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While many Dutch businesses have taken losses during the corona-crisis, most companies expect they will recover financially within a year. From one perspective, COVID-19 has turned out to be a driver of innovation: companies are investing in remote working, digitising processes, and introducing new earning models. From another perspective, there’s a considerably reduced focus on sustainability themes and shorter value chains. Other findings show that one out of four companies is dependent on state aid and a quarter of businesses have had to cut salaries.

These were some of the results of the 2020 Dutch Innovation Monitor, a survey coordinated by Henk Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management and Innovation at the UvA and director of the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation.

The key findings in relation to business innovation and the COVID-19 crisis so far are:

  1. The majority of businesses surveyed expect to recover financially from the COVID-19 crisis within a year; half of the businesses even expect a recovery within a half-year;
  2. Business have widely divergent expectations regarding how long the COVID-19 crisis will last. The biggest discrepancies are found between business sectors;
  3. COVID-19 is a driver of innovation, with businesses utilising remote working, accelerated digitisation, and new business models;
  4. The focus on sustainability themes is now more limited in its scope and many businesses have stated they are not looking for shorter value chains;
  5. One quarter of all businesses have cut salaries, primarily at the managerial level;
  6. One out of four businesses say they have become dependent on state aid because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Beeld: Pixabay

V-shaped crisis

'The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is deeply etched in the Dutch corporate sector’, says Volberda. Some sectors, especially older companies, have been hit harder than others. While it’s given a major boost to remote working (from home), digitisation of processes and new online business models, sustainability themes are unfortunately being given lower priority. Most companies are assuming that this is a V-shaped recession that will be over by March 2021.'

About the 2020 Dutch Innovation Monitor

The 2020 Dutch Innovation Monitor (Nederlandse Innovatie Monitor) is one of the largest annual survey-based studies on innovation in the Netherlands. The monitor is an initiative of the UvA Amsterdam Business School’s Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation. The survey is conducted by SEO Amsterdam Economics and coordinated by Henk Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management and Innovation at the Amsterdam Business School. Volberda is also director of the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation.

More than 10,000 businesses in the Netherlands are invited to take part in the survey. Ultimately, approximately 800 participants, mostly senior managers from a wide range of business sectors took part in the survey. This survey data, collected from mid-May to the end of June, is the foundation of the interim findings presented here. The findings of the complete Dutch Innovation Monitor will be published on 19 October.