About ZonMw

Working with knowledge to boost good health for all. This goal defines everything we do. And we have been committed to it for decades.

Working with knowledge to boost good health

Innovation in health, healthcare and well-being concerns healthy living, disease prevention, new treatments and drugs, and the right care at the right place. Our health is also increasingly interwoven with broader societal challenges.

To answer these questions, we need knowledge and scientific research across the full breadth of the knowledge chain, from fundamental research to implementation projects. That requires close collaboration across disciplines and making available project data and results accessible.

By detecting knowledge gaps, facilitating knowledge development and encouraging the use of this knowledge in practice, we continue to respond to the changing world around us. We increase the relevance, quality and impact of research and accelerate breakthroughs to make good health accessible for all.

Connecting force that drives innovation

We connect people and organizations around relevant societal and scientific issues that influence health, healthcare and well-being. We work closely with a wide range of stakeholders: researchers, healthcare providers, care professionals, care support staff, policymakers, clients, citizens and experiential experts. Because we can only be a connecting force behind innovation in health, healthcare and well-being if we work together to make the difference required. 

The core activities of ZonMw

To realise this added  value, we focus on 3 core activities:

We programme and fund research and innovation in health, healthcare and well-being

Together with our contractors and stakeholders, we determine which knowledge and activities are needed, design a programme for these and fund the development of that knowledge. For this, we bring together people from different disciplines and fields of practice.

We encourage impact 

We inspire innovation and take the lead in the field of implementation. We examine which knowledge is needed, and we help to implement that knowledge in practice to ensure that the outcomes of programmes and projects are actually used.

We define the areas where knowledge is needed 

Our position enables us to identify areas where there is a need for more knowledge. Together with researchers, contractors, professional practitioners, educational organisations and citizens, we draw attention to these knowledge needs.

The outcome: together, we ensure that knowledge has a greater impact in improving health, healthcare and well-being for all. We always do this with our core values in mind: meticulous, accessible, proactive and, of course, connecting. Because we can only contribute to a world in which good health is available for all if we work together.

Our contractors

Our main contractors are the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Dutch Research Council. Other government ministries – whether or not in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport – also commission programmes at ZonMw. Examples are the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the area of microplastics, climate and health or the Ministry of Justice and Security and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in the area of people with challenging behaviour.

In addition, we have several (co-) funders in programmes such as (health) funds and Health~Holland. With co-funders, we not only fund and programme together but we also jointly harmonise other processes, such as socially responsible licensing and how to enhance impact. Besides which, we make use of each other's networks to ensure that the results of projects can be further developed. And we are a partner in international programmes that receive their funding from the European Commission. ZonMw plays an active role in these as a stakeholder in governance organisation and the drawing up of international strategic research and innovation agendas, funding, training and communication.


Many of the issues we now face in healthcare are not unique to the Netherlands. ZonMw therefore also carefully examines the important international issues and whether we can collaborate on these with other parties. That allows us to consolidate knowledge and resources to solve these issues.

As a partner, we contribute to various initiatives, some of which are funded by the European Commission. ZonMw plays an active role in these as a stakeholder in the establishment of the governance and the drawing up of international strategic research and innovation agendas, funding, training and communication.

You can also submit proposals to various international funding rounds via ZonMw.

Independent government body

ZorgOnderzoek Nederland (Care Research Netherlands, Dutch abbreviation: ZON) was established by law in 1998 (ZON Act). Since 2001, there has been a partnership between ZON and the Medical Sciences (Dutch abbreviation: MW) domain of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). This partnership is called ZonMw and constitutes an independent self-governing organisation.