The dutch Rathenau Instituut

Science, technology, and innovation are essential for our society to prosper. Knowledge that is based on independent, high-quality information helps people to develop ideas and innovate, to engage in discussions, influence policy and make decisions that address Europe’s grand challenges. At the Rathenau Instituut, we conduct research, organise and stimulate dialogue and inform the public and politicians of the impact of science, technology and innovation on society. We have a specific mission with regards to the Dutch parliament and society as a whole. This task is laid down in our constitution.

The Rathenau Instituut is based in the Hague. It was founded in 1986 and falls under the administrative responsibility of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The multidisciplinary staff of over fifty employees includes social and political scientists, physicists, biologists, statisticians, engineers, innovation experts, philosophers, and legal and media experts. Most of the work is carried out in small teams within the department for research and dialogue. Besides that, there is a communications department and a number of support staff.

The activities of the Rathenau Instituut are based on a working programme that is renewed biennially after a process of societal consultation. The most recent working programme consists of four themes on which the institute will focus in the years 2021 and 2022. These themes are: Digital Society, Making Perfect Lives, Democratic Information Society, and Robust Science and Knowledge Ecosystems. Within these themes, special attention is paid to important societal trends that came to light during a participatory process involving a broad range of societal stakeholders. These trends are: inclusion and cohesion, the role of technology in the shifting international power relations, climate change and the loss of biodiversity, and the corona crisis. The communications department is responsible for the website, the publications, and contact with the media and parliament.

The Rathenau Instituut is independent in both status and spirit; critical, flexible, and focused on delivering high-quality research with impact. We have a large international network of scientific, innovation and industrial experts, policymakers and NGOs. We work according to a quality review protocol. International cooperation is crucial for understanding and addressing developments in science and technology. The Rathenau Instituut has a strong relationship with its many sister organisations in Europe and is a prominent member of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment network (EPTA).


P.O. Box 95366
2509 CJ The Hague
The Netherlands
+31 70 342 1542
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Visitors: Anna van Saksenlaan 51
2593 HW The Hague
The Netherlands



Contact Eefje Cuppen
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