Facilitating knowledge utilisation
Objective

Facilitating knowledge utilisation

Facilitation knowledge utilisation was one of the six objectives from the strategy period 2011-2014. These priorities were the key areas NWO focused on during this period, and to which programs and financing instruments were linked.

For the period 2015-2018, NWO has formulated a new strategy. In line with this new strategy, NWO will align its programs with the National Research Agenda. This agenda will announced at the end of 2015 announced. Until that time, the programs and funding instruments from the previous strategy period are maintained and still valid.



Scientific research yields knowledge and skills that can be used by others, for example to develop software or to draw up policy recommendations. NWO strengthens the link between knowledge producers and knowledge users, for example by investing in research into issues relevant to society. NWO also encourages knowledge utilisation by always asking researchers about the possible applications of their research. Furthermore, NWO supports knowledge utilisation with start-up funding and matchmaking events.

Facilitating knowledge utilisation

Scientific research yields knowledge and skills that can be used by others, for example to develop software or to draw up policy recommendations. NWO strengthens the link between knowledge producers and knowledge users, for example by investing in research into issues relevant to society. NWO also encourages knowledge utilisation by always asking researchers about the possible applications of their research. Furthermore, NWO supports knowledge utilisation with start-up funding and matchmaking events.

NWO's interpretation of knowledge utilisation

NWO defines knowledge utilisation as: Knowledge utilisation is a process that facilitates the use of scientific knowledge outside of academia and/or by other scientific disciplines. The process often requires interaction between the researcher and the intended knowledge user, and this contact can take place in all phases of the research: from formulating the research question through to disseminating the research results.

NWO themes and top sectors

In consultation with academia, the government, social partners and industry, NWO has denoted a number of big issues as themes for research. The Dutch government has designated nine top sectors in which research investments are being encouraged. In both the themes and the top sectors, researchers, social partners and industry are being brought together to realise innovative scientific research. From 2015 onwards, NWO will allocate 100 million euros per year to research within the top sectors that is realised in cooperation with industry (public-private partnership).

Knowledge utilisation in curiosity-driven and thematic research

Researchers who submit a grant application to NWO must provide an explanatory note about the possibilities for utilising knowledge from their project. This explanation is one of the assessment criteria. The explanation required and how it is assessed differs per funding instrument and is explained in the relevant call for proposals.

Curiosity-driven research

Knowledge utilisation is not usually the first point of interest for researchers who receive funding from NWO for curiosity-driven research. Nevertheless there are plenty of examples which show that the results from such research can lead to applications, sometimes in the longer term and sometimes via surprising routes. NWO wants to encourage these researchers to think about the possible use of their research by allowing them to reflect on this and - if possible - to elaborate this reflection into concrete plans.

Thematic research

NWO requires more from researchers who apply for funding within a thematic programme, for example within national research priorities, such as a national roadmap, an innovation contract or one of the top sectors. These researchers have to produce an action plan in which they describe the interaction with companies or social partners with a view to knowledge exchange and dissemination. They involve the relevant parties in their research, are responsible for coordination with these parties and for embedding the collaboration in the project. Agreements about the distribution of tasks, the budget, intellectual property and knowledge exploitation are also part of the action plan.

Facilitating role of NWO

A broad and excellent knowledge base, with sufficient opportunity for curiosity-driven and non- programmed research is vitally important for the Dutch economy and Dutch society. NWO is convinced that the exchange between research and practice can be fruitful for all parties concerned. In this process NWO has a facilitating role, for example through the organisation of matchmaking events or the appointment of user groups, by means of start-up funding, and by offering researchers the opportunity to make their research results available to third parties for knowledge utilisation after the completion of the project.

NWO's research institutes realise an active policy that encourages collaboration with industry, government bodies and social partners. For example, the institutes have set up an Industrial Liaison Officers network (ILO-net) and they regularly organise company contact days.

Open Access

NWO funds scientific research with public money and is therefore of the view that scientific publications and research data should be made publicly accessible. Sharing knowledge with fellow researchers is vital for scientific practice and accountability. It enables scientists to build on each other's knowledge faster and more simply and public data and research results also form a valuable additional resource for institutes and companies.

NWO has an incentive fund for initiatives to establish Open Access journals, to publish research in Open Access form or to organise conferences about the subject.


Funding instruments for this ambition

Scientific research serves society. Knowledge must be made available for others, so that it can lead to innovative research and useful applications.

All grants forFacilitating knowledge utilisation (2011-2014)