NWO – KIC – Practice-oriented Instruments

NWO - KIC - praktijkgerichte instrumenten

There is an increasing need for practice-oriented knowledge and innovations to tackle current social challenges. The Taskforce for Applied Research SIA, as part of NWO, wants to expand and professionalise the potential of practice-based research. To this end, the following instruments are deployed:


SPRONG encourages research groups at universities of applied sciences to grow into so-called powerful SPRONG groups within eight years. Research groups eligible for funding  comprise at least two universities of applied sciences and are linked to one of the Knowledge and Innovation Agendas (KIAs).

The future powerful SPRONG group will meet five conditions:

  • recognisable and distinctive research profile;
  • sustainable, sufficiently extensive, and with a full range of functions
  • sustainable partnerships with practice and education partners;
  • qualitatively good research process;
  • impact on professional practice, education, and the research field.

The instrument therefore does not focus directly on the performance of research, but rather on the preconditions for achieving good practice-based research. Funding can be requested for (support) staff to further build up the research capacity, materials or activities for research, and for coordination between universities of applied sciences and the various regional and international partners.


Funding and Duration

  • Funding is available for two periods of four years, with a minimum of €600,000 and a maximum of €1 million per four-year period. The grant decision will initially be awarded for the first four years of the project (phase 1). If the project is functioning well and progressing sufficiently, the subsidy will be extended for another four years.
  • This grant is currently closed.


  • At least 50% of the programme costs, divided between partners in the field (e.g., professional practice, SMEs, authorities) and universities of applied sciences.
  • Co-financing can be in cash or in kind.
  • Personnel costs of partners in the field can be entered as (in kind) co-financing.


The KIEM scheme is a grant for projects in which knowledge institutes cooperate with SMEs to conduct exploratory research in the field of sustainable chemistry. In order to promote innovation in SMEs, there must be an innovative partnership that leads to an innovative project with sufficient impact. 


Grant, Co-financing and Duration

  • Maximum funding is € 40,000, with at least 25% co-financing from SMEs.
  • The maximum duration of the project is 12 months.

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