4TU works together for impact

News - 04 October 2021

With just under 10 years left to achieve the climate targets, joining forces is the only way to accelerate transitions. This was the main message during the Techrede 2021, which was recited by the ‘Aanjagers van Technologie’ of the four Technical Universities of the Netherlands (4TU), just before ‘Prinsjesdag’ (budget day). The need to connect as society, industry, science and politics is more important than ever. Watch the Techrede here.

Working together in an open and transparent way to increase impact is what 4TU stands for. Under this label, the four technical universities of the Netherlands are taking initiatives together to make the much-needed contributions to societal issues and the transitions that are needed, based on new technology. In close cooperation with various partners at national and international level.  Because together we get further than we do alone. You can learn how we achieve this in our podcast series and read about it in the article series "the spinoff of the spinoff".

Continuous investment in technological innovations
It is good to see in the ‘Miljoenennota’ that the government also pays attention to crucial technological innovations. The 4TU wants to focus explicitly on the actual implementation and valorization of technology and with this the realization of social and shared values. This requires a new mentality, a long breath and annual investments in research into new technologies. The societal challenges are so extensive that national and international collaboration is needed. This is what 4TU has been working hard on for several years.

Aanjagers van Technologie, thematic valorization, impact challenges and more
In several areas, the four technical universities in the Netherlands work together to efficiently and effectively expedite the practical application of promising research. A good example is the Thematic Technology Transfer (TTT) program, a partnership of the Knowledge Transfer Offices (KTOs) of TNO and the 4TUs in which researchers are encouraged to take their ideas to the next stage, validate them and convert them into a successful spin-off company. On Smart Industry and Circular Technology, these TTTs are already in full force. This spring it was announced that also on medical technology a consortium has been formed with three medical academic centers and venturecapitalist Innovation Industries. Have a look at some of the TTT cases, where joint efforts have been made for creating impact and the actual implementation of the ideas.

Students also continue to work together to accelerate the transitions. The concrete activities that the ‘Aanjagers van Technologie’ will be undertaking in the coming year can be seen in the Techrede 2021. From the ‘Preven-tientje’ and the ‘Melktap’, tot the ‘Waterstofschap’. In addition, each of the 4TUs has nominated two teams to compete in the finals of the Dutch 4TU Impact Challenge which will take place at Slush 2021, the leading startup event that takes place annually in Helsinki.

Importance of international collaboration on global challenges
Together with national and international parties, we work on tomorrow’s solutions by acting today.

The importance and result of international cooperation is reflected in this case, in which TU Delft and WUR, represented in the AMS Institute, are developing a 'self-driving’ boat in collaboration with MIT, the Municipality of Boston and the Municipality of Amsterdam. This autonomous 'Roboat' can be used for all kinds of applications. In addition to transporting people and goods, the boat can also function as a floating stage or waste collector, for example.

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