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Launch of four high tech 4TU programs for a sustainable future

With granting a total of 20 million euros to four capacity building programs within the theme of 'High Tech for a Sustainable Future' (HTSF), the 4TU.Federation gives a solid boost to research into technologies that contribute to a sustainable future and education within these themes. In the honored HTSF programs, scientists from the four technical universities are working on personalized healthcare (RECENTRE), reducing heat in cities (HERITAGE), developing green, biodegradable sensors (Green sensors) and a future-proof food system (High-tech & data-driven agri-food systems of the future).

In December 2021, the four technical universities called on their scientists to submit proposals for joint programs within the overarching theme of ‘High Tech for a Sustainable Future’. By bundling complementary knowledge, the TUs are committed to innovation within research and education in order to achieve maximum results together. Six proposals were submitted; four of these will now receive a total of 20 million euros in funding for the five-year period. Dr. Annemieke Witteveen (UT, TechMed Centre) is the program leader for one of them, the RECENTRE program. 

RECENTRE – Risk-based lifEstyle Change: daily-lifE moNiToring and REcommendations
In the RECENTRE program, scientists are developing advanced sensor technologies that can monitor the health of patients in the home setting. Through the use of eHealth, symptoms such as early onset of cancer and obesity can be detected at an early stage, allowing for faster treatment, resulting in better outcomes. This results in a higher quality of life, less burden on primary care and lower healthcare costs.

In the design of the technologies, the patient is central. Dr. Annemieke Witteveen said: "The RECENTRE consortium is very diverse with partners ranging from patient representatives and hospitals to an insurance company. By including the voices of these parties, we can ensure that the eHealth technologies are as closely aligned as possible with demand from the field and that patients will actually use the systems.

The four programs have a duration of five years, but also look beyond this scope. An important goal of the programs is the recruitment of new permanent scientific personnel in the form of Tenure Trackers. These tenure trackers will conduct both research and provide education. This not only guarantees the continuity of the research lines, but also the connection between research and education. A total of 19 Tenure Trackers will be appointed. By creating permanent scientific positions, the collaboration will also be continued after the end of the program. To ensure that the research results actually lead to innovations that benefit society, explicitly cooperation with external partners is sought.

About 4TU
The four technical universities in the Netherlands are united in the 4TU.Federation. 4TU is committed to strengthening and combining technological knowledge. The technical universities want to ensure a sufficient number of excellently trained engineers and technological designers, internationally leading and socially relevant research, and promote cooperation between research institutions and companies. For more information on the nine joint centers and the programs on research, education and valorization visit www.4tu.nl.

J.C. Vreeman (Jochem)
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