Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) will lead a major research project into helping the Netherlands to become more sustainable. It will involve more than 30 researchers from five universities.
The researchers aim to develop new techniques to help aid the transition to an energy-efficient society. That is, a society that is less harmful to the environment and produces much fewer CO2 emissions.
32 scientists, 12 million euros
The project is headed by NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network), which has appointed 32 PhD students, 20 of whom are from TU/e. Researchers from Rotterdam, Tilburg, Twente and Delft are also involved.
In total, the project will cost 12.5 million euros. Most of the funding comes from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, also known as the Dutch Research Council).
‘Many smart solutions fail now’
The researchers say that there are a number of major issues regarding sustainability in the Netherlands that must be addressed. For example, investments often do not go to technologies with the greatest impact. Instead, the focus is on investing in solutions that generate money quickly.
NEON believes that a new approach is needed. They propose a multidisciplinary approach which takes into account a variety of disciplines, consumers and companies.
Auke Hoekstra from TU/e is the project’s lead researcher. ‘Thanks to NWO, we have a combination of alpha, beta and gamma scientists. As far as I know, this is completely unique around the world. We are supported by a strong network of educational institutions both at home and abroad, as well as innovative companies, international interest groups and governments.’
Translator: Rachael Vickerman