Gijsje Koenderink and Sjoerd Stallinga receive funding from NWO Open Technology Programme

News - 05 October 2022 - Communication TNW

The NWO has awarded over 4.5 million euros to six projects through the Open Technology Programme, including the SUSTAINER project of Gijsje Koenderink and the Digital Pathology in 3D project of Sjoerd Stallinga. Apart from the NWO funding, companies and other organisations involved invest 1.3 million euros into the projects.

The Open Technology Programme of NWO funds excellent research that should lead to applicable knowledge. The programme offers companies and other organisations involved a low-threshold possibility of contributing to scientific research with a view to the possible application of the results.

Below are the brief summaries of the two projects that have received funding:

SUSTAINER: Sustainable production of structural proteins for medical and nutritional applications
Gijsje Koenderink (Bionanoscience)

Biomaterials are materials engineered to interact with cells for medical or nutritional applications. Current biomaterials are mainly made from animal-derived proteins, limiting their customizability and raising environmental, health and cultural concerns. This project brings together synthetic biologists, materials scientists and companies active in food and biomedical technology with the aim to generate microbial cell factories based on yeast capable of the sustainable, low CO2-footprint production of natural and engineered structural proteins. We will use the proteins to engineer biomaterials enhanced with cell-instructive cues and test them as cell scaffolds for soft tissue repair and cell-based meat production.

Digital Pathology in 3D
Sjoerd Stallinga (ImPhys)

Digital pathology is the diagnosis via microscopic examination of tissue and cells from a biopsy using digital images. Novel whole slide imaging platforms can efficiently deliver 3D tissue image data in large quantities for use in Artificial Intelligence that aid the clinicians' diagnoses. This requires not just a lot of data, but mostly data that is reliable and accurate. The aim of the project is to optimize the user value of 3D tissue image data by methods for validating and monitoring image quality and for enhancing the ratio of data value to data quantity.


Gijsje Koenderink


Sjoerd Stallinga