SOCIETAL CHALLENGES, MULTIDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), responsible for funding the Royal NIOZ research, has presented its strategy for 2015-2018. The procedure for Veni, Vidi and Vici grants will be renewed while interdisciplinary collaboration linking science to societal challenges is pushed up the agenda.
The rise of the circular economy, internationalization, the power of digits, science as a tool to solving societal issues, new cooperative business models; to NWO they all catalyze the need to change. And the best way to meet change is to help create it. It is a sentiment that is at the heart of the new NWO strategy: deriving from its mission to empower scientific excellence in all disciplines.
In the Science Vision 2025 the Dutch government has assigned new tasks to NWO. These tasks include the support of a Dutch Science Agenda and the development of a national strategy for large-scale research facilities. Whatever the factual outcome of these programs in the upcoming years, it is eminent that the dynamics of renewal will influence some known scientific traditions.
Empowering collaboration to NWO in the next few years is eminent, as is the urgency to create transparency (open access) and the exploration of new and larger scientific infrastructures.
For the Dutch NWO institutes, like the Royal NIOZ, an assessment framework will be developed to (re)assess their value base. Evaluations will contribute to the Dutch Science Agenda and will be weighed up in 2017 together with the Royal Netherlands Academy or Arts and Sciences (KNAW) institutes.
To catalyze research into societal and economic challenges NWO has identified six challenges that link science to societal challenges.
As far as the funding of science projects is concerned it is clear a revised structure and selection procedure for Veni, Vidi and Vici grants will be drawn up. There will be more opportunities for lines of research with a duration of between five and ten year.
The Open Competition will be adapted to offer more opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collaboration in teams within a given university, but also across institutions and national borders.
NWO aims to consider research consortia’s track records in knowledge in the evaluation and selection of thematic research. Fundamental, practically-oriented and applies research will be more strongly linked to societal challenges. NWO will stimulate scientific cooperation between science partners and third parties.