Intravacc is an applied scientific research institute that conducts research into new vaccines. Through Intravacc, promising ideas from science are protected and advanced on the path to vaccines, which are valuable for both public health and industry. Intravacc also deploys available knowledge in vaccine development and production to carry out R&D assignments for clients. The institute counts both the (inter)national government and companies, including within the innovative pharmaceutical industry, among its clients.In the Netherlands, vaccine development, like drug development, is in principle left to the free market. Since 2013, the public advisory vaccine tasks have been transferred to the RIVM. Activities in the field of new and improved vaccines and alternative forms of administration (the Research & Development function) have been placed under Intravacc. Through translational research, Intravacc bridges the gap between vaccine concepts and ideas, and the eventual commercialisation and large-scale production of vaccines. Intravacc is a separate, temporary, organisational unit of VWS, whose intention from the start was to privatise it in due course.

"The model allows Intravacc to determine not only a direct cost price rate (based on salary costs), but also an integral cost price rate per rate group and the margin needed to break even"

Our approach

Intravacc employs subject specialists who want to excel at all times and deliver the right products, quality and solutions in their field. A wonderful goal. But in the light of the envisaged privatisation, a valuation, and thus insight into the current cost structure, is essential. What does a vaccine cost and how is this price structured? The steering methodology used assumed an integral tariff and was based on available government budget. Intravacc asked Improven to help set up a future-proof, commercial cost model; a differentiated model that provides insight into costs, performance and added value. On the one hand to prepare for privatisation and on the other because the organisation itself considers it very important to steer optimally on this.

An important start was to create awareness and increase engagement among employees where possible. This involvement was visibly high. This helped enormously during the various interactive workshop sessions, in which we presented to a large delegation from Intravacc, the fundamental choices of a costing model.


With the team we discussed the consequences of the choices and together we arrived at a good solution to better manage.We made choices based on an understanding of, among other things:

  • the cost per specialist, depending on experience level, function, department and gross salary scales; from this, five cost groups resulted
  • the method of calculating bids and project budgets
  • overheads, including use of internal project management, sales, marketing et al.

This gave rise to the design and development of an automated cost price model based on a different way of thinking, such that cost prices are established with just a few actions. The new methodology also allows for easy periodic updates such as annual indexations, changing laws and regulations, etc. The model allows Intravacc to determine not only a direct cost price rate (based on salary costs), but also an integral cost price rate per rate group and the necessary margin for break-even.We are proud and happy that we were able to help Intravacc, an organisation with a major social responsibility, with this important development.

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+31 6 53 54 16 93 Oscar van Leeuwen