The ECCM MVI top-up call focusses on the collaboration between the (beta) tenure track researchers from the Electrochemical Conversion and Materials (ECCM) programme and researchers from the social sciences and humanities. Applications have to be submitted on behalf of consortia with an interdisciplinary composition. These consortia will implement the societal components of research into ECCM. Expertise from the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences has to be deployed in these consortia in an integrated manner. On this page, NWO offers researchers the opportunity to find a match via a digital meetup.
About Responsible Innovation
NWO integrates the ECCM research lines with Responsible Innovation Research to ensure that the ECCM research of the tenure track researchers lead to responsible innovations. NWO developed the Responsible Innovation (Dutch acronym: MVI) approach for research into the societal aspects of (technological) innovations. MVI research explores these societal aspects at an early stage to ensure that due consideration is given to them during the design and development process. Examples are economic, legal, ethical, sociological and (behavioural) psychological aspects. The aim of MVI research is to realise innovations that are acceptable to society and to prevent highly promising innovations failing due to a lack of societal acceptance (an example is the discussion around CO2 storage).
An explanation of MVI research is given by Prof. Eefje Cuppen, Professor of Governance of Sustainability at Leiden University, project leader of various MVI research projects and member of the ECCM programme committee:
In the ECCM Tenure Track call, six tenure track appointments were awarded funding. The focus of this call was Electrochemical conversion and materials (ECCM). This key enabling technology makes it possible to store energy from electricity in chemical compounds, such as hydrogen. These chemical compounds can serve as a fuel or as raw material for the chemical industry as an alternative to fossil sources. This is vitally important for the Dutch government’s aim of making the Netherlands CO2 neutral by 2050.
Tenure track research lines
How will these six tenure track researchers bring the use of this key enabling technology a step closer?
Electrical current can be used to convert molecules into raw materials and fuels. This happens at the surface of electrodes, and it is important to know how these processes take place ( Mom). The material from which these electrodes are made must be chosen carefully ( Groszewicz) and a large surface area is needed to maximise the yield ( Altomare). Various reactions can take place on the surface ( Garcia). Besides all of these aspects, the successful application of this key enabling technology depends on our ability to find the right combination of technologies, business models and socioeconomic strategies ( Pérez-Fortes).
Examples of Responsible Innovation
The successful introduction of ECCM technology into everyday practice requires a proactive design and development perspective. Expertise from the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences will therefore have to be deployed in an integrated manner and stakeholders need to be involved in the research from an early stage.
Examples of the Responsible Innovation approach are: research into the practical implementation of small-scale prototypes and the upscaling of these. Not just the production but the entire life cycle could be investigated, including recycling. It is equally important to explore the raw material, production and recycling costs as the economic profitability of the used and stored energy. The development of an integral method to compare the new technology with existing technologies can simplify the decision-making process and the implementation trajectory. The industrial, logistical and (geo)political consequences of the implementation and the public perception could be investigated. New legislation might be required, for instance in the area of safety.
The six tenure track researchers have already described possibilities for Responsible Innovation research in their grant proposal. These can serve as a starting point for the ECCM MVI top-up call, or an entirely different Responsible Innovation proposal can be jointly elaborated. The initiative for writing a proposal lies with the humanities, social sciences and tenure track (natural sciences) researchers. The final proposal is submitted by the tenure track researcher as the main applicant, and the other researchers will be co-applicants.
Researchers who are interested in collaborating can contact the tenure track researchers directly. If it is not clear from the videos which research project provides the best match, then proposals for research can also be presented to all candidates via NWO. In that case, please contact one of the programme secretaries:
Maurits Boeije +31 (0) 70 3494370 firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Gadsdon +31 (0)70 3494276 email@example.com