KL: partners and clients

Since its foundation in 1999, Kennisland has worked with dozens of organizations in the Netherlands and abroad: schools, ministries, heritage institutions, municipalities, networks, research institutes and other consulting firms. On this page you will find a selection of our partners, clients, financiers and spin-offs.

University of Amsterdam


Together with the University of Amsterdam, we investigated how the call for innovation could be translated into a sustainable system change. Who is involved? What are the obstacles and how can innovation processes be stimulated? The most important question is in fact: how do we design the university of the future?

Together with knowledge institutions, citizens and social organisations we are always looking for new ways of producing knowledge in order to create more social impact.

European Commission

Social innovation, open data, public domain

Since 2013 KL, among others, has been organising the European Social Innovation Competition, an initiative of DG Growth of the European Commission.

The Commission also financed Apps for Europe, a thematic network that organises open data competitions. Besides that, KL was a partner in the EU-funded SEED (Social Entrepreneur Exchange and Development) and in Bridge-IT, a network that focused on information and communication technologies for migrants and ethnic minorities in Europe.

In 2007, KL was one of the founders of the EU-funded COMMUNIA Network that researches the future of the public domain in this digital age. In 2011, COMMUNIA continued its work as an association.

The Wikimedia Foundation

Copyright, cultural heritage

The Wikimedia Foundation is an international organisation that provides the essential infrastructure for free knowledge. The organisation runs various projects, of which the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is best known.

Kennisland advised the Wikimedia Foundation on the (re)use of GLAM-data. In this case we focused on the data about the usage of collections on Wikipedia. Out of our research emerged a toolset which enables heritage institutions to place digitised cultural objects in the Wikimedia Commons image bank more easily.

Municipality of Nijmegen

Urban innovation, social innovation

For the municipality of Nijmegen, we have developed jongLAB, a temporary on-site collaboration between policymakers, municipal officials, professionals and citizens to work on social innovation and improvement. The social lab in Nijmegen focused on the research questions: “What is it like to be young in Nijmegen, and how can we make that better?” 

Besides this, Nijmegen is one of the participants in the project City Deal Kennis Maken (City Deal Making Knowledge), in which ten Dutch cities work on accelerating and strengthening a sustainable cooperation between city and knowledge institutions.

KWR Watercycle Research Institute

Sustainability, urban innovation

KWR generates knowledge to enable the water sector to operate water-wisely in our urbanised environment.

More and more people want to go ‘off the grid’. They aim for a decentralised, sustainable and independent supply of necessities such as water and energy. How do water authorities relate to this changing social reality? KL investigated how water management can develop in a changing society.

Eye Filmmuseum

Cultural heritage, copyright

EYE manages the preservation of film heritage of both Dutch and foreign films shown in the Netherlands, for future generations. The museum aims to promote a lively film culture in the Netherlands.

Together with EYE we were part of the large digitisation project Images for the Future, in which a large amount of the Dutch audiovisual heritage was preserved for the future. In the context of this project we, for example, organised Celluloid Remix, a video remix competition with the use of historical fragments from the EYE film collection.

Sound and Vision

Cultural heritage, copyright

Sound and Vision is an institute for media culture and a museum. It contains one of the largest media collections in the world. Besides radio and television, the institute also archives other forms of media, such as written press, political prints, websites and media-related objects.

Together with a number of other partners, Sound and Vision worked with us for seven years to develop Images for the Future, the largest digitisation project for audiovisual heritage in Europe. We also worked on different spin-offs and other projects, such as Open Images and Open Culture Data.

National Archives

Cultural heritage, copyright

The National Archives are the largest public archive institution in the Netherlands. It is the home of almost a thousand years of Dutch national history, which is stored in 137 kilometers of documents, 800 terabytes of digital files, 15 million photos and 300,000 maps and drawings.

Together with the National Archives, we were part of the large digitisation project Images for the Future, in which a large amount of the Dutch audiovisual heritage was preserved for the future. In the context of this project, for example, we explored the possibilities of social tagging and public participation by placing some of the photos owned by the National Archive on Flickr the Commons.

Open State Foundation

Open data

Open State Foundation is committed to disclosing more government information such as open data. It focuses on data on government finances, education, culture and care.

Open State was one of our partners in Open Culture Data, a network of cultural professionals, software developers, designers, copyright specialists and open data experts, that opens data from the cultural heritage sector and encourages the development of valuable cultural applications. This makes culture accessible in new ways to a broader public.

Municipality of Amsterdam

City, Education, Social innovation

In 2016, Amsterdam was declared the Capital of Innovation (“iCapital”) of Europe. Kennisland was one of the partners in the development of the winning proposal, which was named Accelerating Amsterdam’s Assets. With the prize money, we developed Amsterdammers, Make Your City!.

Previously, together with the municipality of Amsterdam, KL shook up the education sector with the crowdsourcing challenge Our New School. With our social labs in, among others, Amsteldorp and around the Corfuplantsoen we worked on social issues in the neighbourhood.

Creative Commons the Netherlands


Between 2004 and 2018, Kennisland coordinated the public activities of Creative Commons in the Netherlands. Together with Waag and the Institute for Information Law we worked on the development and promotion of Creative Commons licenses in the Netherlands.

On 14 September 2018, an independent Dutch Chapter of Creative Commons was founded. This chapter supports the sharing of knowledge and creativity in order to build an honest, accessible and innovative world.

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science


Since we started to focus on education in the Netherlands in 2007, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has funded many of our educational projects. Projects we worked on include the Innovation Impulse for Education and Teachers as Education Pioneers. We also did projects in the cultural sector and in the digital domain, one of which was Digital Pioneers.

Institute for Information Law

Cultural heritage, copyright

The Institute for Information Law (IViR) is one of the largest research centers in the field of information law in the world.

Together with Waag and IViR, KL set up the Dutch department of Creative Commons. Besides that, together with IViR, the Europeana Foundation and the Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg, we developed and implemented the Licensing Framework for Europeana.eu. Another valuable collaboration resulted in OutofCopyright.eu, a website that allows people to determine the copyright status of heritage.

Make A Difference Institute (MAD)

Urban innovation, social innovation

Make a Difference (MaD) is a think-and-do collaborative platform which comes up with innovative solutions for social challenges in Hong Kong.

Together with MaD we did for example The LIBoratory project, in which we set up a social lab in Sham Shui Po – one of Hong Kong’s poorest districts – to explore how libraries can be more relevant spaces for citizens in this area. For us, this project is a unique opportunity to develop our approaches in a different context. Read more about our other adventures in Hong Kong.


Urban innovation

With interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, DRIFT contributes to a better understanding of major social changes and new ways of thinking, doing and organising that are required for this, to be more capable of influencing these processes.

What could be the biggest help for urban innovators? That question was central to the Challenge Stad van de Toekomst (City of the Future Challenge) in 2015 and 2016.

Voor je buurt

Urban innovation, social innovation

In 2012, together with Network Democracy and other partners, Kennisland founded Voor je Buurt (For your Neighbourhood) as a crowdfunding platform for local initiatives. Since Voor je Buurt was launched in 2013, a multitude of projects has been realised through the platform. In 2015, Voor je Buurt became an independent foundation.

Up until now, Voor je Buurt realised more than 600 successfully crowdfunded local initiatives and raised a total amount of more than 4 million euros.

The Kafkabrigade Network

Smarter government

The Kafkabrigade Network was established by Kennisland in order to detect and deal with superfluous and dysfunctional bureaucracy. The problems of the citizens and entrepreneurs involved are central in this. After five years and forty case studies in the Netherlands and abroad, the project became an independent foundation.

Read more about the things the Kafkabrigade has achieved under the wings of KL.


Urban innovation, open data

Nesta is a global innovation foundation. Together with Nesta and other partners, we have organised the European Social Innovation Competition since 2013. The aim of this project was to further develop initiatives for social innovation and to help realise their potential. 

Earlier, Nesta and KL worked together in Apps for Europe, a thematic network that organises open data competitions.

Social Enterprise NL

Social entrepreneurship

Social Enterprise NL (SENL) is the driving force behind a movement of social entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.

Together with them, Kennisland explored the incentive instruments for social enterprises. The resultant agenda was presented to the Members of Parliament on 23 January 2014 (read more). Kennisland and SENL were also partners in SEED (Social Entrepreneur Exchange and Development), one of the consortia that ran the fifth round of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme from 2013 to 2015.


Social innovation

Hivos is an international organisation that explores new solutions for persistent global problems like discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the exhaustion of the earth and our living environment.

Together with Hivos, we organised the Social Innovation Safari, in which we produced a methodology for developing our collective problem-solving capabilities and skills by working on real-life challenges. We also did the Wicked Series, in which pioneers from Greece, the Netherlands and India tackled wicked problems. The Wicked Series was followed up by Lab2: Experimental Learning Spaces for Social Innovation, a continuing knowledge exchange in order to further explore and develop new approaches and opportunities for social innovation.

Community of partners
Spring House

Sustainability, inclusion, social innovation

Spring House is a coworking space for innovators. A community of contrarious and curious people with one main goal: to stimulate positive change in society. We founded this clubhouse together with Vandejong Creative Agency and Joanna van der Zanden.

This breeding ground has already produced many interesting cross-pollinations, such as Radical Innovators and the campaign for the Amsterdam Education Challenge. Also, Spring House is the place where we host our monthly KL Out of Office, where we meet and talk to experts about subjects that matter to us and about which we want to learn more.

Utrecht University

Cultural sector

Together with Utrecht University, HKU and Coaching in Culture, Kennisland developed the learning programme Leadership in Culture. In this programme, leaders in culture meet to discuss and share knowledge. Together with other professionals and sectors they delve into new, unexplored possibilities.

In 2018 we started a cooperation with the Belgian policy domain Culture, Youth, Sports and Media and the Antwerp Management School. In this year, LinC started as an international programme which goes by the name LinC Lage Landen (LinC in the Netherlands and Belgium). We also started LinC Utrecht, the first local edition of LinC for leaders in culture.

Partner, client
Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations

Smarter government

For the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations we have conducted research into innovative practical examples in the public sector for the InAxis database. Besides that, we worked together in Slimmernetwerk (Smarter Network), a platform and network with online and offline activities for professionals in the public sector. The network provides an answer to the lack of room for bottom-up innovation within government, unnecessarily high hierarchical barriers and fragmented governmental responsibilities.

Together with the ministry, Kennisland also set up Het Beleidslab (the Policy Lab), with the aim to obtain new insights into users, issues, approaches and solutions within a number of cases – concerning the quality of newly built houses and energy saving in the owner-occupied housing sector.


Cultural heritage, copyright

Europeana is Europe’s largest cultural heritage search engine. By combining databases from over 3,000 European cultural heritage institutions it provides a unique online perspective on Europe’s cultural heritage. Kennisland worked with Europeana on multiple projects, such as Art up your Tab, the Licensing Framework, EuropeanaConnect and Europeana Sounds. Read more about our collaboration with Europeana.

On this page there’s an overview of all projects, publications and other cases in which Kennisland and Europeana collaborated. You can also find opinion articles and news messages related to Europeana.

SIX network

Social innovation

SIX works globally to facilitate purposeful cross-sector conversations, that challenge and inspire people to use innovation to increase social impact.

In 2011, KL organised the SIX Spring School, together with the worldwide Social Innovation eXchange netwerk (SIX), The Young Foundation and Dialogue Café. More than 100 international participants related to governments, companies, NGOs, science, design and media discussed how the power of citizens can be used to solve social issues. Among other things, this Spring School led to a Co-creation Guide.


Social innovation, technology, copyright

Waag operates at the intersection of science, technology and the arts. It explores the social and cultural impact of new technologies, guided by the values of fairness, openness and inclusivity.

Together with Waag, among others, KL wrote the publication Accelerating Amsterdam’s Assets, about how Amsterdam can make better use of the potentials of society. Because of this proposal, the city became Europe’s innovation capital in 2017. Together with Waag we were also a part of the COMMUNIA Network, of Creative Commons Nederland, of DISC (that strived for the democratisation of open source software and open content), of Apps for Europe and of the Social Innovation Network of the Netherlands.

Thomas More Hogeschool


The Municipality of Rotterdam has great aspirations regarding the education in the city. One of those is to give ambitious teachers the chance to develop optimally and to take control over new education initiatives themselves.

Together with Thomas More Hogeschool and De Nederlandse school (The Dutch School) we dare teachers in Rotterdam to put their ambition into practice in Broedplaats010 (Breeding Ground 010).


Urban innovation

Over 150 students of higher education institutions in Istanbul dive into issues in the field of mobility. During the imeceLAB incubation programme they attend workshops and develop innovations.

Kennisland was asked by social innovation platform imece to support in evaluating this incubation programme.

Deze tekst heeft een Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-licentie (CC BY) en is gekopieerd van de Kennisland-website. Ga voor de volledige versie met afbeeldingen, streamers en noten naar https://www.kl.nl/en/kl-partners-and-clients/

This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to https://www.kl.nl/en/kl-partners-and-clients/