UTServicesCFMSustainabilityNewsClimate Centre funds nine new projects aimed at increasing climate impact

Climate Centre funds nine new projects aimed at increasing climate impact

In the second edition of its annual seed funding call, the University of Twente’s Climate Centre has awarded nine climate-related projects a total of €126.000. The projects vary from urban temperature mapping and investigating zoonotic infections to improving biodiversity insights and reducing the energy use of educational labs on the UT campus itself.

This year’s winning projects – selected from a total of 28 proposals - aim to tackle climate related challenges by building networks both inside and outside the UT community, as well as building awareness and more effective engagement and communication. “These projects align very well with our vision that collaboration with external stakeholders and building communities is essential to tackling the climate crisis” says Cheryl de Boer, coordinating lead of the Climate Centre. “These projects also fit well with the GeoTechnoSocial approach that we are developing for navigating climate challenges. It’s great to again see so many relevant and interesting projects, and I hope that the support from the funding will lead to increased cooperation, stronger partnerships and more successful projects in the future.”

The projects


  • GeoSocioTechMed Solutions: Developing a collaborative network to fight undiagnosed emerging vector-borne and zoonotic infections locally, regionally and globally

    Our project aims to explore how our GeoSocioTechMed approach can contribute to planetary health, specifically targeting zoonotic infections. Building on initial findings from our Seed Fund project, we aim to further foster collaboration among different stakeholders. Given the complexity of the health challenges, interdisciplinary cooperation is essential from idea to intervention. Through two workshops, we will bring together diverse experts including microbiologists, policymakers, epidemiologists and climate scientists, to shape a research and education agenda for a GeoSocioTechMed approach to planetary health. By fostering partnerships, our goal is to build a strong interdisciplinary, intersectoral and cross-border consortium for future collaborations.

    Team members: Nienke Beerlage - de Jonge, Justine Blanford

    Grant type: Consolidator grant

    Funding amount: €10.000,-

  • Change the climate - change the dialogue

    The acceptance and adoption of new geo-technological advances for cleaner energy production and mitigation of increased risk from climate extremes, relies on effective engagement, communication and relationship building between diverse stakeholders. In this project we will run a one-day, hybrid symposium at the University of Twente that aims to bring together media professionals, scientists, communication specialists, engineers, social scientists, students, policy makers, artists, industry, community groups and citizen scientists to share knowledge and ideas. The project aims to build new cross-sector and cross-discipline relationships to develop effective communication and engagement strategies and practices, formulating holistic geo-techno-social approaches for climate solutions.

    Team members: Heather Handley, Anne Dijkstra, Janneke Ettema, Iain Stewart

    Grant type: Consolidator grant

    Funding amount: €10.000,-

  • COOLISH: Carbonation Of OLIvine WorkSHop

    Enhanced weathering of olivine and other silicate minerals is widely seen as one of the most promising mechanisms for global CO2 removal for the atmosphere. At the UT we study carbonation of olivine, also at elevated temperatures and pressures in an innovative microreactor. Now we have identified a need to build a network that includes academia, knowledge institutes, industry, and experts on social aspects of technologies. Our proposal aims to strengthen the enhanced mineral weathering community by organizing a 2-day workshop, inviting a broad audience including experts from both academia and industry with a background in geo, technical, social science and governance.

    Team members: Arjan Dijkstra, Mathieu Odijk, Loes Kleinsmit, Pol Knops

    Grant type: Consolidator grant

    Funding amount: €10.000,-

  • Biodiversity Insights

    Campus biodiversity and natural values are not broadly known to or shared amongst people that live, work and study on campus. We hope to spur interest in the many life forms that our campus hosts, and that can be witnessed while people are at work, in study or are just making a lunch walk.

    This project will build awareness and make information on the campus’ natural values available online (TECHNO). Maps with area designations of observations of flora and fauna will be shared (GEO). The availability of this information will enable us to increase awareness on biodiversity and involve the UT community in its management (SOCIAL).

    The output of this project is an elaborate website with maps, seasonal short stories that elicit interest and other information on biodiversity at the UT campus and immediate surrounding areas.

    Team members: Brechje Marechal, Ray Klumpert, Rolf de By

    Grant type: New Opportunities grant

    Funding amount: €3.200,-

  • Innovating urban climate resilience through high-resolution thermal imaging

    The SenseHeat: Urban Temperature Mapping project aims to pilot a co-creation approach to combat the challenges of rising urban temperatures in cities due to climate change. By capturing detailed temperature data from urban infrastructures, the project seeks to understand the relationship between building facades and microclimates. This data will inform sustainable heat mitigation strategies, improving urban resilience and public health together with the municipality of Apeldoorn. Within the project, we will analyse existing thermal imagery, conduct workshops, and explore the development of a compact data collection unit. The ultimate goal is to provide scalable, context-sensitive solutions for cities.

    Team members: Monica Pena Acosta, Fariddaddin Vahdatikhaki, Yanqiu Huang, Rosa Aguilar Bolivar

    Grant type: New Opportunities grant

    Funding amount: €16.000,-

  • Unlocking Nutritional Potential of Staple Crops: Monitoring Nutrient and Anti-Nutrient Levels in Grains for Healthier Diets

    Measuring nutrient and anti-nutrient levels in staple crops is crucial to addressing the global malnutrition challenge of micronutrient deficiencies aka hidden hunger. Traditional methods like wet chemical analysis are costly and inefficient for consistent (anti-)nutrient measuring across time and space. We propose using UAV hyperspectral sensors to indirectly estimate nutrient and anti-nutrient content in staple crops like rice. This project aims to enhance sustainable agriculture and improve food security by providing timely data for better farming practices. It involves field data collection, laboratory analysis, and stakeholder engagement, with the ultimate goal of fostering climate-smart agricultural practices and better nutrition worldwide.

    Team members: Mariana Belgiu, Michael Marshall, Francesco Nex

    Grant type: New Opportunities grant

    Funding amount: €18.885,-

  • Geo-techno-social solutions for climate change: understanding affordances and constraints in impact-oriented funding

    The UT Climate Centre aims for geo-techno-social solutions with real-world impact. The search for impactful solutions, however, does not take place in a political and economic vacuum. Research on climate solutions is often (a) funded by governments that themselves fail(ed) to act adequately and (b) developed in cooperation with incumbent industries with strong stakes in the status quo. This could lead to biases in the kinds of solutions that are (not) well-researched. Our research project aims to quantitatively map the Dutch and European research funding landscape to better understand balance and bias in funding solutions to climate change.

    Team members: Guus Dix, Rosalie Arendt, Jurriaan Schmitz,  Frieder Mugele, Pol Knops, Linda Knoester, Aaron Pereira, Jeroen van der Honk

    Grant type: New Opportunities grant

    Funding amount: €23.000,-

  • COLLAGE 2.0 – Co-designing a Collaboration Platform for Integrating Geo-Techno-Social Knowledge regarding the Local Impacts of the Energy Transition

    Geo-techno-social approaches using collaborative planning support tools can enhance communication and deliberation between stakeholders over renewable energy solutions. The project goal is to co-design and develop a contextualised collaboration platform for wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy sources (COLLAGE 2.0) with a mixed group of energy transition stakeholders from Twente. Our vision is to make COLLAGE 2.0 an open and flexible platform for communication over energy transition pathways as societal challenges within the UT community and beyond. The project is a collaboration of researchers from ITC, ET, and BMS faculty at the Design and Interactive Space for Co-creating (The DISC).

    Team members: Johannes Flacke, Pirouz Nourian, Cheryl de Boer, Léon olde Scholtenhuis, Sikke Jansma, Anne Dijkstra

    Grant type: New Opportunities

    Funding amount: €30.000,-

  • Reduce the CLimAte IMpact (ReCLAIM) of Educational labs

    Educational labs are an essential part of teaching our student scientific and experimental skills. Unfortunately, labs require a large amount of energy to operate safely. In part this is unavoidable. Laboratories have more stringent safety requirements that require electricity to function. For example; chemical labs need increased ventilation compared to offices and ventilation requires energy. But not all lab functionality needs to be at 100% all the time. For this project, we aim to map the energy consumption of the education labs in Carré and to find optimisations where possible.

    Team members: Sissi de Beer, Pieter Boerman, Noah van Dijk, John Kooiker, Leonie Krab, Jéré van Lente, Annemarie Montanaro, Arnoud Onnink, Cora Salm, Rolf Slaats, Jet Stegge

    Grant type: New Opportunities grant

    Funding amount: €5.000,-

About the Climate Centre

The Climate Centre aims to coordinate and boost UT’s ambitions in education, research and valorisation for climate issues. The main objectives are to empower students to contribute effectively towards the climate crisis, organize climate-themed strategic education options, and collectively address climate mitigation and adaptation challenges through a GeoTechnoSocial approach in both research and education. You can learn more at the Climate Centre website.

Its vision is to create a vibrant community that facilitates a transition to a resilient, low-carbon society by advancing transdisciplinary solutions to climate change. Do you have questions or would you like to be part of this community? Sign up for the Climate Centre newsletter here so you don’t miss news and upcoming events.