De Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (KNAW, the Academy) has just released a list with desirable ‘dream projects’ that may facilitate young academics in realising new scientific breakthroughs in 2025. The build of a new Dutch national research vessel is one of them.

In the KNAW-Agenda Large Research Facilities, the development of a successor to the oceangoing RV Pelagia is considered to be a necessary research facility to maintain and enhance excellent climate and energy research.

"For many breakthroughs in science, the availability of advanced research facilities is quintessential. Often such facilities are costly, and realization takes quite some time. The Academy challenged scientists to dream aloud about research facilities that could give rise to scientific breakthroughs in one or more decades,” the Academy states.

The call for a new Dutch national research vessel is one of thirteen proposals: ‘dream projects’ that may become reality in the national or international roadmaps and could facilitate young academics planning research facilities at the frontiers of knowledge. It is complementary to the NWO National Roadmap, which will appear later this year.

With a new research vessel, called 'Multifunctional Ocean Research Platform' (MORP), the KNAW believes it may better support the growing need for insights into the ecological effects of large scale wind farming on surrounding seas. It is an issue that is closely linked to serious overfishing and the development of underwater sea farms.

The current vessel RV Pelagia was launched in 1991, has contributed to the international reputation of Dutch marine science, and is to be replaced in the near future.