responsible innovation | call for proposals

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  • Social Sciences and Humanities (coordinator)

    Call for proposals

    Responsible Innovation (NWO-MVI)

    2017, 2nd funding round

    This document is the translation of the Dutch Call for Proposals. In case of different interpretation of the original

    (Dutch) text and the (English) translation of this call or the annexes, the original Dutch text prevails.

    Den Haag, mei 2017

    Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

  • 1

    Chapter 1: Introduction / Responsible Innovation


    1 Introduction 2 1.1 Background 2 1.2 Available budget 2 1.3 Validity of the call for proposals 2

    2 Aim 3 3 Guidelines for applicants 4

    3.1 Who can apply 4 3.2 What can be applied for 5 3.3 When can applications be submitted 8 3.4 Drawing up an application 8 3.5 Specific conditions 9 3.6 Submitting an application 12

    4 Assessment procedure 13 4.1 Procedure 13 4.2 Composition of committees 14 4.3 Criteria 15

    5 Contact and other information 19 5.1 Contact 19 5.2 Other information 19

    6 Annexes 22

  • 2

    Chapter 1: Introduction / Responsible Innovation

    1 Introduction

    1.1 Background

    This brochure describes the aim, conditions, criteria and guidelines of the NWO

    programme Responsible Innovation, 2017 funding round. The Responsible

    Innovation programme (abbreviated to NWO-MVI, from the Dutch Maatschappelijk

    Verantwoord Innoveren) is part of the top sectors policy that was initiated at the end

    of 2011 by the then Dutch government. NWO has committed itself to this new

    industry policy by encouraging application-oriented, fundamental scientific research

    that benefits the various top sectors (so-called economic priority areas). Moreover,

    the current call is connected to the Dutch National Research Agenda (abbreviated to

    NWA, from the Dutch Nationale Wetenchapsagenda), that the so-called knowledge

    coalition offered to the Government at the End of 2015.

    NWO-MVI encourages research where from the development phase of an innovation

    onwards it is investigated which ethical and societal issues play a role and how

    ethical and societal considerations can be utilised to shape innovations with a view

    to their acceptance and acceptability within society. The programme is a joint

    initiative of all the NWO units and is coordinated by NWO Humanities. The research

    agenda for this funding round has been realised in collaboration with the following

    top sectors:



    Creative Industry

    Energy and the TKI Gas

    Life Sciences & Health (LSH)


    Horticulture & Starting Materials


    NWO-MVI is part of the Social Infrastructure Agenda (SIA) of NWO.

    1.2 Available budget

    The minimum available NWO budget is M 2.6. The budget is available for projects

    that will be realised in collaboration with private partners (public-private

    partnership), who must match a part of the project budget. The available budget has

    been distributed as follows over the four remaining items included from the agenda:1

    Theme Available

    BBoL Max. M 1.35

    Creatieve Industry Max. M 0.25

    Energy Min. M 0.5

    Logistics Max. M 0.5

    1.3 Validity of the call for proposals

    This call for proposals is valid until the closing date of 7 September 2017.

    1 BBoL is the abbreviation of the NWO programme Building Blocks of Life. The NWO-MVI budget for the top sectors Agri&Food (M 0.3), Chemistry (M 0.25), Life Sciences & Health (M 0.5), and Horticulture & Starting Materials (M 0.3) is used exclusively for this agenda item.

  • 3

    Chapter 2: Aim / Responsible Innovation

    2 Aim

    The aim of research within the NWO programme Responsible Innovation (NWO-MVI)

    is to broaden and deepen research, development and innovation pathways by

    exploring the ethical and societal aspects. The programme identifies possible ethical

    and societal questions during the early stages of technological innovations so that

    these can be taken into account during the innovation process. This increases

    support among stakeholders. Responsible innovation research involves the

    normative question of whether innovations are societally and ethically acceptable.

    Innovations and innovation processes are assessed critically in terms of the degree

    to which they encourage important values such as trust, justice, privacy, autonomy,

    responsibility and liability, durability, security, etc.

    To achieve this, the research within the Responsible Innovation programme has

    several focal points that are described in the research agenda (Annex 6.1). All

    research projects must satisfy the NWO-MVI focus points and at the same time

    elaborate on one of the topics of the research agenda for 2016-2017. This agenda

    contains two parts, namely: 1) an agenda with "generic" (cross-sector) issues and 2)

    agendas for each top sector with issues specific to that top sector. Please note: in

    this second round, it is only possible to submit applications for top sector specific

    issues within the themes BBoL, Creative Industry, Energy, Logistics. Proposed

    projects are complementary with, or continue to build on, the results from previous

    research within or outside NWO Responsible Innovation or related international


    NWO-MVI attaches importance to valorisation of obtained results. Every project

    team must produce a valorisation plan (including concrete activities) in close

    cooperation with a valorisation panel. This enables direct implementation of the

    results. The NWO-MVI programme committee will monitor the annual progress. The

    NWO-MVI programme itself also organises activities for researchers and

    stakeholders (like an annual conference). These activities will be organised by the

    new Platform for Responsible Innovation (NWO-MVI) (

  • 4

    Chapter 3: Guidelines for applicants / Responsible Innovation

    3 Guidelines for applicants

    3.1 Who can apply

    Applications can be submitted on behalf of consortia with at least one researcher

    (the main applicant) and at least one private partner.

    Main applicant

    Only senior researchers who hold an appointment at one of the following knowledge

    institutions can submit an application on behalf of a consortium:2

    Dutch universities

    KNAW and NWO institutes;

    the Netherlands Cancer Institute;

    the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen;

    the Dubble beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble;

    NCB Naturalis;

    Advanced Research Centre for NanoLithography (ARCNL).

    The main applicant is an experienced researcher with a PhD (i.e. full, assistant or

    associate professor). He or she has a tenured appointment or a temporary

    appointment at one of the aforementioned institutions for the duration of the

    application process and the actual project.

    The NWO funding is intended for the knowledge institution. The main applicant bears

    final responsibility for the project and is responsible for the financial and research



    The main applicant submits his/her proposal on behalf of a consortium with at least

    one private partner. The research is realised as a public-private partnership in which

    the private partner must match part of the NWO funding (this can be alone or

    together with other private partners).

    Private partners are understood to be parties that fall under the definition given in


    Co-applicant (s) - optional

    An application may have a maximum of three co-applicants. Possible co-applicants

    are also experienced researchers with a PhD who hold a tenured or temporary

    appointment at one of the aforementioned knowledge institutions during the

    application process and the actual project.

    In this funding round, applicants may submit a maximum of one application per

    agenda element, irrespective of whether they act as the main applicant or co-


    2 In relation to the international objectives of the NWO-MVI programme senior researchers from an international centre for scientific training in the Netherlands can also act as an applicant. This only concerns the following centres: UNESCO-IHE in Delft ( and MSM (Maastricht School of Management). Applications from these institutions will be assessed for their relevance for Low and Middle Income Countries. 3 Consortia can be supplemented with private parties that do not provide matching but do, however, want to contribute to a project and benefit from the knowledge generated. Consortia can also be supplemented with public and semi-public partners that want to contribute to a project and benefit from the knowledge generated. Their contributions in cash or in kind (if any) do under certain conditions count towards the matching requirement stated in Section 3.2. Public and semi-public partners are understood to be parties that fall under the definition given in Section 5.2.1.


  • 5

    Chapter 3: Guidelines for applicants / Responsible Innovation

    3.2 What can be applied for

    Two types of research project funding can be applied for: large research projects

    and smal