Enabling Technologies Hotels Programme: looking back and into the future

ZonMw has recently announced which projects will be funded in the fourth call of the Enabling Technologies Hotels (ETH) programme. Dr Martijntje Bakker (ZonMw) and Professor Alain van Gool (Radboudumc) comment on the results of the call.

Professor Alain van Gool

Van Gool explains: “Technology Hotels are expert groups that offer their high-end technologies and the associated expertise and infrastructure to researchers who do not have access to such facilities. DTL’s searchable catalogue of Technology Hotels enables you to quickly locate an expert group. Life scientists can obtain funding to execute a research project at a Technology Hotel through the ETH programme. The fourth call closed in August 2017.”

60 projects
The 2017 call was open to two types of projects: public-private partnership projects (PPP) and early career scientist projects (ECS). In the latter, the main applicant had to be a scientist at a Dutch academic research organisation who obtained a PhD in the period 2009-present. Bakker: “We received a total of 164 project proposals, 77 of which were PPP projects and 87 were ECS projects. In each category, we awarded 30 projects, resulting in a success rate of 39% for PPP and 34% for ECS. This call was the first to welcome applications of projects outside a public-private partnership. With 87 proposals, the ECS option has been quite a success.”

FAIR training
The funded projects will run for a one-year period and will each receive a maximum of EUR 30,000 funding. DTL will organise FAIR data training for the projects. A plenary information meeting will be held in the end of March in Utrecht. “ZonMw is very pleased that DTL can organise this training for us,” says Bakker. ZonMw and NWO are currently discussing the future of the ETH programme. “We aim to continue the programme , but we are discussing in which way. We are exploring possibilities to incorporate Technology Hotel budget in other funding programmes in the future,” says Bakker.

Dr Martijntje Bakker

About the ETH Programme
ZonMw and NWO have set up the ETH programme in collaboration with DTL to stimulate open access of Dutch research facilities. The programme contributes to the aims of the Topsectors Life Sciences & Health, Agri & Food, and Horticulture & Starting Materials. The fourth call was open to public-private projects (PPP), i.e., collaborations between academic and industrial scientists. Projects in this category were asked to include the company as co-applicant. The main applicant was a scientist at a Dutch academic research organisation. It was also possible to submit an application without a company as co-applicant in so-called ‘early career scientist projects’ (ECS). Here, the main applicant had to be a scientist at a Dutch academic research organisation who obtained a PhD in the period 2009-present. It was not necessary to involve a company as co-applicant in these project proposals.

The ETH programme is active in several technology areas: bioinformatics & computational biology, genomics, proteomics & structural biology, metabolomics, and bio-imaging & phenotyping. You can see the distribution of awarded projects over these areas in an earlier news item.

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