Nieke Roos
5 May

As part of its Gravitation program, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) has granted a total of 142.7 million euros to seven academic consortia in the Netherlands. The funding enables them to carry out top-level university research and multidisciplinary collaboration for ten years. Among the winners are the Dutch Brain Interfaces Initiative (DBI2) and Materials for the Quantum Age (Qumat).

DBI2 is receiving 21.9 million euros to study the interactions within the human brain and with the outside world. The aim is to develop principles, equipment and methods to gain a better understanding of brain disorders, as well as moods, emotions and compulsions. Ultimate applications include deep brain stimulation, brain-computer interfaces and visual implants. The program is led by Radboud University. The other partners are Delft University of Technology, Erasmus MC and UMC Utrecht.

PM Bild Copyright Timothy Benjamin Hosman
The Dutch Brain Interfaces Initiative is the combination of a platform with computer, software and hardware elements, aimed at facilitating closed-loop manipulations in the long term, and brain monitoring in a naturalistic environment. Credit: Tim Hosman

Qumat is getting 21.5 million euros to develop prototype materials with stable coherent quantum states. These will enable classic computing to become much more powerful and at the same time more energy efficient. Moreover, robust quantum states remaining coherent under affordable conditions will allow to upscale powerful quantum computing. The consortium is spearheaded by Utrecht University and also includes the universities of Delft, Eindhoven, Groningen, Nijmegen and Twente.

The other five winning programs are going to study algorithmic decision systems in public life (Algosoc), young people growing up in increasingly complex societies (Guts), cells at the molecular level in their native tissue environment (Imagine!), sustainable interactive plastics (the Iteractive Polymer Materials Research Center) and daily-life stress (Stress-in-Action).