Monday, February 7, 2011

Ich bin ein Innovator

By: Rik Hoogenberg, chief executive officer

Dutch government officials frequently emphasize the importance of innovation. They urge companies to step up their R&D budgets and call for entrepreneurship that will yield fast growing start-ups.

I think innovation is a question of co-makership. I am convinced that innovation will flourish when government and companies operate as partners, instead of maintaining the principal/client dogma. It is important for government to create the right conditions for innovation, to share responsibility with companies.

At Be Informed, we are involved in various tenders for government projects. The costs of these tenders are huge, where the outcome is always uncertain. Investments done by many parties are lost in these proceedings, where synergy would have been relatively easy to achieve. Too often, government aims for the lowest price in these proceedings, instead of value creation.

So when it comes to innovation, I shamelessly quote John F. Kennedy to encourage our government towards a joint effort in a shared concern: 'Ask not what your private sector can do for you, ask what you can do for your private sector.'