Knowledge Transfer Office

Academy research institutes and researchers at the Academy are facilitated by the KNAW-KTO to increase their impact. When facilitating, the KNAW-KTO creates, connects and protects.

That works like this:

  • Researchers can ask for tailor-made workshops created by KNAW-KTO on various topics such as grant writing, data protection and specific grant schemes such as ERC or VENI-VIDI. And every year KNAW-KTO organises the Grant Week.
  • Researchers receive individual advice on grant schemes that fit their stage of development and résumé. KNAW-KTO connects them with experts, unusual sources of funding and can help to write a utilisation paragraph.
  • KNAW-KTO protects the knowledge generated at the Academy’s institutes by advising on our intellectual property (patent) policy, helping to create confidential disclosure agreements (CDAs), material transfer agreements (MTAs) and license agreements. And by advising on entrepreneurial activities including fund raising. All these activities are executed in close cooperation with the Academy research institute.

What is knowledge transfer?

In the Academy’s view, knowledge transfer involves preparing knowledge for sharing it with others. In life sciences, research outcomes can influence health care, food safety and environmental policy. In the humanities and social sciences, research outcomes can influence cultural perceptions and historical awareness and produce economic and social innovations.

Knowledge transfer includes applying research results in societal contexts and using knowledge for economic purposes, e.g. single cell discoveries, which is a spin-off from the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW). It is an example of how biological research helps doctors to cure patients. In the case of single-cell sequencing, for example, cells from a tumour can be individually analysed. In this way, they hope in future to be able to tackle these types of diseases in a patient-specific manner.

New insights

Knowledge transfer can also have important advantages for research itself. By interacting with parties outside the scientific community, researchers may arrive at new insights that are meaningful for scientific progress. At the same time, institutes that have used knowledge to develop practical tools can generate new income.

Although the Academy institutes will continue to prioritise outstanding basic research, a well-defined knowledge transfer policy will allow them to bridge the perceived gap between basic and applied research.

What does KTO do?

KTO supports the setting up of spin-off companies in all phases, partly with the help of external business developers, including drawing up business plans and acquiring private investment resources.

The focus is on offering practical support to the institutes and their researchers. For example, providing support in finding suitable grants and offering access to the Research professional funding database. The KTO also organises training courses and workshops for the development of successful research proposals and, where possible, provides individual advice on research proposals. Researchers and institutes can also count on support in the field of patents, licences, ancillary activities and the setting up and participation in spin-off companies by KTO.


The Academy’s Knowledge Transfer Office (KNAW-KTO) was set up in 2016 to help Academy institutes and individual Academy researchers find answers to questions about knowledge transfer. The KTO helps institutes and researchers seek the expertise needed for knowledge transfer and supports them in attracting funding.

Who works at the KTO?

At present, the KTO consists of a head, Niek Dubelaar (,  a knowledge transfer advisor, Marit Bijlsma (, and an intern knowledge innovations, Rick Lameij, (, supported by an organisation manager, Jeannette Haagsma (

For general questions you can  reach us at: or 06 2132 5629. For grant specific questions you can contact Marit Bijlsma () or 06 5550 5021.