On Monday 4 March 2019, NWO has launched the second funding round of the NWA research programme 'Research along Routes by Consortia' (ORC). The funding programme aimed at all research disciplines stimulates interdisciplinary research and innovation, bringing societal and scientific breakthroughs within reach. For the 2019 funding round a budget of 80.5 million euros is available. The deadline for announcing initiatives is 9 May 2019. The deadline for submitting a pre-proposal is 6 June 2019.
In order to achieve breakthroughs, active cooperation within the knowledge chain is of vital importance. Within consortia, partners representing the entire knowledge chain of research disciplines together with societal partners from the public and semi-public sectors as well as businesses, work together intensively in formulating, executing, and applying the research. Proposals relate to one or more of the NWA routes and can be submitted within one of three budget ranges: 0,5 million to 2 million euros, 2 million to 5 million euros and 5 million to 10 million euros.
A number of changes have been made in comparison to the 2018 funding round. The most important are:
- It is compulsory for consortia to announce their initiative online. This way, potential partners can show their interest and possibly join the consortium.
- Furthermore, it is compulsory in 2019 to include a signature of the highest administrative authority of the main applicant when submitting the pre-proposal. Also, the NWO executive board has decided to make their decision on the pre-proposals binding. NWO hopes that this will encourage the knowledge institutes to critically reflect on their submissions as well as keep the amount of applications within reasonable limits. The pre-proposals will be assessed on a different set of criteria compared to the full proposals.
The 10% co-funding requirement remains in place, despite objections that this could hamper fundamental research. The NWO executive board is of the opinion that the connection with societal partners and societal impact of the research, being essential elements of the NWA, outweigh these objections.