The Digital Pioneers Incentive Scheme was a unique scheme for innovative social Internet initiatives. Kennisland implemented the scheme from 2002 until 2010 with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Digital Pioneers had three rounds a year on average. During nineteen rounds and three editions of the Digital Pioneers Academy, the programme supported 211 pioneer projects via financial aid and coaching.
Digital Pioneers has contributed significantly to the development of the digital public domain in the Netherlands. Over the course of two decades, the digital public domain in this country has grown from niche to mainstream. To conclude the Digital Pioneers Scheme, Kennisland organised the State of Social Media Summit on 28 and 29 October 2010, and the State of Social Media was published.
During the State of Social Media Summit, following eight years of pioneering work and new opportunities in the area of technology and society (e.g. administration, immigration and integration; journalism, art and culture), the community of Digital Pioneers reflected on the movement of social innovation on the Internet and the following phase of the digital public domain. The publication entitled The State of Social Media is the product of discussions held with pioneers before, during and after the summit.