Frank van Oort obtains research grant from the COVID-19 programme of ZonMw

Erasmus School of Economics

Frank van Oort, Professor of Urban & Regional Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, has been awarded a ZonMw COVID-19 research grant in the track of Societal Dynamics. This collaborative NWO grant of 500.000 euros is awarded to a multidisciplinary research group. Together with the consortium partners, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Van Oort will investigate the societal effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the (intended) measures for mitigation.

According to Professor Frank van Oort, the combination of expertise of regional economics and public administration makes this project truly interdisciplinary in character: ‘The cocreation with local governments offers a unique opportunity for direct use of outcomes in policy.’

Dean of Erasmus School of Economics, Professor Patrick Groenen is enthusiastic: ‘From what I understand, only 40 percent of the full proposals have been approved so congratulations to Frank and his team with their success in this competitive call. This grant provides further recognition of our ability to perform timely high impact research in collaboration with stakeholders from outside academia.’

Adhemare de Rijk, Funding Manager Research: ‘Given the current situation it is very important to contribute with our knowledge to potential solutions to better understand pandemic related measures. I look forward to the results this collaboration will generate.’

Short summary of the COVID-19 research project: The Resilient Region

The research focuses on short- and long-term economic impacts of corona policies. It analyses how regional and sectoral variation in pandemic-related measures can limit negative short-term economic consequences. Actual and potential corona measures of national, regional and local governments will be translated into localised production and consumption restrictions, identifying direct and indirect (interregional value chain) effects on GDP, employment and competitiveness of firms. The research further aims to identify how structural regional change can be stimulated for increasing long-term resilience of the economy, focusing on spatially diversifying trade networks (more local or flexible production networks to spread risks) and related labor market outcomes. The regional and sectoral specificity of economic impacts means that economic mitigation does not have a “one-size-fits-all” character. The consortium will investigate these fundamental issues in the coming two years in collaboration with three municipalities, four provinces and three Dutch ministries.

About Frank van Oort

Frank van Oort is Professor of Urban and Regional Economics at Erasmus School of Economics and Academic Director of the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He obtained his PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2002 with a doctoral dissertation on agglomeration benefits and innovation in cities. He previously worked for Utrecht University and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) in The Hague. Frank van Oort combines fundamental research with applied and policy-oriented research. For example, besides NWO and EU funded research, he also conducts research for ministries, cities and regions. Frank van Oort is specialised in agglomeration economies, urban economics, economic geography, urban geography and spatial planning.

More information

For more information, please contact Ronald de Groot, Media and Public Relations Officer at Erasmus School of Economics:, mobile phone: +31 6 53641 846.