RIVM conducts applied, demand-led research with a view to solving societal issues. Much of our research work is commissioned by the three ‘core’ ministries (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport), which expect RIVM to ensure that the required knowledge is reliable and is made available in the most appropriate form.

In recent years, RIVM has developed to become a true knowledge institute, with less emphasis on autonomous research. This means that we draw upon the knowledge developed elsewhere and we commission others to conduct research on our behalf. RIVM’s role then becomes that of director and coordinator. We ensure that the available knowledge is integrated, whereupon we can identify the gaps in current knowledge which must be filled.

RIVM can only perform these tasks effectively if it possesses the expertise required to evaluate the quality of research projects. The knowledge base is maintained through both autonomous research and by entering into knowledge partnerships with other institutes. RIVM intends to strengthen its existing alliances and to form new ones where appropriate. This will help us to keep our expertise and know-how up to date, thereby safeguarding the scientific quality of our work.