27 million for Dutch expertise center in data-intensive scientific research

8 October 2015

NWO, the Dutch science-funding body and SURF, the collaborative organisation for ICT in Dutch higher education and research, will continue to fund the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) for a further five year period. Founded in 2011, NLeSC is the Dutch national expertise center for utilising Big-Data in research environments. NLeSC develops the domain overarching software and workflows required by researchers dealing with large volumes of rapidly generated and heterogeneous data.

Big data. Credits: FlickBig data. Credits: Flickr

To tackle the grand societal challenges of the coming years, such as climate change, increased population size, aging, and urbanisation, researchers will be more and more dependent on utilising data-driven and compute-intensive approaches to deal with Big-Data. NLeSC is a key component of the long-term Big-Data strategies of both SURF and NWO.

Continued five year funding

On Thursday October 8th 2015, NWO Director General, Hans de Groene and SURF Managing Director, Erik Fledderus formally signed the agreement to continue funding of NLeSC for a further five years. This announcement guarantees 5.4 million euros funding per year for NLeSC. The majority of this money will be awarded to collaborative projects across Dutch academia. NLeSC has previously funded and collaborated on more than 50 such Big-Data projects in areas as diverse as life sciences, digital humanities and physics.

Collaboration SURF-NWO-NLeSC. Credits: Martijn van DamCollaboration in scientific Big Data research. From left to right: Erik Fledderus(SURF), Wilco Hazeleger (NLeSC), Hans de Groene (NWO). Image: Martijn van Dam

eScience Research Engineers help scientists

In addition to providing funding to researchers tackling Big-Data challenges, NLeSC also provides access to its team of experts in digital science. These so called eScience Research Engineers are a new breed of scientists with a strong drive to perform fundamental scientific research whilst at the same time being very knowledgeable of the capabilities and use of advanced computing and data science. This announcement ensures the next generation of projects and the development and availability of new eScience Research Engineers for the future.

Many new Big-Data projects

NLeSC Director Prof. Wilco Hazeleger welcomed the announcement, stating “This five year funding guarantee will enable us to launch many new projects across diverse disciplines, provide training and national coordination. This is good news for NLeSC and everybody in the National Big-Data landscape”.

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Source: NWO

Further information

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