Innovations for wind and solar energy

Within the KIC 2020-2023, budget will be made available for research on innovations for wind and solar energy, in the context of the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (KIA) Energy Transition & Sustainability. Interdisciplinary consortia including research institutes and public and private organisations, can submit proposals with a total budget of at least 750,000 euros and at most 1,500,000 euros.


The Dutch National Climate Agreement poses us the considerable challenge of working towards a completely CO2-free power grid by 2050. Such a transition will only be possible if we radically renew our energy system and make it more sustainable. Wind and solar energy will play an important role in the energy mix of the Netherlands.

The transition towards a large proportion of energy from wind and solar power is only possible with public support as well as considerable cost savings and increases in efficiency. The growth in the proportion of wind and solar energy is also associated with an increasingly larger circularity issue.

The call for proposals “Innovations for wind and solar energy” is aimed at contributing to this energy transition by encouraging research into efficiency, cost reduction and the circular design of materials, systems and processes for wind and solar energy for which the societal challenge is an integral aspect.

Who can apply

Pre-proposals and full proposals are submitted by the main applicant and one or more co-applicants. A proposal is written by a consortium in which besides the applicants other participants are involved as well. Besides the main applicant and co-applicant(s) a consortium always consists of two or more co-funders, possibly supplemented by one or more collaborating partners.

All participants must play an active role in the formulation of the research questions and the design and realisation of the project.

More information about specific conditions regarding who can apply can be found in section 3.1 of the call for proposals.

What to apply for

The grant ceiling for this call is € 5,000,000. This amount is divided across two sub-grant ceilings for the following two research lines:

  1. The sub-grant ceiling for research wind is € 2,500,000; and 
  2. The sub-grant ceiling for research solar is € 2,500,000. 

The applicant can choose to submit a proposal to one research line, for a total budget of at least 750,000 euros and at most 1,500,000 euros. NWO will fund a maximum of 85% of the total project budget; the rest of the funding must be contributed by the compulsory co-funding (see call text Section 3.5.2).

For this call the following modules can be applied for:

  • Personnel costs
  • Material costs
  • Investments
  • Knowledge utilisation
  • Internationalisation
  • Money follows Cooperation
  • Project management

The maximum duration of a project is six years.

When to apply

  • The deadline for the submission of preproposals is the 28 January 2021, 14:00 CET. 
  • The deadline for the submission of proposals is the 1 June 2021, 14:00 CEST.



In this call, both pre-proposals and full proposals are assessed according to the following four assessment criteria, for which the sub-criteria are described in Section 4.2.1. 

  1. Problem posed and problem analysis, contribution to solution
  2. Expected impact and route to impact 
  3. Quality of the consortium 
  4. Quality of the research

Criteria 1 and 2 each carry a 25% weighting in the overall assessment, criterion 3, a weighting of 30% and criterion 4, a weighting of 20%.


Submitting a pre-proposal is a compulsory part of the application process. The selection committee assesses the pre-proposals and provides a non-binding advice with regard to submitting a full proposal.

Full proposals will be assessed by referees, after which applicants have the opportunity to submit a rebuttal. The selection committee then assesses the applications on the basis of the referee reports, the written rebuttal and an interview. The NWO Executive Board takes a decision about granting or rejecting the full proposals, based on the advice of the selection committee.



Open for preliminary proposals


28 January 2021 14:00

Grant type

Cooperation and Exchange


5 miljoen euro

Science area

NWO-wide Social Sciences and Humanities Applied and Engineering Sciences Exact and Natural Sciences


Knowledge and Innovation Covenant


Knowledge sharing (2019-2022)


Dr. A.H. (Abeer) Hossain Dr. A.H. (Abeer) Hossain 06 - 82 14 14 75