International Comparative study of the Netherlands' Research Performance in the Top Sectors

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO) commissioned Elsevier to benchmark the Netherlands’ research performance in the Top Sectors of the Netherlands to that of the leading countries in the world. This benchmark of scientific research is part of a larger monitoring system of the Netherlands’ government enterprise policy and the Top Sector approach which focuses on sectors with strong international position, solid connections with the industry and potential in creating innovative solutions to societal issues.

In this study, Elsevier’s Analytical Services worked closely with experts in 19 of the Top Consortia of Knowledge Innovations (TKI) within 6 of the Top Sectors (Agrofood, Chemistry, Energy, High-tech Systems and Materials, Horticulture & Propagation Materials, and Water) in defining the underlying research areas behind the innovations within each TKI. Elsevier’s Fingerprinting technology is used to form the publication sets in these research areas.

These reports cover a wide range of themes in research assessment including research output and impact, international research collaboration and collaboration between academia and industry. The data analysis draw from various data sources including Scopus data on publications and citations, ScienceDirect full-text download data and LexisNexis Total Patent data.

The core findings

The reports benchmark the Netherlands’ research performance in TKIs to other leading countries in the period 2005-2011 in four themes:

  1. Research output and impact:
    • The citation impact of the Netherlands’ publications in all 19 studied TKIs is high. In all 19 TKIs, the field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) of the Netherlands’ publications is well above the world average, and in 14 out of the 19 TKIs it ranks top 3 amongst the world top 20 most prolific countries in the respective research area. The Netherlands has a leading position in Top Sectors Chemistry and Horticulture & Propagation Materials (T&U) in terms of citation impact.
      Figure 1: FWCI of the Netherlands, the country with the highest FWCI for the research area, and the world.
      Figure 1: FWCI of the Netherlands, the country with the highest FWCI for the research area, and the world. The FWCI of the country with the highest FWCI is normalized to 1.
      Source: RVO's announcement of the publishing of the reports
  2. International collaboration
    • The Netherlands' research in the 19 studied TKIs is internationally collaborative. For the majority of the TKIs, more than half of the publications are co-authored with at least one international colleague. The Netherlands is often among the leading countries in this indicator together with other European countries such as Switzerland, the UK and France. Emerging countries such as China and Brazil usually have relatively low percentages.
      Figure 2: Percentage of internationally collaborated publications out of country's total publications in Propagation Materials (Top Sector T&U)
      Figure 2: Percentage of internationally collaborated publications out of country's total publications in Propagation Materials (Top Sector T&U). Source: Figure 9 in International Comparative Benchmarks of Dutch Research in Propagation Material
  3. Academic-corporate collaboration
    • The Netherlands' research in the majority of the studied 19 TKIs has strong connection with the industry. In the Top Sector Chemistry, the Netherlands has the highest percentage of cross-sector collaborated publications in both TKI themes Process Technology and Smart Polymeric Materials among the top 20 most prolific countries in the world. These publications collaborated with the industry often have high citation impact.
      Figure 3: Percentage of cross-sector collaborated publications out of country's total publications in Process Technology (Top Sector Chemistry) and the FWCI of these collaborated publications.
      Figure 3: Percentage of cross-sector collaborated publications out of country's total publications in Process Technology (Top Sector Chemistry) and the FWCI of these collaborated publications. Source: Figure 13 in International Comparative Benchmarks of Dutch Research in Process Technology

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