South Holland first choice for new location SRON

14 December 2017

The NWO executive board and the board of the Netherlands Space Research Institute SRON have expressed their preference for the joint bid of Leiden University and Delft University of Technology. In this bid, SRON Utrecht will relocate in several years time to a new building on the campus of Leiden University.

NWO and SRON are pleased about this new location and the many possibilities it offers for collaborating in science, technology development and instrument construction. The intended decision of NWO and SRON will now be submitted to the works councils of SRON and NWO who will issue their advice in the coming months. After that advice from the works councils has been received, the NWO executive board will take a final decision in 2018.

Three bids

This spring it transpired that the previously planned relocation of SRON Utrecht to Amsterdam could not go ahead. NWO subsequently explored the interests of Dutch universities to accommodate SRON on their campus. Three bid books for the new accommodation of the SRON location in Utrecht were assessed by a selection committee over the past few months. The three bids were of a high quality and closely matched each other. After an extensive procedure, the selection committee advised NWO and SRON to proceed with the South Holland consortium.

Excellent connection with science, technology and instrument construction

The overarching argument from the selection committee to choose the bid from Leiden University/Delft University of Technology was the opportunity to optimally realise a future-proof location for SRON. Furthermore, the research connections between SRON and Leiden/Delft, the continuity of the research, the commitment of the bidding party and the financial aspects were important criteria for reaching the final assessment. The enthusiasm and broad support at both universities in combination with a solid and generous offer meant that the selection committee saw many excellent prospects for SRON in the area of space research in South Holland. In addition, the selection committee judged that there is an excellent connection with the technology and instrument construction of SRON. There is also a very good connection with two scientific programme lines of SRON: astrophysics and exoplanet research. The connection with the third programme line, Earth research is still limited in South Holland at present. However, in the bid from Leiden University/Delft University of Technology the selection committee does see sufficient possibilities for realising this connection in the future.

About the selection procedure

The selection committee received a total of three bid books. Besides Leiden University/ Delft University of Technology, the consortia University of Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam and University of Twente and Radboud University/ Eindhoven University of Technology also submitted a bid book. The three bid books were assessed by a selection committee that was appointed in consultation with SRON and the NWO Science domain. The selection procedure consisted of two written rounds of questions followed by interviews with delegations from the submitting consortia. On the basis of this, NWO and SRON jointly chose which two consortia could continue in the procedure. At the start of December, site visits were paid to the two remaining locations. After the visits, the committee reached a choice and it advised the NWO executive board and SRON board to opt for the bid from Leiden University/Delft University of Technology with new accommodation in Leiden.

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Source: NWO


Dhr. O.R. (Olivier) Morot (voor mediavragen) Dhr. O.R. (Olivier) Morot (voor mediavragen) t: +31 (0)6 53175 377