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The Northern Netherlands Innovation Monitor

The Northern Netherlands places heavy emphasis on the importance of monitoring innovation in the region. In 2016, SNN has initiated the Northern Netherlands Innovation Monitor, a joint project with the University of Groningen. The aim of the Innovation Monitor is to annually identify and analyze innovation activities and performances of SMEs in Northern Netherlands. It is powered by a yearly survey among SMEs in the region.  

The aim of the Innovation Monitor is to get detailed insight into the characteristics and behaviour of our SME’s. The monitor is powered by a large-scale yearly survey among SME’s. Characteristic as well is that the Monitor is not a single monitor. It is a composite of monitors. The idea behind it is that we aim to establish a consolidation of various monitoring efforts and surveys, to prevent overlap and lessen the burden on SME’s. The Monitor delivers data for our RIS3, it includes a result indicator for our ERDF-programme, and it includes the concept of the Innovation Pyramid.

What makes the Monitor special is not only that it delivers useful data, but in addition it has become a tool to commit SME’s and other stakeholders to the implementation of the RIS3. Reciprocity is vital in this respect: participating SMEs get an individual benchmark report in return, as well as the possibility to join an expert panel or policy review group, to have influence over policy and support instruments.

Smart specialization
Factors which are taken into account in this classification not only include the actual innovation performance or innovation investments, but also factors like the external orientation, the participation in networks, collaboration with other companies and research institutes and the participation in living lab environments. These factors are directly related to smart specialization. An important characteristic for the monitor is that it aims to give these insights over a longer period of time, so that developments can be monitored and patterns become visible.

Entrepreneurial discoveries
SNN aims to make this monitor even more specific in terms of the outcome of the entrepreneurial discovery processes. This way, it becomes clear in which areas discoveries are made and in which direction new developments and innovations are headed for. This information allows us to better align our innovation support system with the regional trends.  

More information?

Want to know more? Please contact mr. Luc Hulsman (  


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