Holland Innovation Challenge

Join our Kazakh-Dutch teams to co-create innovative ideas for our socio-economic development

The Holland Innovation Challenge is an integral part of the Holland Pavilion at the World Expo in Kazakhstan, from June 10 to September 10 2017. In the months before the Expo, mixed teams, consisting of Dutch and Kazakh talents (students & young professionals), will work together with Dutch companies to get new innovations implemented in Kazakhstan. With this inspiring project we seek to create meaningful and engaging relationships through collaborative working with different Kazakh groups, including companies, governmental bodies and education- and knowledge institutions. In the end, this joint-initiative aims to have a benefcial effect to both Kazakhstan and the Netherlands. The results of the collaboration between Dutch and Kazakh young talents, will be presented within the Holland Pavilion at the World Expo in Astana. Within this interactive hotspot, visitors can experience the project first hand and can even participate while voting for the best proposal.


The Holland Innovation Challenge will therefore act as a showcase of how the synergy arisen from Dutch – Kazakh collaboration can bring along inventive and creative ideas that can make a difference for the selected socio-economic felds in Kazakhstan. In line with the themes and goals of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kazakhstan, young talents from both countries will work together in equal mixed teams to combine Dutch and Kazakh ingenuity to implement innovations in Kazakhstan. The innovations are in line with the embassy goals like Agriculture, Environment (water & waste) and Space Tech solutions.

The teams frst meet in The Netherlands to discover the latest innovations from Dutch companies. They then work on innovative ideas how to implement them in Kazakhstan. Finally the teams will go to Kazakhstan and do the feldwork to make their ideas feasible and ready for implementation. A group of public and private figureheads will judge which ideas are good enough to implement. The result of all the ideas and research will be displayed at the Holland pavilion during the World Expo in Astana. It will be an interactive and immersive experience where we take the visitors on the journey of intercultural cooperation and innovative ideas.


The program is designed to guide and assist the young talents to come up with out-of-the-box ideas in a short time span. The program consists of event days and study trips with workshops, trainings and social activities. On top of this, we provide the participants with a support structure of coaches.

Kickoff (10 March)

The program starts with a preparation kickoff in both countries. On this day the young talents meet each other in each country and will be prepared for the study trips. They will get workshops on cultural differences regarding social issues and business etiquette, on group dynamics and working in intercultural teams, and on idea generation. Furthermore, they will receive practical information on issues like medication, insurances etc.

Study trip NL (1 April – 10 April)

The Kazakh talents will come to the Netherlands for one week and meet with their Dutch team members in real life. This week is all about getting to know each other, getting to know the Dutch culture, and getting to know Dutch companies/innovations. The mixed teams will focus on exploring why the Dutch innovations work in the Netherlands and how they could work in Kazakhstan. The idea generation starts here already. At the end of the study trip, the mixed teams draw up a working plan for the weeks until the study trip to Kazakhstan. A well-balanced program will be in place for this study trip with workshops, field trips and social activities. A Kazakh coach will accompany the Kazakh talents. Accompanied by a Dutch coach they will jointly provide coaching and guidance during the whole study trip.


In between the two study trips, the participants will work independently and will follow the working plan that they have formulated during the study trip in The Netherlands. The Kazakh participants will be making appointments with relevant stakeholders and plan field trips in which the mixed teams will test their ideas in reality. The Dutch participants do additional research with regards to the innovations. The mixed teams will be in contact online during this period.

Study trip KAZ & Final (20 – 30 April)

The Dutch talents fnally will come to Kazakhstan and meet their team members for the second time. This trip is all about getting to know the Kazakh culture and making their ideas as feasible and tangible as possible. The mixed teams will visit relevant sights and have meeting with stakeholders that they have planned themselves. At the end of the week they will present their ideas to a Dragons Den like jury that will judge the ideas on which ideas are the most impact full and feasible in Kazakhstan. A well-balanced program will be in place for this study trip with
workshops and social activities. There will be many field trips planned by the teams themselves and that is very much encouraged by the organization. The Dutch coach will accompany the Dutch talents. The Dutch and Kazakh coaches will again jointly provide coaching and guidance.

Organized by

Amstel 82-1, Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Commissioned by

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bezuidenhoutseweg 67, Den Haag
The Netherlands

Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Beatrixlaan 2, Den Haag
The Netherlands

Locatie: Nederland & Kazakhstan

Datum: 20 march - 30 april 2017

In opdracht: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Netherlands Enterprise Agency