NWO – Nationale Wetenschapsagenda

NWO - Nationale Wetenschapsagenda

NWA – research on routes by consortia (NWA-ORC)

The National Science Agenda (NWA) comprises 12,000 questions that the Dutch population has put to science, summarised in 140 cluster questions. With the help of experts from knowledge institutions, social organizations and the business community, these questions were then elaborated into 25 researchable themes, so-called routes.


Each route is linked to an area in which the Netherlands can make an outstanding difference and has comparative advantages over other countries. These are, for example:

  • Blue route: water as the road to innovative and sustainable growth
  • Circular economy and resource efficiency
  • Healthcare research, prevention and treatment
  • Youth in development, education and training
  • NeuroLabNL: the workshop for brain, cognition and behavioral research
  • Smart, liveable cities
  • Personalized medicine: going out from the individual
  • Energy transition
  • Logistics and transport in an innovative and sustainable society
  • Sustainable development goals for inclusive global development
  • Smart Industry
  • NeurolabNL, the workshop for brain, cognition, and behavioural research


  • Interdisciplinary and knowledge chain-wide consortia can submit a research proposal that expresses the broad and innovative character of the NWA.
  • The purpose of this instrument is to finance research and innovation on (parts of) the NWA routes or between routes. The research encourages cooperation both within the entire public knowledge chain and between the entire knowledge chain and social partners.
  • Applications will be assessed on the following three criteria:
    • quality of the research proposal
    • quality of the consortium
    • potential scientific and/or societal breakthroughs


  • Applications shall be submitted by a consortium. We distinguish three categories of participants in a consortium:
    • Main applicant
    • Co-applicant(s)
    • Co-financer(s)
  • The lead applicant shall submit the application on behalf of the consortium.
  • In this funding round, applications may be submitted in the following ranges:
    • €0,5-2 M
    • €2-5 M
    • €5-10 M
  • The consortium co-financiers must pool a minimum of 10% of the total project budget. This co-financing may be provided in cash and/or in-kind.
  • The bandwidths refer to the total project budget including the co-financing (in cash and/or in-kind).
  • The budget for the 2019 call was  €108M and will increase to €130M in 2020.


  • The schedule for 2023 is still unknown.
  • Notification of an initiative is mandatory for the submission of a summary application
  • The submission of summary application is mandatory for the submission of a full application.

Thematic Research

Besides the NWA-ORC calls, there are also regular thematic NWA calls with a specific focus. These calls often have a budget of several million euros and smaller project budgets. Interdisciplinarity and knowledge chain-wide consortia are also very important in these calls.


Follow us on LinkedIn!


This fact sheet aims to provide a quick overview of the objectives, structure, and conditions of this grant scheme. No conclusions can be drawn from this information. Moreover, this document has no legal status. 

Share this article via: LinkedIn