Mapping Innovation Policy in Services

As part of the 2006-2007 innovation policy project in services (IPPS, a preparatory SSA Inno-Net project) participating countries provide country reports on the existing policy measures aimed at supporting service innovation. This country report will provide an overview of the policy efforts aimed at facilitating service innovation in the Netherlands. It will map the policy efforts aimed at and affecting the scope for service innovation using a typology of innovation policy measures as introduced by Professor Luke Georghiou. The research questions addressed in this country report are directly derived from the related policy mapping template provided by the coordinators of the IPPS project. The country report is largely based on desk research (e.g. EU Trendchart database and recent research reports) and additional interviews by telephone.

Research questions addressed in the country reports are:

    • Which policy actors are involved in the National Innovation System (DIS)?
    • Which actors have recognised services and related innovations
    • How do the policy actors address service related innovations?

How can supply-side measures be described that are targeting services related innovation?

  • How can demand-side measures be described that are targeting services related innovation?
  • How can measures promoting services internationalization be described?
  • How can measures seeking to create favourable framework conditions for service related innovations be described?
  • Are there some future policy measures being developed for services and related innovation?


Generic policies aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and innovation equally apply to services and service innovation. Service innovation may indeed benefit from these generic policies and the shaping of the right framework conditions, however, in practice these generic policies are mostly having a technology and manufacturing bias (in their design, wording, conceptualisation).

More specific policies - and the number of more specific or should we say customized (innovation) policy approaches seems to be on the rise - are by and large aimed at facilitating technological innovation. There are however some specific policy schemes which can be interpreted as more service innovation specific policies, although these are mostly ´just a toe in the water´ and not always initiated from the idea of facilitating service innovation in the first place (a clear example being the Creative Challenge Call).

However, it can also be concluded that it seems as if the Dutch innovation system and the way it is governed is slowly adapting to the new service paradigm. A couple of actors at various levels in the innovation system are increasingly aware and do recognise the need to address service innovation more fully. Various actors have also started to consider how they can better cater for the needs of service innovators and a few policy initiatives were actually started. These attempts are so far mostly experimental. It remains to be seen if in early 2007 a stronger plea for service innovation policies will be made and some more explicit and new policy initiatives aimed at service innovation will be added or not.

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