Funds reservation for ‘NL2120 Greening the Dutch Economy’ knowledge and innovation programme

April 15, 2022

The Netherlands is leading the world with our approach to water management and agriculture. Investments in these sectors provide an important boost to our international competitiveness. The NL2120 knowledge and innovation programme lays the foundation for the structural improvement of our ‘green earning capacity’, while at the same time helping to make our country climate-proof and ensuring it remains a nice place to live.

Climate change and the decline in biodiversity are putting pressure on populations in delta regions around the world and these urgent issues are also being felt in the Netherlands. What is needed is an integrated approach aimed at sustainable and climate-proof land and water use.During the coming years, the NL2120 consortium will investigate how we can use nature-based solutions to ensure the Dutch delta remains an attractive place to live. Wageningen Environmental Research is one of the partners in this consortium.


NL2120 is a unique partnership involving government bodies, social organisations, companies and knowledge and educational institutions who are jointly searching for practical, nature-based solutions to climate change. Examples include coastal reinforcement with sand and silt (such as the ‘Sand Motor’), natural buffer zones to protect against river flooding and the use of smart green solutions to capture water and cool cities.

An impulse is needed for such nature-based solutions to become the norm.By combining knowledge development and practical experience, NL2120’s integrated approach helps to enrich and deepen existing knowledge and apply this knowledge to the local context. With the knowledge and experience developed, the programme can help policymakers choose sustainable options for future-proofing the spatial development of the Netherlands. The proposal combines a national knowledge programme with practical experience in projects that will be carried out in various Dutch landscape types, such as the high sandy soils, the peat grasslands and urban environments. The projects generate knowledge of how nature-based solutions work and encourage innovative revenue models and social change processes.

The proposal will strengthen the international leading position of Dutch knowledge institutions and companies in the field of climate adaptation and the use of nature-based solutions for water management and agriculture. NL2120 will make a structural contribution to the GDP of the Netherlands of at least 0.02%. The proposal was submitted to the National Growth Fund by the ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality on behalf of the NL2120 consortium.On April 14th, the National Growth Fund decided to set aside a conditional reserve of 110 million for the consortium's application. It is positive news that our project’s potential is being acknowledged, and the reservation is a recognition of the project's vision and ambition. We will now work hard to make the requested adjustments, so that we can submit an amended proposal.

The map of the Netherlands in 2120
The map of the Netherlands in 2120