61 million for IoT security, cosmic AI, predictive maintenance and more

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A total of 61 million euros has been made available for the first round of funding by the Dutch National Research Agenda: Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC). More than 200 researchers and their teams can begin to work on social and scientific issues in close collaboration with public and private parties. This will take place in seventeen consortia. The awarded studies focus on matters such as urgent medical issues, matters related to youth and behavior, climate change and our living environment, but also digital security and historical issues.

The Intersect project (An Internet of Secure Things) has been granted 8.2 million euros to address the societal and technical challenges of cyber-privacy and cybersecurity posed by the IoT. To this end, it adopts a completely new, foundational perspective that brings together security research (eg design, defense, attack generation) with legal and criminology approaches. The main applicant is professor Sandro Etalle from Eindhoven University of Technology. The 33 partners include a wide range of knowledge institutions, OEMs, SMEs and public organizations.

The Center for Optimal, Real-Time Machine Studies of the Explosive Universe (Cortex) aims to make machine learning faster in order to figure out how massive cosmic explosions work, and to innovate systems that benefit society. The project has been awarded 4.5 million euros. The Cortex consortium consists of thirteen partners from academia, industry and society and is led by Joeri van Leeuwen from Astron, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy.

The PrimaVera project (link in Dutch) is receiving 4.4 million euros to research predictive maintenance using big data algorithms. The main applicant is professor Mariëlle Stoelinga from the University of Twente. In a holistic automated workflow, the seventeen consortium members are going to develop better measurements by fully utilizing the potential of smart sensor technology, better predictions through novel, accurate algorithms, and better planning by deriving user-centric optimal maintenance decisions, accounting for organizational factors.

Professor Nico de Jong from Delft University of Technology has been granted 1.7 million euros to improve dosimetry in proton-based cancer therapy. By using microbubbles and a new, highly sensitive optical-ultrasound receiver, the exact position and dose of the proton beam can be monitored, which is essential for optimal treatment. The 11 partners include clinics, knowledge institutions and SMEs.

Led by Toeno van der Sar, again from Delft University of Technology, six organizations are looking into quantum microscopy as a new tool for future technologies. The project has been awarded 1.3 million euros. Collaborating with industry, the partners will develop a ‘quantum microscope’ that uses diamond sensors to image electrons with nanometer resolution, from near-absolute-zero to above room temperature.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), NWO has been funding research in the context of the Dutch National Research Agenda since 2018. The aim of the research is to make a permanent positive contribution to the future knowledge society by building bridges in the present and joining forces to address scientific and social challenges. Steps are being taken to achieve this aim through an annual funding round by the NWA-ORC. This science-wide funding round focuses on enabling interdisciplinary research and innovation that can be used to bring social and scientific breakthroughs within reach.