The government is injecting €646 million into and setting aside €3.5 billion for ten projects designed to ensure greater economic growth in the Netherlands. The government intends to invest these sums, which will be allocated from the National Growth Fund, in green hydrogen, innovative and future-proof education methods and the extension of Amsterdam’s North-South metro line, among other things. In awarding grants to these projects, the government is adopting the recommendation issued by the proposal assessment advisory committee led by Jeroen Dijsselbloem in full. The news was announced by the Ministers Van ‘t Wout (Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) and Hoekstra (Finance).
The advisory committee advised the government to allocate €646 million from the National Growth Fund at once (although some of the allocations are subject to conditions). Furthermore, it advised that €3.5 billion be earmarked for proposals whose funding is contingent on the applicants supplying more detailed information. The National Growth Fund is intended for one-off public investment that contributes to the country’s future economic growth. The projects that will be granted funding will all result in increased productivity and create new business, the committee found, partly based on analyses performed by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and other experts
Second round of National Growth Fund grant application submissions
In the next five years, the government will earmark a total of €20 billion for investments in knowledge development, transport infrastructure and research, development and innovation. In this first round of grant application submissions, the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science, Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and Infrastructure and Water Management collected projects that wanted to be considered for financing from the Growth Fund. A second round of grant application submissions will start in early May. The government will decide on the project proposals submitted in Round 2 in early 2022, after reviewing the proposals for the degree to which they meet the submission criteria, and after the proposal assessment advisory committee has issued its recommendation.
“We are currently seeking to help as many entrepreneurs as possible survive the coronavirus pandemic. However, we must also invest heavily in long-term economic growth. An increasingly large share of our wealth is spent on public services, such as healthcare and pensions, but households would like to keep some disposable income, as well. We will need greater economic growth to be able to afford this.”
Bas van ‘t Wout, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy:
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