TU Delft in four major new public-private research programmes

News - 07 November 2019 - Communication

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has announced the new research programmes that will be part of its ‘Perspective for Top Sectors' funding programme which has a budget of 26 million euros. These research programmes will involve scientists working with businesses and civil-society organisations on new lines of research that transcend the boundaries of scientific disciplines.
 TU Delft is involved in four of the five programmes which have been approved, leading a programme on salt intrusion into fresh water.

Guaranteeing freshwater with a virtual delta
SALTISolutions – Salt intrusion through urbanizing deltas: Solutions

Freshwater is vital for drinking water, nature, agriculture and industry. However, the availability of freshwater is under pressure in deltas throughout the world. Salty seawater is penetrating further up the rivers due to human intervention, such as the deepening of waterways, as equally climate change. Within SALTISolutions, the researchers, together with the partners involved such as Rijkswaterstaat, water boards, port authorities and dredging companies, will produce a virtual model (digital twin) of the Rhine-Meuse Delta. This model will integrate knowledge about processes on various spatial and time scales: from turbulent flows at the smallest scale level to the consequences of climate change in the long-term. They will use this to predict how, where, when, and how long salt from seawater will penetrate, and how measures such as implementing nature-based solutions influence the freshwater supply. These insights will be tested worldwide, as a result of which the position of Dutch delta technology will be further strengthened.

Programme leader: Prof. J.D. Pietrzak (TU Delft)
Participants: Arcadis, ARK, Boskalis, Bureau Waardenburg, BAM, Deltares, Evides, Flanders Hydraulics, Port of Amsterdam, Port of Rotterdam, HKV, Rijnland District Water Control Board, Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard Regional Water Authority, Hydrologic, Royal NIOZ, Nortek-NL, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat, Royal HaskoningDHV, STOWA, Svasek Hydraulics, TU Delft, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente, Utrecht University, Van Oord, VEMW, VEWIN, Wageningen University, Waterschap Hollandse Delta, WNF

Smarter system due to digital twin
Integration of Data-drIven and model-based enGIneering in fuTure industriAL Technology With value chaIn optimizatioN (DIGITAL TWIN)

High-tech systems are increasingly complex and difficult to design, produce and maintain. The DIGITAL TWIN programme develops methods to make accurate digital twins of such systems: virtual software versions with which you can make simulations to predict, for example, how changes in the design influence the performance, how the control can be improved or which part requires maintenance at which moment. Digital twins are now mostly still based on static theoretical models that assume normal behaviour. By linking these models to measurement data that indicate exactly how the system functions and by combining these data with artificial intelligence, the researchers can make digital copies that continually improve and adapt themselves. The research focuses on several model systems that have been contributed by the Dutch high-tech companies involved in the programme.

Programme leader: Prof. B. Jayawardhana (University of Groningen)
Participants: Airborne, Altran, ASML, ASMPT, Demcon, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology, Océ, Philips, University of Groningen, Stamicarbon, Tata Steel, TU Delft, Eindhoven University of Technology, Tilburg University, TNO, Leiden University, University of Twente, VDL Groep

Light for a better view of illnesses
Photonics Translational Research – Medical Photonics (MEDPHOT)

PET scans based on radioactivity, image deviant tissue such as inflammations and tumours. By using light instead of radioactivity, images ten to one hundred times sharper can be produced, which means a cluster of just a few cells can be seen. The MEDPHOT programme wants to develop a light-based counterpart of a PET scan. The researchers will develop fluorescent markers for diseases, such as oesophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, asthma and Alzheimer's disease. These markers will bind to the molecules that are specific for the disease concerned and will light up if they are illuminated by a light source.
In order to see the markers, the researchers will develop the technology needed to detect the small light beams emitted. With this approach they will make the cells sought visible.

Programme leader: Prof. J.F. de Boer (VU Amsterdam)
Participants: Amsterdam University Medical Centre, ASML, CHDR, Elesta, Exometry, GlycanScan, Leiden University Medical Center, Mauna Kea, Ninepoint Medical, Optos, Percuros, Spectradyne, TU Delft, Thorlabs, TNO, University Medical Centre Groningen, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, Utopics, VU Amsterdam

Plant flats with LEDs
SKY HIGH: Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production

We need to provide a growing world population with food, even though more and more people live in towns and cities, there are often water shortages, and the nutritional value of fruit and vegetables has been falling for decades. By growing plants in layers above each other and illuminating them with special LED lamps, fresh vegetables can be produced throughout the world under all weather and climate conditions over the entire year.

Within the SKY HIGH programme, researchers, together with lighting specialists, breeding companies, growers, horticulture technology companies, architects and food suppliers, will make this type of vertical agriculture cheaper and more energy-efficient. In addition, the aim is to use this type of vertical farming to produce vegetables and herbs with a better taste, shelf life and nutritional value, while using extremely little water and nutrients, and no pesticides.

Programme leader: Prof. L.F.M. Marcelis (Wageningen University)
Participants: Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), Bayer, Bosman Van Zaal, Certhon, Fresh Forward, Grodan, GROWx, HAS University of Applied Sciences, Own Greens, Priva, Signify (Philips Lighting), Solynta, TU Delft, Eindhoven University of Technology, Unilever, Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, Van Bergen Kolpa Architects, Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen University

More information
Press release NWO