In 2011, the central government marked the Dutch creative industry as one of the nine top sectors and these sectors are all accompanied by specific top sector policy and a so-called top team. The creative industry is supported by the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Education, Culture and Science and, to a lesser extent, Foreign Affairs.
In the Netherlands, the creative industry encompasses entrepreneurs and creative professionals within the field of creative business services (e.g. product designers, architects, fashion designers, digital designers, graphic designers and photographers), media and entertainment (e.g. publishers, game developers, film-, television- and radio makers, DJ’s and VJ’s) and arts and cultural heritage. What connects these sub sectors within the Dutch creative industry is the capacity to create, imagine, generate meaning and subsequently a profit. The aim of the creative top sector is to develop innovative services and products by collaborating with creative professionals and research institutions. The government argues that the flexible and out-of-the-box way of thinking of the creative industry is of importance for challenging social issues and for attaching meaning to new technological opportunities.
The top team for the creative industry should boost the cooperation between business, knowledge institutions and the government. The team functions as the executive committee of the Dutch Creative Council, which is the independent strategic advisory board established in 2012 by the top team. With the establishment of the creative industry as a top sector, the Creative Industries Funds NL was launched as the cultural fund for architecture, design and digital culture (the design sector), and crossovers. The fund has an annual budget of approximately EUR 15 million, which mostly comes from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In 2013, three creative industry institutes merged into Het Nieuwe Instituut (The New Institute) as a platform for the creative industry and a museum for the design sector. Het Nieuwe Instituut organises exhibitions, lectures and fellowships and carries out research and development programmes.
Before the introduction of the Dutch creative industry as a top sector, the umbrella organisation Federation Dutch Creative Industries was established in 2009 to represent the interests of the creative industry business. Because achieving enough financial means remains a problem for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Federation published a document (Show me the Money) containing elaborate information on all the financing options in 2015 – from bank loans and informal investors to governmental subsidies and tax benefits.
To stimulate innovation, every top sector has its own Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI). In the TKI for the creative industry, CLICKNL, entrepreneurs and academics work together in exploring ways to market innovative products and services. CLICKNL develops the agenda for knowledge and innovation, which “outlines what knowledge is needed to prepare the creative professional for the future and to which issues the professional can and must contribute.” In the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda 2018-2021 (KIA), the knowledge base of the creative industry is split up into three roadmaps:
- “Design for Change is aimed at strategies that mobilize people by influencing their behavior. This line is about knowledge around system transitions in which a multitude of actors comes together.
- The Human Touch specifically looks at the individual’s experience and assignment of meaning. Interests, values and the quality of life of the individual in his/her social environment are central here.
- Value Creation is aimed more at the creative industry itself and focuses on the new role, responsibility and possibilities assigned to creative professionals.”
The implementation of the KIA takes the form of public-private partnerships. The KIA also guides calls for research aimed at the creative industry and researchers. These calls are issued by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The implementation of regulations by The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, is guided by the KIA as well.
The Netherlands is a market leader in the export of creative products and services, with a share of 29,5% worldwide (ranking in 8th place across the globe). Creative Holland is an initiative by the creative industry to stimulate the internationalisation of the sector even further. It offers information and inspiration for entrepreneurs who aspire to work internationally.
The Monitor Creative Industries (Monitor Creatieve Industrie 2016) provides detailed information on the development of the creative industries in the Netherlands. To define which companies and activities are included, SBI-codes are used (SBI stands for Standaard Bedrijfsindeling van Economische Activiteiten: Standard company classification of economic activities) and the cultural and economic value were leading. This resulted in three main categories: arts and cultural heritage, media and entertainment, and creative business services.
In 2017, the Dutch creative industries had 172 828 enterprises within the subsectors arts and cultural heritage (71 304), media and entertainment (41 165) and creative business services (60 359). The total amount of enterprises in the Netherlands in 2017 was 1 557 710, which means that the creative industry accounts for more than 11.1 percent of all Dutch enterprises. That same year, the Dutch creative industries had 332 207 employees (3.9 percent of all Dutch employees) within the subsectors arts and cultural heritage (122 041), media and entertainment (96 300) and creative business services (113 866).
value of the creative industries in 2016 was EUR 17 239 million, which was 2.8
percent of the total added value. This added value consists of the subsectors
arts and cultural heritage (EUR 6 332 million), media and entertainment (EUR 6
400 million) and creative business services (EUR 4 920 million).
 The Boekman Foundation was provided with additional data up until 2017 that could be used for updating this part of the Dutch cultural policy profile.