One of NWO’s important roles as a source of funding for research is the programming of research. The research programmes (and the funding for them) represent the practical implementation of NWO’s strategy and ambitions: the Netherlands as a breeding ground for talent, as an international top-class player in achieving pioneering breakthroughs, closely linked to society, with maximum impact.
Research questions that contribute towards achieving these goals are eligible for research. An idea can emerge from scientific curiosity, but may also come from the business community. As well as its fixed programmes for talent and open research, NWO develops and implements thematic research programmes in conjunction with the field of research and other parties. NWO also has a number of programmes in which collaboration at European or international level takes centre stage, where the research topics are transnational. Programmes can have one or more calls for proposals.
Science for society
NWO makes particular use of themed programmes to fund specific scientific research that contributes towards solving societal issues. By issuing national and international calls for proposals, the best scientists and consortia are selected to come up with solutions in consultation with the requesting parties. In recent years, NWO has focused its themed programmes mainly on the economic top sectors, ICT and the Social Infrastructure Agenda. In the coming years, NWO will tailor its thematic research programmes to the Dutch Science Agenda. In a European context, H2020 leads the way in the research agenda for responding to national and worldwide issues.