University of Twente is keen to make promising innovations available to society at large. We know that doing so will demand cooperation with other research institutes and public sector parties, and more especially with the private sector.
University of Twente has recently established a number of new research centres in partnership with private sector organizations. These centres will seek to implement new knowledge, thus creating employment in the region. In due course, there will be many 'spin-offs': new companies manufacturing products based on the technology developed by the centres.
Center for Medical Imaging
A major new initiative at the University of Twente is the Center for Medical Imaging, or CMI. It represents a partnership between MIRA (the UT Institute for Biomedical Technology), technology firm Siemens and the university teaching hospitals in Groningen and Nijmegen. The CMI will develop new medical imaging products based on innovative technologies.
MIRA has found a very strong partner in Siemens. Cooperation between the two organizations enables the creation of a centre at which research into biomedical technology will give rise to actual market products. To the general public, Siemens is perhaps best known for its household equipment and telephones, but the company also has a specialist medical technology arm and is very active in the field. The scientific expertise which Siemens researchers bring to the CMI is extremely welcome. The company has also been generous enough to loan the centre imaging equipment which is still in development.
CMI will have a total staff of 150, including 70 young researchers setting out on their scientific career. Its official opening is planned for late 2011. When the researchers take up residence in their new building, known as The Gallery, the Center for Medical Imaging will become a prominent feature of the UT campus in Enschede.
LEO Center for Service Robotics
University of Twente, the Oost-NV development corporation and Romech, a foundation established by a partnership of technology companies, wish to promote our region as a leading player in robotic healthcare technology. They have therefore joined forces to establish the LEO Center for Service Robotics. At its strategic location on the UT campus, LEO will develop computerized applications for use in the operating theatre and in many other areas of patient care.
Like many other countries, the Netherlands is experiencing 'population ageing'. Put simply, we are living longer. Before long, a far greater proportion of the population will be aged over 65. Many of these 'seniors' will require care, but there will be fewer people available to provide that care. This increases the urgency of finding alternative solutions such as robotic applications.
University of Twente has several research disciplines which help to advance (medical) robotics. Technical expertise is represented by the field of 'telematics', which brings together telecommunications and information technology. The university is also a noted leader in technical medicine. Our biomedical technologists work at the convergence between these two disciplines, while the input of behavioural scientists ensures that due attention is given to the needs of the user.
Within LEO, the university will intensify its cooperation with commercial organizations throughout the Twente region. The partners will work to establish Twente as the Netherlands' key locus for the development of medical robots. Those robots will do whatever the doctors require of them. In fact, the name LEO is derived from the Latin phrase Labora et Obedira: work and obey!