In the field

Hezelburcht: subsidy advice for technical innovations

Hezelburcht's strength is to help companies take advantage of subsidies to realise their innovative and sustainable ambitions. Hezelburcht is active in various sectors including chemistry and sustainability. High-profile projects for which Hezelburcht has realised grants include the development of a robot lab, the first hydrogen plants in the Netherlands andthe impressive CO2 transport and storage projects off the Dutch coast such as Porthos and Aramis. We spoke to Bram van Weerdenburg, Principal Consultant at Hezelburcht.


"Our advice often starts with drawing up a roadmap. Because companies often struggle to find their way in the 'subsidy jungle' to the right subsidy opportunities. The diversity of schemes, the requirements per scheme and the timeframes make it complex. The roadmap we create makes it clear where and when the client can apply for a subsidy for its innovation(s) or investment and what is needed to make a good application. We then help write the application and coordinate the entire subsidy process. But sometimes it also happens that we are less intensively involved, just watching and reviewing the application.

Once the grant is in place, the company is naturally keen to see the euros in the bank. We help with that too. For example, in coordinating the financing agreement between the grant provider and our client. Or we help draw up the project administration, interim reports and communication to the grantmaker. Furthermore, for the larger international projects, it is possible to lobby for it in The Hague or Brussels, and we have our European Affairs Managers for that."

Sector-specific knowledge

"What makes us unique is our sector-specific knowledge. This means that our clients are always helped by a grants specialist with a background in the field the company is in. When applying for an innovation subsidy, for example, it's all about being able to describe the innovation properly. As a subsidy consultant, you then have to be able to convert the jargon of a technical specialist into a comprehensible story for the subsidy assessor. In doing so, you always have to weigh up what to say about the innovation and what to leave out. After all, our client does not want to reveal everything because of a possible patent on that innovation. In this process, we have an advisory role and our technical knowledge comes in very handy."

Start with the business model

"Before applying for the grant, it is very important to determine what you want to achieve with the grant and how you are going to market the innovation. The innovation has to be technically sound, of course, but the same applies to its business. We therefore always start with the business model, because this is where the return on innovation of companies is most apparent. When this is worked out well, a company can distinguish itself from the competition, and has a better chance of getting a grant."