calendar tag arrow download print
Skip to content

R&D expenditure by sector of performance and field of science

data publication
14 February 2023
research Innovation R&D science
R&D expenditure in the Netherlands can be divided into different scientific fields such as technical sciences, natural sciences and humanities. In this data publication, we first show the distribution at companies, higher education institutions and research institutes. Then, for the total, we show the development from 2013 onwards.

In short

  • Companies mainly carry out R&D in the technical sciences and natural sciences. In higher education and research institutions, the fields of science are more evenly distributed.
  • In general, between 2013 and 2020, investments in natural sciences increase slightly more than the other sciences.
  • 40% of investments are in the technical sciences, 25% in the natural sciences

Companies: mainly technical and natural sciences
Within the Dutch business sector, 52% of R&D expenditure goes to the technical sciences and 27% to the natural sciences. In higher education, the largest share is focused on the medical sciences: 30%. In research institutes, the natural sciences are at the forefront with 35%.

Total: technical sciences at the forefront
In 2020, 40% of R&D expenditure in the Netherlands went to the technical sciences and 25% to the natural sciences. This was followed by the medical sciences (15%), social sciences (9%), agricultural sciences (7%) and the humanities (3%). The large share of the technical sciences and natural sciences is mainly due to the weight of business.

Between 2013 and 2020: slight increase in natural sciences
Between 2013 and 2020, the distribution of total R&D expenditure shows a fairly constant picture. The share of natural sciences increased slightly: from 22% in 2013 to 25% in 2020.

In 2020 the total R&D-expenditure grew with 4.1%. The budget for medical sciences knew the highest growth, 7%. Investments in the natural sciences grew with 5%.

For an international comparison we refer to the factsheet R&D expenditure and capacity by field of science.