Collaborative governance and technical innovation in dike reinforcement projects in the Netherlands. A mixed method study contributing to the All-Risk research projects

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Due to revised safety standards, dike infrastructures across the Netherlands need to be reinforced. The Dutch Flood Protection Program (HWBP) is, as the overarching program, responsible for the dike reinforcement projects and recently published its Knowledge & Innovation Agenda (2019) that aims at providing guidance for innovations, including a framework for stimulating cross-sector collaboration. As innovation being one of the main goals, the program seeks to generate efficient dike reinforcement technologies, while cross-sector collaboration is the preferred strategies for accomplishing this goal. Literature seems to agree on the notion that collaboration spurs innovation. However, little is written about how a collaborative process can exactly contribute to the generation of technical innovative solutions. This study therefore aims to provide knowledge on the enabling and constraining collaborative conditions for the creation of technical innovations. By executing a mixed method research strategy, this study gives a quantitative as well as a qualitative insight in the collaborative process behind the HWBP dike reinforcement projects. The research therefore contributes to collaborative flood risk management studies and how it can spur technical innovation. Key words: collaborative governance, technical innovations, dike reinforcements, flood risk management.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen