Innovation-grant for SME’s in Zuid-Holland. Has 2 instruments: Feasibility instrument (max €20k) and a Collaboration-instrument (max 350k).
Over 42 million has been granted in the last 4 years in this region, making it one of the biggest subsidy-programmes the province has. Problem was the amount of SME’s that we wanted to reach. Zuid-Holland is a region rich with innovative SME’s, ranging from f.e. horticulture to space innovations. Our goal is to reach as many of these as possible. Often, big administrative demands turn applicants away. Also the maze of obligatory files needed to be attached to the applications doesn’t help the applicant.
Therefore we have decided to drastically drop the compliance demands and attachments. Now, only one document is necessary: the projectplan. As a result the amount of applicants has increased enormously and is still increasing annually.

Resources needed

2 people policy (1,2 FTE), 1 administration (0,5 FTE), 4% of 14 mln administrative funding for salaries, website, information-events etc

Evidence of success

The amount of applications: 565 SME’s have been subsidized over the last 4 years in Zuid-Holland. Also the amount of money granted: € 42 mln. Compared to other provinces (and of course due to the amount of innovative SME’s in our region) this is high. We hope this is also because of the accessibility of the grant: we ask for less mandatory attachments (SME-tests, registrations etc) than other regions. Also our compliance-demand is less and more in sync with the pay-off of the grant.

Difficulties encountered

So far none

Potential for learning or transfer

Potential for learning is high. Many grants are directed at a target group instead of derived from the questions that target group has. This is also the case with the compliance-aspects of the grant. Even if those demands seem logical for a governmental institution, the resulting burden needs to be shouldered by the applicants. This is not always taken into account.

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Main institution
Province of Zuid-Holland
Zuid-Holland, Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
February 2019
End Date


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