Newsletter for NWO-I employees April 2020
Inside NWO-I
Click here to read the newsletter online Nederlandse versie

Zoom concerts and PhD defences from home: lockdown leads to creative solutions

Astronomers like to video call from the cosmos. PhDs from NIOZ and SRON, however, just defend their theses from their own homes. At Nikhef, they listen via Zoom to piano and clarinet concerts. DIFFER, NIOZ and SRON have donated facemasks and gloves to healthcare. The NWO Institutes may be largely closed, but the research continues and the work and informal contacts are maintained through a range of creative approaches.

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Message from NWO-I president Stan Gielen for all NWO-I employees

Stan Gielen

Recently, Stan Gielen, president of the Dutch Research Council and board of the NWO-I foundation, sent all NWO-I employees a personal message. He discussed our health and that of our environment, the limited social contacts of (international) employees, and the uncertainty among employees with temporary contracts.

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How LOFAR and wind turbines jointly found a way forward

In January 2020, the Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Eric Wiebes, gave the go-ahead for the construction of 44 wind turbines in the former peat area of Drenthe, within five kilometres of ASTRON’s radio telescope LOFAR. Prior to this, ASTRON had held tough negotiations with the initiators of the wind farm. This resulted in agreements which both ASTRON and the wind farm can live with.

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Highlight CWI: artificial intelligence proposes best radiation plans

Researchers from NWO Institute CWI and the Department of Radiology of Amsterdam UMC have developed software that uses artificial intelligence to rapidly propose multiple radiation treatment plans for every patient. The software shows the doctor various well-considered options between providing enough radiation dose to the tumour and minimising the harm to the surrounding organs. ‘As a result of this software, doctors no longer need to devote time to the complex and often manual process of making a good plan’, says Peter Bosman, senior ICT researcher at CWI and leader of the project. On 17 March, Amsterdam UMC treated the first patient with a radiation plan made by the AI software. The innovative method will be used for the treatment of prostate cancer with internal radiotherapy.

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News from the Central Works Council

Last month, the NWO Central Works Council (COR NWO) provided feedback on the proposed changes in the statutes and internal rules and regulations of NWO-I. COR NWO also contributed ideas about what NWO can mean for all of its employees during the present coronavirus crisis. Finally, COR NWO evaluated the co-determination in light of the new governance structure that is starting to take shape at NWO-I.

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About NWO-I

NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of NWO, is an independent foundation belonging to NWO. The following nine institutes are part of NWO-I: AMOLF, ARCNL, ASTRON, CWI, DIFFER, Nikhef, NIOZ, NSCR and SRON. The 200-plus workgroups in which physics research takes place at Dutch universities and knowledge institutes are also part of NWO-I.


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