The NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) announced that the National Roadmap for Large Scale Infrastructural Investments has assigned a sum of 17.9 million euros for the expansion of a nation-wide network of high-field NMR centres. As one of the four core members of the uNMR-NL consortium, Wageningen University & Research is to receive three million euros. This sum is to be spent on a new, advanced 14 Tesla NMR instrument, scientific staff and infrastructural support.
Advanced magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and imaging (MRI) utilise the magnetic characteristics of atoms’ nuclei to study the structure and dynamics of molecules in materials and living organisms. uNMR-NL is currently equipped with a single central NMR instrument with extensive possibilities. Now, this will be expanded into a network of NMR facilities with new instruments and upgrades throughout the Netherlands. This will fortify the availability and interchange of expertise between the participating groups.
The approval of this investment acknowledges the distinctive contributions made by the laboratory of Biophysics and the laboratory of BioNanoTechnology to the development of advanced magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and imaging (MRI) methods.
‘The MAGNEFY centre is delighted to receive this investment for our magnetic resonance facilities. This will boost various research programmes within Wageningen, such as research on sustainable crop production, healthy and tasty foods, plant development, biofilm growth, and novel (nano)materials for health applications and (bio)catalysis,’ says Maarten Smulders, chair of the WUR MAGNEtic resonance research FacilitY, MAGNEFY.
The lead petitioner of the ‘uNMR-NL Grid: A distributed, state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance facility for the Netherlands’ is Prof. Dr M.H. Baldus of Utrecht University. The other two partners are Leiden University and the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Grant for UNLOCK
Within the National Roadmap programme, the NWO also granted millions of euros in funding for the UNLOCK facility, with WUR as lead petitioner and partner Delft Technical University. A third proposal submitted by NIOZ, in which WUR is partially involved, was also approved. This proposal was supported by Tammo Bult (WMR, Wageningen Marine Research) and Thijs Ettema (Microbiology). However, WUR will not receive any financial means from this proposal, but WUR researchers will be able to use the infrastructure.