Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC)

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), NWO has funded research in the context of the Dutch Research Agenda since 2018, for example, via an annual funding round for Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC). This science-encompassing funding round is aimed at making interdisciplinary research and innovation possible, so that societal and scientific breakthroughs come within reach.

  • Aim and objectives

    In the annual NWA-ORC funding round, consortia can submit proposals that provide a joint expression of the breadth and innovative character of the NWA. The funding round is aimed at facilitating research that leads to societal and/or scientific breakthroughs. The consortia are interdisciplinary and knowledge-chain-wide; relevant societal partners are also represented. The proposals concern one or more NWA routes.

    Active collaboration within the knowledge chain is vital for achieving breakthroughs. Consortia of researchers and societal partners from the public and semi-public sectors and industry therefore work together intensively in designing, realising and applying the research. Within such broadly composed consortia, the cyclical character of research and innovation processes can be effectively realised. The term "cyclical character" means that the research leads to knowledge that is translated into policy and practice. And also: that the questions and problems from policy and practice in turn give rise to further fundamental and applied research

  • Budget and duration

    A budget of 52.2 million euros is available for the NWA-ORC call 2018. A budget of 80.5 million euros is available for the funding round 2019.

    Because of the corona measures, the NWA-ORC 2020 round has been considerably delayed. For this reason, NWO is not organising a separate round for 2021. NWO will use the budget of the 2021 round to increase the funding for this round, of 2020/21, and that of 2021/22. As a consequence, for the 2020/21 funding round 132.3 million euros is available. This budget is higher than in previous years. The (fourth) round 2021/22 is expected to start in autumn 2021.


  • Committees

    Members Committee NWA-ORC round 2019

    • prof. dr. G.C. Angenent, Wageningen University & Research
    • prof. dr. J.G.A. Bazelmans, Cultureel Erfgoed
    • ir. G.F.M. Beenker, Gepensioneerd. Voormalig: Eindhoven University of Technology & Next eXPerience. Nu: NWO: Permanent Committee for Large Scientific Infrastructures
    • dr. A.E.W. Beers, Euro Support
    • dr. ir. M.L. Bennink, Hogeschool Saxion
    • dr. P.P.L. Berkers, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    • prof. dr. ir. W.E. Bijker em., Maastricht University (chair)
    • ir. G. Bloemhof, DNV GL
    • prof. dr. J.M. Bloemhof-Ruwaard, overleden, daarvoor: Wageningen University & Research
    • M. Blokhuis, Noaber Foundation
    • dr. J. de Bloom, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • dr. H.R. Boeije, Nivel
    • dr. W.P.C. Boon, Universiteit Utrecht
    • dr. E.A. Breunesse, Gepensioneerd. Daarvoor: Shell
    • dr. M.L.M. Brouns, Fontys Hogeschool
    • prof. dr. M.C.E. van Dam-Mieras, Universiteit Leiden
    • dr. J.A.J. Dierx, Avans Hogeschool
    • dr. P. van Dijken, TNO
    • V. Everhardt, gemeente Utrecht
    • drs. J. Evers, RIVAS
    • prof. dr. H.F.L. Garretsen, Tilburg University
    • prof. dr. J.J.C. Geerlings, Technische Universiteit Delft
    • prof. dr. H.J. Haisma, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • drs. M.I. Hamer, Sociaal-Economische Raad
    • prof. dr. P.M. Hoogerbrugge, Prinses Maxima Centrum
    • prof. dr. T.W.J. Huizinga, Leiden Universitair Medisch Centrum
    • prof. dr. F.P. Israel, Universiteit Leiden
    • dr. M.B.J.A. Janssens, Met zorg en beleid
    • prof. dr. E. de Jong, Radboud UMC
    • prof. K.H.K.J. Jungmann, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • dr. S. Kapodistria, Eindhoven University of Technology
    • I.F.M. Karthaus MSM, Karthaus & De Groen
    • dr. ir. S.J.J.M.F. Kokkelmans, Eindhoven University of Technology
    • prof. dr. A.E. Komter, Universiteit Utrecht
    • dr. ir. K. Kujawa-Roeleveld, Wageningen University & Research
    • prof. dr. ir. E. Lebret, RIVM
    • prof. dr. J.K. Lenstra em., Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
    • prof. dr. ir. J.B. van Lier, Technische Universiteit Delft
    • dr. M.M. von Lindern, Sanquin
    • dr. C. Lokman, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen
    • prof. dr. E.A. Lomonova, Eindhoven University of Technology
    • prof. dr. ir. M.C.M. van Loosdrecht, Technische Universiteit Delft
    • prof. dr. ir. J.C. Lötters, Universiteit Twente
    • prof. dr. A.H. Maitland-van der Zee, Amsterdam UMC
    • prof. G.J.M. Meijer, Max Planck Society
    • prof. dr. B.J.R. van der Meulen, Universiteit Twente
    • prof. dr. G. Mul, Universiteit Twente
    • W.A.M. den Ouden, HZ University of Applied Sciences
    • prof. dr. T.G.M. van Ourti PhD, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    • E. du Perron, Bokhorst Leyten du Perron
    • dr. ir. J.W. Post, Wetsus
    • prof. dr. M.R. Prak, Universiteit Utrecht
    • prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts, Technische Universiteit Delft
    • drs. A.S. Roeters, Raad voor de Kinderbescherming (tot 1-1-2020)
    • A. Roos, Hogeschool Saxion
    • prof. dr. M.M. Rovers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    • prof. dr. F.P.J.T. Rutjes, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    • prof. dr. ir. W.H.M. Saris, Maastricht University
    • dr. ir. C.J.E. Schulp, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    • dr. E. Steenland, ZZP/gepensioneerd (daarvoor VU)
    • L.J. Stokx, MPA, RIVM
    • dr. S. Stoyanov, Unilever
    • dr. J.A.A. Swart, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • ir. P.P. 't Hoen, TNO Holst Centre
    • prof. dr. ing. G.R. Teisman, Erasmus University Rotterdam
    • G. van der Veen, Hogeschool Utrecht
    • ir. P. Veenstra, Shell
    • prof. dr. K. Verbeke, KU Leuven
    • dr. G.H.L. Verver, KNMI
    • dr. ir. L.F.P. Warmerdam, Holland High Tech
    • ir. H.B. Westera MSc, Rijkswaterstaat
    • dr. M.J. Wewerinke-Singh, Universiteit Leiden
    • prof. dr. ir. B. Wierenga em., Erasmus University Rotterdam
    • dr. J.K. van Wijngaarden, Gepensioneerd. Voormalig hoofdinspecteur gezondheidszorg
    • dr. ir. R.D. Woittiez, Gepensioneerd. Voormalig directeur: Nederlands Forensisch Instituut

    Members Committee NWA-ORC round 2018

    • Prof. dr. ir. W.E. Bijker (president)
    • J. Baloo
    • Ir. G.F.M. Beenker
    • Prof. dr. K.Th. Bijsterveld
    • Prof. dr. K. Blok
    • Prof. dr. H.W.G.M. Boddeke
    • Dr. M.L.M. Brouns
    • Prof. dr. A.H.N. Cillessen
    • Prof. dr. M.C.E. van Dam-Mieras
    • Prof. dr. D.J.H. Deeg
    • Dr. P.J.C.M. Embregts
    • Prof. dr. V. Evers
    • Prof. dr. K. Frenke
    • Prof. dr. R.D. Gill
    • Prof. dr. W.A. van Gool
    • Prof. dr. P.P. Groenewegen
    • Prof. dr. G.J.M. Gruter
    • Prof. dr. M.P.C. van der Heijden
    • Prof. dr. W. Hout
    • Prof. dr. F.P. Israel
    • Prof. dr. H. Kerp
    • Ir. C.A.M. de Koning
    • Prof. dr. ir. E. Lebret
    • Prof. M. Lindeboom
    • Prof. dr. ir. J.C. Lötters
    • Prof. dr. S. Luding
    • Prof. dr. ir. J.C. Maan
    • Dr. S.A.M. Mentink
    • Prof. dr. B.J.R. van der Meulen
    • J. Niessen
    • Prof.dr. C.J. de Poot
    • A. Roos
    • Prof. dr. M.M. Rovers
    • Dr. H. de Ruiter
    • Prof. dr. C. Schuengel
    • L.J. Stokx MPA
    • Dr. J.A. Sturm
    • Prof. dr. Z. Su
    • Prof. dr. H.J.P. Timmermans
    • M. van Veen
    • Prof. dr. ir. K. Verbeke
    • Prof. dr. L.C. Verbrugge
    • Prof. dr. A. Verhoef
    • Dr. H.C.F.J.A. de Waele
    • Dr. ir. L.F.P. Warmerdam
    • Prof. dr. S. Waslander
    • Prof. dr. ir. M.P.C. Weijnen
    • Drs. H. Westera
    • Dr. ir. R.D. Woittiez
    • Prof. dr. E. de Wolf
  • Initiatives and consortium building

    You are a company, social organization or scientist and you are interested in participating in research conducted by the National Science Agenda. You can participate by joining an existing initiative. 


    The registration of initiatives has been set up to stimulate consortium formation.

    View the initiatives submitted in the ORC 2020/21 round here.

     By having initiatives registered and published online, these research proposals are visible to everyone. For example, parties who would like to participate in research within the NWA-ORC and thus want to contribute to answering questions from society, but who are not yet involved in an initiative, can also contact the submitters of an initiative themselves, and possibly join a consortium. You can contact an initiative by means of the contact details listed with the initiative concerned.

    Participate in NWA research

    An important condition of this programme is that participants must be part of a consortium. This is a group of experts who look into a problem, each based on his or her own expertise. In this way a citizen, a scientist, a non-profit organization and companies can contribute to the solution of social or scientific issues, build a network and gain new knowledge and use this for further development.

    On this page you will find various initiatives from different consortia. These initiatives are divided into various subjects, the so-called routes of the Dutch Research Agenda. The announcing of initiatives has been introduced to enable potential partners to register and possibly join the consortium. An initiative should include a brief explanation of the research question, an initial indication of the parties involved in the consortium, the main applicant and the contact details.

  • Knowledge utilisation NWA-ORC 20/21

    Knowledge utilisation promotes the potential contribution of research to questions from society and societal breakthroughs and is therefore a key part of the NWO strategy for 2019–2022. Knowledge utilisation means the application of knowledge through productive interactions with targeted stakeholders to create societal – including economic – value. Knowledge utilisation is seen as an iterative process during both the development and implementation of research.

    To meet the various expectations in terms of societal impact across the NWA agenda, NWO will apply two approaches to knowledge utilisation in this call for proposals: the Impact Plan approach and the Impact Outlook approach:

    • For NWA-ORC projects that focus on both scientific and societal breakthroughs in addressing one or more cluster questions, the Impact Plan approach will apply.
    • For NWA-ORC projects that do not focus directly on societal breakthroughs in addressing one or more cluster questions, due to the nature of these cluster question(s), the Impact Outlook approach will apply.

    Which approach fits your project best to achieve your objectives?

    NWO expects the Impact Plan approach to suit most of the routes and cluster questions. As a guiding question in choosing the right approach for your project, please answer the following question:

    Is your proposed project aimed at making a contribution to scientific ánd societal breakthroughs?

    ‘Yes’ = Impact Plan

    The cluster question(s) addressed are important in achieving societal breakthroughs, impact or, in other words, change.

    In the proposal the following elements are included, which help the consortium explicate,  together with partners and stakeholders,  the aim and contribution of the project:

      • Describe which (societal) problem is addressed and how the research can contribute towards societal impact, taking into account the context, parties involved and underlying assumptions (Theory of Change)
      • Visualise how the expected change process will unfold, resulting from the proposed research activities and engagement with stakeholders (Impact Pathway)
      • Describe specific activities that facilitate the expected change process, to be specified via the budget module ‘knowledge utilisation’. Such activities could be: stakeholder meetings, communication activities or products, organising trainings, hiring of specific expertise for communication or stakeholder engagement.

    ‘No’  = Impact Outlook

    The cluster question(s) addressed are not aimed at achieving societal impact or change and research question(s) focus primarily on gaining knowledge.

    The proposal will describe (for as far as possible):

      • A vision for the possible long-term societal impact - how the project contributes to taking steps towards societal impact
      • how the consortium will ensure a proportional focus on identifying and, possibly, exploring unforeseen opportunities for societal impact that arise during the project.
    • Additionally: possibility to request up to 50% of the knowledge utilisation budget module without further specification of activities to identify and exploit unforeseen opportunities.

    NWO will organise a workshop in April/May 2021, during which the Impact Plan approach and the Impact Outlook approach will be explained in greater detail to the consortia that received a positive advice on their pre-proposal. This workshop is not mandatory, but attendance is strongly recommended. More information about the workshop will be available on the programme website in due course.

  • Matchmaking meetings

    In the NWA-ORC round 2020/21, NWO organises online matchmaking meetings together with each of the 25 NWA-routes. These meetings take place after the deadline for submitting an initiative in the ORC round 2020/21 and are meant to stimulate consortium formation.


    The matchmaking meetings serve various goals. Applicants are able to find new consortium partners, get feedback from the route management on their initiative and can initiate contact with the network for the route in question. These meetings are a good opportunity for parties who are not involved in an initiative to make contact with and perhaps join existing initiatives.

    Who will be present

    All main applicants registering an initiative must attend the matchmaking meeting for the NWA route most relevant to their initiative. In addition, the meetings are also open to parties who wish to participate in the NWA-ORC, but are not involved yet in an initiative. These parties can therefore also register for these meetings in order to make contact with a consortium and perhaps join it.

    Online publication of initiatives

    The deadline for submitting initiatives is on 1 October 2020. After this deadline, NWO will publish the registered initiatives online. In this way, interested parties can take note of the initiatives registered and decide which initiative they want to make contact with during the matchmaking meeting.


    The matchmaking meetings take place online. During the meetings, the initiatives present themselves to each other and the route management, and the route management provides feedback on the initiative. Furthermore, NWO will give more information on the call for proposals and the assessment procedure. Finally, the participants will get the opportunity to make contact to each other and respond to other initiatives.

    Data and registration

    For each NWA route NWO organises a separate meeting. The data for each NWA-route are indicated below. The matchmaking meetings are open to parties, such as companies, societal organisations or researchers, that are interested to participate in NWA research and for that reason want to join an existing initiative.

    You can register for one of the meetings by completing the registration form at the bottom of this page. Registration was possible until 16 October 2020. 

    Please note: If you have submitted an initiative, this initiative counts as your registration for the matchmaking meeting. In that case, you do not need to complete this registration form.

    If you are consortium partner of an initiative and the main applicant has not mentioned during submission of the initiative that you will attend the matchmaking meeting, you have to complete this registration form.


      26 27 28 29 30
    Morning Sustainable production of safe and healthy food Energy transition Creating Value through responsible access to and use of big data Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment The origin of life – on earth and in the universe
        Circular economy

    Personalised medicine: the individual at the centre

    Afternoon Building blocks of matter and fundaments of space and time Child and adolescent development, upbringing and education   Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment Living history
        Materials – Made in Holland      


      2 3 4 5 6
    Morning Regenerative medicine: game changer moving to broad areas of application Smart industry Sustainable development goals for inclusive global development Quality of the living environment Art: research and innovation in the 21st century
        The quantum / nano-revolution Towards resilient societies Sport and exercise Logistics and transport in an energetic, innovative, and sustainable society
    Afternoon Between conflict and cooperation Measuring and detecting: anything, anytime, anywhere NeuroLabNL: the ultimate living lab for brain, cognition and behavioural research Smart Livable Cities The blue route: water as a pathway to innovation and sustainable growth

    More information

    For more information on the matchmaking meetings, or on the NWA-ORC 2020/21 funding round in general, please contact Dr V.V. (Varsha) Kapoerchan, tel. 070-349 44 42 of

  • e-learning and consultation for applicants

    Has your consortium been invited to submit a full proposal? Then you can receive extra support from NWO in developing the impact approach in the application.

    NWO offers:

    • An e-learning (see
    • An online consultation hour

    It is not mandatory to make use of the e-learning nor consultation hour. However NWO strongly advises you to do so. After all, the elaboration of the Impact Approach will be taken into account when evaluating your full proposal.  

    • You follow the e-learning (with your consortium partners) at a time that is most convenient for you. The e-learning assists you in applying the Impact Plan Approach and Impact Outlook Approach used throughout NWO (see
    • You must register in advance for the online consultation hours. Each consortium can book a time slot of thirty minutes. You and your consortium partners will then have the opportunity to ask an NWO employee specific questions about, for example, the concepts used or the process of drawing up the impact approach. (Please note! No assessment of draft proposals on the impact components).
    • The e-learnings will be available at in early July.
    • The consultation hours can be booked via an online scheduling tool. (Consortia that have been invited for a full proposal will receive the links to the tool. There are different dates for Impact Outlook Approach and Impact Plan Approach).

    For more information, please contact the coordinator of the NWA-ORC: Varsha Kapoerchan


On Thursday 17 September 2020, NWO organised a webinar about the NWA research programme Research on Routes by Consortia 2020/21. During the webinar, researchers and social organisations were able to learn more about the purpose and working method within the NWA-ORC. 


Varsha Kapoerchan (contact NWA-ORC)

Varsha Kapoerchan (contact NWA-ORC)

+31 70 3494442

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