One of the stated objectives in founding the Royal Institute in 1808 was to inform other nations about Dutch scientific, scholarly and artistic achievements, and to learn about such achievements elsewhere. In around 1990, the Academy began to take a more serious, systematic approach to meeting this objective. There are, after all, literally no boundaries when it comes to science and scholarship. International collaboration is becoming increasingly important.
Until about 1970, the Academy’s international relations were limited to its membership of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and (for the humanities) the Union Academique Internationale (UAI).
In the 1970s and 1980s, however, the Academy’s international standing grew considerably. It became a member of the European Science Foundation (ESF) and concluded bilateral agreements with sister academies in order to facilitate researcher exchanges.
In around 1990, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the growing influence of the European Union led to an intensification of international partnerships.
China and Indonesia
The Academy has long been interested in cooperation with Indonesia and China. It participates in a number of exchange and joint research programmes with China, and has set up the collaborative Scientific Programme Indonesia-Netherlands (SPIN) with Indonesia.
Cooperation between academies
In 1990, the Academy convened the very first meeting of all the national academies of Europe at the Trippenhuis Building in Amsterdam. Their cooperation led in 1994 to the establishment of All European Academies (ALLEA). Former Academy president P.J.D. Drenth played a key role in this organisation, whose office was housed in the Trippenhuis Building until 2013.
The Trippenhuis Building is also home to the InterAcademy Council, a multinational organisation of science academies and an advisory body. Although initially operating in a vacuum, the IAC gained international renown after the United Nations asked it to review the InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Academy honours, funding and grants
The Academy offers various funding options in support of international knowledge-sharing and joint research. For example, it supports six annual meetings of leading scientists from around the world, known as the Academy Colloquia. It also offers researchers grants covering working visits and exchanges. In addition, the Academy awards various international prizes in science and scholarship.