Gouden KIEM 2019

Young companies (start-ups) in the field chemistry can nominate themselves for the Gouden KIEM 2019, the prize for the best collaboration in chemistry between a start-up and a knowledge institution. The nomination needs support from a dean of a faculty who provides shelter to chemical and / or molecular research groups.


The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’s (NWO) Domain Science and Holland Chemistry want to reward the most exceptional example of interaction between young businesses and knowledge institutions (such as universities and universities of applied sciences). To this end, they have established the 'Gouden KIEM' competition, which involves a prize package of 25,000 euro and publicity.

An inspirational example:

Who can apply

The following companies are eligible for the Gouden KIEM prize:

  • registered with the Chamber of Commerce on or after 1 January 2016
  • close ties to knowledge institutions
  • active in the 'chemical domain': meaning chemistry in the broadest sense, i.e. chemical and / or molecular sciences, including multidisciplinary transitions to physics and life sciences, for example. A given molecule or molecular process is spotlighted.

What to apply for

The Gouden KIEM Prize consists of the following components:

  • a Gouden KIEM bonus of 20,000 euro to fund a joint research project by the start-up and the knowledge institution. NWO allocates the bonus to the knowledge institution to fund a joint project with and for the start-up;
  • 5,000 euro, made available by the Holland Chemistry, that the start-up can spend on research (e.g. in combination with the Gouden KIEM bonus) and/or publicity (e.g. the production of a video clip or other means of communication);
  • a short promotional video that is shown during the award ceremony and that is given to the winner to use for their own promotional purposes;
  • an article dedicated to the start-up on the websites of NWO and Holland Chemistry;
  • support in finding the right connection with innovation communities from the network of GoChem;
  • networking support by one of Holland Chemistry's accelerators.
  • the 'Gouden KIEM’ award, presented  during the Dutch chemistry conference CHAINS 2019, on 10 December 2019, at Veldhoven. Up to four members of the winning start-up/knowledge institution team can participate at CHAINS 2019, as guests, for an entire day.

NWO has awarded the Gouden KIEM Prize every year since 2014. The award ceremony will take place during CHAINS, the prestigious chemistry conference staged by NWO. CHAINS 2019 will take place 10 and 11 December 2019, in the NH Conference Centre at Veldhoven. For more information about the CHAINS conference, see https://www.nwo.nl/en/news-and-events/events/chains.

When to apply

Teams can submit their nomination to NWO until 1 October 2019, 14.00 h via the e-mail address goudenkiem2019@nwo.nl. This nomination must be supported by a dean of a faculty who offers accommodation to chemical and / or molecular research groups.



The jury assesses the admissible nominations, based on the following criteria:

  1. Commercial knowledge transfer: the type and extent of the close relationship between the product or service that the company in question is offering (or developing), and one or more results from research being conducted at universities, academic medical centres, NWO-accredited research institutes, or universities of applied sciences;
  2. Innovation: the innovative features of the product or service in relation to existing products or services;
  3. Entrepreneurial ambition: the start-up’s vision of market potential and growth. Key figures on the company’s development (past, present and future);
  4. Collaboration: quality of the project that the start-up/knowledge institution team want to implement if it wins the prize.


An expert jury, consisting of academic members and private experts, selects three contenders for an interview. On the advice of the jury, the board of the NWO-Domain Science will appoint the winner.

More information

If you are not eligible for the Gouden KIEM competition, the 'regular' KIEM might be of interest to you. More information can be found here.


Sponsh (2018)
FreshStrips (2017)
TUSTI (2016) 
Lathio Pharma (2014) 
Testimonials of previous Gouden KIEM winners



Temporarily closed for application


1 October 2019 14:00


25.000 euro

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences




Research (2019-2022) People (2019-2022)


Holland Chemistry


Dr. Joost Ballering Dr. Joost Ballering +31 0)70 3494053 goudenkiem2019@nwo.nl