Dutch firms again investing in innovation, research

Dutch companies are finally again investing more money into research and development. In 2017 R&D investment will amount to 4.3 percent of revenue, the highest level since 2012, according to figures Erasmus University released on Wednesday. Investment into IT will increase to 4.8 percent of revenue, the highest level since 2009. Last year R&D- and IT investment amounted to 2.1 and 2 percent of revenue respectively, NU.nl reports. 

According to the university, the R&D and IT branches are important indicators of technological innovation.

"Favorable economic conditions and prospects increase the willingness of organizations to invest in innovation. The need for this is also relatively large in many sectors", Professor Henk Volberda explained, according to the newspaper. "The emergence of new technologies that form the basis of the fourth industrial revolution (artificial intelligence, robotization, internet of things, cloud computing and 3D printing) increase corporate willingness to invest more in innovation. Under such circumstances, innovation is crucial for the survival or prosperity of organization."

The Professor warns that Dutch companies should not forget to invest in the human side of innovation - this year companies will spend 2.8 percent less on social innovation. "New earning models and new products and services also demand flatter organizational forms, innovative leadership, new employee skills and smarter ways of collaborating."