On Tuesday 15 May, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender paid a visit to TU Delft and Yes!Delft. It was part of an official state visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 May. After a range of presentations on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, and ethics and technology, the delegation paid a visit to the Qutech laboratory for quantum technology. Finally, the delegation visited the Yes!Delft centre for entrepreneurship.
In his welcoming address, TU Delft President and Rector Magnificus Prof. Tim van der Hagen introduced the programme, which was devoted to TU Delft’s focus on social challenges. He also paid tribute to cooperation with German knowledge institutions, including the IDEA League, the CESAER network and the many international research projects and programmes.
In his presentation on cybersecurity, Professor Michel van Eeten explained how cybercriminals work and how research can contribute to combating them. Professor Dariu Gavrila demonstrated how difficult it is for an autonomous vehicle to move safely and effectively in unruly traffic and how Delft research into human-machine interaction can improve autonomous transport. Professor Sabine Roeser illustrated the importance of ethics in technology, explaining that responsible innovation lies at the heart of TU Delft’s education, research and technology development.
In the TU Delft and TNO QuTech laboratories for quantum computing and quantum internet, Professor Lieven Vandersypen provided an introduction to the scientific challenges and potential future impact of quantum technology. Dr Menno Veldhorst told the delegation about the concept of quantum entanglement (the invisible bond between quantum particles) and Professor Stephanie Wehner accompanied the delegation on a guided tour of the laboratories, where Professor Leo di Carlo explained about the development of the future quantum computer alongside one of the cooling installations.
Director of the Yes!Delft centre for entrepreneurship Evert Jaap Lugt welcomed the delegation and gave them a tour of the centre, which has supported over 200 start-up companies over the last decade. Entrepreneurs from EXO-L, Dental Robotics, Kitepower, Springscan and VSParticle provided the President and his wife with an insight into how their products work and the impact they can have, or has already had, on our lives.