Mission-driven calls (KIC 2020-2023)

Within the main line MISSION of the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC) 2020-2023, a limited number of large thematic calls with a volume of between 5 and 15 million euros are developed each year. Within these mission-driven programmes researchers submit proposals for collaborative projects, with a budget of 750,000 to 4 million euros per proposal.

KIC-icoon missie
  • Aim and objectives

    Knowledge and innovation

    The main line MISSION has two PPP-working forms with different co-funding conditions: a working form knowledge with 10% co-funding and a working form innovation with 30% co-funding. In both forms a minimum private co-funding of 10% is required. For each mission-driven programme, NWO can use a mix of these two working forms is possible, in alignment with the KIA’s.

    The working form innovation is the standard, aimed at economic and societal innovation.

    • themes determined by the priorities set out in the KIAs, or related to these
    • co-funding: 30%, of which at least half is private investment
    • at least half of the co-financing in cash

    The working form knowledge is specifically used to build up knowledge in the event of knowledge gaps. 

    • themes defined by NWO, based on needs of the scientific field
    • co-funding: 10% private 
    • at least half of the co-funding in cash

    The KIA key technologies will set up a call for 30% co-funding at project level within the main MISSION line.

    Per call for proposals, different choices can be made with respect to these standard submission conditions.

  • Budget and duration

    • Annual budget: 55 million euro
    • Annually a number of major thematic calls for proposals.
      • size: between 5 and 15 million euros
      • 1-2 calls for proposals per Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (KIA)

    Project size

    The budget per project can vary from 750 thousand to 4 million euros, depending on terms of the call. The projects consist of scientific and practice-oriented research aimed at societal impact. Co-funding by private and public parties takes place at project level. The co-funding consists of a cash and in-kind contribution from the partners. Different partners can jointly provide the total co-funding, whereby not every partner contributes proportionally by definition. 

    Co-funding projects

    Co-funding of projects by private and public parties is mandatory and consists of a cash and in-kind contribution from the partners. Different partners can provide the total co-funding together, whereby not every partner contributes proportionally by definition. 

  • Calls from 2020

    One or two mission-driven programmes per year will be developed for each KIA on the basis of choices within the agenda. These programmes and the calls within them will be carried out in a harmonised manner by the NWO, which will make the working method clearer and simpler for applicants. The choice of subject is determined on the basis of a prioritisation within the KIAs. An exception to this is the programme “Human Capital”. This programme has an orientation across  all KIAs.

    Agriculture, Water and Food
    Budget: 11 million euros
    Call: Aquatic food production
    Call: Climate-robust Production systems and water management

    Energy transition and sustainability
    Budget: 17.5 million euros
    Call: Circularity
    Call: Innovations for wind and solar energy
    Call: Energy transition as a socio-technical challenge

    Health and Care
    Budget: 11 million euros
    Call: Lifestyle and living environment
    Call: Living with dementia

    Human Capital
    Provisional budget: 3 million euros
    Call: Learning communities als innovatieversneller (KIC)

    Key Technologies
    Budget: 11 million euros
    Call: Key Technologies

    Budget: 6 million euros
    Call: Data and Intelligence
    Call: Maritime high-tech

    Societal earning capacity
    Budget: 4.75 million euros
    Call: Mission-driven innovation systems in a regional context

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration

    Mission-driven research requires an integral approach, in which researchers in humanities, natural sciences and social sciences work together and approach an issue from different disciplines. Only when technological and social innovation go hand in hand will successful innovations emerge. NWO therefore calls for explicit attention to interdisciplinary collaboration. In 2020, researchers will be encouraged to submit interdisciplinary project proposals. From 2021 onwards, interdisciplinary collaboration will be a condition for research proposals within mission-driven calls, with the exception of calls originating from the KIA Key Technologies.

    Interdisciplinary collaboration in KIC

  • Human Capital

    Initiating innovations and working on the realisation of the intended impact of the KIC missions, places high demands on the Dutch workforce in the coming years. Targeted deployment and new insights in the areas of learning, working an innovation are needed to bring the labour potential to the required level and increase the innovative strength. Human capital focuses on these issues and therefore forms an important priority in the KIC to make the innovation policy a success.

    Human capital

  • Additional corona measures

    For the 2020 calls, NWO applies flexible co-financing conditions that deviate from the above-mentioned standard conditions. These include the possibility for co-funders to contribute in kind instead of cash and a lower co-financing percentage. Specific choices have been made for each call.

More information

On 13 October 2020, the information meeting on the Mission-driven calls took place. Watch the webinar here.