The Netherlands is well regarded as a global leader in industry, science, and technology resulting from a strong national commitment to innovation. In the past decades, the Dutch government has identified research and development as a theme priority which has been translated into extensive infrastructure for nanotechnology facilities and industry support.

There is a significant research and academic focus on STEM of high priority in the Netherlands as seen by large scale investments from the Dutch government in research institutes and centres of excellence, including MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, and the AMOLF Institute. The MESA+ and AMOLF Research Institutes are considered high-priority strategic partners for the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) in terms of similar vision and complementary expertise of members. 

MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at University of Twente

MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology is highly respected and recognized internationally, which is marked by its outstanding scientific infrastructure, its stewardship over two national research programs NanoLabNL and NanoNextNL and the fact that a significant number of European Research Council (ERC) grants have been awarded to its scientists. MESA+ is one of the world’s leading research institutes on nanostructures, nanomaterials, nanosystems, and nanodevices – delivering high-quality, competitive and ground-breaking research and technologies. This is enabled by embracing a multi-disciplinary approach: combining physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, mathematics, materials science and engineering, and engaging social sciences and humanities.

Like WIN, MESA+ endeavors to meet the societal challenges as prescribed by the United Nations. Nanotechnology, being one of the important key enabling technologies, provides the basis for research and innovation in a wide range of industries such as automotive, food, chemicals, electronics, energy, pharmaceuticals, construction, and telecommunications.

A Memorandum of Understanding for Educational and Scientific Cooperation between WIN and MESA+ University of Twente for general research collaboration, faculty and student exchange, information sharing and facilities was signed in June 2018 for a duration of five (5) years.

WIN-MESA+ Seed Funding for Collaborative Research in Nanotechnology

To support new collaborations, the WIN-MESA+ Seed Funding Program was announced on October 16, 2019 at the workshop opening, with €150,000 committed by MESA+ and matched by WIN at $225,000 CAD from its Interdisciplinary Research Funding Program (IRFP).

The overall objective is to support 'high-risk/high-reward’ discovery research with significant impact on society, and assist these groups to apply for large-scale international funding programs within 18-24 months of commencing the projects. The workshop and subsequent seed-funding program targeted the complementary research expertise of the two institutes in the core nanotechnology areas of smart & functional materials, photonics, and fluidics for applications in healthcare, energy & sustainability, and information & communications technology (ICT), as demonstrated in the following table:

Applications Enablers Healthcare Information and Communications Technologies Sustainability (Energy and Environment)
Smart Materials X X X
Photonics X X X
Fluidics X    

In December 2019, five joint applications were received by teams from WIN and MESA+.

Three projects were selected for funding at $75,000 CAD each on the WIN side, matched by MESA+ at €50,000 for the Dutch PIs:

  1. Anna Klinkova (WIN/Chem) and Jeff Wood (MESA+): “Integrated solution to ammonia and carbon dioxide recycling to fertilizers and fuels”

  2. Hamed Majedi with Bo Cui (WIN/ECE) and Klaus Boller (MESA+): “On-chip platform for tunable nonlinear optics and reconfigurable quantum photonics”

  3. Kevin Musselman (WIN/MME) and Gertjan Koster (MESA+): “Laser-synthesized 2D nanosheets for epitaxial growth of functional oxides on any substrate”

MESA+ is also a co-founding institution of the International Network for Sustainable Nanotechnology (N4SNano) alongside, WIN, Sydney Nano, and UCLA.

AMOLF Research Institute

The AMOLF Research Institute is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research located at the Amsterdam Science Park. The research focus at AMOLF is fundamental research on the physics and design principles of natural and man-made complex matter, the creation of novel functional materials, renewable energy, green ICT and healthcare.

Dr Bruno Ehrler from AMOLF visited WIN in June 2018 to receive the WIN Rising Star Award recognizing his achievements in his career, and also presented at WIN’s International Frontiers in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Symposium on 6th June 2018. This relationship will facilitate partnership and research collaboration with the institutes, and open future exciting opportunities.

A WIN delegation also visited the AMOLF Research Institute in Amsterdam on Tuesday 15th October 2019, meeting prominent AMOLF researchers and touring facilities.

History of WIN-Netherlands Activities and Initiatives

  • AMOLF faculty member Dr Bruno Ehrler visited WIN in June 2018 to receive the WIN Rising Star Award recognizing his achievements in his career, and also presented at WIN’s International Frontiers in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Symposium on 6th June 2018.

  • “New Interdisciplinary Research Opportunities to Combat Urgent Global Challenges in Health, Information & Communications Technology, and Energy”. A group of eight WIN members along with WIN Executive Director and Assistant Director travelled to the University of Twente in the Netherlands to participate in a research workshop, supported by the IRPG program from the Office of Research for $10,000 matched by the Faculty of Science and the Departments of Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering.

  • A WIN delegation visited the AMOLF Research Institute in Amsterdam on October 15, 2019, meeting prominent AMOLF researchers and touring facilities.