ZonMw also encourages the development and use of infrastructures to promote the use of knowledge and insights. Different groups come together in these infrastructures to share questions, knowledge and insights. This exchange supports the transfer and utilisation of new knowledge in practice, policy, education and/or further research. On this page, we give examples of implementation infrastructures that we support.

Knowledge portals

An effective digital channel to enable the flow of educational knowledge is the knowledge portal. Here, knowledge, products and experiences are shared at national level. ZonMw is active in providing research results to the knowledge portals of Vilans and it participates in workplaces where knowledge is pooled and new instruments are developed. More information is available on the page about knowledge portals.

Academic workplaces

ZonMw provides money and support to help set up academic workplaces. These workplaces ensure better cooperation between practice, science, policy and education. For example, a university or university of applied sciences can team up with professional institutions to translate questions from the field into research questions. They then jointly translate the knowledge gained from research into products that can be used by practitioners in the field. Below are two recent examples.


One way of encouraging the exchange of knowledge over the long term is to arrange for the creation of consortiums. Here, several parties are asked to formulate knowledge questions and answer them. By forming a consortium, all the parties enter into a mutual obligation to collaborate on resolving an issue.

Implementation fellows

With support from ZonMw, 10 implementation fellows have been trained over recent years to give added impetus to implementation and implementation research in university hospitals and other hospitals. Not only do they have theoretical knowledge gleaned from the academic literature on successful implementation strategies, but they have also gained considerable experience in practical situations. This combination of theory and practice provides specific expertise that is very useful in the field. The experiences have been collected in the publication ‘Goud verzilveren, de waarde van implementatie experts’ (‘Capitalising on gold; the value of implementation experts’).

Nederlands Implementatie Collectief (NIC)

The Nederlands Implementatie Collectief (NIC) – the Netherlands Implementation Collective – could become the main network for sharing knowledge about effective implementation in health and healthcare. Various organisations (e.g. Trimbos Institute, ZonMw, ZIN (National Health Care Institute) and AmsterdamUMC) together ensure that existing networks and study groups are linked with regard to implementation. In 2020, ZonMw is conducting an exploratory survey on the need for setting up the NIC.

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