Science-to-Impact: nine priorities to further increase impact of Dutch top science
Today, Techleap.nl and the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) kicked off the 'Science-to-Impact' movement. This movement aims to increase the impact of scientific knowledge by collaborating at all levels, from the heart of science. All parties that contribute to the use of scientific knowledge in practice are invited to get involved in the nine priority areas.
A future-proof and liveable Netherlands
Our world is facing major social challenges: from combating rising sea levels and inequality to fighting cybercrime, viruses and loneliness. In the Netherlands, we have the scientific knowledge and the creativity to develop solutions for these challenges. Much of that knowledge comes from our universities, medical centres and other knowledge institutions. The use of that knowledge in practice is enhanced by education, collaboration between knowledge institutions and the business sector, and entrepreneurship. In the past few years, the Netherlands has taken important steps in this area of the valorisation of scientific knowledge.
However, recent reports by the Rathenau Institute and consultancy firm Roland Berger, among others, show that the challenges of our time require a new approach: one that allows Dutch top science to have an even greater impact. The movement sees taking steps in this direction not only as an opportunity, but even as a necessity to create a future-proof and liveable Netherlands.
Nine priorities for an effective knowledge ecosystem
The nine priorities are divided into three main areas.
- From the heart of science: The foundation for science must be solid. This means we must substantially and continuously strengthen both fundamental and applied science, fully integrate valorisation into the academic culture and ensure that knowledge institutions receive permanent funding for valorisation.
- With collaboration at all levels: Regional ecosystems have a clear profile, and public-private collaboration is growing on campuses and in labs. There is an increasing focus on the talent and diversity of researchers and entrepreneurs, including in career opportunities.
- Scaling up to impact: Scientific start-ups have access to funding in all growth phases, with intellectual property agreements that increase the likelihood of impact. From research to scaled-up innovation, the focus is on valuable use of science.
The website www.science-to-impact.nl is now live. This site allows organisations to indicate whether they are working on similar initiatives themselves and which priority areas they would like to contribute to. They can also get in touch with parties that have the same ambitions. The website additionally contains links to background information, publications and similar initiatives. By launching the website, the initiators’ aim is to ensure that all 'Science-to-Impact' discussions and actions are relevant and concrete.
Since valorisation became a core task of universities, great strides have been made in public-private partnerships and entrepreneurship. Techleap.nl wants to collaborate with experts to investigate which other steps the Netherlands can take to convert scientific knowledge into impactful innovations and stimulate the debate on this subject.
To start an initial discussion, Techleap.nl asked consultancy firm Roland Berger and the Rathenau Institute to share their latest insights on the valorisation of knowledge. This resulted in Roland Berger’s Valorisation Unleashed report outlining five ‘LEAPs' that the Netherlands can make in the field of valorisation and a report by the Rathenau Institute titled Between Invention and Challenge, which lays out a vision on the relationship between universities and start-ups. The Enterprising Scientists series also provides building blocks for discussion. This series features researchers who combine science and entrepreneurship. Each interview ends with three take-aways or questions that the scientist shares with the reader.