Smart solutions for horti- and agriculture

A consortium of researchers and private partners may apply for funding for research that provides new, smart solutions that lead to sustainable and circular agricultural systems, while, at the same time, securing a healthy livelihood for farmers and agriculture-related companies. Application of high-tech systems and materials and the new possibilities of ICT will allow the agricultural sectors to better address the societal challenges they face.


With the 'Smart Solutions for horti- and agriculture' programme, NWO is encouraging new basic, application-oriented and precompetitive scientific research projects. By doing so, NWO wants to strengthen the knowledge base and encourage interdisciplinary research that leads to the application of knowledge within and between the top sectors Agri&Food, Horticulture & Propagation Materials, High Tech Systems and Materials and ICT. This programma is connected to the "High Tech to feed the World" vision document that can be downloaded below for background information.

'Smart Solutions for horti- and agriculture' focuses on four research challenges:

  • Sensor sytems
  • Data handling and analytics
  • Modelling, control and decision support
  • Actuation and robotics

Who can apply

A principal applicant submits the application on behalf of the project consortium. The consortium should consist of at least one knowledge institution and at least one private partner. In addition, one or more additional private and/or (semi-)public partners may take part in the consortium.
The interdisciplinary character of the programme requires that at least one co-appllicant from another research group is part of the consortium.

Applicants must be researchers at a Dutch university or a research institute recognised by NWO. Principal and co-applicants must have a paid employment contract for at least the duration of the application process and the research for which funding is requested, and hold a PhD and/or be a professor.

What to apply for

It is possible to apply for NWO financing of maximally 800,000 euro. Matching by private and/or public partners is obligatory. The NWO financing is minimallly 50% and maximally 80% of the whole projectbudget. The private and public partners in the project consortium together should contribute at least 20% of the total project costs. Contributions from private and public partners can be cash (min. 10% of the required financial resources) or in-kind.

The grant, including the cash contribution by partners, can only be used for:

  • Temporary scientific personnel (PhD student, postdoc) and temporary non-academic staff (technician).
  • Material costs related to spending required in order to perform the research. Costs associated with knowledge transfer, internationalisation, valorisation or instruments for the research may, to a limited extent, be included in the budget to be financed by the grant.

When to apply

The closing date for the submission of proposals is 09 April 2019, 14:00 hrs (CET).



The proposals will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • A Scientific quality;
  • B Potential for societal and economic application.

These two criteria carry an equal weight in the assessment procedure and ranking.


The procedure comprises the following stages:

  • Determining the admissibility of the applications;
  • Review by foreign referees and rebuttal;
  • Assessment by a committee, comprising renowned researchers with a background in the relevant scientific disciplines and representatives from the private and societal sector;
  • Decision by accredited board within NWO on the selection committee’s advice.

Applications can be submitted through the website of ISAAC

All documentation in relation to this call for proposals can be found on the website of NWO

This call is closed

The projects have been awarded, at the bottom of this page the current projects.

More information
Phase: Open for applications
Organisation: NWO
Start call: 27 December 2018
Ending call: 09 April 2019
Available budget: max. 4 mln euro
Dhr. dr. R. Winkler NWO grants officer


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