The Holland Innovation Challenge programme has been designed to maximize the development of the young talent students and entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan and the Netherlands participating in the programme. The events are tailored to presenting them with the opportunities they need to come up with the best possible ideas and solutions for the business cases. 


The Holland Innovation Challenge starts with a kick-off day in both countries on 10 March 2017 attended by 24 pre-selected candidates . During this interactive and exiting day the participants will meet the companies behind the various research cases. This will be their opportunity to convince these companies that they should be selected for the case of their preference. We are confident that these talented young Dutch-Kazakh teams will to rise to the challenge.

Study trip Netherlands

In the first week of April the young Kazakh talents will meet up with their Dutch team members in the Netherlands. This week will revolve around the selected Dutch innovations. The programme will offer the participants useful information and will inspire them to find out more on how these innovations can be applied to add value in Kazakhstan.

Online co-creation

After the study trip to the Netherlands the participants will continue to cooperate online for two weeks. In these weeks, their ideas to find new and original ways to implement innovations in Kazakhstan will become more concrete. Furthermore, these weeks will enable the participants to prepare for their visit to Kazakhstan.

Study trip Kazachstan

The final phase of this unique collaboration takes place in the country the whole challenge is revolving around. With the visit to Kazakhstan, the participants can fully get a grasp of the local context. With meetings, side visits, seminars and other activities, they will come to understand the bigger picture regarding their cases. Ultimately, the trips to the Netherlands and Kazakhstan, and especially all the information they compile and experiences they gain will provide the teams with ample inspiration to develop unique final proposals.

Follow up

The Holland Innovation Challenge is not an isolated event, but acts as an integrated part of the overall contribution by the Netherlands to Expo Astana 2017. The whole trajectory of this collaboration project will be presented at the Holland Innovation Plaza in the Holland Pavilion. In addition to this presentation, ties between Dutch and Kazakh partners need to continue after the challenge has taken place. Therefore, the project aims to convince the companies involved to translate the students' proposals into real applications.