Incubator Grants

The Incubator Grant is our instrument to invest in community building, offering interdisciplinary teams of UU scholars the opportunity to take the time to collaborate on innovative interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary ideas. It is an instrument to get to know each other, reflect on the process of collaboration, build trust and understanding for each other’s perspectives, and further develop the consortium and the project idea.

Two projects granted in April 2023


Sustainable Finance

Sophie Klein, Udeke Huiskamp, Prof. Dr. Friederike Wagner-Cremer, Dr. Pita Verweij, Rens Van Tilburg, Moutaz Altaghlibi.

While climate change and carbon emission reduction measures have finally arrived in the financial sector, the pressing challenge of biodiversity loss and the role of the financial sector in this loss needs better understanding and stronger action. The WEF estimates that humans derive about $125trn of value from natural ecosystems each year and that this value is at risk due to rapidly deteriorating ecosystems. The integration of biodiversity for institutional investors e.g. pension fundsis an increasingly important issue, yet knowledge and implementation is lacking. This project aims to develop the knowledge and tools necessary to help pension funds integrate biodiversity considerations into their investment decisions.

Compounding Hydroclimatic Extremes

Jing Hu, Anna Duden, Gerbrand Koren, Arie Staal, Despoina Georgiou, Tim Hermans, Kees Oosterlee.

Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events (e.g. storms, floods, heatwaves) are expected to increase in the future, with disruptive impacts on socio-ecological systems. When extreme events occur in combination and involve more than one climate variable, they are referred to as compound events. So far, compound hydroclimatic events and their impacts are poorly understood. This project will develop a method to capture hydroclimatic compound events in terms of frequency, duration, intensity and spatial extent, and move beyond the current assessment of isolated climate impacts.

The application procedure

The application procedure takes place in stages, described step by step below and in this document. Firstly, a pitch of project ideas inviting others to join will take place (during one of the annual Kickstarter events). This event precedes the opportunity to apply for an Incubator Grant (up to 8k for a period of maximum 12 months). The Incubator Grant may, among other things, be used to further develop and grow the project idea and its team and to work towards its implementation. Groups who have obtained an Incubator Grant may together prepare applications for the second-stage and more substantial Signature Project Grant (50-150k for a period of maximum 24 months).

Timeline Pathways to Sustainability Incubator and Signature Project Grants

The 12 Incubator Grants that are awarded in October 2022/April 2023


  • Plastics on your plate: Where do they come from, how bad are they, and how to avoid them?​ - Ernst Worrell, Erik van Sebille, Florian Meirer, Arturo Castillo, Li Shen, Helene Knaus, Hilde Aardema, Jorke Kamstra, Roel Vermeulen, Virissa Lenters

  • Conceptualising Ecocide - Daan Van Uhm, Cedric Ryngaert, Susanne Knittel, Marijke van Kuijk, Frank Biermann, Eggo Müller, Julia Tschersich, Jérôme de Hemptinne

  • Whose Ocean? - Francesca Sangiorgi, Erik van Sebille, Alex Oude Elferink, Sabine Gollner, Susanne Ferwerda, Magdalena Gorska, Junjie Wang, Martine de Vos

  • Resourcefulness: Mapping the changing flows of material and finance for the energy transition - Nikkie Wiegink, Ernst Worrell, Carolina Sanchez, Friedemann Polzin, Allard Mosk

  • Pathways to sustainable coastal peatlands in The Netherlands​ - Natalie Dobson, Frank Groothuijse, Marleen van Rijswick, Mariet Hefting, Esther Stouthamer, Niko Wanders, Gilles Erkens, Marjolijn Haasnoot, Martin Wassen, Ralph Temmink, Paul Schot, Dries Hegger

  • Rethink Hydrogen - Sustainable hydrogen production from seawater - Nongnuch Artrith, Rodrigo García-Muelas, Peter Ngene, Hamed Aslannejad, Vinzenz Koning, Matteo Gazzani, Udeke Huiskamp, René van Roij, Friedemann Polzin

  • Future-proof dietary proteins: Looking beyond planetary health - Prescilla Jeurink, Johan Garssen, Anna Gerbrandy, Joyce Delnoij, Julie Fraser, Hanneke van Eijken, Hanna Hauptmann, Melanie Mendel, Max Alatieh, Junjie Wang,  Gabi Matias de Pinho, Roel Vermeulen, Simone Pekelsma, Friso Smit

  • People’s Energy: The role of energy communities in accelerating the energy transition - Elena Fumagalli, Jiamin Ou, Annelies Huygen,  Denise de Ridder, Marleen Gillebaart, Karlijn van den Broek, Sanne Akerboom, Jesse Hoffman, Kees van der Wel, Nenya Jochemsen, Francesca Pilo, Nathan Wood, Wilfried van Sark, Madeleine Gibescu, Ioannis Lampropoulos, Luis Ramirez-Camargo, Sanli Faez

  • Women, health and water – striving for environmental justice in the agribusiness sector - Stefanie Lutz, Tatiana Acevedo-Guerrero, Hans Kromhout, Julia Swart, Sarah Carmichael

  • NATURICITY: (Changing) narratives of urban nature - Tatiana Acevedo Guerrero, Katrin Merfeld,  Susanne Ferwerda, Helen Toxopeus, Harriet Bulkely, Stephen Snelders, Niki Frantzeskaki

  • Sustainable Finance - Sophie Klein, Udeke Huiskamp, Prof. Dr. Friederike Wagner-Cremer, Dr. Pita Verweij, Rens Van Tilburg, Moutaz Altaghlibi. 

  • Compounding Hydroclimatic Extremes - Jing Hu, Anna Duden, Gerbrand Koren, Arie Staal, Despoina Georgiou, Tim Hermans, Kees Oosterlee.