On 27 June, the Dutch Ambassador to Luxembourg Peter Kok invited representatives of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), as well as high-calibre researchers in Luxembourg to a joint information workshop. This meeting followed the signature, back in March, of a Statement of Intent between the national agencies that aims to strengthen the research collaborations between the two countries.

NWO member of the Executive Board and responsible for international affairs Wim van den Doel, and FNR Secretary General Marc Schiltz both emphasised the importance to tighten their collaboration by recognising that the very best research in both countries may be delivered by collaborating with the best researchers internationally.  

Strong examples of already existing good partnerships were also presented by Luxembourg-based researchers. University of Luxemburg (LCSB) researcher and FNR PEARL Chair Rejko Krüger detailed his collaboration in the domain of Parkinson with the Dutch ParkinsonNet coordination centre at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. Roman Kräussl, professor of finance at the Luxembourg School of Finance, delineated his experience as a researcher and professor in both countries. And finally, Dr Laurent Pfister, a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, presented his collaboration in the domain of hydrology with the University of Wageningen.

The Statement of Intent that was signed on 24 March, aims to further tighten the links between the Netherlands and Luxembourg and to support new bilateral research projects - in all the research fields covered by the agencies - between researchers based in the two countries. Under this agreement, the Dutch funding agency will always serve as lead agency, and the selection process as a whole remains the responsibility of NWO and ZonMW.  The FNR,  NWO and ZonMW are currently working on guidance to applicants, including on issues such as Open Access Publication and Intellectual Property. Partners in the Netherlands will be funded by NWO or ZonMW, while the FNR will support Luxembourg partners.

The agreement with the Dutch NWO and ZonMw brings to twelve the number of countries, with which the FNR has bilateral agreements.  

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