The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has decided to continue the financing of the Caribbean research programme. With 10 million euros, NWO is able to extend the Caribbean programme for another 5 years. First of all, NWO will develop a research agenda.
The programme ‘Caribbean research: a multidisciplinary approach’ was set up in 2013 to strenghten research on (and at) the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. OCW is very satisfied with NWO’s approach and set-up of the research programme. Research and expertise are of great importance to the challenges on the islands. Both researchers and stakeholders have shown a lot of interest in the programme. For this reason OCW decided to continue the programme by investing new funds.
At this point two multidisciplinairy calls have been carried out within the programme. Most of the projects from the first call focused on earth and life sciences. The second call focused on the regional cooperation and impact, and mainly attracted projects from the domain social sciences. The continuation of the programme is expected to be broadly interdisciplinary. Autonomous research lines will come together with links to relevant routes from the National Research Agenda (NWA). The Research Institute in St. Eustatius, the CNSI, will also play a role within the Caribbean Research Programme.
Prior to further implementation of the programme, an inventory of the research activities in the Dutch Caribbean will take place. Currently, the landscape is fragmented: it is not entirely clear which initiatives carry out exactly what research.
Partially based on the inventory, and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, a research agenda will be established. This agenda will also contain the priorities as set by the islands themselves, based on the priorities for Small Island Development States (SIDS) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) of the Unesco. The research agenda will include both fundamental and applied research. Based on this agenda NWO will decide on how to implement further funding rounds.