The development of molecular sciences for materials, food and health critically depends on comprehensive and non-invasive specimen characterization. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most widely applied analytical methods and has found abundant application in biology, medicine and materials research. The versatility of NMR to characterize equally well all kinds of materials, biomolecules, processes and living organisms makes NMR spectroscopy an indispensable tool in the search for solutions for major problems that our society faces.
To address these challenges, the five major Dutch centres for magnetic resonance research in structural biology, materials and metabolic mapping as well as imaging techniques, together with the public private partnership for analytical chemistry TI-COAST, formed in 2011 a national consortium. This concerted effort resulted in the implementation of a national ultrahigh-field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility (uNMR-NL) that aims at providing open access to a new generation of NMR instruments operating at ultra-high field strength across scientific disciplines and industrial research. As a first step in this direction, the uNMR-NL consortium received funding to place in 2015 at Utrecht University a 950 MHz standard bore equipped with several solution-, solid-state an micro-imaging probes that will in the near future be followed up by the first ultra-high field instrument, a 1.2 GHz standard bore NMR, in the Netherlands. In addition, the uNMR-NL consortium has, headed by the Radboud University, founded the Netherlands’ Magnetic Resonance Research school (NMARRS), a joint educational and research initiative.