‘The subsidy scheme is intended to take innovative technology, methodologies or prototypes in the field of water a step further. A total of EUR 2 million is available for pilot projects and feasibility studies. And it is the last tender for the time being as this programme ends in 2021 and time is required for the honoured applications to be executed.
I am happy to call on companies, knowledge institutions and NGOs to come up with proposals. The water sector is very broad, ranging from coastal protection to drinking water and from waste water management to the navigability of rivers. We had remarkably few requests for the latter sub-field in the previous tenders – it would be nice if there would be more now.
Another important aspect is that the subsidy scheme encourages partnerships between Dutch and local consortium parties. A consortium is not mandatory, but our experience shows that cooperation like this is actually necessary to achieve a successful project, and especially a successful follow-up.
Most of all, I count on innovative proposals that have the potential to grow afterwards through scaling-up or spin-off. Our subsidy aims to make a difference. If the project is almost guaranteed to be a success, it doesn’t need a grant. And if the chance of upscaling or spin-off is simply too low, it makes little sense to grant a subsidy. So it is precisely that border area where our financial support can make a difference and can give a boost to get a promising pilot or a promising feasibility study off the ground. So we not only look at what happens during the project, but we look especially at what comes next, what potential growth can be expected. In short: we are looking for rough diamonds where quality comes first.