The Netherlands must spend an extra €1 billion (£856 million) a year to maintain the excellence of Dutch scientific research, its universities have argued.
“The current [government] has not invested enough in innovation and research,” said Karl Dittrich, who heads VSNU, the university umbrella group that represents 14 research-intensive institutions.
The call for more money was made in a report written with VNO-NCW, the employers’ lobby group, which says the extra state cash would free up a further €2 billion in private research and development funding.
The money would be invested in solving problems in healthcare, energy, sustainability, governance and food, says the report, which was written with an alliance of employers, universities, research institutes and teaching hospitals.
“We need more money to keep at a level in terms of new technology, new research and fundamental research at universities," said Hans de Boer, chairman of the VNO-NCW.
“At the moment, things are a bit lean and that is damaging the economy,” he added.