The Dutch research universities produce eighty percent of all research in the Netherlands. The fact that they perform excellently with relatively modest funds is widely recognised. Societal impact is of high importance to the research universities. Questions such as ‘how does science contribute to societal challenges?’, ‘what is the economic impact of research?’, and ‘how does one measure impact?’ have high relevance. The execution of the National Research Agenda will constitute an important focus in 2016. The National Research Agenda was presented at the end of 2015 and was built off of questions posed by Dutch citizens. Open access to scientific knowledge through Open Access remains a highly important goal. The Dutch EU-presidency is a unique chance to place Open Access in the spotlight within the EU. VSNU aims to steer the national and European debate on research and knowledge transfer and to help create the necessary conditions for excellent research.