TU Delft partner in nine NWA-ORC consortia

News - 25 November 2020 - Communication

Researchers from TU Delft will work together in nine consortia with the entire knowledge chain and societal organisations, and conduct interdisciplinary research that will bring scientific and societal breakthroughs within reach. The awarded projects and consortia focus on societal questions, and receive funding from the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) programme. Through the Quantum Inspire consortium led by QuTech (a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO), a first online prototype of the quantum computer will be made available 24/7 to everyone.

Summaries of the projects (more details on the website of Dutch Research Council NWO):

Quantum Inspire – the Dutch Quantum Computer in the Cloud

Consortium: TU Delft, Leiden University, Radboud University, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, QuTech, TNO, Waag, Ministry of Defence, Malmberg, Zurich Instruments, Onderwijsnetwerk Zuid-Holland (ONZ), Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching
Main applicant on behalf of the consortium:  prof. dr. ir. L.M.K. (Lieven) Vandersypen – QuTech/ Delft University of Technology 

Quantum technology has the potential to impact society at large. It may provide answers to societal challenges in many different fields such as energy, food supply, security and health care, all of which could be revolutionized once quantum computing matures. In order to fully understand and realize the impact of quantum computing on our society, it’s important to bring the technology closer to its future users. In comparison: the full potential of early digital computers was realized only when users were able to interact with them. The consortium aims to follow a similar path for quantum computing by allowing future users to interact with Quantum Inspire, the first European quantum computing platform in the cloud.

QuTech launched a first version of Quantum Inspire in April 2020, and the grant will allow the consortium to develop it further. Lieven Vandersypen, coordinator of the NWA-ORC application and Director Research of QuTech, explained: “The NWA-ORC programme will allow us to make the Quantum Inspire platform even more available to society. From students and the general public through to future users in industry and government, everyone will be able to access Quantum Inspire from anywhere and at any time.”
LIVING DIKES – Realising Resilient and Climate‐Proof Coastal Protection

Living dikes are a promising way to climate‐proof the Dutch coast. Living dikes consist of a soft foreland and a green dike. This research facilitates the construction of living dikes by weighing interests, testing living dikes under extreme conditions and formulating design rules to be applied by end‐users.

CASTOR (CAtchment Strategies TOwards Resilience)     

Sandy-soil landscapes of the East and South Netherlands have a wide range of agricultural, recreational and natural functions. These functions are threatened by climate. Using a living lab approach, the researchers identify climate-robust landscapes for the future, and together with government and societal partners they will design pathways towards these.

Brain and AI for safe navigation

Humans are good at predicting and responding to others’ behavior, machines are not. This is a major obstacle for integrating “smart” machines in our society. The consortium will chart out human behaviors and implement them in AI systems, to safely guide autonomous agents in society, following newly defined laws and regulations.

Save the tiger! Save the grasslands! Save the water!

Less than 4000 wild tigers are alive. At the foot of the Himalayas, grasslands where the tigers hunt for deer are disappearing. The ecohydrological dynamics of these grasslands becomes characterised. From this, we will establish guidelines for sustainable management of the landscape and the water systems using co-creation.

eHealth Junior 

Within eHealth junior, care professionals, patients, business partners, and government collaborate to develop high quality eHealth tools for one million chronically ill children. These tools allow personalized and trans-diagnostic prevention of psychological problems and optimal participation. eHealth tools will be made widely available through accessible, user-friendly, safe, and sustainable platforms.

Introducing the immune system into drug discovery tools           

Instead of using animals, the effects of drugs or therapies can be tested using miniature tissue models, mimicking organ responses. However, none of these models currently include the lymphatic and immune systems, despite their importance to our health. The researchers will develop “organ-on-chip” models with integrated lymphatics, providing a precision tool in the battle against immune-related diseases.

The Dutch Black Hole Consortium

This “Dutch Black Hole Consortium” will carry out an interdisciplinary black hole research programme, from developing telescope technology and doing geological research for the upcoming Einstein Telescope, to pure astronomy and foundational questions, curiosity driven, and with an educational and citizen science programme to further enhance societal impact.

DARTBAC: Dutch Antimicrobial Resistance Technology development and Biofilm Assessment Consortium

Emerging antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will make antibiotics much less effective in infection treatment and prevention. DARTBAC will develop new antimicrobial technologies that are not based on antibiotics to target this problem. Collectively, DARTBAC is bringing the entire knowledge chain regarding development of new material technologies to combat AMR. 

Update 26 November: due to an error, TU Delft was listed but is not part of the following consortium:

Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment

Through co-creation with stakeholders, we will develop the world’s first Virtual Human Platform to determine the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals for human health based solely on human biology. By integrating innovations in data science, human tissue culture models and transition management, we will spearhead the transition to animal-free safety assessment.

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