Programme Strategic Scientific Alliances

The Programme Strategic Scientific Alliances aims to establish a new form of structural long-term scientific cooperation. These "strategic scientific alliances" are of mutual benefit to the Netherlands and China. Projects are limited to a number of priority research fields, i.e. material sciences, biotechnology/drug research, and environmental science.


The programme will run for a total of 18 years. By the time it ends, there should be two or three strategic scientific alliances in the three priority research fields.

The Academy defines a strategic scientific alliance as a partnership in which Dutch and Chinese partners participate equally in ongoing research activities, PhD training and other training and knowledge-sharing activities for postdocs and senior researchers.

The alliance is expected to play an instrumental role in forming a scientific research network. This network will encourage mutual information and knowledge-sharing and joint use of available equipment, research facilities, methods and techniques. The available expertise and facilities must be complementary. Alliance participants are expected to develop a unique joint line of research.


The programme has a maximum duration of 18 years divided into four phases:

Preparatory Phase

(duration 2 years) (2001-2003)

Project Phase

(15 projects, duration 3 years) (2004-2007)

Programme Phase

(6 programmes, duration 5 years) (2008-2013)

Strategic Alliance Phase

(maximum 3 strategic alliances, duration 4 years) (2015-2019)

While the number of participating partnerships within the programme decreases after each phase, the funding remains the constant. The nature of the cooperation will therefore intensify and increase in complexity and scope in each consecutive phase.

At the beginning of 2016, the Academy and MoST will select three projects into the Strategic Alliances Phase.


The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is making up to EUR 1.36 million available annually for a period of 13 years, starting with the Project Phase. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has agreed to make roughly 10 million Chinese Yuan available, which is equivalent to the Dutch input.