New NWO-strategy 2015-2018

Collaboration and connection for strong Dutch science

13 April 2015

This week the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) presented its strategy for 2015-2018 to State Secretary for Education Culture and Science, Sander Dekker, in the presence of more than 400 researchers and representatives from companies and knowledge organisations. In the coming years the core task of NWO will remain facilitating quality and innovation in curiosity-driven and thematic scientific research in all disciplines. The new strategy adds new tasks and a new focus. These shall strengthen the connections among researchers, with the business community and society as well as Europe and the future.

New tasks and focus

The NWO strategy 2015-2018 integrates new activities in the core task of NWO. In the Science Vision 2025 NWO has been assigned new tasks that include supporting the drawing up of a Dutch Science Agenda and the development of a national strategy for large-scale research facilities. Besides these new tasks NWO will largely maintain the current funding instruments in the coming years. Where necessary these will be refined to support the intended developments. For the operational procedures of NWO the new focus means more collaboration, greater efficiency and transparency and reducing the workload of applicants and assessors.

Balance between curiosity-driven research and making connections

NWO chair Jos Engelen emphasises that two ideas take centre stage in the NWO strategy. NWO will continue to be responsible for funding excellent curiosity-driven and non-programmed research. And NWO wants to connect science organisations more and better, encourage collaboration with the business community and play a role in using science to tackle major societal challenges. For the transition to a circular economy, for example, which will be driven by non-finite resources or increasing the quality of life by providing care that is matched to the individual. These are examples of societal challenges, which require that science, government and the business community know how to find each other and succeed in connecting the differing agendas. NWO will make greater efforts in this area in the coming years.

National platform

Jos Engelen presents the new NWO strategy to Education, Culture and Science secretary Sander Dekker. (Credits: Sascha Schalkwijk)Jos Engelen presents the new NWO-strategy to Education, Culture and Science secretary Sander Dekker. (Credits: Sascha Schalkwijk)

For the realisation of this strategy NWO has consulted with many parties: researchers and universities, government ministries, companies and civil society organisations. The presentation of the strategy also took place in an atmosphere of dialogue. During the event, early career and established researchers discussed science and science policy with each other and with representatives from the business community and knowledge organisations. The afternoon ended with the presentation of the NWO strategy 2015-2018 by Jos Engelen to State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Sander Dekker. Engelen: 'NWO wants to be a national platform to connect the research efforts in the Netherlands.' The State Secretary received the strategy with a call to all Dutch scientists: 'Combine academic freedom with social responsibility and have an eye for what is happening around you, also outside of your own discipline.'

Source: NWO

Further information

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