Value of research

What are the social benefits of investing in research? At the request of the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, an Academy advisory committee will be answering this question in two ways over the first next six months in 2022.

Objective and effect

In its advisory report on the value of research, the Academy will chart the effects of investments on broad indicators of prosperity and well-being. In doing so, the Academy is responding to a request from the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, but also links up with the process recently started by the planning agencies on the subject.

The value of research question follows an increasingly lively social and political debate on the position and financing of research. Research makes visible, positive contributions to welfare and well-being, a recent example being the COVID-19 vaccines developed in record time. According to a recent report by the Rathenau Institute, public confidence in research in the Netherlands is high. At the same time, there is also criticism: are the public investments in research justified and what are the specific results? As part of the Knowledge Coalition, the Academy argues for increased investment in research. The committee's independent opinion will contribute to this debate.

Assignment

 The Minister of Education, Culture and Science  has asked the Academy to map the value of research in a broad sense and to highlight the importance of research for education, the development of society, the democratic value and the importance of research for solving societal challenges.

The committee will formulate a broad vision of these different aspects of research, namely its cultural, educational, social, economic and democratic value. Closely related to this are models that can map the value of research. The committee will advise on how these models can be further developed or used.

Planning and activities

The project began in December 2021 and will be completed in June 2022. During this period, the committee will consult experts and relevant organisations.

Committee

An advisory committee chaired by Mirjam van Praag has been set up for this process.