Biological research is set to make an important contribution to resolving many of the issues facing society, for example food security, the bio-based economy, and sustainable development. That makes it all the more urgent for the Netherlands to develop a national strategic agenda for research and education in the biosciences.
Once that agenda has been developed, parties such as the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the universities and the NWO can develop detailed plans of their own.
A Biosciences Strategic Agenda Committee will draw up a strategic agenda for the future of the biosciences in the Netherlands. It will in any event focus on the following questions, many of them interrelated:
- What important societal issues can the biosciences resolve or help to resolve? What contribution can the biosciences make to the knowledge economy?
- What are key research topics in the biosciences?
- What trends and developments will make it possible (or likely) that such issues can be investigated in research (for example technology, including ICT, and trends in the partially overlapping fields of chemistry, physics, earth sciences and mathematics)?
- What choices does the Netherlands have to make in order to rise to the top of the world rankings in the biosciences and to tackle the various challenges facing society?
- What organisational and financial changes are required in the knowledge infrastructure to meet these challenges? How urgent are these changes?