Six new Perspectief programmes given green light by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

The HAGUE, 22-Nov-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — In the coming years almost a hundred researchers are going to develop innovative technologies together with industry and social organisations. That will happen in six new Perspectief programmes, which have been given the green light by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The programmes should lead to a new 3D printer for large metal components, more efficient deep-learning systems, extreme microscopy, new bacteria for the chemical industry, injury-free exercise and wearable robotics for people suffering from muscular disorders.

The board of NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES) is providing 21 million euros for six large-scale research programmes within the Perspectief funding programme. The companies, civil society organisations and knowledge institutes involved in the programmes will supplement NWO’s funding with another 11 million euros. The overall budget will support 74 PhD candidates and 25 postdocs in their work for the coming five or six years.

With Perspectief, NWO is challenging scientists to establish a close partnership with industry and social organisations. It concerns multidisciplinary research with a special emphasis on application. Together the parties will develop new research lines linked to the top sectors.

From technology producer to end user

‘The Perspectief programme has clearly developed in the past ten years,’ says Lise de Jonge, coordinator of Perspectief. ‘The programmes being honoured in 2017 are a coherent entity of projects, and the research consortia have continued to increase their scope. The entire chain required to ensure that research is applied is in place now, from technology producer to end user.’

New research networks

Moreover, the Perspectief programme responds well to questions raised by the government and society as specified in the top sectors and the new key technologies of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The programmes also respond to questions set out by the Dutch Research Agenda and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. ‘To date, the Perspectief programme has not only generated specific knowledge and innovations,’ De Jonge says, ‘but thanks to Perspectief there are many new research networks with added value for the Dutch knowledge economy.’

Thanks to Perspectief there are many new research networks with added value for the Dutch knowledge economy
– Lise de Jonge

Innovation that has an economic and social impact frequently requires a large-scale approach. You have to set up new lines of research, transcend old networks and create close partnerships between scientists and industry. In doing so, Perspectief provides the top sectors with a funding resource. Indeed, NWO has already been funding this unique form of partnership for ten years.

‘A research programme generally consists of five to six projects that approach the overarching theme from different research disciplines. Every year, NWO organises an open call for new programme ideas, the best of which are selected by an external committee. The budget provided by NWO for Perspectief programmes comes from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Honoured research programmes

3D printing for large metal components

Additive Manufacturing for Extra Large Metal Components (AiM2XL)

3D printing technology makes it possible to print tailor-made three-dimensional components on site. But what properties do large metal objects have, such as ship propellers, when you print them? How do you ensure that an object composed of layers does not deform, crack or rust in unexpected places? At AiM2XL, researchers look at printed metal objects that are between 1 and 10 metres in size. They study the properties of the printed material up to the micro level and make models that enable them to predict and check the behaviour of the overall object. Then the researchers apply these models to printed sample objects, such as a strong steel lifting eye for thick steel cables and a helm made of stainless steel.

Programme manager: Professor I.M. Richardson (Delft University of Technology)
Participants: Air Liquide B.V., Allseas, Autodesk, Damen, DEMCON, Element Materials Technology, Fokker Technologies Holding B.V., Heerema Fabrication Group, Huisman, Jungle, Lincoln Electric B.V., Lloyd’s Register EMEA, M2i, MX3D, OCAS NV, RAMLAB, University of Groningen, Shell, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Trumpf Nederland B.V., University of Twente, Valk Welding B.V., VandeGrijp International Gear Suppliers B.V.

Injury-free excercise

Citius Altius Sanius – Injury-free exercise for everyone

How do you get people to exercise (and keep exercising), and prevent them from becoming injured in the process? The Citius Altius Sanius (faster, higher, healthier) programme develops and uses innovative wearable sensors to measure the physical and physiological burden, data science to calculate the risk of injury for individual athletes, and proven effective personalised feedback methods to influence the behaviour of athletes at all performance levels. The researchers are not only developing the necessary theory and technology. They are also testing whether common sports injuries can be prevented in sports such as fitness training, soccer, tennis, long-distance running and cycling. Sports clubs, sports physicians and physiotherapists, among others, have joined the programme. They will use the results during sports training and rehabilitation.

Programme manager: Professor F.C.T. van der Helm (Delft University of Technology)
Participants: Achmea, Adidas, AMC, Borre, Bosch, Cinoptics, Dopple, Fit!Vak, Fontys Hogescholen, Municipality of Amsterdam, Municipality of Eindhoven, Golazo Sports SX, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Inmotio Object Tracking, InnosportLab Sport & Movement, International Tennis Federation, IZI BodyCooling, Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands, ManualFysion, 2M Engineering, Motekforce Link, MYLAPS, MyTemp, NedCard, NHTV Breda, Nijmeegse Vierdaagse Foundation, NOC*NSF, Noldus, NovioSense, Plux, Qualogy, Radboudumc, Reade Rehabilitation, University of Groningen, National Sports Federations (KNBSB, KNHB, KNLTB, KNVB, KNWV), Koninklijke Gazelle, Sailing Innovation Center, SWOV, Team Sunweb, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Leiden University, VirtuaGym, VU Amsterdam, VUmc, Zevenheuvelenloop Foundation

Efficient deep-learning systems

Efficient Deep Learning

A computer that recognises dangerous situations on security footage: this is possible with deep-learning automated systems. But before this kind of system can operate independently, you have to design it and then train it with a huge number of examples. In addition, you need considerable computing power to let the system make decisions. At the Efficient Deep Learning programme, researchers are going to make deep learning much more efficient by using examples from daily life. They want to make it possible to use the technique (Of: They want to make the technique applicable) for other automatic visual inspections, tissue analysis, smart maintenance of equipment and intelligent hearing aids that can handle noisy environments.

Programme manager: Professor H. Corporaal (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Participants: AIIR Innovations, ASTRON, CWI, Cyclomedia, Cygnify, Donders Institute, FEI, 2getthere, GN Hearing, Holst Centre, ING, Intel, Irdeto, Lely, Mobiquity, NLeSC, NXP, NVIDIA, Océ, Radboudumc, Schiphol, Scyfer, Sectra, Semiotic Labs, Siemens, Sightcorp, Sorama, SURFsara, TASS International, Tata Steel, TU Dresden, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Thales, TNO, TomTom, University of Twente, University of Amsterdam, 3DUniversum, VicarVision, ViNotion, VU Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research

Lensless extreme microscopy

Lensless Imaging of 3D Nanostructures with Soft X-Rays (LINX)

An increasing number of everyday devices contain chips so they can communicate with the outside world. This so-called Internet of Things makes demands on computer chips: increasingly they have to be smaller, cheaper and contain more transistors. In order to prevent costly production errors, the production process has to be carefully monitored. For that purpose, the LINX research consortium is developing new measurement techniques to create images of structures without the aid of lenses with measurements of a nanometre (a millionth of a millimetre). LINX bases the techniques on smart calculation methods and so-called soft X-rays, or X-rays with a wavelength of between 10 and 30 nanometres. Ultimately the researchers want to have a system that not only traces errors during the production process of chips, but also a system that can make extremely small details of structures visible in other applications, such as solar cells.

Programme manager: Professor H.P. Urbach (Delft University of Technology)
Participants: AFS, ASML, Coherent, DEMCON / Focal, PANalytical, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, TNO, University of Twente, Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam, VSL

Bacteria convert syngas into chemical building blocks

Novel Approaches for Microbial Syngas Conversion to Chemical Building Blocks (MicroSynC)

A number of industries, such as the steel industry, produce syngas: a mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. This syngas is also generated through biomass gasification. Syngas can serve as a raw material for the chemical industry. The composition of syngas is often too variable to alter it directly by means of chemical processes. The MicroSynC research programme develops methods, processes and bioreactors to convert syngas into useful chemical building blocks with the aid of microorganisms. The researchers are going to search for suitable anoxic bacteria, which they will then use to produce the desired products in large quantities under non-sterile conditions. At the same time, the scientists will examine the social acceptance of products that are made in this manner.

Programme manager: Professor A.J.M Stams (Wageningen University & Research)
Participants: AkzoNobel, Bodec, CLIB2021, ECN, Flowid, ISPT, OxyMem, Paques B.V., Torrgas, 
Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, VITO, Wageningen University & Research

Wearable robotics for weak muscles

Wearable robotics

People who are confined to a wheelchair as a result of a muscular disorder should be able to stand independently again without needing to use crutches. This would allow them to cook at a counter in an upright position, for example. This is not a divine miracle but a feasible goal set by the Wearable Robotics research consortium. This programme develops so-called Exo-Aids: soft, lightweight technology that wears comfortably, is easy to operate and affordable, and makes smooth and versatile movements possible. The aim is to increase the mobility and independence of people with damage to their spinal cord or loss of muscle strength. In addition, the researchers are developing a technology to prevent work-related complaints such as lower back pain. These complaints are common among people who have to lift heavy objects or stand in a hunched position for long periods of time.

Programme manager: Professor H. van der Kooij (University of Twente)
Participants: Baat Medical, Bond 3D, By-wire, DEMCON, Duchenne Parent Project, Dwarslaesie Organisatie Nederland, Festo, FSHD Patient Foundation, Hankamp Gears, Hocoma, IMSystems, Laevo, Landelijke Vereniging van Operatieassistenten, Motek, Oceanz, Opteq, Ottobock, Radboudumc, Roessingh Research and Development, Roessingh Revalidatie Techniek, 
Delft University of Technology, Sint Maartenskliniek, Spieren voor Spieren, Eindhoven University of Technology, TNO, Twente Medical Systems International, Ultimaker, University of Twente, VU Amsterdam, Xsens, Yumen Bionics

SOURCE: The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)


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