Expertise Networks

“By working together we strengthen our position in space research”


From observations taken by instruments and sensors aboard satellites and spacecraft, important information can be derived about the Earth, other planets and the universe. This information contributes to knowledge development in science and is highly relevant to users in the wider society. Examples include information about the quality of water, soil and air in our environment, information about the causes and consequences of climate change, the sources and management of (natural) disasters and threats, information to find and characterize planets near other stars, or information about possible extraterrestrial life on other planets or moons in our solar system.

Dutch organizations in science and industry have built up an excellent position on a number of themes related to the development of such space instruments and the use of their data. In a relatively small country like the Netherlands, cooperation between several parties in the chain from technology development to user applications, it is extremely important to maintain and broaden that position. By bringing scientists, technology developers and users together at an early stage, the development and use of future space instruments can be even better focused on most important needs such that the Dutch international position in these fields will be strengthened.

This is one of the important goals of the Dutch national space policy, which is why NSO and NWO are jointly implementing the Expertise Networks programme on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.


Expertise Networks programme

The Expertise Networks programme is aimed at strengthening the international position of the Netherlands in the field of development and use of space instruments by supporting expertise networks. This scheme falls under the PIPP programme, but we will refer to it here as the Expertise Networks programme (KNW).

Purpose and objectives

The purpose of the KNW scheme is to strengthen and promote cooperation between Dutch universities, knowledge institutions and industry on technological themes that are – or could be – relevant to the development ('upstream') and use ('downstream') of space instruments. Cooperation will enable better use of the technological expertise present in the Netherlands in the field of space instruments. This contributes to maintaining and further expanding the international position of the Netherlands in this field.

The KNW programme finances expertise networks in which this cooperation can take further shape. Expertise networks focus specifically on opportunities to deploy entirely new, breakthrough technologies from within and outside the field of space research. In doing so, instrument development is not only steered by the technological capabilities, but also by the need for data from these instruments for scientific, social and commercial applications. In this way, expertise networks are able to initiate fundamental technology development, while the results of the expertise networks serve science, society and the economy.

What are Expertise Networks?

An expertise network is an organizational structure around a coherent and well-defined knowledge theme (in the field of science, technology, applications and/or use) that focuses on the development and/or use of space instruments. In an expertise network at least the Dutch knowledge parties participate that have demonstrable expertise and perform activities that are relevant to the development and/or use of space instruments on the specific theme. Other organizations, such as companies, societal organizations, government organisations or users, can also participate in an expertise network. For each theme, an expertise network merges the relevant knowledge available in the Netherlands, and parties that have relevant knowledge and want to participate may not be excluded by the network.


Contact details

Jolien Diekema:, 0627062992
Radboud Koop:, 0627878958