37 innovative research ideas a step closer to implementation thanks to Idea Generator

8 July 2019

Are robots that speak a dialect actually accepted? How can lessons learned from tackling bullying among children help us to prevent the bullying of the elderly in care homes? Is a tuberculosis treatment without antibiotics effective? Do we suffer more from hay fever in the city due to the combination with air pollution? And how do dating apps effect the variety of couples? With a sum of 50,000 euros each, 37 out-of-the-box research ideas with the potential to make an impact in society now have a chance to be developed further.

The applicants receive funding from the Idea Generator programme of the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA). A total of 1.85 million euros was available.

Risky and small scale

Fledgling and innovative research ideas are often risky; there is a chance the project will not deliver the expected outcomes. This type of research is often difficult to acquire funding for via the usual channels because the risk is considered too high. The Idea Generator offers such research a chance. The project proposals were assessed for: societal demand and impact, risk and creativity of the idea, and project design.

With the awarded funding of 50,000 euros per project, the researchers will work on their idea for a year together with various parties to develop it further on a small scale. This might yield an immediate result, but it could also lead to a more extensive research proposal or the conclusion that the idea does not have a chance of succeeding. Unlike in other funding instruments, young researchers such as PhDs and postdocs or researchers with a temporary contract could also submit a funding proposal.

Idea Generator

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, NWO has funded research in the context of the NWA since 2018. The aim of the research in the NWA is to make a positive, structural contribution to the knowledge society of tomorrow, by building bridges today and jointly tackling scientific and societal challenges. With the Idea Generator, NWA wants to facilitate research with a potentially high societal impact and provide opportunities to small scale, risky research projects. The programme encourages creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to implement creative, exciting and innovative research ideas that connect science and society.
The demand for the Idea Generator proved to be so high that after the summer, NWO will evaluate how a possible subsequent round will be realised in terms of size, form and procedure.

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Source: NWO