Utrecht University gets €19M from Dutch Research Agenda

24 Mar 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Utrecht University
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Four Utrecht projects will receive funding from the Dutch Research Agenda programme ‘Research along Routes by Consortia’ (NWA-ORC). A total of more than 19 million Euros has been made available for four projects in which Utrecht researchers are the official secretary on behalf of the consortium. Utrecht University is also involved as an academic partner in eight other successful consortia.

The projects awarded funding focus on questions from society, which form the substantive agenda of the National Science Agenda. In total, 28 consortia will receive more than 149 million Euros. They will work in interdisciplinary teams on research that will bring both scientific and societal breakthroughs within reach. 

The honoured projects in which Utrecht researchers are the official secretary of the consortium:


Platform workers provide services through online platforms such as Uber (taxi), Helpling (cleaning) and Deliveroo (food delivery). Platforms provide workers with flexibility, but platform workers lack social protection and income security. The control that platforms exert over platform workers is at odds with their status as self-employed, and has prompted hearings and lawsuits. This project addresses the need for new regulations regarding platform work. In collaboration with Statistics Netherlands (CBS), ministries, employee and employer organizations, the researchers develop an evidence base, policy options and implementation guidelines regarding platform work, focusing on the public values of decent work, social protection, non-discrimination, privacy and cyber security.

Secretary on behalf of the consortium is innovation scientist Prof. dr. Koen Frenken. He works on innovation, economic geography, platform economy and innovation policy, and in that context investigates the rise of online platforms. This rise is changing the way we live, work and consume.

Amount awarded: 1.9 million Euros.

Re/Presenting Europe: Popular Representations of Diversity and Belonging

Dutch representations of Europe have not acknowledged the long presence of the super-diverse groups of non-white “others”. This lack of knowledge is intensified by ethno-racial stereotyping which has produced exclusion and social tension. The Re/Present consortium analyses misrepresentations in Dutch sports, urban arts, and education. It examines how to heal resulting social divides. It uncovers and disseminates information about how Europe’s “others” have contributed to its culture and history and integrates it into educational practices. It produces complex knowledge of Dutch and European identities and co-creates meaningful representations with communities to increase belonging and foster social resilience for a super-diverse European future.

Secretary on behalf of the consortium is historian of race dr. Rachel Gillett.

Amount awarded: 4.9 million Euros.


Wildlife such as wild boar, wisent, and wolf are returning to the Netherlands on a large scale. This return leads to tensions between people and wildlife and calls for new forms of wildlife management. WildlifeNL will develop new technologies, governance arrangements and communication strategies that influence the behaviour of wildlife ánd people to enable lowconflict human-wildlife coexistence. Moreover, together with all stakeholders, we explore various scenarios for how sustainable human-wildlife coexistence may look like, for example by playing a serious game. In this way WildlifeNL contributes to the search for a nature-inclusive society in which humans and wildlife can flourish.

Secretary on behalf of the consortium: dr. Ine Dorresteijn.

Amount awarded: 5 million Euros.

NANOSPRESSO-NL: Local preparation of high-quality, personalized nucleic acid nanomedicines

NANOSPRESSO-NL specifically addresses the current mismatch between personalized therapeutic strategies and industrial centralized large-scale manufacture of medicines. The NANOSPRESSO-NL consortium is convinced that nucleic acid therapeutics are uniquely qualified for production in local hospital pharmacies in response to the needs of the individual patient. By switching towards a fully standardised platform formulation, quality control can be centred around the production process rather than the end product, quite similar to a popular method of decentralized high-quality espresso making.

Secretary on behalf of the consortium: prof. dr. Raymond Schiffelers, UMC Utrecht. 

Amount awarded: 8.1 million Euros.

This article was first published on March 22 by Utrecht University.

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up