Mission and strategy

SURF's mission is to enhance the quality of Dutch education and research through innovations in ICT. SURF makes its innovations available on favourable terms and ensures that optimum use can be made of the possibilities offered by ICT. The innovations of SURF have an impact on society that extends further than the institutions themselves.


SURF ensures that students, lecturers and researchers in education and research have access to the best possible ICT resources on favourable terms for the purpose of top-level research and talent development in national and international collaboration. SURF therefore develops, innovates and operates an advanced, federated e-infrastructure in conjunction with the institutions. SURF also organises demand aggregation, collaboration and knowledge sharing in relation to ICT themes for the member institutions. Creation of added value for its end users is pivotal in the service provided by SURF. 

Target group

SURF serves students, lecturers, researchers, executive and other staff of the Dutch education and research institutions. This includes research universities and universities of applied sciences, university teaching hospitals, research institutions and senior secondary vocational education institutions. 

Strategic themes Cover of SURF Strategic Plan 2015-2018

The activities of SURF have emerged from a number of current themes that are of strategic importance in the field of ICT, education and research. Every 4 years, the themes are reviewed in conjunction with the member institutions, and recorded in the SURF strategic plan. The strategic themes in the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan have been transformed into 10 innovation programmes that are implemented jointly by SURFmarket, SURFnet and SURFsara. In all these themes, SURF's priority is open innovation. Each year, SURF and its operating companies publish annual plans containing the concrete activities for that year. The annual reports provide a periodic overview of the activities carried out and the results achieved. 


By working together in SURF, the education and research institutions realise innovations on a scale that they would be unable to achieve individually. SURF facilitates knowledge sharing between the participating institutions, one example of this being the special interest groups (SIGs) in which experts jointly develop knowledge relating to current ICT themes. For the Netherlands to retain its leading position in the field of ICT, cooperation is essential. Read more about national cooperation and our international collaboration partners


Thanks to SURF: 

•    the Netherlands is now the public Internet hub for all Europe, via the AMS-IX

•    all Dutch residents have their own personal digital ID card, the DigiD

•    everyone in the education sector can obtain software on the most favourable terms. 

SURF’s innovation programmes and projects actively develop and promote new ICT applications, many of which are ahead of the market. For 25 years now, collaboration within SURF has led to products and services that institutions would not be able to set up on their own. By joining forces, institutions can not only achieve innovations but also make their operations more cost-efficient.

Latest modifications 04 May 2016