NWO Perspectief grant for research on AI in cancer treatment

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a €4.5 million research grant to PersON, a Radboud University research project that aims to use artificial intelligence to develop targeted cancer treatments.

Perspectief is a programme developed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. This year, a total of €27 million was made available, €23 million of which from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and €4 million from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. An impressive 115 companies, governments and social organisations are involved in the project and have contributed €12 million from their own resources. This budget will make it possible for the 106 participating researchers to work on their projects for several years.


One of these projects is PersON, which is headed by programme leader Johan Kwisthout. PersON: Explainable, Maintainable and Trustworthy Decision Support Systems for Personalised Care in Oncology has a budget of €4.5 million, of which €1.3 million consists of co-financing.

More and more people are being diagnosed with cancer every year. Many of them are given standard treatment options that fail to take into account individual expectations about quality of life. The PersOn programme uses artificial intelligence to analyse all available data on the type of cancer and the individual patient to predict the treatment outcome. Doctors and patients can use this information to choose the care path that is most likely to provide the best quality of life.

Kwisthout, an associate professor of Artificial Intelligence at Radboud University, is working on the project alongside researchers from Radboud University and Radboud university medical center. Other participating institutes include Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation, the Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Open Universiteit, TNO, Eindhoven University of Technology, Maastricht University, Utrecht University and VU Amsterdam. Also involved in the project are companies such as Chipsoft, Connected Care, CZ, Hugin Expert A/S, ICTRecht, Info Support, Maastro Clinic, Machine2Learn, Open Walnoot, Orikami, Privacy Company, Saddle Point Science Europe and We Are Not. Social partners include Isala Hospital Zwolle and the Dutch Federation of Cancer Patients Organisation.

About the NWO Perspectief programme

“From water management to the future of mobility, we face major challenges in the Netherlands that require interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers, organisations and society as a whole,” explains Margot Wijnen, president of the NWO domain Applied and Engineering Sciences. “Perspectief unites a diverse range of experts who work in consortium on innovative technologies. Together they can make great strides towards future solutions. That is the strength of Perspectief.”

The Perspectief programme challenges researchers to form consortia with businesses, governments and social organisations and jointly develop technological innovations that have a social impact and create economic opportunities for the Netherlands. The research programmes focus on major societal challenges and key technologies, thus contributing to the mission-driven top sectors and innovation policy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

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Artificial intelligence (AI), Health & Healthcare