NWO to invest 550 million euros in research in the top sectors

New: crossover call, co-financing foreign contributions to research projects

14 December 2017

NWO will contribute 550 million euros to the 2018-2019 Knowledge and Innovation Contract. With this contract, government, industry and knowledge institutes are underscoring the top sectors’ ambitions to strengthen the Dutch knowledge and innovation system. The contract represents a total investment of 4.7 billion euros. NWO’s contribution is designated for high-quality scientific research.

Emphasis on consolidating research areas and agendas

NWO is laying a solid scientific foundation for innovation in our country by selecting and funding the best research projects on the top sectors’ knowledge and innovation agendas. NWO is devoting special attention in the research programmes to societal challenges and key technologies. Where possible, it is also linking the programming to the National Science Agenda and the knowledge agendas of the departments. ‘Even more so than in recent years,’ says NWO chair Stan Gielen, ‘NWO is emphasising themes and initiatives that establish links between research areas and the top sectors, for example by means of an entirely new crossover call. In addition, this is the first time that researchers and consortia can develop programmes together with international partners, according to the money follows collaboration principle.’

Public-private partnerships (PPS)

Two hundred and seventy-two million euros of NWO’s contribution will be spent on research that will be significantly co-funded by industry: public-private partnerships. Two hundred and forty million euros of this will be used for research in thematic calls and targeted programmes such as partnerships, 24 million euros through the NWO institutes (including the eScience Center and NRO the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research) and 8 million euros for public-private partnerships with institutes of higher professional education.

Research aimed at top sectors

The remaining 278 million euros will benefit activities originating from the top sector roadmaps, such as practical research (12 million euros), research facilities and ICT (100 million euros) and research at NWO institutes (60 million euros). Finally, part of NWO’s contribution consists of curiosity-driven research aimed at the top sectors (80 million euros), and the implementation costs amount to 26 million euros.

Addressing societal challenges

An important new aspect of NWO’s commitment for 2018-2019 is the so-called ‘crossover call’, which has a budget of 40 million euros at its disposal. NWO is using the crossover call to fund research in PPPs that focus on societal challenges, in which the research themes consolidate multiple top sectors. Broad-based multidisciplinary consortia, consisting of public and private partners, can submit research proposals as a coherent programme. The partners fund half of the programme. NWO is thus encouraging input from all scientific disciplines and the consolidation of application-oriented research. NWO expects to open the call in the spring of 2018. It wants to use this new way of collaborating to make a significant impact on societal challenges.

Collaborating with foreign research partners

To facilitate international collaboration and strengthen the knowledge base in the Netherlands, part of the 200 million euros will be designated for public-private partnerships that foreign research partners can join as well. Think, for example, of a research group from Canada that has essential expertise in the area of battery technology and which could therefore be a strong addition to a Dutch consortium working in this area. NWO intends to further elaborate this ‘money follows collaboration’ principle in the near future.

NWO’s contribution to the Knowledge and Innovation Contract 2018-2019 (enlarge)NWO’s contribution to the Knowledge and Innovation Contract 2018-2019 (enlarge)

More information (in Dutch)

Source: NWO