“Farewell gift” from Minister Dijkgraaf: 174 million to five research groups

“Farewell gift” from Minister Dijkgraaf: 174 million to five research groups

Today, five research groups will receive a total of €174 from the NWO for major scientific breakthroughs. It’s an investment that will give scholars peace of mind, said outgoing Education Minister Robert Dijkgraaf.

With a new closet on the way, it feels like a parting gift. Outgoing Education Minister Robert Dijkgraaf today meets the five groups of researchers who will each receive €30 million to €40 million from him over the next ten years.

The five consortia have worked together fruitfully in the past and have proven themselves among the best in the world, according to research funder NWO. Otherwise they can use this “summit grant” to force scientific breakthroughs that allow them to reach the world stage. They must also use the money to train their successors.

Lifelike implants

The first summit grants will go toward research on the origin of life (40 million), the impact of climate change (30.6 million), and the fundamental frontiers of physics and quantum mechanics (35.4 million).

37.5 million will also go to a consortium of medical technologists who want to better understand how the body repairs itself. Researchers hope they can help these “regenerative” processes through lifelike “smart” transplants.

Social cohesion

Another $30.6 million summit grant goes to research “where psychologists, historians, demographers, philosophers, and sociologists collaborate with social organizations to gain insight into how connections between individuals, groups, and institutions contribute to new forms of social cohesion,” research funder NWO writes in a statement. Journalist. This is a collaboration between the University of Groningen, Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit, Radboud University, and the Dutch Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NEDI).

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The research consortia receiving funding include a surprising number of Delft (ten) and Utrecht (twelve) scientists; Groningen also provides five researchers. The universities of Wageningen, Twente, Rotterdam and the University of Amsterdam are absent.


Dijkgraaf is happy with the award. He says that Dutch scientists are achieving good results at the international level; Because they collaborate a lot, but also “because there is funding aimed at the long term, just like science.”

One of Dijkgraaf’s goals was to bring peace to the world of research and education. This includes financial peace. The money now goes to the five research groups as a partial first-time summit grant About Me To reduce the stress of applying for research funding.

For this purpose, the government established the Research and Science Fund in 2022, worth five billion euros for ten years. It was announced last week that the new coalition wants to cut $1.1 billion, in addition to other cuts in higher education and research. He said in the House of Representatives that these plans harmed him.


At today’s celebratory scholarship presentation, Dijkgraaf will also highlight the recipients of the Gravitation programme. In March, seven research groups together received $160 million for five to ten years of research into various medical conditions, cybersecurity and plant defense systems.

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