The Netherlands must value its scientific sector

May 22, 2006

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) wants an extra 433 million euros per year for top research. The organisation announces this on 22 May with the launch of its strategy for 2007−2010. The money is intended for excellent researchers, consolidating strengths and improving the benefits for society.

If the Netherlands is to contribute to the Lisbon objectives, as agreed within the EU, then a number of bottlenecks in its knowledge system need to be vigorously tackled. Or as NWO chair, Peter Nijkamp, states in his foreword: 'Its about time that the Netherlands invests in its best. The Netherlands must start to value its scientific sector.'

Nijkamp realises that the extra 433 millions euros per year requested is a considerable sum. 'Yet it is a vital investment, if we believe that our future is linked to the success of the Netherlands as a knowledge based country.'

Close consultation with science, government and public parties
The policy document 'Science valued! NWO-policy 2007−2010' was compiled in close consultation with all parties in or associated with the scientific sector. Over the past year NWO has consulted scientists, government departments, the private sector and other public bodies. As a result of these open discussions, the strategy can count on widespread support.

On 22 May NWO chair Peter Nijkamp will present the strategy memorandum to the Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Maria van der Hoeven. This will take place during a launch in the Grote Kerk in The Hague. Top scientists, politicians and representatives form public bodies will attend the event.

Three lines of action
NWO is requesting an extra 433 million euros per year on top of the current basic budget of 423 million euros. The money is intended for three lines of action. First of all opportunities for researchers must be created. For example, good facilities, special subsidies for top talent and more possibilities for researchers in the so-called open competition subsidies. Secondly strengths must be consolidated. For example, via large subsidy programmes and international cooperation. Thirdly NWO wants to expand its efforts in the area of knowledge transfer and cooperation with social partners.

Line of action 1: Opportunities for researchers
Excellent researchers in the Netherlands often lack the opportunities to perform at their best and to profile themselves at an international level. NWO wants to improve the career perspectives via so-called person-specific talent programmes. Further NWO wants to increase the possibilities for adventurous research. In addition to this state-of-the-art research facilities must be created and NWO wants to attract talent from abroad.

Line of action 2: Consolidating strengths
There needs to be a consolidation of strengths at a national level if scientific research in the Netherlands is to be boosted. NWO wants to develop 'National Research Initiatives'. These are programmes with a budget of about 30−50 million euros in scientific areas where the Netherlands is a world leader. In addition to this NWO hopes, in cooperation with the innovation agency SenterNovem, to realise a sequel to the successful one-off BIG programme for investments in large research facilities. Further NWO hopes to stimulate European cooperation and to incorporate smaller subsidies into larger programmes.

Line of action 3: Science for society
Societal questions and the call to strengthen societal and technological innovation are resulting in an increasingly stronger demand for rapidly applicable knowledge. As an intermediary organisation, NWO brings together knowledge requesters and scientists. NWO will develop societally-inspired programmes by working together with government departments, the private sector and other public bodies. In addition to this NWO will intensify the partnership with sister organisations TNO and SenterNovem. Moreover NWO will realise 'academic practice workshops' and the Smart Mix scheme. Further NWO will select Societal Top Institutes as instruments for innovative research of societal issues. NWO also wishes to increase researchers' awareness in the area of knowledge utilisation.

Lisbon and background
Three successive cabinets have expressed the political aim that the Dutch knowledge economy must be one of the most successful in Europe by 2010. This ambition follows on from the so-called Lisbon strategy to which the European government leaders committed themselves in 2000. That was after the alarm had been raised that Europe was failing to perform well enough in science and technology and the large-scale exodus of top European talent. By 2010 the EU must have developed into one of the most dynamic and competitive knowledge economies in the world. The second Balkenende cabinet fully committed itself to this course in 2004. That was following an interim report about the Lisbon strategy by a commission under the leadership of Wim Kok. The Innovation Platform was requested to provide a strategic framework for these ambitions.
-end-
NWO
Innovation and quality. These are the two driving forces behind NWO's approach to the future of science in the Netherlands. Together with scientists, national and international scientific organisations, and the private sector, NWO develops and finances top-quality research programmes. NWO funds the work of more than 4500 researchers at universities and research institutes. NWO's annual basic budget is 423 million euros.

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Related Scientific Research Articles from Brightsurf:

Who's Tweeting about scientific research? And why?
Although Twitter is best known for its role in political and cultural discourse, it has also become an increasingly vital tool for scientific communication.

Weaving Indigenous knowledge with scientific research: a balanced approach
Insights from bicultural research can enhance practical applications from a palaeotsunami database to land-use decisions, according to a new review in Earth Surface Dynamics

Level of media coverage for scientific research linked to number of citations
An analysis of over 800 academic research papers on physical health and exercise suggests that the level of popular media coverage for a given paper is strongly linked to the attention it receives within the scientific community.

Spotting cutting-edge topics in scientific research using keyword analysis
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba conducted a quantitative keyword analysis of 30 million articles in the life sciences over a nearly fifty-year period (1970-2017) and found that 75% of total emerging keywords, at 1-year prior to becoming identified as emerging, co-appeared with other emerging keywords in the same article.

Calibration method improves scientific research performed with smartphone cameras
Although smartphones and other consumer cameras are increasingly used for scientific applications, it's difficult to compare and combine data from different devices.

AccessLab: New workshops to broaden access to scientific research
A team from the transdisciplinary laboratory FoAM Kernow and the British Science Association detail how to run an innovative approach to understanding evidence called AccessLab in a paper published on May 28 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.

University of Idaho study finds scientific reproducibility does not equate to scientific truth
Reproducible scientific results are not always true and true scientific results are not always reproducible, according to a mathematical model produced by University of Idaho researchers.

Scientific research will help to understand the origin of life in the universe
Scientists from Samara University and several universities in the USA have proposed and experimentally confirmed new fundamental chemical mechanisms for the synthesis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

New research helps to inform the design of scientific advisory committees
At a time of 'fake news' and a growing mistrust of scientific experts, researchers at York University's Global Strategy Lab have produced new research to help inform the design of scientific advisory committees and help maximize the application of high-quality scientific research towards future policy and program decisions.

Jumping to scientific conclusions challenges biomedical research
Improving experimental design and statistical analyses alone will not solve the reproducibility crisis in science, argues Ray Dingledine in a societal impact article published in eNeuro.

Read More: Scientific Research News and Scientific Research Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.