Amsterdam excels in global scientific impact

A new report on the state of science research and innovation in 20 global cities has found research from Amsterdam has the third highest scientific impact in the world.

The city particularly excels in Life Sciences and Health research, including neuroscience and psychology.

The report from Elsevier, a science publishing and analytics company, in collaboration with the Administrative Center of Shanghai R&D Public Service Platforms, compared traditionally high-performing science hubs such as San Francisco, Boston, Paris and London, as well as up-and-coming Asian contenders including Shanghai and Seoul.

The report measured the volume and academic impact of scholarly output from these cities between 2016 and 2020. Impact was measured by field-weighted citation impact (FWCI).

An FWCI of more than 1.00 indicates that a region’s publications have been cited more than would be expected based on the global average for similar publications. Amsterdam scored 2.1, behind San Francisco and Boston at 2.2.

The report also found that in Amsterdam:

  • Publications have the fifth highest share of the top 1% of highly cited publications, indicative of the excellence of the research 

  • More than half, 58.3%, of publications resulted from international collaboration; 6.9% resulted from academic-corporate collaboration

  • The number of scientific publications per researcher was higher than all EU cities, indicating high productivity

  • The number of researchers grew by 5.6% to 50,490, the third highest growth in Europe and highest in the EU, indicating a strong available workforce

  • The majority of researchers in Amsterdam (56.6%) are transitory, indicating Amsterdam is an attractive city for scientists to settle temporarily, and proving the positive effect of cooperation on research impact.

A concentrated and collaborative science community

The report’s findings are testament to Amsterdam’s thriving Life Sciences and Health ecosystem. The city’s high concentration of research institutions, universities and medical centres such as University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, and Sanquin, the national blood bank, thrive on cooperation. They’re joined by businesses and startups leveraging cutting-edge technology to advance knowledge.

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