Smart Urban Regions of the Future (SURF) Pop Up

Researchers can, on behalf of a consortium, apply for funding for a small project that addresses the themes and social challenges described in the SURF programme (Smart Urban Regions of the Future).


The SURF Programme is part of the knowledge initiative Connecting Sustainable Cities (kennisinitiatief Verbinden van Duurzame Steden, VerDuS). Goal of the programme is to develop knowledge that will contribute to solving urban problems. In SURF, researchers and knowledge users collaborate closely to achieve this.

The Board of Directors of Connecting Sustainable Cities wishes to facilitate small, bottom-up initiatives to address new questions and developments. The aim of these small projects is to improve the quality and relevance of the SURF-programme by filling the gaps. Please refer to the Dutch financial page and the description of the SURF Programme for more information.

In the call SURF Pop Up 2016, three projects were awarded. A description of the projects can be found here.

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted on behalf of consortia with at least one research of the knowledge institutions mentioned below (the main applicant) and at least one public or private partner. Researchers from the following knowledge institutions can submit applications:

  • Dutch universities
  • KNAW- and NWO institutes
  • Universities of applied sciences (hogescholen)
  • TO2 institutes (including TNO)

Public or private parties can not apply for funding, but can be part of a consortium.

What to apply for

A SURF Pop Up project can have a duration of maximum 12 months; there is no minimum duration. Projects must start within three months after funding is awarded. Other parties contribute to the project with in cash or in kind cofinancing. Applications can be submitted with a total budget of maximum 50,000 euro, including funding plus cofinancing. Personnel costs as well as material costs are eligible for funding.

When to apply

In 2017, applications for SURF Pop Up can be submitted for the following two deadlines:

  • First round: 1 June 2017 at 14.00 uur CE(S)T
  • Second round: 28 September 2017 at 14.00 CE(S)T

The second round is now open for applications.

Please refer to 'More information' for the changes in the call 2017 relative to the call 2016.



Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

I) Quality of the application (40%)
II) Relevance and contribution to the SURF Programme (40%)
III) Finances ('value for money') (20%)


Eligible applications will be assessed by the Programme Committee SURF. As this call pertains to short projects with a relatively small budget, no external referees or assessment committee will be used for this instrument.

Every application will be assessed by the programme committee based on the assessment criteria. An applicant will have the opportunity to respond to the assessment via a written rebuttal. Based on the initial assessment and rebuttal, the programme committee will formulate a qualification and funding recommendation for each application. A funding decision will be made by the Board of Directors of Connecting Sustainable Cities.

NWO aims to inform applicants of results within ten weeks after a deadline. 

More information

SURF Pop Up was first organized in 2016. Based on the experience with this call, changes have been made to the procedure. For applicants, the following is of importance:

  • The principle of continuous applications has been replaced by several set deadlines per year. The deadlines for 2017 are mentioned above under 'When to apply'.
  • This means that applications will be in competition with each other at each deadline, instead of being assessed individually based on the set quality criteria. Separate assessment procedures will take place after each deadline.

For more information on SURF, please visit




Open for application


28 September 2017 14:00

Grant type



150.000 euro

Science area

Nationaal Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek Social Sciences and Humanities


Smart Urban Regions for the Future (SURF)


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


Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations; Platform31.


Mw. E. van der Wel Mw. E. van der Wel +31 (0)70 3440568