Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

The German-Dutch Innovation Pact was signed today. The pact is intended to foster innovation in important forward-looking areas, such as Industrie 4.0, carbon reduction in the industrial sector, economic policy aspects of mobility, the health sector and key enabling technologies. The participants on the German side are the Economic Affairs Ministry and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), and on the Dutch side the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VON-NCW, FME and Top Sector HTSM.

Germany and the Netherlands will be cooperating even more closely in future on tackling the major economic policy challenges together and with other EU Member States. The relevant stakeholders from government and commerce are being brought around one table in order to discuss possibilities for bilateral and pan-European innovation projects.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “The pact with our Dutch partners is important so that we can work together and with other EU Member States to roll out the policies for a long-lasting and sustainable recovery. I can see a great deal of potential here – the economy needs these approaches to cooperation and prospects for the future. We cannot make a success of the digital and ecological transition of our economy without innovation.”

Said the President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) Siegfried Russwurm: “To bring about a rapid recovery after the pandemic, we now need to work together to boost innovation in Europe and to press ahead with digitalisation in the industrial sector. By working together, German and Dutch firms are already making a substantial contribution towards Europe’s competitiveness. It is good to see that the German and Dutch economies are going to be brought even closer together by the innovation partnership.”

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the fact that the Netherlands and Germany are neighbours and as such close partners on trade and innovation, meaning that the step towards additional strategic cooperation on innovation is easy to accomplish. They also pointed out that Germany holds a strong position in innovative industry and technology. With this Innovation and Technology Pact, they said, both countries will stand together more closely as they address major challenges, rebuild their economies, and support entrepreneurs and researchers in both countries.

VNO-NCW, FME and Top Sector HTSM, all Dutch organisations, underscored the tradition of close economic ties between Germany and the Netherlands. They said that this German-Dutch pact will create new opportunities for cooperation between German and Dutch companies and research institutes. Together, it will be possible to develop technological and innovative solutions for important societal challenges in the fields of digitalization, sustainability, mobility, and health. This, the organisations say, will be decisive as technology can save lives in the healthcare sector, allow for food to be produced more quickly and safely, and for the energy transition to be implemented.

As neighbours and major export nations, Germany and the Netherlands have a long tradition of close economic and energy cooperation, and their economies are particularly closely integrated. The Innovation Pact builds on the results of the last German-Dutch intergovernmental consultations, which took place in Berlin on 2 October 2019.

You can find the text of an explanatory document here (PDF, 388 KB).