submitting proposals.

Canesis, New Zealand‘s largest wool and textiles research company, has been working with a Spanish research institute on the application of lipids, extracted from sheep wool, to human skin in a cosmetic form. Another area of interest for collaboration is biopolymers. 

The Research Institute for Hort Research that is flying the flag for the project, EuropRevall, is due to commence in June 2005 and will investigate the prevalence, cost and basis of food allergies across Europe. It will also seek to develop holistic approaches for their prevention. HortResearch started out as an associated partner, but was invited to become a full project participant at the initiative of the European Commission after the proposal had been evaluated.

 NZ has its Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) – that are very suited to collaboration with the EC e.g. Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection Technologies. There are six other CoREs: Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology & Evolution; Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery; MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology; NZ Institute of Mathematics & its Applications; National Centre for Growth & Development; National Institute of Research Excellence for Maori Development & Advancement.

The CoREs have acted as a catalyst for increased collaboration. ‘It never occurred to me that we may have something in common with some of the other groups. It was quite a revelation to me. One of the most positive things to come out of this is to have people think more widely and to bring people together.’ Prof. Ted Baker, management committee of the molecular biodiscovery CoRE.


Development nodes in the Netherlands

October 17, 2007

 Johan Visser of the Netherlands Government has kindly sent us a very good document ‘Peaks in the Delta – regional economic perspectives’, released by CEG Van Gennip, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade.  

The document, released in 2004, outlines the economic drivers, infrastructure and innovation nodes etc. that the Dutch see as critical to their future economic and trade performance. Its particular worth is how it positions spatial issues within industry, innovation and trade perspectives. 

The section dealing with the Randstad North Wing and Utrecht region is instructive. Knowledge clusters around the universities and HBO institutes can provide key leads for new industry and productivity development. The region’s location along a number of European main connecting axes also opens up opportunities for advanced logistics, especially on the south flank of Gelderland. To realise these prospects, the following minimum conditions must be met: 
§          closer cooperation between research institutes and regional businesses.
§          development of high quality business locations, where quality of the regional landscape is preserved.
§          improved accessibility for the economic centres in the Eastern Netherlands.
      a greater cross-border focus by the authorities, research institutes and businesses e.g. part of Euregion. 

The spatial economic network in the Northwestern Netherlands stretches from the metropolitan centres of North Holland via Almere and het Gooi to the cities of Utrecht and Amersfoort. The region covers 16% of the surface area and 29% of national employment.   The main economic engine is Schiphol airport, which attracts concentrations of transport and logistics-based activities. Partly through its proximity to Schiphol, Greater Amsterdam is a leading centre of top international services (financial sector), management-related activities (head offices), ICT and international tourism.

The greenhouse and bulb-growing sectors (Aalsmeer auction) are also leading international centres. The industrial activities to the west and north of Amsterdam (such as the Corus steel industry and the agrifood cluster) benefit from the presence of the North Sea ports, with Amsterdam being Europe’s fifth largest maritime port. As a national road and rail hub, Utrecht is a centre for nationally-oriented service provision.  The infrastructure in the Utrecht region is vital for the economic functioning of the Netherlands.

Other important clusters are the international conference sector (which centres on Amsterdam and Utrecht) and the multimedia cluster (Gooi-Amsterdam). 

Innovation policy in Netherlands

October 16, 2007

A lot is happening in the Netherlands currently, both in innovation policy in general, governing structures, as well as in regional economic policies.  

The overall trend is towards more demand-driven instruments that are customised to the specific needs of selected key areas (which we would label clusters) and aimed at making strong clusters stronger.


The overall policy approach is very well documented by the EU trendchart. You probably know it (otherwise it is a must see, because it is very informative). Apart from thematic papers, it provides insights into the national policy portfolios for all EU countries – each year a very detailed national update is provided. In the case of the Netherlands this is written by our colleagues of Technopolis.

 While cluster policies were hot in the nineties, they seem to have disappeared by the end of nineties. The systemic innovation thinking introduced as the leading concept in mainstream innovation policy seems to have reappeared through the backdoor since 2004 (and through the new governing structure of the Innovation Platform) onwards.  

Contributed by Pim den Hertog, Dialogic (Netherlands) –

Role of Intermediaries in Innovation

October 16, 2007

In 2006, Pim Den Hertog (from the Netherlands, and long-time collaborator) and his friend, Jeremy Howells, paid a visit to Australia to give papers at various venues.  

Jeremy is based at the Centre for Research in Innovation & Competition (CRIC) at the University of Manchester, and he left a paper that I’ve only just got around to reading – it’s noteworthy because it explains the different types of intermediaries that are so critical to the innovation process. It isn’t until you study these roles that you realise the wide and varied roles that intermediaries play. Some examples: 

§          Forecasting
§          Scoping & filtering
§          Matchmaking & brokering
§          Finalising contracts
§          Testing, diagnostics, analysis
§          Protoptyping
§          Validation & training
§          IP advice
§          Commercialisation – marketing, planning, finance-raising.
§          Technology evaluation.

Jeremy concludes that intermediaries not only provide interconnectedness to an innovation system (e.g. bridging ties) but also play an ‘animateur’ role of creating new possibilities and dynamism. He argues that assessing the impact of innovation intermediaries is difficult given the indirect effect on a business’ value chain, but the growth in the number and range of these actors belies the benefits they create for their clients. 


R&D needs of service sector

October 16, 2007

One of the more interesting things I would like to report on is the completely customised innovation policies in the Netherlands (named smart mix) and the way innovation policymakers in NL/EU are dealing with services innovation policy, but here I have to wait for a logical starting point.

You may also be interested in a major research project we just finalised on service innovation, including 21 case studies in four EU-countries’. Summary follows:

§          Some service firms do perform “classic” (i.e. technological) R&D and use classic R&D performed by others. However, across the board, services – including most Business-Related Services – are still poor performers of classical R&D. Services R&D is widely underestimated, due to five factors:       
– the process of managing innovation in most services firms is different from the more    “standardised” approach in industrial sectors.       
– a large amount of services’ “classic” R&D activity is hidden behind labels such as business development, service improvement, etc. without being explicitly recognised as services R&D.
– many service firms engage in R&D-like activities that fall outside, or at the boundary of the classic understandings of R&D.
– the de facto exclusion of social science research from R&D statistics.               
– in manufacturing firms, R&D aimed at developing product-related services is a forgotten category.

§  Most service firms are poorly linked to the science base and innovation and R&D programs. This partly results from an (often implicit) manufacturing bias in existing R&D and innovation policies.

§ Innovative service firms are less likely to receive public innovation support than are their manufacturing counterparts. 

§ Europe is suffering from an underdeveloped services R&D and innovation culture, and a lack of pro-services R&D and innovation mindset on the part of policy makers.  

Contributed by Pim den Hertog (Dialogic, the Netherlands) in 2006. 

Contact the Editor to access the full report. 

Collaborator profile – Pim den Hertog, Utrecht, the Netherlands

October 15, 2007

Who and where are you? I am a senior researcher and co-director of Dialogic, a research consultancy with specialisations in innovation (measurement, strategic advice and policy studies, broadband/content industries and E-government. Dialogic was established in 1998 as a “friendly” spin off from TNO Strategy Technology and Policy and has grown over the years into a 20 person firm.

 What’s your job? I position myself mainly as a researcher working on exciting research and advisory projects. I am involved in a couple of research projects, and get involved in all kind of international networks. What’s exciting you at present? Currently we are performing a practical feasibility study to see if we can create a European Service Innovation Centrum in Almere (outskirts of Amsterdam). We are trying to create an environment where both communities of practice and communities of theory meet and cooperate, develop new service concepts, test them in a real scale, real life lab environment and learn how to manage the service innovation process better. This will include building a knowledge repository and creating education and training courses for multidisciplinary service developers. We hope to kick start in 2008. We are eager to learn from similar projects and initiatives around the world!   Your Top 3 Tips on how to collaborate? We do collaborate a lot, both with academia as well as other research firms and client firms and organizations. This in the first place means investing in (also personal) relationships, develop trust and inform and help each other without having a concrete project that is paid for. Secondly, we see developing and performing a project together as the most efficient way to start and develop these type of collaborative relationships. Thirdly, in projects with very dissimilar actors you should make sure there are deliverables/outcomes that satisfy these various actors.  Those that want to learn more about Dialogic, please take a look at If you are interested in collaborating you can contact me ( or my colleagues directly.