FOM foundation absorbed into NWO

22 December 2016

From 1 January 2017 onwards the current Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) will form a new organisation together with other NWO units. The FOM Governing Board took the final decision for this transformation on 21 December 2016. FOM will continue to exist as a legal entity, with new articles of association and a new name, the Foundation NWO Institutes. Nine institutes will eventually reside under this. The awarding of grants to Dutch physics will continue within the new NWO Science Domain. The name FOM will therefore disappear after 70 years.

The aim of these changes is to realise a more effective and less pluriform NWO organisation that has a greater multidisciplinary focus.

Niek Lopes Cardozo (chair FOM): "Dutch physics is well organised and a close-knit community. FOM has played a major role that. Physics will now benefit from the far stronger connections with other disciplines with continued attention for the individual disciplines. Of course there is some sadness but we can see that people are clearly looking towards the future. This decision marks the end of FOM and the start of something new. We have worked hard to realise this and a lot of work will still be needed in the forthcoming period. And that is what we will do. Because the commitment to Dutch science and physics without limits in particular, remains unabated at both institutes and universities."

Christa Hooijer (director FOM): "This transition aims to make it easier for researchers to collaborate with other disciplines; to apply for research grants that cover a variety of disciplines. That is what the new NWO has to offer. In addition, the goal is to make NWO more comprehensible and approachable. What will certainly stay the same, is the commitment of the office employees with the scientific field, and the high quality of the processes. The contacts will remain the same."

What exactly does the transformation and splitting up of FOM entail?

As a part of NWO, FOM is involved in the transition to a single NWO. The FOM office will continue in 2017 as the office of the NWO institutes foundation. The FOM institutes, employees in the university workgroups and eventually the other NWO institutes will be part of this institutes foundation. The NWO institutes NSCR, NIOZ, ASTRON, CWI and SRON will also eventually become part of this. The part of the FOM office responsible for the awarding of grants will form the new NWO Science Domain together with the other science colleagues. Some colleagues will also be transferred to the operational departments of the new NWO.

What will the effects be for funding instruments and continuity?

The following rules about changes to funding instruments apply to all units of NWO: current instruments will, in principle, continue unchanged and NWO will announce any changes to the funding instruments at least six months before these are implemented. The year 2017 will be a transition year. In this period the organisation will be further shaped and the domains will ensure that the funding instruments are better harmonised with each other.

Contact and further information

Little will change with respect to contacts. Contact persons will remain the same, FOM will still be located at Van Vollenhovenlaan 659 in Utrecht and telephone numbers will remain unchanged. Email addresses will change but the old addresses will continue to work.

Source: NWO