‘Dutch scientific researchers are becoming more innovative’

Dutch university researchers made 14 times more patent applications in 2009 than they did in 1980, according to the Rathenau Institute, which studies Dutch developments in science and technology.

Patent applications are considered to be a sign of scientific innovation. Between 2005 and 2009, universities and research institutes applied for an average 370 patents a year.

They now account for 4.7% of all Dutch patent applications, compared with just 1% in the 1980s, the institute said in a press release.

However, overall the number of Dutch patent applications stagnated between 2005 and 2009 and the Netherlands has since slipped from fifth to 11th place in terms of worldwide patent applications.

According to the Dutch patent organisation NL Octrooicentrum, this is because companies have shifted in their approach from research to development.

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