Dutch Societal Innovation Hub

Dutch Societal Innovation Hub

The Dutch Societal Innovation Hub is the hub for strengthening interregional cooperation for a mission-driven approach in the public sector in times of data and digital technology. Together we are working on responsible, people-centered solutions for the societal challenges around climate-neutral cities and regions, healthy soil and biodiversity, and climate adaptation. Societal innovation is crucial to tackle these challenges. 

Systemic change for societal challenges

Major social challenges require innovative policy. Challenges such as circularity and housing are so complex that existing organizational silos must be broken down to create the best solutions for society. In the coming years, the public sector faces the task of redefining its way of working and its role in the ecosystem. We see the emergence of data and digital technology as one of the elements that offer opportunities to involve citizens, businesses and social players in the policy process and implementation and to make policy more adaptive, for example through monitoring climate goals or predicting spatial puzzles with digital twins. This is only effective when not only the technology and data are in order, but also people start working together in a new way. Societal innovation is crucial. 

A mission-driven approach 

The Dutch Societal Innovation Hub stimulates cooperation between regions in the Netherlands and in the EU focussed on a mission-driven approach in the public sector in times of data and digital technology. Each municipality and province is working on digital innovation projects. We support in bringing successful projects in the public sector to the next level and to create a common ground for innovation across regions. We focus on new ways of working and societal innovation. The hub focusses on three pillars: 

  1. RETHINK: A mission-driven approach and strategy for digital innovation. 
  2. RESHAPE: A shared innovation infrastructure for the public sector 
  3. RECONNECT: Knowledge sharing and collaboration 

Collaboration in the ecosystem

The Dutch Societal Innovation Hub is set up with 2 umbrella organizations IPO and VNG representing all local and regional public actors. DSIH consists, in addition to the national constituency of municipalities and provinces, of five regional public-private ecosystems:    

  • Data and Knowledge Hub Healthy Urban Living  
  • Digicampus  
  • Municipality of Rotterdam  
  • Urban Development Initiative   
  • Brightlands Public Services Lab  

Each partner is committed to improve sustainable, healthy and safe living in cities and regions. These ecosystems offer building blocks in the form of development locations (living labs), where the public sector can experiment together with industry and knowledge institutions. The DSIH is part of a wider European network of hubs. 

European Digital Innovation Hub 

The hub is one of 134 European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs). These hubs will play an important role in stimulating the application of digital innovation and have both a local and European function. In the Netherlands, there are a total of six EDIHs: five focus on Smart Industry applications and one on public services. The European Commission and BZK are funding the DSIH in the period 2023-2025 with €4.2 million in 2023-2025, in addition there is in-kind investment by the partners. 

If you would like to receive more information about DSIH, please contact:

Funded by EU

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