Design methods for professionals contributing to solutions to societal challenges

Key Enabling Methodologies

Affordable healthcare, conservation of resources and nature, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, affordable and sustainable energy. These are just a small sample of the many social challenges we face today. Innovative solutions are needed to take targeted action. But how do we develop these solutions and ensure the right societal impact? That's where key methodologies, or KEMs, are needed. KEMs (Key Enabling Methodologies) are methods, strategies, tools and practices that give you tools to realize innovations. KEMs are relevant to anyone working on a complex, societal puzzle: business, education/knowledge institutions, thinkers, makers, policy makers, consultants, clients, nonprofit organizations and civic initiatives.

Further development

The nine (unofficially 10) top sectors have developed several Knowledge and Innovation Agendas together with the business community. These indicate what the Netherlands will be working on in the coming years in terms of societal challenges and its solutions. One agenda is the "Knowledge and Innovation Agenda Key Technologies 2020-2023". To achieve goals of this agenda, it is necessary to further develop key methodologies. That is what the 'KEM agenda' is for. Through this we increase and disseminate knowledge about KEMs, and continue to develop and improve key methodologies.

  • KEMs-website

    Want to learn more about KEMs, the different categories and what they entail? The KEM website (Dutch) is designed to inform professionals, clients and policy makers about KEMs and provide inspiration on how they can be used in practice.

Origin KEMs: KIA KEM

The origin of KEMs lies in the (Mission-Driven) Innovation Policy. With this, the government wants to further develop the innovation power of the Netherlands to be able to jointly and thoroughly tackle societal challenges. The term KEMs stands for the groups of tools and methods that play a crucial role in this.

For this reason, CLICKNL, in close cooperation with the creative industry and knowledge community, has drawn up its own Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (KIA) for the KEMs. This 'research agenda' was created, on the one hand, to improve our knowledge about KEMs and stimulate their development. On the other hand, the agenda aims to increase general understanding and awareness of KEMs.


    In terms of content, the research agenda (KIA KEM) elaborates on the (groups of) methods and the further research needed for this. The primary target groups are researchers and policy makers. The content of the agenda can be found in a more accessible format on the KEM website.