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The Task Force Innovation (TFI) in the Utrecht Region of the Netherlands aims to encourage and help entrepreneurs to renew their products, services, knowledge or processes, and to improve their competitiveness and profitability by means of innovation. The Utrecht Region comprises the area of the Province of Utrecht and Het Gooi, with Utrecht, Amersfoort and Hilversum being the main cities.
The Task Force was established to strengthen the economy in the Utrecht region and gained the commitment of all the major players in business, the knowledge institutions and government. Thirteen partners ultimately signed the agreement stating the goals and principles of the Task Force.
Action – not words!
The power of innovation lies with the entrepreneurs: Innovation cannot be imposed by government or other agencies. However, the question of the limited innovative character of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in The Netherlands has generated a lively discussion at government level. We seek to promote innovation in SMEs by a variety of means. We do not just want to talk about innovation, we want to achieve it. Together with the entrepreneurs.
There are five clusters in the Utrecht Region that are capable of reaching top (inter)national positions:
The involvement of TFI may vary from moral support to (co-)financing and project management. Apart from this, the TFI also plays the following roles:
All of the above calls for a compact but powerful working organisation, a ‘light’ administrative structure and a firm embedment with the stakeholders. A programme council and administrative platform will constitute the broad-based platform for the overall policy formulation and/or regional commitment, a small executive committee will function as sparring partner and supervisor to the management and will also serve – where necessary - as an external administrative representative.
The Taskforce Innovation Utrecht has a governing board and a programme council. The implementation of the projects is co-ordinated by the programme office.