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Through the Gravitation subsidies, the government stimulates excellent research in the Netherlands. The programme is intended for academic consortia that have the potential to be among the very best internationally in their fields. The Gravitation programme provides researchers with the opportunity to carry out innovative and groundbreaking research for a period of 10 years. The selection procedure is carried out by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).
Read more about the Gravitation programme.

The UG and Gravitation

The UG also conducts research with the Gravity grants. One of these studies is the large-scale SCOOP research program. SCOOP's group of researchers focuses on a rather unknown area that could be called 'collaboration science'. Another project, Designing Hybrid Intelligence, has also received the Gravity grant. Within this project, the focus is on expanding knowledge by combining human and artificial intelligence.


Within SCOOP, around 70 researchers (sociologists, psychologists, historians, philosophers, public administrators, and statisticians) are working on solutions for sustainable collaboration in the fields of care, work, and integration. SCOOP is a joint initiative by the University of Groningen (UG) and Utrecht University (UU), in which other researchers are also involved. In 2017, SCOOP recieved a Gravity grant of 18,8 million for a period of 10 years.

Rafael Wittek
Rafael Wittek

Rafael Wittek, Professor of Sociology at the UG, is one of the 70 researchers who is conducting research on the concept of sustainable collaboration. ‘This collaboration was a learning curve for us, too. We have now been working on this since 2012 and have learned how important it is to have patience and, at the same time, respect.’ Wittek has noticed that the common interest in the content of the research ensures cohesion. ‘We have long and frequent dialogues. This demonstrates that there is engagement and that we intrinsically pay attention to one another. The collaboration between disciplines is also going well. We are learning from and complementing one another.’

Rineke Verbrugge
Rineke Verbrugge

Designing Hybrid Intelligence project

Rineke Verbrugge, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the UG, is part of the Designing Hybrid Intelligence project, a consortium with five other universities that is developing new theories and methods for intelligent systems that cooperate with humans, adapt to dynamic conditions, and can explain their actions. Verbrugge was a co-applicant for the €19 million Gravitation grant awarded to the project. With the grant, the project team of scientists will be able to effectively stimulate collaboration between the specific qualities of machine intelligence and human intelligence in order to increase joint intelligence.

Last modified:23 January 2023 4.41 p.m.
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