Knowledge workers to receive EUR 135 million

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The programme aims to prevent a knowledge drain from Dutch businesses that are forced to cut back on man hours due to the economic crisis.

The Hague – About EUR 135 million will be spent keeping 1,472 knowledge workers employed in the Netherlands over the next 18 months, the ministers of economics affairs and education told the ANP Friday.
The programme, initially approved in May 2009, will allow knowledge workers to be 'seconded' or take on a second position outside of their current job in the private sector.
The researchers will be hired for 128 projects in universities and large technology institutions through the programme, reports
During the 18-month period, knowledge workers will focus on themes of social importance, such as health care and the use of lightweight materials in vehicles to reduce their energy consumption, according to the Netherlands foreign investment agency.
The programme was created to prevent a knowledge drain from Dutch businesses that were forced to reduce costs due to the economic crisis.
Companies cutting back on research could lead to a loss of research capacity which may not be easy to rebuild after the crisis, noted Education Minister Ronald Plasterk and Economic Affairs Minister Maria Van der Hoeven.
Companies with approved projects include DafTrucks, Philips, Corus, DSM, ASML and Fuji Film. An application from TNO, an independent research organisation, and the construction sector was also accepted, according to
More than 90 applications from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were also given the green light.
In total, EUR 180 million will be available. Companies and institutions can register for the second round of funding – EUR 45 million – in late September.
Jennifer Evans / Expatica

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