European impulse for innovation infrastructure local government

  • Contenttype:
    • News
  • Themes:
    • Innovation

The European Commission is allocating 4.2 million euros for support and innovation of Dutch municipalities and provinces. A network of innovative hubs will be set up with this contribution. One of those hubs is the Dutch Societal Innovation Hub (DSIH). This hub aims to strengthen the innovation infrastructure of municipalities and provinces and to enhance knowledge through training and knowledge exchange.

Innovative transport - Dutch Societal Innovation Hub
© Jan van der Ploeg

Social issues

The Dutch Societal Innovation Hub (DSIH) aims to help cities and regions with major societal transformations through innovation, digitization and new technology. This concerns major societal challenges, with which local authorities have to deal, such as energy transition, climate change, social equality, biodiversity, sustainable mobility, circular economy and digital inclusiveness.


DSIH is a partnership of seven partner organisations: The Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), InterProvinciaal Overleg (IPO), Brightlands, Smart Services Campus, Data and Knowledge Hub Gezond Stedelijk Leven, Digicampus, City of Rotterdam and the Urban Development Initiative (UD).

Each partner brings its own experience from existing projects, test and experiment facilities, and a decentralized public-private network. This helps the DSIH to learn from experiences and use it to move forward faster. The knowledge gained is shared within the network. In this way all municipalities and provinces can benefit from the results of the DSIH.

“We are very proud and happy with the acknowledgement of this grant. With this, Rotterdam and its partners are taking a great step in developing mission-driven innovations in the coming years and the exchange of knowledge with other digital innovation hubs in the Netherlands and Europe.”

The municipality of Rotterdam

Collaboration between public and private organizations

Public sector organizations stand for major societal transformations. However, digital solutions are difficult to facilitate in-house by public authorities. Private organizations have the digital experience in-house, but are looking for the right connection with the public sector. Close collaboration between private and public organizations is necessary to realize successful new ways of working.

Knowledge exchange

The 7 partners will jointly strengthen the innovative infrastructure in municipalities and provinces through training and knowledge exchange. The proposal for that is accepted by the European Commission and rewarded with 4.2 million euros, financed by the European Commission and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The program expects to start on October 1st., after which it will come with a substantive agenda.


The Dutch DSIH is part of a European network of 136 of these European Digital Innovation Hubs. The mission of these hubs is ‘sustainable, healthy and safe living in the city and region’. A large part of the EDIHs focuses on technology, but the DSIH focuses on digital applications to improve public services. The Dutch hub contributes to the European ambitions for both the Greendeal and the Digital Decade.

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