Internationalisation of science, technology and innovation

Science, technology and innovation are increasingly taking on an international dimension. The main drivers of this internationalisation are the rise of information and communication technology (ICT), the liberalisation of world trade, innovations in logistics and transport and the development of the knowledge society. This transition to a knowledge society has been under way for some time in the Western world, and the rest of the world is rapidly catching up. This is generating persistent demand for knowledge and knowledge workers: the global battle for knowledge means that everyone is eager to attract these knowledge workers. And this battle is increasingly extending to the knowledge workers of the future, today’s students. This internationalisation is clearly visible in the scientific world. Major knowledge-based economies such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have a strong presence, but countries such as China, Singapore, Brazil and Korea are developing rapidly. Innovation is also a cross-border phenomenon, with companies able to develop, manufacture, commercialise and sell their products and services all over the world. This is forcing companies to make judicious choices on locations and collaboration for all their business activities. The same also increasingly applies for knowledge-intensive R&D activities.
What does all this mean for the Netherlands as a knowledge society? How strong a player is the Netherlands in the international arena? How can the Netherlands exploit opportunities in collaboration with other countries? And how can the Netherlands deal more strategically with European policy on science and innovation? The Council has regularly advised on these questions in recent years.