Transport research greatly contributes to transport policy in the Netherlands. A number of strategy and policy documents provide the foundation for the transport policy and research including:
- ITS-Plan the Netherlands 2013-2017
- National Policy Strategy for Infrastructure and Spatial Planning up to 2040
- Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030
Thematic White Papers are regularly issued which provide guidelines for the preparation of national legislation and regulations on transport.
According to the policy background, the Netherlands’ tops sectors in innovation include:
- Horticulture and propagation materials
- Life sciences and health
- High tech
- Creative industries
The government, private sector, universities and research centres are working together in the Top Sector Alliance for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) to make these top sectors, including transport across the multi-disciplinary categories, even stronger.
The Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy's National Science Agenda identifies themes for scientific research focus. This looks at questions such as how can science create economic opportunities for innovation
The organisations in research and innovation system and its governance are the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science responsible for higher education, science and basic research and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, responsible for application-oriented research and innovation.
The governance system includes several advisory bodies involved in policy analysis and evaluation:
- Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy;
- Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences;
- Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis;
- Scientific Council for Government Policy.
Policy is implemented by intermediary organisations including the Dutch Research Council.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is responsible for developing transport policy. The key themes for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment are knowledge, innovation and strategy and are developed in specific Directorates. This responsibility is shared by several Ministerial departments:
- Inspectorate for Transport, Public Works and Water Management
- Directorate General for Civil Aviation and Maritime Affairs
- Directorate General for Mobility and Rijkswaterstaat.
The Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis also provides knowledge inputs for the preparation of mobility policy with the Ministry. The KiM programme 2023 presents an overview of the projects carried out by the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis. The projects collected can be categorised into nine different themes:
- Give direction to accessibility
- Developing sustainable mobility
- Urbanisation and housing
- Modalities and measures
- Digitalisation and innovation
- Uncertain future
- Considerations in times of scarcity
- Data and models
- Professionalising policy assessment
Different sources are available to fund transport research including public funds, dedicated transport research programmes, and international and EU programmes.
Several thematic funding sources, institutions and programmes are available in the Netherlands stimulating research on transport related topics, these include:
- The Netherlands Institute of Housing and Planning - works to maintain and improve standards in planning policy and practice, including mobility and the contribution of mobility and infrastructure to the spatial debate.
- Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis - carries out transport policy studies and analyses, which are used to strengthen the strategic knowledge base for policy-making.
- Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)- Reliable and Sustainable Mobility – helps to develop new knowledge on mobility and logistics.
- Research Programme Dutch Research Agenda - aims to build bridges between various scientific fields, between different types of research (fundamental, implied, practice-oriented) and between various national and international agendas.
- TRAIL: The Netherlands Research School for Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics - a Dutch research school for Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics that trains PhD candidates and performs scientific and applied scientific research in the fields of mobility, transport, logistics, traffic, infrastructure and transport systems.
- Prorail – has a research department that focuses on new infrastructure innovation (concerning infrastructure and stations), safety and environment.
- CROW: Information and technology centre for transport and infrastructure (information system).
- SWOV: Institute for Road Safety Research - an interdisciplinary and independent scientific institute responsible for research on road safety and by doing so enhancing traffic safety.
- National Aerospace Centre (NLR) - Supports the aerospace sector (governments, industry and users) by developing and applying advanced technologies for innovative products in a sustainable, safe, efficient and effective manner.
- CONNEKT: Public private innovation network for traffic and transport.