TU Delft professor did not report sponsorship

TU Delft professor did not report sponsorship



TU Delft ‘hydrogen professor’ Ad van Wijk did not report at the time that he was sponsored for two days a week between 2016 and 2021 by Netbeheer Nederland, the interest group of network operators in the Netherlands. TU Delft did not report this either. This is reported (in Dutch) by the Financieele Dagblad (FD).


Such financial constructions should be public, according to Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Transparency is important in this case because Netbeheer Nederland member companies like Gasunie benefit from hydrogen. It could give their gas networks a second life.


According to Van Wijk, he did not report the funding because he did not know he had to, he told the FD. A TU spokesperson added that the risk of conflict of interest was limited because funding from an industry organisation is not likely to benefit individual companies.


Rob van Eijbergen, professor of integrity at the Free University, calls that ‘nonsense’ in the FD. In itself, he said, there is nothing wrong with funding, but it should be mentioned so that the reader of a publication by Van Wijk knows ‘that there is a possible interest behind it’.


TU Delft currently has online a list of 48 sponsored chairs. Nationwide, this involves one in five professors. (SB)


Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.