Sport Innovation in the Netherlands

Moving forward

Knowledge and Innovation in Sport are priorities on the Dutch Sport agenda. The Minister of Sport launched the Knowledge and Innovation agenda Sports 2015-2020. This agenda sets the goals for the coming years.

The Netherlands is a sporting nation. The Dutch have an active lifestyle and no other country in Europe has as many members in sport clubs as the Netherlands. A web of 25,000 sport clubs covers the country.

In elite sports, our ambition is to acquire a permanent position in the world’s top ten major sporting events. In the last Olympic Games 2016, the Netherlands was 11th and 7th (Paralympics) in the worldwide medal ranking.

The Netherlands is known as an export country. Science and technology account for a major proportion of our exports to other nations. We strive to be one of the top five  knowledge economies in the world. A positive breeding ground to boost knowledge and innovation in the field of sports!


The Knowledge and innovation Agenda Sports 2015-2020 expresses the vision and ambition of the Netherlands when it comes to Innovation. In the coming years, support of
innovation will focus on:

  • Winning more medals at important top sport events.
  • Increasing participation in sports/healthy lifestyles.
  • Increasing the economic value of sport innovation.

The national programme for Sport innovation is called Sportinnovator. The programme is led by a team of prominent Dutch leaders in business, government and sport. The Ministry of Sport, Health and Welfare (VWS) supports the programme through national funding.

A wide range of highly qualitative innovation centres is supported to increase (inter)national cooperation, creating new opportunities for starting innovations and realising a strong climate for innovation in sport.

In Sportfolio NL you will find a number of those supported innovations centres and projects, e.g. National Olympic Training Centre Papendal, with
high-class training and research methods and equipment and their innovative sport food developments, to MyTemp, a revolutionary idea to measure athletes’ inner temperature
during intense sport activities.

Social Innovation

Besides the innovation taking place under the flag of Sportinnovator, innovation takes place on national and local levels. New ways are found to create networks on local levels between sport organisations and local nonprofit organisations, such as schools or other public institutions. An interesting example is the “Open Club”.

Marloes Stammen
Telephone: + 31 (0)70 349 5068

Logo sportinnovator





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