Cabinet allocates more than € 142 million to top scientific research | News report

News feature | 02-05-2022 | half past eight

7 consortia of top researchers from different Dutch universities will receive a total of € 142.7 million to carry out scientific research in the coming years as part of the Gravity Program. Minister Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science) makes this funding available to scientific consortia that can participate in pioneering research in their field among the best in the world.

The following 7 research projects have been selected for grants from the Gravitation 2022 program:

  • IMAGINE!: See and control cells in our tissues (20.8 million euros, main applicant: Utrecht University)
    The aim of this research is to develop important knowledge and tools for regenerative medicine (replacement or external repair of damaged tissue), treatment of diseases and recycling of existing medicines.
  • The Dutch Brain Interfaces Initiative (EUR 21.9 million, main applicant: Radboud University Nijmegen)
    To understand how the brain works, we need to understand how each part, from neuron to brain region, interacts with the rest of the brain and with the outside world. The purpose of this research is to develop principles, devices and methods to take into account these interactions and thus understand more about brain disorders, but also moods, emotions and compulsions.
  • GUTS: Growing up together in the community (22 million euros, main applicant: Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    The purpose of this project is to discover how young people can grow up successfully and contribute to the present and future society. The researchers study how young people develop in the form of education, social networks and social norms.
  • The algorithmic community (21.3 million euros, main applicant: University of Amsterdam)
    This project examines how we can safeguard such important public values ​​and human rights in the development of (semi-) automated processes (including artificial intelligence).
  • Sustainable artige Substances (€ 15.6 million, main applicant: Eindhoven University of Technology)
    At Interactive Polymeric Materials Research Center, the goal is to develop a new generation of intelligent, dynamic plastics that perform better through interaction with the environment and are easily degradable and recyclable.
  • Stress-in-action: Promote the science of stress by moving the laboratory to everyday life (€ 19.6 million, main applicant: VU University Amsterdam)
    With new knowledge, methods are being developed to monitor and reduce stress in everyday life and thereby prevent the development of stress-related diseases.
  • Materials for the quantum era (21.5 million euros, main applicant: Utrecht University)
    Silicon transistors are the foundation of our information society. There is a rapidly increasing demand for more powerful forms of calculation and information processing. The goal of this research is to give new materials stable quantum states, making existing ways of processing information in much more powerful and at the same time more energy efficient.

Top-level international research

The Gravity program allows researchers to conduct top university research and collaboration in an interdisciplinary manner over a period of 10 years. One of the cornerstones of the program is collaboration across disciplines and universities. Together, the researchers established excellent scientific research programs in consortia. The goal of Gravitation is to promote the formation of a center of gravity at an international top level.

‘Researchers from these scientific consortia, which are among the world’s best in their field, can use Gravitation to work on groundbreaking research’

Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (OCW): “Peace and space are essential for conducting research at the highest international level. With this strong impetus, we offer long-term prospects and adequate funding to collaborating excellent research groups. Researchers from these scientific consortia, which are among the best in the world in their field, can work with Gravity on groundbreaking research. “

Selection procedure

The gravity program is carried out by the NWO on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. NWO is responsible for the selection of the research groups. In this round, NWO received 40 applications for support within the Gravity Program. Consortia of research groups could submit their applications through their universities. 15 consortia were invited for an interview, and in the end, seven consortia were selected. The evaluation, the mutual comparison and the selection were in the hands of external referees and an international independent committee of researchers with experience from major scientific research projects.

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