PII: S0926-860X(96)00181-0 Applied Catalysis A: General 154 (1997) 257-265 Global Overview of Research in Catalysis The Netherlands 1. Introduction In The Netherlands (or Holland, as some call it) there exists a long tradition of chemical industry and research, dating back to the 17th century. Catalysis industry and research started with the 1900s and the emerging petroleum and nitrogen fixation industries, and took a great swing in the sixties, when plastics came into broad application. There are five Netherlands based multinationals: Shell, Philips, DSM, Unilever, and Akzo Nobel, all of which are involved in catalysis research. The same goes for many smaller companies and Dutch branches of foreign multinationals like Dow and Du Pont. There are quite a few large industrial research laboratories. Moreover, research in catalysis is carded out at the universities, of which there is quite a number for a country with a population of 15 million: seven universities, three technical universities and an agricultural one. There is intensive and fruitful cooperation between government, industry and academia, which has been formalized in the creation of a tripartite school of research: NIOK, Netherlands Institute for Catalysis Research. In order to promote industrially relevant research, the Ministry of Economic Affairs set up a number of Innovation-oriented Research Programs (IOP). IOP Katalyse is one of the most successful IOP's. In order to promote pre-competitive research in catalysis, the Ministry presented NIOK with a grant of f 6-10 ~ (approx. US$ 3.5"106), which resulted in five research projects at different universities, where 14 postgraduate students are preparing a Ph.D. thesis, while the projects they are working on are supported by about 30 industrial researchers, united in five support teams. 2. Technical trends Catalysis research is described in 'Catalysis Research in The Netherlands' (1994)  (see: Publications) and in 'Onderzoek 1995 in posters'