Opdrachtgevers, financiering en publicatie onderzoek WUR

Commissioning parties, funding and publication of research at WUR

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) conducts independent fundamental and applied research. The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity applies in full to this. The conclusions of all research studies are reported on the basis of facts that are demonstrated and analysed in the research. Commissioning parties and/or other stakeholders have no influence on the findings. Funding providers are always clearly disclosed in the report. Conducting independent research and publication of the research results is WUR's core activity. If, on the basis of the research, it appears that there is a serious danger to persons, property, the environment or public health, the competent authorities will be informed without qualification (see also Article 6.3 of the General Terms and Conditions that apply to WUR research assignments).

Research at Wageningen University

More than half of the predominantly fundamental research at Wageningen University is funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the other half by other parties (NWO, EU, consortia, foundations, governments and companies).

The research questions must fit within the policy of the chair groups and the Wageningen Graduate Schools. They are formulated by the researchers, whether or not in consultation with the external partners. We do not allow ourselves to be influenced by the interests of third parties in our research and the formulation of research questions.

Agreements are always concluded with (private) funding providers of research contracts about the publication rights of the research results. Research results are generally published in peer-reviewed journals, but are also released through publications in popular scientific journals, trade journals, dissertations, contributions to conferences and seminars, books and lectures. The results are accessible as quickly as possible upon completion of the research, increasingly via Open Access channels and include the models and datasets used to come to the research conclusions. Publication can sometimes be postponed for a certain period, for example in the case of intellectual property creation, for example, through a patent application. Scientific data is kept for 10 years to allow validation during that time.

Special and endowed chairs can be funded by external parties. Standard agreements apply to safeguard independence from external funding providers in the case of possible conflicts of interest. The complete list of these chairs is published twice a year online.

Research at Wageningen Research

The research at Wageningen Research consists of five components:

1.  Statutory Research Tasks (SRT tasks) for government legislation and regulations. This research is largely funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), which submits research questions to Wageningen Research within the context of relevant legislation. Results are provided to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). The Statutory Research Tasks include both fundamental and applied research. This research can lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals.

2. Knowledge Base research (KB research) is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, which co-decides which research questions to be investigated. This is both fundamental and application-oriented research and aims to ensure the creation of in-depth knowledge and the development of relevant expertise, both of which are necessary for solving future societal issues. Results are always publicly released in reports and on Kennisonline, with no intervention from the funding provider. They can also lead to peer-reviewed publications in scientific and professional journals.

3. Policy-supporting research (PO): applied research commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality aimed at solving concrete societal issues. Research results are presented to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) through reports; these reports are also always made public.

4. Top Sectors: sectors that are critical to the Dutch economy and employment, in which the government wants to stimulate continual innovation. To this end, government, the business community, as well as research and knowledge centres form a ‘golden triangle’. WUR actively contributes to the Top Sectors Agri & Food and Horticulture and Propagation Materials in particular. In these sectors, Wageningen University & Research plays a key role as the most important knowledge partner in public-private partnership initiatives (PPP). Results arising from Top Sectors research are made public. On the basis of the subsidy scheme for applied research institutes, the intellectual property accrues to the knowledge institute. This can then be made available to the participating companies at the market price on the basis of these subsidy conditions, with due observance of the state aid rules (Article 22 et seq). Before the results are announced, it is possible to observe a period for asserting intellectual property. On this aspect, standard agreements apply in the Netherlands.

For all the research tasks described above - SRT, KB, PO and Top Sectors, agreements have been made with the government regarding the timing of publication and communication about research results. A maximum delay of two months can be asserted before publication, so that the government can anticipate any necessary policy consequences.

5. Research assignments for third parties: e.g.

  • Grants/subsidies (from NWO, Horizon Europe, Zoom, EFRO, Eurostars, Eureka, RVO, among others)
  • Public-public partnerships: (ERA networks)
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Contract research/bilateral research on behalf of a single private commissioning party/company

For these assignments, a contract or, if necessary, a Consortium Agreement is drawn up before the project starts in which agreements are made about, among other things, intellectual property and publications. In EU projects/publicly funded research, results and data must be open access and the various subsidy conditions applicable to this are an imperative premise. In the case of contract research/bilateral research that is funded 100% by one or more companies, different agreements can be made about the ownership of the research results and the right to publish. The following also applies here: it appears on the basis of this investigation that there is a serious danger to persons, property, the environment or public health, the competent authorities will be informed with no restraint.

April 2021