13 December 2016

Joint UU-WUR effort for a National Plant Eco-Phenotyping Centre

NPEC on roadmap large-scale infrastructure

The research facilities that will be given top priority in the world of Dutch science in the coming four years have been announced on December 13th. State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science Sander Dekker accepted the Roadmap for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure containing the 33 selected facilities and clusters during a presentation in The Hague. The facilities on the Roadmap are eligible for NWO funding. Eighty million euros is available to be distributed among these facilities every two years.

As there are insufficient funds to support all research facilities in the Netherlands, a selection of research facilities has been made based on their importance to science. Facilities were also selected based on their compatibility with strategic priorities, such as the Dutch National Research Agenda, the top sectors and the European roadmap for large-scale research facilities (ESFRI). One of the facilities to have made this stringent selection is the Netherlans Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre (NPEC).

NPEC is a partnership between Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research, and also includes affiliated groups from Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. This future facility will provide scientists with next generation growth platforms to enable research designed to unravel to the  interactions between plants, their microbiomes and the environment. These interactions determine the growth, the health and traits – the phenotype – of plants. NPEC will become a part of the ESFRI facility European Infrastructure for multi-scale Plant Phenomics and Simulation (EMPHASIS) through the national PhenomicsNL platform. 

Mid-2017 research facilities on the Roadmap can submit their requests for funding. The first allocations are planned for early 2018. The Roadmap for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure will run for four years.