The Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten (separate countries), Saint Eustatius, Bonaire, and Saba (special municipalities). About 330 thousand people live there.
The number of scientific papers issued from the islands has grown steadily from virtually none in 2012 to at least 111 last year. They mainly come from hospitals and American medical colleges in the islands.
This is evidenced by an analysis conducted by the Rathenau Institute commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The institute does not have exact statistics, because some of the publications fall outside the widely used Web of Science.
These scientific publications are often in collaboration with researchers from the Netherlands and the United States, especially researchers in Amsterdam (UvA), Maastricht, Groningen and Utrecht.
The islands have four publicly funded universities that also offer higher vocational education. Interest in developing knowledge and research is growing, due in part to the NWO Caribbean Research Programme.
But there are also opportunities that remain untapped. “We suspect that research on the islands could increase further if researchers made more use of the resources provided by the European Union,” says Alexandra Vennekens of the Rathenau Institute. According to her, the French overseas territories receive more subsidies.
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