NWO subscribes to the governments vision that Dutch research can do more to contribute to welfare and prosperity. The impact of research can grow by joining forces and by linking fundamental, practically oriented and applied research to a greater extent. Joint programming and collaboration among researchers and parties outside of academia support this. NWO considers the encouragement of productive links between science, the business community and other parts of society to be one of its objectives.
With thematic programmes, NWO funds scientific research that contributes to solutions to social, economic and cultural issues. With these programmes, NWO also directly contributes to the sharing and use of scientific knowledge. NWO also applies a focused knowledge utilisation policy that supports the necessary interaction and cooperation between scientists and stakeholders in society, including businesses.
Since 2012, NWO contributes actively in the government's top sector policy, which encourages collaboration among businesses, researchers and the government within nine sectors. NWO brings the various parties together to develop research programmes. Each year, NWO spends € 275 million of its own resources in research that benefits the strategic agendas of the top sectors, of which approximately € 100 million in Public Private Partnership. The NWO contribution to the top sectors in the years 2016-2017 will be announced on the website around October-November 2015 in the form of work programmes.
National Science Agenda
In 2015, NWO, together with other parties in the Knowledge coalition, will make a contribution to the structuring of the Dutch Science Agenda. This will be an inspirational list of questions to science that will link research agendas for scientific, economic and societal challenges that have been developed separately from each other and that will help join forces wherever that can provide added value. With its thematic research programmes, NWO will make a connection between the top sectors and the Dutch Science Agenda. In the contribution to the top sectors 2016-2017, more investments will be made in cross-sectoral programmes and strategic collaborations with a longer horizon (5-10 years) <link>.
Internationalisation of themes
Besides linking national agendas, NWO is also active in the international area. Many societal challenges are transnational or even global and cannot be resolved solely within the Netherlands. In order to strenghten the alignment with international developments, NWO seeks to have an international component in all of the thematic programmes. NWO does this in collaboration with research councils in countries with areas of expertise that are relevant to the Netherlands.