NWO Call for proposals for Innovations for wind and solar energy

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TKI Wind op Zee
NWO Call for proposals Innovation

This NWO Call for proposals focuses on innovations for wind and solar energy. For wind energy it focuses on:

Efficiency and cost reduction

This call stimulates research to new materials, innovative devices, processes and designs for production-installations which realise a lower Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) by a higher energy production or lower costs of wind- and solar energy. For wind energy the main focus is offshore applications.


For circularity this call focuses on the development of innovative (circularly designed) materials and techniques to re-use windturbine system components. Lifetime extension, (partial) re-use, recycling, upcycling and remanufacturing of (components of) windturbines are also possible themes.

The two themes mentioned above together form the technical task. Proposals are intended to contain elements that are balanced in both themes. It is also essential that the innovations mentioned above are not only technically but also socially feasible (the social task). For example, by developing new business models and value chains or value circles, or by ensuring that new solutions are developed in a way that the intended end user wants to invest in a more sustainable future. Each proposal must therefore address a technical and a social task. See below for more information about the technical and social task.

Technical specification

Efficiency and cost reduction for wind energy: This could include new innovative materials and production processes for, for example, turbine blades for offshore wind (lighter, stronger, more durable), erosion-resistant and self-healing materials for leading edge protection, fatigue and / or corrosion-resistant materials for the construction, smart materials for system components and maintenance, new wind turbine components (eg generator, transmission) or support structures. Techniques and materials that minimize the need for replacement and also contribute to 1) lower environmental impact in the manufacturing and use phases and 2) (integrated) systems for inspection and repair.

Circularity for wind energy: Develop innovative techniques to recycle / upcycle recovered materials for the same or alternative uses. Life-cycle assessments are an integral part of the proposal. It is preferred that the new materials and systems are already designed in a circular manner in the design phase, i.e. the materials and systems are designed to be able to be broken down at the end of their lifespan into elementary raw materials where other useful materials with high added value can be made of.

Societal challenge

Circular design using new materials, systems and manufacturing and recycling techniques offers opportunities for new business models and for increasing public support. As part of the societal challenge, opportunities for new business models and the optimal organization and design of circular value chains can be explored. This applies to new materials and new material combinations that are being developed. The social task can also focus on both the public perceptions and acceptance of the new materials, techniques and processes, as well as the behavioral change that is necessary to ensure efficiency (for example, adoption and efficient use of the new materials and techniques when applied in the built environment).


A total budget of € 5 million is available for this call for proposals. The maximum for both program lines is € 2,5 million.

In this round financing can be applied for for research proposals of a minimum amount of € 750.000 euro and a maximum of € 1,5 million.

NWO finances up to a maximum of 85 percent of the total project costs; the remaining financing has to be covered bij obligatory cofinancing. At least half of the cofinance has to come from private sources.

Time schedule

The deadline for submittance of pre-proposals is 28 january 2021, 14:00 CEST.

The deadline for submittance of final proposals is 1 june 2021, 14:00 CEST.

The complete information on the call is published in the Staatscourant (in Dutch).