Chemical Sciences

The NWO Domain Science covers seven disciplines, of which Chemical Sciences. It encourages innovative, fundamental, strategic and applied research. This is realised, for example, through the funding of research projects and programmes and the organisation of scientific meetings. Chemical Sciences promotes research in the following three main research areas.


Chemistry of Life

Understanding the natural world, the development of new medicines, molecular studies of the human body and cellular processes in living organisms in general, and more recently the use and change of biological processes and biomimicry are established fields within chemical research. Researchers in biochemistry, large areas of the organic chemistry and certain aspects of analytical and macromolecular chemistry find their challenges in this main research area.


Chemistry of Materials

Research in this main area is focused on the development of new classes of materials using nanotechnology, self-assembly. Also gaining insight into the atomic and macroscopic behaviour of materials with new theoretical and spectroscopic techniques falls within this main research area. Development of advanced biodegradable and bio-based materials with specific properties and research that increases the understanding and control of complex forms of matter are other

challenges that are addressed within this area. Interactions between entities (molecules, cells) of complex organic, inorganic and hybrid systems lead to new features through self-organization on a larger scale in space and/or time.


Chemical Conversion

Using raw materials and energy as efficiently as possible, the development of new technologies for producing chemical products, the analysis of these in the most modern manner using new insights from biology and materials science, and providing guarantees for a more sustainable society, characterise the chemistry in this main research area. Biotechnology and process-on-a-chip are just two examples of great importance for the process technology field; catalysis aims to find the highest atomic efficiency and stability in a chemical process. Researchers in process technology, catalysis and aspects of organic, polymer and analytical chemistry fall within this main research area.


For more information on the strategic research lines, take a look at our factsheets.