European Knowledge Hub

Read in  ‘Mapping Research and Innovation’ (2015) of Elsevier/Urban Innovation Network:


Last year, scientific publisher Elsevier and the Urban Innovation Network (UIN) published a comparative study of research output of eleven comparative European university cities, amongst them Amsterdam. The other cities were Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Madrid, Manchester, Stockholm and Vienna. In ‘Mapping Research and Innovation’ (2015) the researchers distinguished four dimensions of research strength: relative volume, relative usage, relative impact and research excellence. Excellence was measured by a city’s relative share of the most impactful research – “that which is among the top decile worldwide in terms of citations within a given subject area. We call these star articles.” Overall conclusion: Amsterdam has a strong claim to being one of the top knowledge cities in Europe. Its research output per capita is second only to Copenhagen, but the relative impact of its research is the highest. The researchers discovered that Amsterdam has a very strong position in medicin, in volume and impact. “It is nearly twice the world average in relative volume, given the city’s size and overall research output.” Orange (picture) means its impact is also quite high, “more than twice that of the world average.” Winners are oncology, radiology, nuclear medicine and imaging.

Striking is Amsterdam’s output in computer science, which nearly doubled over the past decade. In terms of publications per capita, Amsterdam’s output in computer science is now second among the eleven cities. “These growth trends suggest that Amsterdam is growing a world-class base of computer science researchers, which can both help train the next generation of tech workers and attract the most promising tech companies.” What about social sciences? Psychology has a very strong position, but only in volume, the other social sciences are performing above average, but their impact is rather low. In terms of publications per 1000 residents, the researchers found growth in all eleven cities. But the absolute winners are Amsterdam en Copenhagen, with Vienna and Stockholm following at a distance. How important is this? Elsevier: “Universities creat jobs and demand for real estate space, attract and retain talent, stimulate investment beyond their walls. (…) But, the central role played by universities in the innovation ecosystem is not well understood and an untapped resource.” Exploring a city’s innovation ecosystem is a valuable way of seeing the future with greater clarity.





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