Province Drenthe uses de Innovatiespotter for Regiodeal

The province Drenthe invests in the digitization of the regional ecosystem. The aim is to help parties find each other and let entrepreneurs profit from it.

The base for this approach is the Datahuis. All available, provincial data comes together here. Data is enhanced with company profiles from de Innovatiespotter. In this way policy-employees and project leaders always have access to innovative companies.

Simultaneously the province uses data for a public Regiodatabank. Regional players, both public and private, are on an online map. In this way collaboration and innovation in Drenthe is stimulated. De Dutch Tech Zone, a Regiodeal in the region Emmen, was the first to make use of this.

Pieter-Jan Snijders Projectleader Datahuis: "Students and entrepreneurs don't look outside of their bubble. That's why working and entrepreneurship often happens outside the own region, even though there is a lot of knowledge inside the own region. That's why we map the ecosystem of innovation, entrepreneurship and education. In this way, companies that are so important for our region, are visible."

Stec Groep enriches spatial advice with Innovatiespotter-data

Some issues arise in almost every municipality or province. For example: what are the strong clusters in our province, region or municipality. Where are these companies located? What activities do they perform? And what does that mean for the use of space?

Stec Groep is a leading spatial-economic consultancy and is specialized in these kinds of issues. Stec Groep and de Innovatiespotter have been collaborating intensively since 2020.

Evert-Jan de Kort, senior partner of Stec Groep:"Data forms the basis for a good answer for the questions we receive. However, data quality is a must. With the traditional company classifications, based on SBI-codes, the view of the regional economy remains cloudy. These classifications often differ greatly due to their static nature. It is exactly the dynamics in business that can not be captured via the SBI."

Stec Groep gebruikt bij hun ruimtelijke adviezen de Innovatiespotter-data daarom voor clusteranalyses. Daarbij wordt gekeken waar bedrijven per innovatiethema in elkaars nabijheid gevestigd zijn. Bijvoorbeeld in stadscentra, op bedrijventerreinen of science parcs. Met deze clusteranalyses wordt zichtbaar wat de sterke clusters binnen een provincie, regio of gemeente zijn.

Who are the leaders in cybersecurity?

An increasing amount of research bureaus use the data of de Innovatiespotter for (spatial) economic research. Bureau Louter received the question of Gemeente Apeldoorn for a national research to a yet to be established Centre for Security and Digital Transformation.

A part of the research was to map the "cybersecurity-landscape". De Innovatiespotter supplied data about cybersecurity and Bureau Louter applied spatial statistics. In this way, they could measure where cybersecurity is a big part of the economy.

With this approach, they cut right through existing classifications in economic sectors. In this way, also companies in new technology field that are not visible with the SBI-classification can be spotted.

The research states that Delft and region Utrecht are the leaders in cybersecurity. The report has a lot of detailed information, because of collaborations between both organizations. In this way the "names and numbers"; individual company data, can be delivered.

NDC media group exclusive licensee Innovatiespotter

NDC media group (the largest independent media house in the Northern Netherlands with more than 70 digital channels, 30 events, 40 weekly newspapers, 7 newspapers and 3 daily newspapers) is the exclusive licensee of Innovatiespotter in the Northern Netherlands. The aim of this collaboration is that start-ups, SMEs and programs and initiatives around innovation and sustainability in the region can find each other better.

The (government) initiatives, programs, partnerships, subsidy providers, etc. concerning innovation and sustainability all fish in the same pond and all communicate via their own channel. They thus only reach a small part of the target group.

From now on, these initiatives in the North can access the data from Innovatiepotter at the NDC media group and at the same time purchase communication capacity: in addition to the NoordZ platform, the NDC media group can use its entire range of communication channels for a larger, more transparent and more effective reach of the target group.

Innovatiespotter works with Statistics Netherlands on new innovation statistics for the Ministry of Economic Affairs

How innovative is the Netherlands? To answer this question, the Ministry of EZK asked Innovatiespotter and Statistics Netherlands to pool their expertise in a joint study into innovation at small companies (up to 10 FTEs). Until now, only the larger companies (more than 10 FTEs) were surveyed for innovation statistics (25% of companies in the Netherlands).

Using web scraping and machine learning, an AI model has been created to map innovation to the other 75% (± 1.5 million) "micro companies".

The project delivered 30,000 innovative small businesses. Innovatiespotter then looked at the results of the hot model. Because we provide data about individual companies, we look at the results in a different way than Statistics Netherlands. Which companies will find the model? Are they all really innovative?

The Ministry of EZK wants to further refine the research algorithm and has asked Statistics Netherlands and Innovation Spotter for a follow-up.

See also  More insight into small innovative companies in the Netherlands.

Health Valley

Life Sciences & Health (LS&H) is one of the Top Sectors in the Netherlands. With 8 university hospitals and excellent healthcare, the Netherlands is a good breeding ground for LS&H innovations.

Health Valley in Nijmegen is the largest health cluster in the Netherlands. Major research themes and SMEs come together here. In addition, Health Valley organizes the largest and international health innovation event in the Netherlands every year.

In order to reach more companies, to prevent fragmentation and to gain a better view of the innovations, Health Valley asked the Innovation Spotter to map all health-related innovations throughout the Netherlands. This is an ongoing project in which companies are identified and classified in steps.

Export potential of the province of Drenthe

The province of Drenthe has an integrated program for entrepreneurs. One of the themes is export. Companies with export plans can receive support in setting up export activities.

The Innovatiepotter has tracked down companies for the fast-growing Drenthe export network. The province asked about companies that already export and companies that do not yet export, but that are promising. This allows experienced and less experienced companies to learn from each other. The order led to more than 2000 promising companies, the majority of which are not yet or not visibly successful in exporting.

Advice and workshop for Datahuis Province of Drenthe

Provinces collect and manage large amounts of data. Such as traffic data, landscape and environmental data, socio-economic related data and more. What new insights arise when you place these data files in one “data house”, combine the files and analyze them? The province of Drenthe wants to generate new (policy) information and asked the Innovatiespotter for our expertise.

We gave a workshop by showing relevant examples and working out examples of how the data analysts of the province can work with their data themselves.

Policy evaluation with Ecorys: entrepreneurs do not recognize themselves in policy language

The evaluation of an innovation scheme is usually carried out under the existing network of a client. Such an approach usually produces an unrealistic picture. A good investigation also requires a response from those who are not familiar with the scheme to be investigated.

Together with economic research and consultancy agency Ecorys, we conducted research into a regional ERDF program for smart industries and circular economy. The reason for the investigation was that interest in the program was rather disappointing. Innovatiespotter's contribution was to track down companies that fit into the scheme but were not known in the client's network. This gave the research an interesting angle. What did companies think of the subsidy schemes that they do not know at all?

It turned out that companies outside the client's network had a substantially less positive view of their subsidy opportunities. These companies thought that they were not eligible at all for the scheme. The reason was that they did not recognize themselves in terminology such as “smart industries” or “circular economy”, nor did they feel addressed by the explanatory text.

A number of recommendations followed from the study, such as better coordination of communication with the target group. We also recommended using the Innovatiespotter to better reach the target group.

High Tech export subsidy companies

RVO focuses on national innovation subsidies for all Dutch companies. Since innovations often arise outside the traditional sectors, it is not easy to reach the target group sufficiently for each subsidy. The usual working method by reaching companies via various media channels and networks did not provide RVO with sufficient response. RVO therefore asked the Innovation Spotter to track down national companies for the theme of high-tech. This is a highly fragmented sector, with very diverse activities, from IT to 3D printing, photonics, sensor technology, robotics and more. We have delivered about 7000 companies that approach RVO directly.

Economic Board Utrecht: “Innovatiespotter has clear added value”

Economic Board Utrecht (EBU) is building coalitions of companies, governments and knowledge institutions. These new coalitions must lead to business cases that make life greener, healthier and smarter.

EBU presented us with the challenge of making an inventory of regional companies around the themes of circular construction and demolition. The Innovation Spotter provided an overview of relevant companies from different sectors. The companies found contribute to the theme from their own perspective.

Monique Roso, onderzoekscoördinator EBU Research:
“We compared the results of the Innovation Spotter with the databases that we have built up in other ways in the Circular Construction / Demolition file. Our conclusion is that this search method clearly has added value compared to other methods and provides a larger network. ”

Bouwend Nederland: Innovative players at Theme Map Construction

The Construction Thematic Map is a national initiative of construction and serves as a signpost for a smarter and future-proof construction sector. The map shows the 8 largest themes for the coming years.

The Bouwend Nederland business organization seeks contact with innovative players for each of the 8 themes from the Theme Map. The Innovatiespotter was called in to realize this. We started by mapping companies around the theme of smart construction. The approach yielded dozens of unknown innovative companies. Due to the proven added value of our search method, we are now also focusing on the 7 other themes.

Region Groningen-Assen: Broad inventory of economically relevant and innovative companies in the region

Region Groningen-Assen (RGA) is an economic partnership between 2 provinces and 12 municipalities around the cities of Assen and Groningen. RGA asked the Innovation Spotter to make an overview of economically relevant and innovative companies in the region. We made a broad inventory of companies with economic potential, and specifically mapped companies around the 9 top sectors and the themes of construction, biobased and circular economy.

The inventory revealed many companies previously unknown to regional account managers. They were not found with traditional search methods and do not profile themselves in the region. As many as 44% of the companies found are involved in more than one sector or theme. This underlines the fact that modern companies are often 'hidden' between cross-sectoral activities. RGA sees this as the added value of the Innovatiespotter method for making regional economic analyzes.

Drechtsteden: View of promising companies on the Rotterdam-Antwerp axis

The Drechtsteden is an economic partnership of 7 municipalities on the southern edge of the Randstad. The region is a leader in the maritime sector and has a strategic position on the Rotterdam-Antwerp axis.

The Drechtsteden wants to organize crossover events, but also be able to use available innovation and subsidy instruments at a broader level. This first required more insight into the innovative and technological SMEs that have or could have an impact on the maritime sector, which is how the partnership came to the Innovation Spotter.

The Innovatiespotter provided overviews of all promising companies on the themes of HTSM & robotics, big data & Internet of Things and biobased economy.

Step two was to conduct a needs assessment among the identified companies. With the results, the Drechtsteden region can mobilize more companies in a short time and provide demand-oriented support with the right instruments.

Startup Fast Track: recruit quickly, do business quickly

Wanted: starting entrepreneurs in sustainable energy. That was the question of Startup Fast Track, a European program to grow energy startups at a rapid pace. Energy Academy Europe initiated this guidance process together with partners such as the University of Groningen, ENGIE and Hanze University of Applied Sciences. Within a radius of 60 kilometers, the Innovation Spotter found entrepreneurs who seamlessly join this program, with concrete registrations as a result.

Municipality of Rotterdam: disruptive technologies

What do cloud technology, energy storage and 3D printing have in common? They are going to drastically change our lives. These are the so-called disruptive technologies. McKinsey identified twelve in total. The Municipality of Rotterdam wanted to know which companies are working with these technologies and what these entrepreneurs need to become more successful. The region asked us and research agency Enneüs to answer that question. The Innovation Spotter identified these companies and identified the sectors in which they are involved. Enneüs conducted a needs assessment. The result: the municipality of Rotterdam has concrete starting points for an effective growth policy.

Enterprise Europe Network

Northern Dutch companies mapped out for European cross-border matchmaking program. themes: virtual reality, serious games, biobased economy and agrifood, among others.

IT-stad ’s Hertogenbosch

The municipality of 's Hertogenbosch presents itself as a data city. With the The Jheronimus Academy of Data Science, Den Bosch offers data and IT courses for the central and southern Netherlands. Innovation spotter has been asked to map the size of the IT industry. The question was two-fold:

  • to identify interesting, innovative IT companies
  • an analysis of the IT work potential in the region: how much IT employment is there in Den Bosch and surrounding municipalities?

It is estimated that 21% of the employed persons in the region have a position in the digital economy and that is relatively high. We performed a benchmark to compare Den Bosch with the Eindhoven region. It is interesting that the municipality of Den Bosch scores equal in the IT sector, and scores better in some areas than Eindhoven.


Brought together Dutch companies for two trade missions to Israel and Palestinian territories, lead by the prime minister Mark Rutte and the ministry of Foreign Affairs and ministry of Economic Affairs. Topics: water, energy, food and IT.

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