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Written by:
Stan Evers


The Promotion of Research and Development Act of the Netherlands in 2017, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, in 2017 allocated a total of € 1,455 million in rebates by virtue of WBSO, the Promotion of Research and Development Act of the Netherlands, to just over 21,000 Dutch businesses, 97% of them SMEs. The distribution of rebates between SMEs and large enterprises has turned out different than the applicant ratios, in that only 64% of rebates have ended up with SMEs. The number of businesses that make use of the WSO scheme declined by 4.8% in 2017 compared with the previous year. granted a total of 35,515 WBSO applications in 2017, 4.7% fewer than in 2016.

87% of all business owners opted in favour of fixed-rate rebate calculation whereas only 13% went for calculation on the basis of actually incurred costs and expenditure in connection with research and development. The rebate that is granted is not necessarily the same as the eventual (tax) benefit, as this depends on actually performed research and development activities. Some Dutch provinces are shown to spend more on R&D than others: North Brabant leads the field with a total of € 1,875, followed by South Holland and North Holland.

The majority of businesses which in 2017 availed themselves of the WBSO scheme are located in the (greater) Amsterdam region. This is also where the most start-up applicants are found (at a rate of 26% of all Amsterdam-based applicants). Southeast Brabant and Utrecht occupy second and third place in business numbers; although the start-up ratios for the two regions are lower than that for Amsterdam, at 14% and 16%, respectively, they neatly tie in with the national average of 15%.

Dutch version: WBSO in 2017

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