In order to highlight the RTDI profile of Gelderland, indicators related to research & development (R&D), high-tech employment and tertiary education are used. For instance, total R&D expenditures in Gelderland were €1.73bn, equalling €846.20 per capita, which is above the national average, and amounts to 11.8 per cent of total national expenditures for research and development (Eurostat, 2020). Moreover, it is the second highest of the country as percentage of regional GDP (2.33 per cent). In total, there were 44,400 people employed in high-technology sectors in Gelderland. Almost half of all people (48.5 per cent) between the age of 30 and 34 completed some form of tertiary education, which is slightly below the national average 51.4 per cent, but well above the EU average of 41.6 per cent (Eurostat, 2020). In 2018, Gelderland had 1,643 PhD students, which is above Dutch average of 1,304 and equals 10.6 per cent of total PhD students in the Netherlands.
Besides these indicators, other relevant information that illustrates the RTDI profile of Gelderland relates to the presence and performance of educational and research facilities. Gelderland has two universities, the Radboud University in Nijmegen (RU) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR). In 2019, 22,976 students enrolled in one of the RU’s academic programmes, while in 2018 the RU employed 2,735 scientific staff members. In that same year, the RU produced 7.431 scientific publication (RU, 2020). Currently, the RU ranks 128th in the World University Ranking 2020. The WUR had 12,819 students enrolled in one of their programs and the university employed 4,280 fte of scientific staff members in the academic year 2019-2020. In 2018, the WUR produced 4,411 academic publications (WUR, 2019). The WUR consistently ranks as one of the best universities in the field of environmental science and agriculture. According to the World University Ranking 2020, the university ranks as 59th.
The WUR and the RU, combined with the University of Twente (UT) in Overijssel, coordinate their ambitions and targets in terms of research, education and valorisation to secure a varied and reinforcing innovation profile for the eastern part of the country. As an example, the three universities and the Radboudumc initiated TopFit in 2019, an innovation program focused on tech, food and health research. Since 2007, the four universities of technology in the Netherlands, based in Wageningen, Twente, Delft and Eindhoven, jointly commit to pool and strengthen technical knowledge in the 4TU.Federation. For instance, the Wageningen Campus, the NovioTech Campus (Nijmegen) and Industry Park Kleefse Waard (Arnhem) provide shared high-end research facilities, business development support, dynamic start-up communities, incubator facilities and networks.
Beside the two universities, Gelderland has numerous universities of applied sciences. For instance, HAN in Arnhem; Van Hall Larenstein, which focuses on agriculture and environment; Saxion in Apeldoorn; and Christelijke Hogeschool Ede in Ede.
Gelderland's capital, Arnhem, has a strong energy related profile. For example, Arnhem houses DNV GL’s electricity research lab; Tennet, the national distribution operator and a large European player in energy transition; and Alliander, the largest grid operator in the Netherlands. In order to contribute to Gelderland’s innovation policy focus on energy and environmental technology, these companies work together closely with both universities and the provincial government. Another focal point of Gelderland’s innovation policy is food technology, fostered by WUR’s presence and the large amount of agricultural activities. Nijmegen on the other hand is a global player in the semiconductor industry with an ecosystem of strongly connected SMEs and multinationals such as NXP, Ampleon and Nexperia.
In 2016, a new economic board had been established for the region Arnhem-Nijmegen, Regioan, in order to stimulate the regional economy with a focus on health, energy and food. The economic board consists of the Radboud University, universities of applied sciences, municipalities and several big companies in Gelderland. Regioan works on four themes, which all have an annual year plan. The themes are sustainability, economy, housing and mobility.