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The University of Twente cooperates closely with universities, companies and governmental organizations in its immediate area, elsewhere in the country and throughout the world, with the needs of society constantly in mind.

We feel that one of our prime responsibilities is to have a beneficial economic impact on the Twente region. Around 1,000 startup companies have been established over the past three decades, many of which are still active partners of the university.


Strategic Business Development

The University of Twente is committed to enhancing its relationship with the business community. In keeping with its enhanced ambitions regarding entrepreneurship, UT has established a special Strategic Business Development unit. As an entrepreneurial university, our fundamental objective is to create value for and have an impact on partners and stakeholders in the Twente region, the Netherlands, Europe, and ultimately society at large.

We collaborate with the corporate sector in developing broader programmes, in which both business and technology are represented, and both education and research. The requirements of the company are key. Where do we see opportunities to, using the knowledge and expertise of the UT, create value for the company? That’s the assignment.

Fields of industrial research

Based on broad areas of technology and general themes such as safety, health, and energy and a strong value proposition in the key technologies – IT, nano- and biotechnology, geo-information science and earth observation – and engineering, in a social context (governance and behaviour), we will sharpen our focus on five key fields of industrial research in 2015-2020:

Advanced materials

Advanced manufacturing and mechatronics

Medical technology and devices

Wireless and remote sensing

Safety and security

Strategic partnerships

The University of Twente works closely with universities, knowledge institutions and multinationals from all over the world. We are a member of the 4TU.Federation, a strategic partnership of the four leading universities of technology in the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen UR and the University of Twente). Together with ten other young and innovative universities across Europe, the University of Twente is a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU).

In addition to ECIU, we maintain academic relationships in several target regions around the world. There are strong ties with top international research universities such as WWU Münster (Germany), ITA (Brazil), Tec Monterrey (Mexico), IT Bandung (Indonesia) and USTC Hefei (China). Furthermore, we collaborate with different hospitals and leading international companies such as ASML, Boeing, Google, Microsoft, Unilever, Akzo Nobel, Shell, Siemens, BP and Philips.


The Fraunhofer Project Center for Design and Production Engineering for Complex High-Tech Systems at the University of Twente is a joint initiative between the UT, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany, and Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, the Netherlands. The Center is an in-house unit at the campus of the University of Twente (UT) and has a starting phase of five years.

The principal objective is to address the smart industry’s current pressing product and production issues. The FPC@UT will focus on the development of smart production for smart products technologies and targets a broad range of end-use markets. Work will be conducted in any area related to design and production engineering in complex high-tech systems and will enable R&D results which can be directly transferred to industrial markets. It is an integral part of the development of the Twente strategy, which aims to become a key high-tech region in the Netherlands.  

Max Planck

The new Max Planck - University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics, on the UT campus, was opened 3 March 2017. It is the very first Max Planck Center in the Netherlands. The center will do research on the dynamics of fluids, in the broadest sense. This starts with a single nano-size droplet, can also be about fluids in microchips or industrial-scale turbulence. The application areas range from catalysts for sustainable energy to medical lab-on-a-chip systems.

Two University of Twente research groups and two Max Planck Institutes find each other in this line of research. The Physics of Fluids group of Detlef Lohse and the BIOS Lab-on-a-chip group of Albert van den Berg cooperate with two Max Planck Institutes, in Göttingen (Dynamics and Self-organisation) and Mainz (Polymer research).


i-Botics is an open innovation centre where programmatic research is being conducted to develop practical robotic innovations and applications with a relatively short time-to-market period. Within the centre, TNO and the University of Twente will work together with industrial partners on a widely supported development programme. The research lines will be centred around exoskeletons and telerobotics (particularly within inspection and maintenance application).

“With robotics, there are numerous possibilities to ensure a safer working environment in several industries”, states Stefano Stramigioli, professor in Advanced Robotics at the University of Twente. “But also, physically demanding jobs might profit from clever robotic applications. There are some great examples of situations in which robotics and machinery can support people in creating safer and more pleasurable jobs with better end results.”


We are a member of the 4TU.Federation, a strategic partnership of the four leading universities of technology in the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen UR and the University of Twente). The 4TU.Federation has been working closely together in the field of education and research. There are five 4TU.master programmes, a Centre for Engineering Education and the Institute of Professional Doctorate Education. They connect to the successful growth in student numbers in technical education. The federation has nine Research Centres and data management is supported by the 4TU.Datacentrum, part of Research Data Netherlands. With Wageningen University having joined in 2016, possibilities for extending the activities are being explored, for example in the field of:

  • data collection and data analysis to ensure the sustainability and security of food production;
  • system design and integration of the food chain;
  • robotics to handle sensitive products;
  • mobile personal devices for lifestyle, sport and health;
  • imitation of photosynthesis in new materials as an energy source;
  • ethical implications of technological innovations.

The first joint activities under the flag of 4TU, based on proposals from the academic staff, have started in 2017. On 1 October 2020, 4TU appeal to political leaders in The Hague to make technological innovation a structural part of their agendas with the first Techrede.  


Novel-T has been the driver of innovation and enterprise in Twente for nearly a decade. Novel-T’s mission is to turn Twente into Europe’s best performing ecosystem for high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. In collaboration with the business community, government, research centres and institutes of education, Novel-T is actively promoting the innovation of the Twente economy, resulting in 11,000 new jobs, international upscaling of business cases in the SME sector and a large number of young growth companies that are set to become international players.

Chairman Jaap Beernink: "My goal is to facilitate tomorrow’s game-changers as they go from success to success: top talents, researchers and companies that are going to make a real difference. They do not necessarily have to be at that point yet, but the potential has to be there. This explicit ambition requires a clear direction. We will have to make unambiguous choices and base them primarily on the added value that will benefit our target groups. I, therefore, have full faith in our ability to turn the range of products and services into real-world commodities thanks to intensive cooperation between the partners, and I believe in the importance of transparent metrics."  


Our 50,000 alumni are important ambassadors for the UT both at home and abroad. Furthermore, close contact with alumni helps contributes to our understanding of developments in society which is essential for maintaining the relevance of our teaching and research. 

Twente University Fund

The Twente University Fund Foundation is an autonomous foundation founded over 65 years ago that supports the academic community in various ways. In 2016, The Twente University Fund received donations from over 450 contributors, making it possible to invest in campus and student life, endowed chairs, international study trips and scholarships.

Twente University Fund - named funds
  • Mr. J.L.M. Niers Fund
  • Peter Riezebos Fund
  • Prof ir. H.G. de Winter Fund
  • Marina van Damme Fund
  • Friends of OD 308 Fund
  • De Breed Kreiken Innovation Fund
  • Kipaji Scholarship Fund
Twente University Fund - continuing awards
  • Professor de Winter Award
  • Van den Kroonenberg Award
  • Marina van Damme Scholarship
  • Professor de Winter Scholarship
  • Peter Riezebos Scholarship
  • De Breed Kreiken Innovation Scholarship
  • Kipaji Scholarship