Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN) International

The Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN) is also active outside the Netherlands. In doing so, we increase our impact and contribute to the sustainable use of the subsurface. GDN works with public authorities, industry, and knowledge institutions regionally, across Europe, and beyond. As part of TNO, the largest applied research institute in the Netherlands, GDN can easily draw on the expertise of colleagues in knowledge areas such as the energy transition, circularity, and buildings and infrastructure, thus increasing our added value.

International collaboration and strengthening

Regionally, GDN co-creates solutions with our neighbouring countries. After all, the subsurface does not stop at our national borders.

In Europe, GDN develops and exchanges knowledge and is active in the development and implementation of European policy related to the subsurface. For example, GDN works extensively with European sister organisations, including through EuroGeoSurvey, which represents 37 national European geological surveys. GDN is also active in European research and innovation projects, and supports industry.

Outside Europe, we also support companies by developing new knowledge and technologies. We work with public authorities and knowledge institutes to strengthen knowledge and skills for the sustainable use of the subsurface in other countries. GDN has a long history of international activity, and operates in several low- and middle-income countries.

International partner on four themes

As a knowledge partner, GDN contributes to global agendas on the following themes:

  • Energy transition: geothermal energy, hydrogen, CO2 storage, and systems integration
  • Critical Raw Materials: intelligence, value chains and environmental aspects
  • Resilience: subsidence, groundwater, safe and liveable delta
  • Digital society: data management, mapping, geo-modelling, and artificial intelligence

Central elements in these international partnerships are the strengthening of good governance, capacities, and self-reliance of countries and organisations to ensure the sustainable use of the subsurface.

Examples of international collaborations

Although GDN operates on several continents, we are particularly focused on the African continent in our activities for public entities.

Pan-African support for Geological Science & Technology (PanAfGeo)

As part of PanAfGeo, GDN collaborates with 11 other European geological surveys on the exchange of knowledge between European and African geological surveys and to strengthen the institutional capacity of African national bodies charged with overseeing their geology and mining activities. GDN is responsible for the governance work package. In this role, GDN takes up issues from the directorates of African geological surveys in collaboration with various European, African, and international bodies.

Mozambique – Get a grip on your own subsurface

With the help of the Dutch embassy in Maputo, GDN is setting up a project with national organisations responsible for Mozambique’s subsurface. GDN works with these organisations to strengthen their understanding and knowledge of their own subsurface. For example, improved knowledge will allow them to better position themselves in relation to commercial parties interested in exploring Mozambique’s subsurface, which is rich in resources, particularly gas.

In the blog Mozambique: a poor country rich in gas, you can read more about the experience of one of our GDN experts.

Geothermal Atlas of Africa  

The project Geothermal Atlas of Africa is part of the Long-term Joint Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE) between the European Union and the African Union. GDN is working with African and European knowledge partners to identify geothermal resources for the development of African power generation and water use applications. This gives scientists, project developers, policymakers, and investors easy access to relevant information on geothermal resources.

Energy transition in Africa

GDN works closely with TNO Energy Transition colleagues on themes related to the energy transition in several African countries. This encompasses knowledge development and sharing with local knowledge institutes or collaboration with Dutch public authorities on topics such as the transition to renewable energy and hydrogen in countries such as Algeria, South Africa, Angola, and Nigeria.

Renewable Energy Training Centre Indonesia & Safe and Liveable Mekong Delta

GDN also operates outside Africa, for example in South East Asia. Examples include developing a Renewable Energy Training Centre in Indonesia or creating visual representations of groundwater reserves and subsidence in the Vietnam Mekong Delta to support awareness and policymaking at the Think-or-Sink project.

Want to learn more?

Want to know more about international collaborations? Contact Jasper Donker via the blue ‘mail directly’ button below.