Government is increasingly acting in and through networks. Public organisations are responsible for achieving public value and political objectives, but need the cooperation of others to realise these objectives. This essay is not about network governance in general, but about one example in particular: it is about the governance strategy applied to the ‘biobased economy’ as an emerging and innovative economic sector. The biobased economy is an example of a fledgling network in which the participants take the lead, while the government focuses on supporting and facilitating their initiatives. In order to stimulate the biobased economy, the Interdepartmental Programme BioBased Economy (IPBBE) was launched in 2009. As part of the programme, close cooperation is sought with civil society parties and partners from the worlds of business, research and technology. The approach is predicated on the development of common objectives for parties with shared interests, thereby creating a self-reinforcing dynamic process. By bringing these parties together, unexpected meetings and innovative alliances can arise. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has requested the Netherlands School of Public Administration (NSOB) to evaluate the practical workings of network governance in relation to the biobased economy. In this essay ‘A multi-level strategy as the key to success’ we analyse our observations and apply an evaluation method that is more sensitive to the IPBBE’s specific approach. This means paying particular attention to the interaction between parties and the bottom-up dynamics, providing insight into the steps made and the strategic patterns in these steps, and casting a glance forwards to the next steps and options for action for the future.