Top Sector Life Sciences & Health

Top Sector LSH Activities

Top Sector LSH was very active in 2018. We organised many activities such as facilitating new public-private partnerships, supporting entrepreneurs, and LSH representation at many national and international events. However, in the area of strategy, the Top Sector worked on some great products with one clear mission: vital functioning citizens, in a healthy economy. Read more in this overview of Top Sector LSH’s main accomplishments in 2018.

Public-Private Partnerships: Funding & Projects

The Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) supports innovative research realised by public-private partnerships (PPP) in the LSH sector. Research organisations, health foundations and companies (start-ups, SMEs and industry) are invited to jointly invest in research and development (R&D) for the benefit of evidence-based innovation, and to help build a strong and sustainable LSH sector that contributes to the global societal challenge ‘Health and Care’.

Substantial increase of financial potential 

Due to the growing LSH sector and the increased familiarity with the PPP Allowance regulation of the Top Sector LSH, the financial potential of the PPP Allowance has increased exponentially: from €4M in 2013 to almost €60M in 2018. This substantial increase in financial resources gives the Top Sector the possibility to invest in more PPP projects and large LSH consortia that aim to tackle healthcare challenges through large-scale research and development programmes.

More than €30M invested in public-private partnerships

Through the PPP Allowance, the Top Sector provides a financial instrument to help consortia made up of research organisations, knowledge institutes, companies, and health foundations to realise their innovative ideas. Consortia can apply for a PPP Allowance twice per year and get co-financing for up to 75% of the R&D costs. So far this Match Call has funded over 200 projects since the Top Sector's founding in 2013. The Top Sector has (conditionally) granted over €30M in PPP Allowance in 2018. The €30M of 2018 was matched with almost €50M in investments by Dutch industry and over €11M in cash from foreign private partners. Furthermore, the Dutch research organisations have invested well over €11M in these research projects. We are pleased to note that Dutch SME companies are involved in almost 60% of the new projects started in 2018.

A  growing number of thematic calls

2017 was the year the Top Sector and the Association of Dutch Health Foundations (SGF) started with their first joint thematic call on chronic illnesses, known as the “Beter Gezond” call. Joining forces to tackle shared challenges continued in 2018 with thematic calls on immunology and Big Data & health or in collaboration with health foundations like the Dutch Heart Foundations, Dutch Kidney Foundation and the Aidsfonds. The Top Sector will announce more thematic calls in 2019.

Strategic public-private partnerships

National strategic public-private partnerships (PPPs) have achieved great things during 2018. First of all, Oncode Institute kicked off in February as the national consortium focussed on fundamental cancer research with their catchy and relevant mission ‘Outsmarting cancer, impacting life’.  Oncode grew already to 62 research groups, spread over 12 academic institutions throughout the country. The Dutch CardioVascular Alliance was launched in September, connecting twelve important stakeholders in the cardiovascular research field to act as one. These strategic PPPs receive guidance from the Top Sector via specialised information sessions and matchmaking meetings to enable maximal knowledge exchange.

Get more information on the PPP Allowance,thematic calls or examples of R&D projects on the website.

Health~Holland Communication

Throughout the year, the Top Sector LSH continuously communicated via its website, bimonthly Updates and social media channels. However, our communication efforts involved far more than this. See what has happened under the flag of Health~Holland.

4,000+ visits


With more than 4,000 unique visits per month, the official Top Sector LSH website is the information point of the Dutch LSH sector. Find the latest news, events, calls and relevant publications on the website.

100 projects

Project Page

Reading about new public-private partnerships and their R&D projects can be highly inspirational. Therefore the Top Sector LSH presents its online project page. Currently, 100 projects are described on the website. Be inspired and visit the project page on the Health~Holland website.

6x online magazines

Bimonthly Health~Holland Updates

Four regular Health~Holland Updates were published last year to inform you of the latest developments from the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health. On top of that, two special Updates were published to promote BIO-Europe Spring and highlight Dutch strengths and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the LifeSciences@Work programme. Subscribe for the bimonthly Updates here!


National and international events

In 2018, the Top Sector visited more than 50 national and international events. With an audience of scientists, entrepreneurs and government, Health~Holland travelled all over the world. We continued to stimulate cooperation and knowledge sharing during trade missions, Holland pavilions, meetings and conferences. As of 2018, the Top Sector also stimulated more than 30 network activities for the innovative SME in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. We look forward to further broadening and strengthening the Dutch LSH network and to joining forces when possible. Check out the Review, Preview and World Map to get a small impression of the events.

Social media

Twitter & LinkedIn

1,780+ followers on Twitter and 370+ followers on LinkedIn. Join these Health~Holland channels for quick updates and news items.

Startup & SME Support

The innovative force of the Top Sector LSH are its startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Top Sector aims to unlock valuable sources and programmes for startups and SMEs. Currently two supporting programmes are part of the Top Sector activities. First, the LifeSciences@Work accelerator helps to build new life sciences business. Secondly, the ZorgInnovatie platform has the resources and the network to scale up innovations, and provides insight into existing innovations and developments of the market.

LifeSciences@Work accelerator programme

We help to build your life sciences business

LifeSciences@Work (LS@W) is the national accelerator designed for life sciences researchers with entrepreneurial aspirations, which is powered by the Top Sector LSH. This year LS@W proudly celebrated its tenth anniversary. LS@W supports startups during their venture development with coaching, 1-on-1 consultations and an intensive network. Within the programme, startups can attend the Venture Challenge, Expert Classes and the Value Centre based on their level of development. Please visit the LS@W page to get an overview of the programme’s results achieved over the past ten years.

LS@W startup highlights of 2018: platform

The community for co-creation of innovations in care and well-being

The website is the national platform where healthcare innovators can present themselves and their innovative ideas. The platform encourages rapid knowledge sharing and intensive cooperation with relevant stakeholders. It is precisely through working with partners in different domains and regions that creates added value for healthcare entrepreneurs.

Some Facts & Figures of 2018:

  • The platform presents more than 735 innovations.
  • Active community with 3300+ members.
  • Large network with ten regional partners and initiatives like the Sustainable Healthcare Challenge and the National Healthcare Innovation Prize.

Strategic Documents: Knowledge & Innovation 

In 2017, the Top Sector LSH published strategic documents describing the health and care ambitions for the next four years, with the guiding mission “vital functioning citizens in a healthy economy”. National strategic public-private partnerships support this mission for the three domains of Health and Care: prevention, cure and care. These strategic documents were guiding throughout 2018.

Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (KIA) 2018-2021

In the KIA 2018-2021, entitled Grow~Motion, the strategic focus lies on the global challenge Health and Care. Cooperation between citizens, researchers, government and entrepreneurs is essential to adequately address this global challenge and exploit economic opportunities, Strong, successful collaboration calls for synergy. The KIA provides this by combining the strengths of people and organisations in sustainable public-private partnerships.

Knowledge and Innovation Contract (KIC) 2018-2019

The KIC 2018-2019 titled Glow~Motion describes the implementation and collective deployment of the KIA 2018-2021. The commitment made in the KIC focuses on research and innovation within public-private projects and sustainable strategic partnerships directed to specific health issues.

In 2018, the Council of Ministers officially approved the new Mission-Driven Innovation Policy that builds upon the Top Sector Policy. In this renewed policy, the focus no longer lies on the sectors but on global challenges and key technologies. Health and Care is appointed as one of the four central themes in the renewed Top Sector Policy. The importance of the LSH sector and the robust, innovative solutions it offers are hereby once again officially recognised by the government.

In the coming year, clear missions will be drafted for the global challenge Health and Care. These missions are guiding for the establishment of a new KIA that will become effective in 2020. This agenda will lay out the approach and strategic plan to reach these missions. Other focus points will be valorisation, Human Capital, internationalisation, hurdles in legislation and regulation, the role of the government as launching customer and the affiliation with European and regional initiatives and financing.