A Program Committee Biotechnology was established in the Netherlands for the period 1981¿1985, to stimulate biotechnological research and its contribution to innovation. Effects of its activities on researchers and on the research system have been measured in terms of recognition of and commitment to the priorities and approaches of the Program Committee. Results from the questionnaire survey and the interviews are presented, and are used to assess the implementation strategy of the committee and the dynamics of orientation of researchers to new priorities. A consciously orchestrating strategy, with some accommodation to the interests of the field, appears to be productive. This may be a generally useful middle course between dirigism and laissez-faire, because it exploits the leverage that resides in the strategies of scientists to mobilize resources for their work.