The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is awarding funding to three UvA projects from the new Science Diplomacy Fund. The projects are led by Michael Kemper (European Studies), Valeria Krzhizhanovskaya (Informatics) and Eric Metz (Slavic Languages and Cultures). All three projects involve activities such as workshops and exchanges with researchers and stakeholders in Russia. The NWO is awarding a total of thirty-four grants across the country in this first round.
The new fund aims to fund scientific activities that can potentially contribute positively to improving diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and partner countries. The related activities, such as workshops, seminars and exchanges, will also contribute to the visibility and international position of Dutch science and to scientific cooperation between the two countries concerned.
Prof. Michael Kemper (European Studies): Sustainability and Geopolitics: Dutch-Russian Cooperation in Arctic Affairs
With the sea ice melting, preserving the Arctic region obtains new urgency and geopolitical significance. The increasing use of the Northern trade route and the exploitation of the region's natural resources pose new political and environmental problems. In addition, the Arctic is increasingly seen from a security perspective. How can national interests be combined with environment protection and the rights of indigenous nationalities? What can we learn from the joint work of the Arctic Council where the Netherlands has observer status? Three panels, in Groningen, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, bring together scholars, stakeholders and diplomats from Russia and the Netherlands.
Dr Valeria Krzhizhanovskaya (Informatica): Russian-Dutch Collaboration in Computational Science
This project will stimulate international scientific collaboration between Dutch and Russian research institutions in the field of computational science, applied to renewable energy and health sectors. The researchers will meet in the International Conference on Computational Science organised by the University of Amsterdam, in ITMO University and in the Netherlands Institute in Saint Petersburg, in a multi-disciplinary open-science environment. The project will increase the visibility and international position of Dutch science and improve diplomatic relations with Russia, by supporting invited lecturers and researchers' travel and stay from the project partners (UvA, VU, TNO, ITMO, NIP) and other institutions.
Dr Eric Metz (Slavic Languages and Cultures): Bridge Builders: Dutch Studies in Russia and Russian Studies in the Netherlands from a Historical Perspective
Through the ages, relations between the Netherlands and Russia have been marked by major fluctuations. During two conferences – one in St-Petersburg and one in Amsterdam – we plan to present a number of cases from the fourteenth till the beginning of the twenty-first centuries, with regard to institutional as well as non-institutional Dutch studies in Russia and Russian studies in the Netherlands. The focus will be on the twentieth century, when Dutch and Slavic departments have been founded at Russian and Dutch universities respectively. Apart from institutional history and the work of important slavists and scholars in Dutch studies, we will pay attention to the history of Russian-Dutch lexicography and to literary translation. Both conferences will also leave room for lectures intended for a broader audience. The project will result in an inventory of knowledge and expertise, and at the same time lay the foundation for a larger bilateral research proposal.
Through the Science Diplomacy Fund, the NWO will be working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies and consulates, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the Innovation Attaché Network and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Applications from all disciplines are eligible for a subsidy from the fund. Priority will be given to applications that enter into cooperation with Russia and Turkey and with countries with which the NWO already cooperates through the Merian Fund: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. Although thematic priorities have been formulated per country, activities on other themes are also allowed.