NWO contribution to Knowledge and Innovation Contract 2014 and 2015

NWO ensures tailored opportunities in collaboration between researchers and industry

2 October 2013

On 2 October 2013 NWO, as one of the organisations involved, signed the Dutch Knowledge and Innovation Contract for 2014 and 2015. With the Knowledge and Innovation Contract, the government, industry and knowledge organisations subscribe to the ambitions of the top sectors aimed at strengthening the Dutch knowledge and innovation system. A total of 4 billion euros is being invested. The NWO contribution links scientific research to the top sectors. NWO will contribute 210 million euros to this in 2014 and 275 million euros in 2015. NWO will, for example, set aside 200 million euros for research to which companies contribute some of the costs as well: public-private partnerships. Furthermore, in the NWO contribution a link is made with societal challenges, which also play a major role in European programmes.

NWO contribution to Knowledge and Innovation Contract 2014 and 2015

NWO is responsible for selecting the best scientific research projects within the top sectors. It will realise this through a system of open competition, according to strict quality criteria and with independent experts (peer review). With this approach NWO will safeguard the quality of the scientific research and a firm foundation will be laid for innovation. In addition, NWO provides tailored opportunities within the top sector research, from large-scale programmes to smaller projects in which a single company collaborates. The procedures are matched to the nature of the collaboration.

In summary, NWO's contribution for the top sectors consists of three pillars:

1. Public-private partnership

The public-private partnership in research is realised via the agreements ('rules of the game') drawn up with the government and industry that all nine economic priority areas have subscribed to. These agreements make the connection between researchers and industry more transparent. The collaboration between industry and researchers varies with respect to the intensity of the collaboration and how much co-funding industry needs to provide. For example, in some programmes the co-funding by companies can be up to 40 to 50%, whereas in the broad calls across the top sectors where the research question is jointly drawn up by the knowledge partners and industry the companies make a smaller contribution. Examples include the Advanced Research Center Nanolithography, a partnership between NWO/FOM, the two universities in Amsterdam and ASML, as well as the collaboration on a quantum computer between Delft University of Technology, industry and government within the newly founded Institute QuTech. The Basic Programme for Agri&Food and Horticulture and Propagation Materials is a multidisciplinary research programme. Another example is Responsible Innovation, part of the Social Infrastructure Agenda (SIA), which involves research in the social and behavioural sciences. The programmes Valorisation Grant and Demonstrator are for start-ups based on new knowledge and technology developed at knowledge institutions.

2. Private-public programming

This pillar is characterised by joint programming without a compulsory contribution by companies. Private-Public Programming has five components: thematic programmes, the contribution of NWO institutes, research facilities, practice-oriented research and European programmes.

Thematic programmes are often multidisciplinary in nature. An example is a call for design disciplines within the top sector Creative Industry and the programme The New Delta from the top sector Water. NWO institutes contribute to aspects of the work programme and are involved via national research facilities, for example the National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities, and the structural investments of NWO in collaboration with SURF in the Dutch ICT infrastructure. It also concerns top-sector-relevant investments in practice-oriented research at universities of applied sciences. In the period 2014-2015 NWO expects to devote about 17.5 million euros to European programmes with European co-funding, partly in public-private partnership activities and partly in private-public programming. This concerns European partnership programmes that tie in with the research agendas of the top sectors.

3. Non-programmed research aimed at the top sectors

Part of NWO's contribution will be delivered via broad calls for non-programmed, curiosity-driven research such as FOM's 'vrije programma's' and 'projectruimte', the TOP grants and talent programmes such as the Talent Scheme. NWO will encourage a matching of these projects with the top sectors.

Source: NWO

Further information

NWO, Information and Communication Department, tel.: +31 70 344 07 41