NWO is making 11 million euros available for research in which public and private parties collaborate on technological breakthroughs. Key technologies are technologies of the “future” that will have a huge impact on the way we live, learn, work and produce. They are technologies that discard our ideas about what we consider possible and potentially lead to breakthrough innovations.

Technological breakthroughs

The Key Technologies call is aimed at financing fundamental and application-oriented scientific research into technological breakthroughs to create economic opportunities for the Netherlands and contribute to solving societal challenges.

Key technologies create new business and markets, increase competitiveness and boost job growth. They enable groundbreaking process, product and / or service innovations and are relevant for science, society and the market. Key technologies are characterized by their wide applicability and reach: deployment is possible in various sectors and / or innovations.

From the perspective of the potential contribution of technology to societal challenges in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has designated the following clusters of key technologies:

  • Chemical Technologies
  • Digital Technologies
  • Engineering and Fabrication Technologies
  • Photonics and Light Technologies
  • Advanced Materials
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Life science technologies
  • Nanotechnologies



Pre-proposals and complete applications are submitted by a main applicant and one or more co-applicants. An application is drawn up by a consortium, in which other participants are involved in addition to the applicants.


In this round, funding can be requested for research proposals with a total size of a minimum of € 750,000 and a maximum of € 2,500,000. NWO funds a maximum of 70% of the total project size; the rest of the funding is provided through compulsory co-funding.


The deadline for applying for the statement of suitability is November 10, 2020, 14:00:00 CET.
The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is January 19, 2021, 14:00:00 CET.
The deadline for submitting applications is May 18, 2021, 14:00:00 CEST.


This program falls within the main line MISSION of the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC) 2020-2023, in which NWO publishes a limited number of major thematic calls each year.

More information about this call for proposals, budget and deadlines can be found on the funding page of this call.

Original news item NWO website.

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