The National Centres of Excellence in Research (NCER) programme provides a structuring framework and funding instrument to bundle research excellence around a mission of significant societal relevance by encouraging high-level transdisciplinary research and intersectoral collaboration. NCER projects should become internationally recognized examples of best scientific practice, both with regards to the outcomes and impact of research, as well as in the way research is carried out.
Within the context of the National Research and Innovation Strategy, approved by the Government in December 2019, it is foreseen to launch a limited number of NCER projects over the next few years. These projects represent long-term investments (FNR funding for up to eight years) within the National Research Priorities and should be integrated into the Luxembourg research landscape as flagship projects.
In summary, the key characteristics of a NCER project are as follows:
- Alignment with the National Research and Innovation Strategy for Luxembourg.
- Focus on a mission that is highly relevant for society, environment, economy, industry, health, education or other public and private stakeholders. NCERs ultimate goal is to generate long-term societal impact that support the sustainable growth and development of Luxembourg over the next decade.
- To tackle the mission, important knowledge gaps need to be filled, which the NCER project will address through original and innovative research that can be a mix of fundamental and applied topics.
- Implement the paradigm of Transdisciplinary Research through co-creation of the project with relevant stakeholders and active involvement of partners from business, industry, society, government during the project.
- Bundle existing strengths and include a plan for additional capacity building (infrastructure, competences and talents). The development of a nationally relevant
infrastructure can be a key part of the project.
- Foster international collaboration and best practices in responsible conduct of research and other aspects of a positive and forward-looking research culture.
DURATION & FUNDING
NCER project funding runs for a maximum of 8 years, and has two main phases, with a milestone-based evaluation between phase I and phase II. In addition, there is a mandatory INITIATE “pre-phase” (focusing on co-design of the project) as well as an optional post-NCER (focusing on further development of the domain and knowledge utilisation).
The maximum funding amount of a NCER is 12.1 MEUR.