Dutch Research Agenda

NWO wants to stimulate science contributing to the solving of societal and economic challenges. NWO is convinced that the urgent challenges the Netherlands faces must be tackled together with the entire scientific field. The Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) is the framework for this joint approach.

Objectives and ambitions

The realisation of the Dutch Research Agenda in 2015 was the response to a need for more connection and coherency within the Dutch research and innovation system as well as a closer relationship between that system and society. Questions from Dutch citizens to the scientific community form the basis of the Dutch Research Agenda. The Dutch Research Agenda intends to bridge the gap between various science, innovation and policy agendas and to facilitate collaboration between the various actors across the entire research and innovation chain.


Research programme Dutch Research Agenda

NWO has established a research programme that builds further upon the dynamics and the process of self-organisation that has developed around the routes of the Dutch Research Agenda.

The primary aim of the NWA programme is to build bridges between various scientific fields, between different types of research (fundamental, implied, practice-oriented) and between various national and international agendas. Far-reaching multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity and a knowledge-chain-wide approach in collaboration with societal partners, including government departments, companies and non-governmental organisations, are therefore crucial characteristics of the NWA projects and programmes. The overarching ambition of the Dutch Research Agenda programme is to provide a positive and structural contribution to the global knowledge society of tomorrow, in which new knowledge flows freely from researcher to user and where new questions from practice and society quickly and automatically find their way into new research. This can only be achieved by building bridges today in order to address the (inter)national scientific and societal challenges together.


Main lines

The NWO research programme for the Dutch Research Agenda currently has four main lines:


NWO's role

The Dutch Research Agenda is the result of the Dutch government requesting the Knowledge Coalition in 2015 to develop a unifying agenda for research in the Netherlands. The Knowledge Coalition is made up of the universities (VSNU), universities of applied sciences (VH), university medical centres (NFU), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), NWO, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), The Royal Association MKB-Nederland and the institutes for applied research (TNO/TO2). These organisations jointly drew up the Dutch Research Agenda based on a broad survey of the Dutch public. NWO is responsible for realising the programme for the Dutch Research Agenda and the other parties from the Knowledge Coalition form the programme's advisory board.