The University of Twente and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) have set out their joint ambitions in a collaboration agreement. The agreement was signed earlier this week. In the coming period, they intend to cooperate more frequently on various initiatives in the field of scientific research and education, within the domains in which the ministry operates. UT and the ministry endorse the importance of multidisciplinary cooperation and broad knowledge orientation to tackle complex societal issues.
The importance of an integrated approach to infrastructure, mobility, water, environment and engineering issues is increasingly endorsed. UT and the ministry see it as an opportunity to link the university's educational offerings in climate, civil engineering, and geo-information sciences with the ministry's strategic knowledge agenda. Joint initiatives such as master classes, practical lectures and internships, may contribute to the direct application of scientific knowledge to policy issues and innovations.
Besides strengthening knowledge development and valorisation, the collaboration will have to start having a positive impact on regional economic and societal challenges. The institutions aim for a joint research programme focusing on strengthening the regional innovation ecosystem. Sectors such as climate adaptation, energy transition and asset management will be the focus, with the involvement of various regional partners.
Vinod Subramaniam, chairman of the Executive Board of the University of Twente: "This collaboration offers a great opportunity to connect our researchers and students to the grand challenges of our time. Together, we are working on innovative solutions that will have a lasting impact on the future of infrastructure, mobility and the environment."
Jan Hendrik Dronkers, secretary-general of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management: "Cooperation with technical universities is crucial for our ministry. We are signing this agreement to strengthen ties with the University of Twente. That means more knowledge exchange, but also direct contact with students; the decision-makers of the future."