Science - September 13, 2017

New prize for applied research

Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

Starting next year, scientists will have a chance at being awarded the Stevin prize for applied research. Like the Spinoza prize, this new prize is worth 2.5 million euros.

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The Stevin prize for the valorisation of scientific research is awarded by NWO, like the current Spinoza prizes. ‘With this prize, we reward both the quality of science as well as its valorisation’, says outgoing State Secretary Sander Dekker.

The money that the laureates will receive is meant for ‘further research and the accompanying knowledge transfer’, NWO announced in a press release. Similarly to the Spinoza prize, scientists may be nominated.

With this prize, we reward both the quality of science as well as its valorisation.

A Simon Stevin prize has existed since 1998. The Simon Stevin Master Prize (link in Dutch) can be compared to the announced Stevin prize, although not all fields of scientific research were considered. This has now been changed.

The last of these half-million Stevin prizes was awarded last week to Professor Andrew Webb from Leiden University, who is working on improving MRI techniques. NWO confirmed this award will be discontinued.

Sail wagon
Simon Stevin (1548-1620) was a mathematician, physicist and engineer. The larger public mostly knows him for his sail wagon: a kind of sail boat that could ride on the beach.

With the discussions on English in higher education flaring up, it might be interesting to know that Stevin expanded the Dutch scientific vocabulary with words such as wiskunde (mathematics), wijsbegeerte (philosophy), evenaar (equator) and middellijn (diameter). According to him, Dutch was more suitable for the transfer of knowledge than Latin, for example.

Additional reading (in Dutch):