In 1982, the Small Business Innovation Development Act was enacted in the United States. This led to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme in the US. Through the SBIR programme, the American government commissions small companies to conduct societal relevant innovative research – and with great success. Leading companies have been established as a result of an SBIR assignment; examples include telecom company Qualcomm and software producer Symantec.
Inspired by American successes, the Dutch government started its own SBIR programme in 2005. The Dutch Government uses its procurement power to mobilise the innovative capacity of companies to solve major societal challenges, such as mobility, sustainability, safety and health. At the same time, we promote innovation, especially in small and medium sized companies, strengthen the business climate and increase the competitiveness of Dutch companies. This is in line with my focus on top priority areas, such as logistics, food and life sciences, in which we stand out international. Source: report.
In my personal experience with this program I noticed that although public procurement through SBIR and other programs is open to both Dutch companies and companies from elsewhere in the EU, the Dutch government has not put any effort into marketing its program within the EU. All offers and feasibility studies have to be submitted in Dutch and the English version of the website does not contain any references to the program. As such I have decided to try and fill the void with this blog, providing information about the program.
Of course I have a special interest. As a consultant I support companies so they can make offers in this program.