Dr. Martijntje Bakker
Almost from the start of ZonMw (The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development) international collaboration has been an essential part of our work.
For many reasons! Many of the challenges we face are not restricted to the borders of The Netherlands, so if we want to really solve these challenges we need to work together. The Netherlands are also a rather small country with limited resources in terms of research funding available, scientific staff and other essential resources to provide high quality research and innovation.
We do, however, have something to offer to the rest of the world. Our universities rank in the top of the world with good education and good researchers. Being such a small country it is easy to collaborate because we know each other and distances are small. We are an outgoing bunch of people. The Dutch have always travelled the world and like to collaborate. And perhaps most of all, ZonMw is rather unique in the world of research funders since we fund everything from basic research to nationwide implementation studies (and everything in between). As far as we know, only the Canadian Institutes of Health fund the same broad scope.
December 1st, we have launched our new website. And it is not just by accident that I wasn’t at the office in The Hague to celebrate this with my colleagues. Instead, I participated on behalf of the Netherlands in the General Assemblee meeting of the Joint Programming Initiative More Years Better Lives, in Rome. MYBL is a collaboration of European Member States and Canada which tries to look at issues around demographic change. Only one of the international initiatives in which we participate as an organization.
Interested? Have a look around to what our organization has to offer and please contact us if you can’t find what you are looking for.
Martijntje Bakker is Co-director of ZonMw