From sustainable food production to reducing viral transmission

Fewer CO2 emissions, less airborne viral transmission, and a more sustainable form of food production: seven consortia of researchers, companies, societal organisations and government bodies will put a budget of 32 million euros towards developing technological innovations for these and other societal challenges.

Curious about these innovations? Read more on the NWO website.

Some of the honored projects:

Early prediction of treatment efficacy

MAESTRO: Metabolic Imaging to Improve Patient-Specific Therapy Outcome
Complications related to cancer and obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, have an enormous and still increasing impact on our society and economy. Preventive measures and treatment for these diseases are not always effective. This usually only becomes clear after the patient has received treatment for a longer period of time. The MAESTRO project will develop new, non-invasive, radiation-free imaging technology to improve the patient’s prognosis, quality of life and participation in society and to reduce healthcare costs. This technology will be able to predict early on how effective a lifestyle intervention or treatment will be for a specific patient. The project research will focus on breast cancer, liver metastasis and the preliminary phase of diabetes.

Programme leader: Dr Jeanine Prompers (University Medical Center Utrecht)
Participating knowledge institutions: Amsterdam University Medical Center, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Utrecht University Medical Center
Companies: Advanced MR Analytics AB (AMRA), Boston Scientific, Cambridge Isotope Laboratories (CIL), MedVision360 (MEDrecord), MSD, Philips, Scannexus, Servier, WaveTronica
Other societal partners: Diabetes Vereniging Nederland (DVN), European Coalition for People living with Obesity (ECPO), Patient panel Oncology Center Maastricht University Medical Center+, Stichting Darmkanker, Stichting voor Patiënten met maag- en slokdarmkanker (SPKS)

Preventing airborne transmissions of viruses

MItigation STrategies for Airborne Infection Control (MIST)
Since the global impact of COVID-19, we are acutely aware of the risk of diseases dispersed through the air. Virologists, epidemiologists, fluid mechanics and engineers will join forces in the MIST programme to better understand and prevent airborne viral transmission. Under various conditions, the researchers will study the infectiousness of viruses, the spread of fluid droplets in the air, and the influence of ventilation and the purification of air on the transfer of viruses. They will subsequently translate this knowledge into practical recommendations about which measures can be deployed in the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable manner in various environments ranging from people at home to hospitals, schools and trains.

Programme leader: Prof. Detlef Lohse (University of Twente)
Participating knowledge institutions: Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, MARIN, Radboud university medical center, Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre, TNO, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Amsterdam, University of Twente
Companies: Arcadis, BAM, Carrier, Euromate, Greensol, Hiensch Engineering, Heinen & Hopman, I-Vention Medspray, Novaerus, Philips, PlasmaMade, Signify, Virobuster
Other societal partners: ArtiZ, CCN, KHN, KNHB, KNLTB, NS, PO-raad, REHVA, Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Sportinnovator, TVVL, VLR, VO-raad

Fighting arthritis

In the Netherlands, more than 1.5 million people suffer from arthritis – a rheumatic condition of the joints that causes pain, stiffness and difficulty in moving. As arthritis is a condition that mainly occurs among older people, the number of patients is set to increase due to the ageing of Dutch society. At present, there is no adequate treatment for arthritis. The OAinject programme will develop new diagnostic tools that will determine which form of arthritis a person has so that individualised treatments can be offered. The researchers will also work on innovative ways of gradually administering drugs locally over a longer period of time via an injectable drug depot in the joint. With this approach, the consortium will ensure that patients can retain an active lifestyle that helps to prevent other conditions such as cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Programme leader: Prof. Marcel Karperien (University of Twente)
Participating knowledge institutions: Delft University of Technology, Erasmus MC, Maastricht University, Maastricht University Medical Center, Radboud university medical center, University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Twente
Companies: Chondropeptix, DSM Biomedical, IBIS Technologies, InnoCore Pharmaceuticals, 20Med Therapeutics, Nordic Bioscience, Orthros Medical, Procore, QVQ, Ssens
Other societal partners: Deventer Hospital, ReumaNederland, Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing