Value of Research

The Academy has installed the 'Value of Research' Committee, which will first survey what is meant by 'value of research'.

The Committee will subsequently shape the form and content of the results of its survey in a way that furnishes builders and users of instruments for measuring the return on investment (ROI) of research with the guidelines they need to quantify the economic or other value of research.

Two tasks

The 'Value of Research' Committee has two tasks in the advisory process that it will carry out in sequence.

  • The first task is to survey what is meant by 'value of research'. This will cover the full breadth of scientific research. The Committee’s survey will focus mainly on the economic and financial value of science, but also on such aspects as job creation within and outside R&D and how to measure the financial value of the immaterial nature of research and scholarship. The survey will be based on international research literature and on relevant discussions within the research community. It will also focus on the literature concerning the financial valorisation of brands and other immaterial property and actual practice in that regard.
  • The initial research question – 'what is the value of research?' – has a significant spin-off in methodology. The ultimate purpose of the advisory process is to show that the instruments used – usually econometric models – to measure the ROI of research can in fact demonstrate that such investment is valuable. The Committee’s second task is therefore to shape the form and content of its survey in a way that furnishes builders and users of such instruments/models with the guidelines they need to quantify the economic value of research (including in the medium term).


The Academy envisages concluding the first task with a survey report and the second with an advisory report.
The survey report will present the results of the first task. The Committee will present the report to the Board by mid-2013 at the latest. Based on the survey report, the Board and the Committee will decide whether there is sufficient reason to embark on the second task. If it goes ahead, this advisory report will be addressed (as regards the Dutch situation) to the Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT), CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and various ministries (in particular the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs).


Survey report published in november 2013, the advisory report in spring 2014.