Jointly meeting global challenges Annual report 2012


Wim van Vierssen calls for flexible and high-quality water research

18 January 2012Networks

“Water@work! On the subject of a science system with small players and big ambitions”; that is the title of the speech Wim van Vierssen, Managing Director of KWR, gives when officially accepting his chair at Delft University of Technology. In his speech, Van Vierssen applies Science System Assessment to water-related research, examining how scientific research is organised and how it relates to society.


Water research in the Netherlands has a solid point of departure, observes Van Vierssen. The water sector is one of the nine top economic sectors designated by the government. True, it is very fragmented, but it is well organised and is closely tied to the citizens. Moreover, at a global level, there is a lack of safe and clean water. The 3 percent contribution of the Netherlands “waterland” to the international production of water-related knowledge is small, but given our country’s size it is actually very considerable.

Bundling knowledge questions

Small, flexible and high-quality: for Van Vierssen this is the formula for success for future water research. (Quasi) governments authorities in the water sector should bundle their water-related knowledge questions, and then jointly contract the research out. Research results can contribute to even more efficiency and cost-savings.

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