Developments in educational technology (abbreviation: EdTech), have been important accelerators of innovation in teaching, learning and managing educational organizations and facilities in the last decades. The pace of development and adoption of new technologies in traditional (higher) education institutions has been relatively low though compared to other sectors (e.g. FinTech, MedTech). Many EdTech innovations, both from start-ups as well as from mature EdTech companies, fail due to (s)low adoption rates. The education markets are known for their high entry barriers due to dense and complex laws and regulations, complex internal bureaucracies, lack of standardization and risk aversion by support organizations. This causes high entry costs for new EdTech providers that want to enter these markets, high development costs for incumbents EdTech providers, and high costs and fail rates for institutions experimenting with new EdTech products and services. Educational innovation with EdTech therefore remains scattered, often lacking a satisfactory fit with the needs and expectations of students and teachers, and at considerable financial risk for early adopters because educational innovations are hard to embed or do not scale. As a consequence, many innovators have quit and providers have shifted their innovation and development efforts to other sectors. Incumbent EdTech providers therefore lack sufficient competition and incentives to continuously innovate and improve their products and services to meet the needs and expectations of our students, teachers and educational organizations.
It is the ambition of this zone to change this situation, and make the Netherlands a fruitful breeding ground, and preferably a leading European beachhead, for (starting) EdTech providers and their educational innovations. By pooling resources, knowledge and (applied) research regarding the EdTech market and EdTech adoption strategies and policies we can reduce risk and costs associated with educational innovation with EdTech, and increase the pace of educational development and innovation within our institutions.
This acceleration zone intends to achieve this by creating a ‘Dutch EdTech Incubator’ to increase the pace of innovation and business development in the Dutch EdTech market (including pre-school, K12, vocational, higher and corporate education and training), and designing strategies, policies and tools for lowering entry barriers into the Higher educational market and thereby increase the speed of adoption, embedment and scalability of educational innovations in Dutch Higher Education institutions.