Open Technologieprogramma changes with effect from 1 January 2020

28 November 2019

The oldest funding instrument of NWO Domain AES, the Open Technologieprogramma (OTP), will undergo several changes with effect from 2020. These changes are part of the harmonisation of funding instruments within NWO.

The character and purpose of the Open Technology Programme will remain the same, but the conditions will change. Proposals that are submitted within this programme up to and including 31 December 2019 will fall under the current scheme. After that, the new conditions will apply.

What will change?

With effect from 1 January 2020, a new call text and new application forms will be used. From that moment onwards, NWO Domain AES will use the same rate as other domains within NWO.

This measure means that AES, just like the other domains, will use the end of project reimbursement. This means the following:
- for each year of appointment, researchers will receive one month of extra remuneration compared to the current AES rates;
- this can be freely used, for example for unemployment benefit or an extension;
- funding of a project extension by AES and declaring unemployment benefit costs will no longer be possible.

The description of requirements for budget categories will be further adapted to the NWO standards. It will also be possible to request more budget. The maximum AES contribution will be 850,000 euros. The boundary at which co-funding becomes compulsory will shift up to 600,000 euros. A complete overview of the changes will be published at the start of December on this page and on the programme page of the OTP.

The call text will be updated on 1 January each year, and the personnel rates will be adapted each year too. In principle, the call will remain open for submissions throughout the year. The precise manner in which this will be done can be read in the call brochure.

What does this mean for applicants?

Besides the changed conditions and new forms, higher personnel rates will apply from 1 January 2020 onwards, and it will be possible to apply for a higher project budget. Furthermore, budget modules will be used in which, for example, a maximum amount will be made available per appointment for material costs. In the selection procedure, a quality requirement has been included for which the qualification very good (score 3.5 or lower) is needed to be eligible for funding.

And what will change for co-funders and users?

If the total project costs are higher than a certain amount, then a contribution to the project costs (co-funding) by one or more users is compulsory. The threshold at which co-funding is compulsory has increased from 500,000 to 600,000 euros. The compulsory co-funding is 25% of the additional amount above 600,000 euros. As the maximum AES contribution has also been increased, the maximum contribution from co-funder(s) remains the same.

When will the new call text and application forms be made available?

The new call text and associated forms will become available at the start of December on the NWO website, and this will be announced via the NWO newsletter.

What will happen with applications submitted up to and including 31 December 2019?

These applications will be dealt with under the current conditions as described in this call text. The assessment and granting decision for these applications will take place in 2020, but will be based on the conditions for 2019. Application submitted from 1 January 2020 onwards will make use of the new forms and must satisfy the new conditions in the new call text.

Why is this change being made?

The changes in the Open Technology Programme emerge from the harmonisation of the NWO funding instruments in order to further increase the clarity of the funding system. By adopting the same approach and using the same rules in all domains, NWO offers researchers a simpler and clearer range of funding possibilities.

Who can I approach with my questions?

If you have any questions, then please contact the programme coordinator of the Open Technology Programme, Shirley Baert. She can be reached at +31 30 600 1326, or via

Source: NWO


Mw. S. (Shirley) Baert (Programmamedewerker) Mw. S. (Shirley) Baert (Programmamedewerker) +31 (0)30 600 13 26