Matthew Vuijk

Position: Business Development Innovative Technology

Company: KplusV

Why did you choose for the programme at the University of Twente?

I chose the PSTS programme because it gave me a wider perspective to understand how society, technology and markets interact. During my bachelor Industrial Engineering and Management I learned how to improve business processes and management. However, I discovered that the question for what purpose organizations should be improve was often unanswered. The assumption is made that organizational change is market-driven and success can best be measured in economic return-on-investments. My own opinion is that organizations and markets are just (although often very sophisticated) social constructions that should be instrumental to society to help create wealth and spread welfare. Before I started PSTS this was just a 'gut-feeling'. PSTS gave me the insights and skills to turn this gut-feeling into a vision on business and technology development.

What are your daily activities within the organization? 

KplusV is a consultancy firm develops and maintains innovation networks consisting of governmental, research and business organizations within which innovative ideas are offered an environment to grow into successful economic activities. My role in these networks is business development, mainly in the two sectors healthcare and environmental technology. On a daily basis I assess innovations and their business opportunities, analyze business plans of technology start-ups and offer business advice to entrepreneurs.

What knowledge of your programme do you use in your work?

The understanding that innovations that are meant to improve our use of energy or healthcare are not neutral objects or techniques. These innovations can have 'built-in' ethical assumptions (what is good or bad), political agendas or societal values. PSTS taught me to analyze this. With this 'helicopter-view' I can assess new technologies from multiple angles and help innovators to develop their technology into successful businesses.

What are your ambitions for the future?  

From 5 years from now I would like to see success stories of innovations I am currently supporting to actually work in society by improving our environment or healthcare, creating jobs and making a profit.

Do you have a tip for prospective students?

PSTS will give you a unique skillset and background knowledge on how our current technological society works. The hard part is to figure out what you want to do with it after you graduate. If you keep the question 'and what can I do with this lesson in 'real life'?' in the back of your mind during PSTS, you will get a rich an unique understand of how technology and society work.

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