NWO Domain AES sets the course for the next four years

'Technology for people and society'

24 January 2019

With the Vision Document 2019-2022: Technology for people and society, the NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES) gives substance to the previously published NWO strategy. Together with input from the field of researchers, policy makers and the business community, the domain board drew up the document. The aim here is to give the field of technical sciences a powerful boost over the next four years and thereby contribute to the development of technological solutions for the major societal challenges of our time.


NWO strategy

In the spring of 2018, NWO presented its new strategy for the period 2019-2022: Connecting science and society. Besides funding research, NWO also wants to fulfill a more connecting role in upcoming period. To achieve its goals NWO has defined five ambitions: nexus, people, research, infrastructure and knowledge utilisation. With the document 2019-2022 'Technology for people and society' the NWO domain AES gives further substance to this strategy. A number of firm ambitions are set for the field of technical sciences in which the domain focuses on three objectives:

  • a strengthened applied engineering sciences foundation
  • efficient innovation chains
  • visible societal impact.

With this, the domain builds on the solid foundation of its predecessor, the Technology Foundation STW.

Funding instruments

With the NWO Talent Scheme (Vernieuwingsimpuls), the domain focuses on young researchers in the applied and engineering sciences. The budget of the Open Technology Programme (OTP) is increasing. Additional resources will be devoted to exploratory technical-scientific research as part of the Sector Plan for Technology. In the Perspectief Programme there is plenty of room for mission-driven innovation and development of the required key enabling technologies. This is closely aligned with the top sector policy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. With the Take-off programme NWO wants to stimulate industry and entrepreneurship from Dutch knowledge institutions. The Partnership programme, in which companies or organisations invest in strategic cooperation within a interdisciplinairy research theme, is an important tool for the NWO domain AES, in the implementation of the Knowledge and Innovation Contract (KIC). In addition to its own instruments, knowledge and experience from the domain will also be used in NWO programmes which are cross-domain, such as Dutch National Research Agenda NWA (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda).

Connecting role

In addition to funding excellent research in the engineering sciences, stimulating and facilitating the application of the generated knowledge, the NWO domain AES further expands its connecting role. This must contribute to a vital and powerful field of engineering sciences that offers solutions to societal challenges. This requires a stimulating role for the domain in connecting the partners involved in the knowledge chain to jointly form research agendas, innovative programs and thematic projects for, for example, the National Reserach Agenda (NWA) and the renewed top sector policy. The domain is committed to realising application, knowledge utilisation and impact of the research. The collaboration with the other scientific domains is crucial in realising these goals.


Source: NWO