Materials for Sustainability

Researchers at a Dutch university with a permanent position or on a tenure track can request funding for materials research focussed on renewable energy generation (primary and secondary conversion and storage).


In view of the importance and urgency of the transition towards a sustainable energy system and the great opportunities associated with the transition for companies in both Top Sectors Energy and Chemistry, the scope of Materials for Sustainability programme is “materials for efficient primary and secondary conversion of renewable energy, and materials for energy storage”. At the same time the programme addresses selected priority areas identified in the Knowledge and Innovation Agendas 2016-2019 of the TKI’s in the Top Sectors Energy and Chemistry. The programme also reflects the building blocks for the energy transition as described in the Route Energy Transition of the National Research Agenda. Materials research is obviously the core of the programme, but projects are expected to treat materials in the context of their applications. Sustainability of materials and design for sustainability are imperative aspects to be taken into account in research and development.

Who can apply

Experienced researchers holding a PhD and with a permanent position or on a tenure track at a Dutch university can act as principal investigator. In case of a tenure track position (or similar, like a Vidi grant) must have their proposal being accompanied by a declaration from the dean/director of their institute which states that they have a prospect of a permanent position after their temporary appointment period. Within the programme two application types exist: fundamental (F) and public-private partnerships (P). In case of type F the application can be done by one or two academic groups. For type P collaboration with at least one private partner is required contributing at least 30% of the total cost.

What to apply for

The programme exists of two parts with equal budget. The first type of application (F) consists of fundamental (high-risk, high-gain) research where co-funding is optional. The second type contains public-private partnerships with at least one private partner contributing at least 30% of the total cost. All applications have a minimum size of 250.000 euro. For type F projects with one academic partner has a typical size of 350.000 euro and for projects with two academic partners about 700.000 euro. Projects within type P have a typical size of about 500.000 euro public funding. Larger project sizes are possible, but need to be motivated based on their necessity to effectively address a major challenge in the scope of the programme. Only one application per principal applicant per type is allowed.

When to apply

  • The closing date for both types P and F of this call was 1 September 2017 at 14:00 hours CE(S)T.



All submitted applications (type P and F) need to fit within the scope of the programme Materials for Sustainability. The scientific quality is the leading assessment criterion. But also innovation and the quality of the consortium will be taken into account. More details can be found in the call for proposals.


After the closing date (1 September 2017) the applications will be checked for validity and sent to referees. Early November the referee reports will be given to the applicants for a rebuttal. Subsequently the applications will be given to a independent committee of experts for prioritisation. Late November or early December the Executive Board of the NWO-domain Science will decide which proposals to grant.

Choose a funding instrument


Grant type



Closed for application


1 September 2017 14:00


9.000.000 euro


Thematic research and public -private partnership (2015-2018)

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences


Dr. ir. Christine Hiemstra Dr. ir. Christine Hiemstra +31 (70) 3494068