Zorg voor innoveren international

Zorg voor innoveren is the signpost for care innovators. With a wealth of knowledge and information, it is the ‘help desk’ for researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs, assisting them to complete the innovation process as independently and quickly as possible. As a signpost for care innovators, this partnership of four government organizations (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the National Healthcare Institute, the Dutch Healthcare Authority, and ZonMw) also provides assistance if the innovation process crosses the border. The regular network meetings provide broad scope for inspiration and cooperative ventures. Innovators can approach the digital counter with concrete questions. Each of the four partners has a specific support and advisory role in care innovation. Together they form the face of government.  

10 Need to Knows

Below are 10 Need to Knows, intended to get innovators started. Zorg voor innoveren also provides in-depth information and customized knowledge. If you do not find the information you are looking for here, specific questions can be addressed to

Nonetheless, every change process has a number of steps that you can actually always apply. Choose a systematic, planned approach in each case. And, in particular, be aware that implementation and scaling up is a continuous – cyclical – change process; a process that you shape with the main stakeholders.

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General information

In order to enter a new market successfully, it is important to pay attention to a country’s government policy and insurance system. But the parties in the field also have an increasing say: the health care professionals, providers and the patient. What are the incentives and leads?

Ensure that you at least broadly know how the Dutch health care system is organized. (You can debate whether it works. It often works differently in practice than in policy).

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Government funding

Looking for government funding? The Startupbox is your starting point. This online tool shows which Dutch government instrument is most suitable for your startup. For many entrepreneurs government funding is a black box. This tool makes government funding opportunities visible.

The Startupbox is an initiative by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, StartupDelta , Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and Netherlands Enterprise Agency. It is supported by the Startup Information Desk, +31 88 585 2222, provided by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.

The video entitled ‘Innovatieroutes in de zorg’ (Innovation routes in health care) accessibly sets out the landscape in which the care innovator moves and four possible routes (plus a fifth ‘municipal route’) to successfully introduce your innovation into health care.

Watch the video here ->

One of the ways to introduce your innovation into health care practice is to have it included in the insured package. This mainly relates to new treatments, medicinal products, etc. The video shows how that works and what is required for that purpose. 

Watch the video here ->

Designing your innovation with the different parties involved from an early stage creates support and commitment. It is not so much about the calculation that you arrive it. What is particularly important, is to have insight into the interests and added value of the main players and whether they are thus also prepared to make a move for this purpose. 

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A lack of financing for e-health innovations is regularly cited as an obstacle to implementing and scaling up e-health. In practice, there often turns out to be more opportunities in the area of financing and funding e-health than you think. At the same time, there is not always a shared interest among all parties to make use of those opportunities.

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An entrepreneur with a scant knowledge of health care is going to struggle, but the same can be said of an expert in health care who lacks an entrepreneurial mindset. Bring different backgrounds together and you have a winning team. 

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Internationalization is not only a question of exporting care innovations or importing a clever idea from abroad here. The greatest strength of internationalization lies in the exchange. And in the willingness to learn from other countries.

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Bridging cultural differences is a major challenge. These include the cultural differences among people with a different background, because they work in health care, for the government, in the business community, or in science. And if you cross national borders, it is not ‘just’ about familiarizing yourself with the laws and rules, systems and schemes, and potential markets. And reading up on local culture and habits. It is also about observing and feeling, including with regard to yourself.

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In order for scaling up to be successful, it is crucial that you immerse yourself in the different target groups that you expect to deal with first. Get to know their wishes, customs, ideas, and problems. Always take the end user as the starting point and identify what added value the innovation will produce for them.

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If you have any questions, our experts will gladly offer their input and involve external organizations, if necessary. Specific questions can be addressed to

About us

Zorg voor innoveren is an initiative of four government agencies:

Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport

The Ministry of Health encourages and facilitates innovation in healthcare. Legislation and regulations are important tools in this process. The Ministry removes barriers and creates the necessary conditions for facilitating the implementation and scale-up of proven, innovative applications.


ZonMw is the Dutch organization for health research and innovation in healthcare. One of ZonMw’s key objectives is to encourage and fund more rapid improvements in healthcare through research, development and implementation in the field of knowledge-intensive projects aimed at innovation in health, healthcare and prevention, along with their practical application.

The National Health Care Institute

The National Health Care Institute is a consulting and implementation agency for the two statutory health insurance schemes: the Healthcare Insurance Act (Zvw) and the Long-Term Care Act (Wlz). The institute’s main tasks include advising on the coverage provided by the basic health insurance package and promoting transparency and quality in healthcare.


The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) is the regulator responsible for overseeing healthcare providers and health insurers. The NZa aims to ensure that all residents of the Netherlands have access to good healthcare both now and in the future. Innovation is key to achieving this aim. Where possible, the NZa provides scope for innovation in healthcare by adjusting regulations and funding. 

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