Centres of Expertise

QUICK: programme-initiative

Centres of Expertise
Education level:
Vocational Education and Training (VET), Higher Education
Year start:
Short summary:
The Dutch Centres of Expertise are public-privately funded 'centres' in which education institutions and companies in a specific sector work together to innovate the education curriculum and the way it is delivered.
Description and objectives:

To meet changing job requirements, government and private sector in the Netherlands have joined forces to accelerate change and invest in conversion of the workforce through the Centres of Expertise (higher education) and Centres of Innovative Craftsmanship (vocational education). The Centres are powerful action-oriented partnerships between educational institutions, companies, goverments and other public organisations. The network of Centres started in 2011 with a few pilots, and has expanded to over 150 fully operational public-private partnerships (Centres) in 2016. The main objectives of the Centres are:


  • Creating an excellent link between edcation and the labour market
  • Educating innovative and skilled professionals, craftsman or craftswoman
  • Promoting 'life-long learning and timely retraining
  • Accelerating and enhancing the innovation capacity of companies


Each Centre focuses on a specific sector (High Tech Systems & Materials, Horticulture, Life Sciences & Health, Agri & Food, Water, Energy, Chemicals, Logistics, Creative industry, ICT, Construction or Culture, Living & Welfare). On average, each centre involves 35 companies from the sector that take part in research and development projects, providing imput in the curriculum, join innovation teams and provide guest lectures. More information about the centres and methodology can be found in the English brochure.  

In 2016, over 4500 companies, 83 Universities of Applied Sciences and senior secondary vocational education institutes were involved in the centres, reaching over 50.000 students and 4000 teachers. 
In 2016, an independent expert committee evaluated the impact of the Centre-approach. In their report they concluded that the concept is effective and efficient. The committee concluded that the Centre-concept is effective, and has a positive impact on companies, schools and the innovation system. The full audit report (Dutch only) can be found here.
Budget and funding model:
The Centres are co-funded by government and industry. With an average co-investment of businesses and organisations of more thant 65%, the total programme size in 2016 was EUR 125 million. Government investment in the programme in 2016 was EUR 45.5 million. More information about the budget, funding model and future plans can be found on the programme website.  
April 22, 2022
Reports and studies | Katapult
We say it everywhere: Katapult is on the move. When research figures confirm this, we can't believe our luck. You see, it really is true, the Katapult network works! Partnerships in VET and...
November 27, 2020
News | Katapult.eu (Dutch national STEM platform)
This handbook was created and translated by the Katapult network, one of the flagship initiatives of the Dutch national STEM platform focused on public-private partnerships in Vocational...
September 30, 2019
Reports and studies | Katapult
The 'Katapult'-programme is one of the flagship initiatives of the Dutch national STEM platform. The programme is focused on developing and supporting sector-based public-private...