The Netherlands is a country of contrasts. Small in size, yet it is the 24th largest economy in the world, and has the 18th highest GDP per capita income. At the same time, the Netherlands is also among the most liberal social democracies in the world, ranking among the world’s best ‘global citizens’. It is a society that has proven to be largely resilient in the face of security challenges--not just physical, but also social, economic and in cyber, to name a few. But this is no reason to become complacent. On the contrary: one of the key challenges we face now is how to prepare for the security risks of today and tomorrow whilst protecting the Dutch way of life: safe, secure, harmonious, and prosperous.
Meeting these challenges is not an easy task. First of all, it requires that we have a grasp of the broad spectrum of potential security risks—both nationally and internationally. It means that we recognise the various security concerns that citizens worry about, those that are visible and those that are less visible. Some of these concerns may very well extend beyond, and sometimes even contradict, traditional state security concerns. It also requires an appreciation of the capabilities that we already have, and the capabilities that we can and should further harness to safeguard our security.
The key to staying ahead of the curve in this regard is to make sure that we work together: business, citizens, civil society, knowledge institutes and the government at various levels. What is more, while security can be instrumental in safeguarding our prosperity, security innovation in itself can also be an engine for economic growth. This is where The Hague Security Delta, the national security cluster that promotes innovation and knowledge for security and economic development, comes in. As its 2014 annual report summarises: ‘No innovation without knowledge, and no economic development without innovation.’ Stimulating such innovation in the area of security through triple-helix cooperation constitutes HSD’s core mission.
More information about HSD’s approach to triple-helix cooperation can be found in report ‘The Value of Cooperation – Innovation in Dutch Security in Perspective’