KIEM grants for short, applied studies in chemistry

30 January 2017

For over four years, researchers have been using KIEM grants, from the Innovation Fund for Chemistry, to support small-scale, exploratory studies in collaboration with a start-up or an SME partner. KIEM applications may be submitted at any time, but in 2017 no later than 31 October 2017. The time between the submission of a research proposal to the final decision, is generally less than two months.

KIEM, which stands for ‘Knowledge and Innovation Mapping’, focuses on answering research questions from parties in professional practice. With a total project budget of €18,750, KIEM grants are the smallest type of grant available from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’s Innovation Fund for Chemistry. NWO contributes €15,000 to each project, while the SME partner funds the remaining 20%.

The current list of KIEM projects covers every area of chemistry. Researching environmentally friendly coatings for plant seeds is just one area in which research consortiums have used their KIEM grant to make significant progress. Other consortiums are using their grants to develop catalysis methods for the production of new antibiotics, and to optimize the molecular mechanisms used by microorganisms to break down biomass.

Since 2014, a total of 42 KIEM applications have been processed, and 30 proposals have been approved. This relatively high approval rate is partly due to the high quality of the research proposals under review. All applications that are in keeping with the roadmaps of the Top Sector Chemistry and which meet the quality requirements (as determined by an assessment committee) are approved, until the Fund’s budget is exhausted.

The KIEM assessment procedure typically involves a relatively short turnaround time between the submission of a research proposal and the final decision. This usually takes less than two months. KIEM applications may be submitted at any time, but no later than 31 October 2017 (until the budget is exhausted).

The Innovation Fund for Chemistry has other funding options available for researchers who are interested in larger, public-private, chemistry-oriented projects. These are LIFT (Launchpad for Innovative Future Technology), Chipp (Chemical Industrial Partnership Programme) and TA (Technology Area) grants. You can find details here of the experiences of researchers in public–private partnership (PPP) consortiums who have carried out research with the support of grants from the Innovation Fund.

For further details, please visit the NWO Innovation Fund for Chemistry website or contact Dr Tim Vos (

Source: NWO