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Brexit huge boost for Amsterdam as European knowledge capital

29 August 2022
Amsterdam is fast becoming the knowledge capital of Europe. This is evident from the report 'Understanding Amsterdam's competitive advantage', a study into the state of science, technology and innovation in the capital. One of the main reasons for the growth is the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

"As a knowledge city, Amsterdam has benefited greatly in recent years from the Brexit and the associated relocation of highly skilled workers, companies and institutions such as the European Medicines Agency," said Michiel Kolman, Senior Vice President at Elsevier and co-author of the report.

The research into the state of science, technology and innovation in Amsterdam was carried out by Elsevier and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. "With this research we want to make the unique strengths of the city visible and discover new opportunities for Amsterdam as a knowledge city. The results show that we are on the right track in Amsterdam," said Mirjam van Praag, President of the Executive Board of VU Amsterdam.

Scientific powerhouse
The study looked at the research output in Amsterdam, the number of times researchers are cited in publications and international collaborations in the field of technology and innovation. The findings show that research in Amsterdam is on a par with scientific powerhouses such as Cambridge and Copenhagen, and that the capital city leads the way in knowledge development in the fields of medicine and life sciences. In some areas, Amsterdam is even a world leader. Take, for example, research conducted into the Sustainable Development Goals drawn up by the United Nations to end extreme poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change by 2030: Amsterdam is doing particularly well in the areas of Health, Gender Equality and Climate Change. 

Amsterdam also scores high in the field of international cooperation. This percentage is more than three times higher than the European average. For example, almost 60% of research in Amsterdam has an international co-author. Researchers who collaborate with businesses also score highly on the impact ladder. The citations of these researchers are four times higher than the global average.

Impact with AI
The research also shows that knowledge development in the field of Artificial Intelligence and computer science is booming. The Amsterdam AI research tripled in the past few years in terms of the number of published articles. The universities are also investing heavily in AI research. This type of research also has a great impact on other scientists - it is cited twice as often as the global average.

This is the second time that Elsevier has published the Amsterdam Report. The first edition was shared in 2015.