Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

About NIOZ

Royal NIOZ, the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, is an institute of NWO, since 2016 in cooperation with Utrecht University. 

Mission statement

NWO-NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research is the national oceanographic institute and principally performs academically excellent multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research addressing important scientific and societal questions pertinent to the functioning of oceans and seas. Second, NIOZ serves as national marine research facilitator (NMF) for The Netherlands scientific community. Third, NIOZ stimulates and supports multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research, education and marine policy development in the national and international context.

Research and strategic vision

NIOZ science plan 2014-2020, identifies two broad research themes: the changing ocean system, past, present, future and adaptability of marine ecosystems in a changing world.

These themes are inspired by three major notions: oceans as unknowns, oceans in trouble, and oceans as opportunity.  Many processes, biodiversity, ecology, biogeochemical cycles and their interconnections in the seas and oceans are still unknown or poorly understood. What we do know, is that coasts, seas and oceans are in trouble: the effects of overfishing and pollution, and the cumulative effects of climate change (warming, acidification, sea level rise, anoxia) need mitigation. At the same time, seas and oceans will be a major future source for global resources, food, and energy, as population growth and new technologies unavoidably lead to ever more, and intensified ocean exploitation. Oceanographic institutions focusing on fundamental, process-oriented, innovative marine research such as NIOZ have a pivotal societal role in constraining the above towards sustainable pathways. 

We aim to generate the multidisciplinary expertise and fundamental knowledge needed to underpin and improve longer-term sustainable and responsible marine management. From fundamental understanding of key-processes, to promoting innovative solutions to the coming challenges of sustainable and responsible use of the seas and oceans. We call it our Mission Blue Planet.

NIOZ organisation

NIOZ is made up of four science departments, along with three support departments. Our science departments are:

NIOZ was founded as the Dutch Zoological Station in 1876. Today, our facilities are located on the Wadden island of Texel and in the town of Yerseke on the border of the Eastern Scheldt.

The institute is managed by our director prof. dr. Henk Brinkhuis, supervised by our Board and advised by our Scientific Advisory Committee.

Our primary source of basic funding is the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Another long-term financial partner is Utrecht University. An overview of the budget can be found in our Annual Report.

Read more about our organisation, partners and history.