Professor in Economics and former minister of social affairs and employment Willem Vermeend has been appointed as (part-time) special envoy of the Dutch FinTech sector in order to further boost innovation in this fast developing sector.
Vermeend (67) was named by ministers Henk Kamp (Economy) and Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Finance) on Wednesday as part of the governments Smart Industry Agenda. Vermeend is already part of the steering committee linked to this agenda. (Link in Dutch).
The financial sector is rapidly digitalizing and therefore offers load of innovation chances. “Especially in The Netherlands, because we still heavily rely on the classic bank-system”, Dijsselbloem says in a statement.
FinTech can for example help startups and SME’s with easier and safer access to funding. “Vermeend is eminently the person to boost the sector”, Kamp declared. The ex-politician has been working on IT-innovation within the SME –sector since 2013.
“Internet and robotics have a huge impact on our economy, Vermeend says. “Therefore the factory of the future must be smart. Innovation is not a choice anymore, it’s a necessity.”