A visit from the new Minister of Education, Culture, and Science

News - 10 February 2022 - Communication

On 7 February, the new Minister of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW), Robbert Dijkgraaf, visited Rotterdam to talk to students, lecturers, researchers, and administrators about equal opportunities, care, education, and the challenges large cities face.

During his visit, he spoke with IDE Associate Professor Jan Carel Diehl, alongside Nicole Hunfeld (Erasmus MC), about the Green Intensive Care Unit (Green ICU) and Professor Maaike Kleinsmaan about the Healthy Start Initiative.

Green Intensive Care Unit

This was the Minister of OCW’s second visit to the Green ICU in recent months. He applauded the initiative’s systemic and action-oriented way of approaching the environmental challenges in the healthcare sector.

Around eight bags of waste are produced per patient, per day at the ICU. The Green ICU project is trying to drastically reduce this amount by implementing prevention, re-use and recycling interventions into the current healthcare system.

IDE students Margot Honkoop and Lisanne van den Berg had the opportunity to present their work to Minister Dijkgraaf. They showed him their work on mapping the sustainability challenges and the solutions they are coming up with to reduce the use of disposable gloves and syringes.

This Friday (11 February), Lisanne van den Berg, will become the first Green ICU student to graduate at the Convergence Square. You can learn more about her project, “Reducing the environmental impact of gloves used in the Intensive Care Unit”, here. In the coming semester, new IDE students will join the Green ICU, together with students from Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Healthy Start Initiative

During his visit, Minister Dijkgraaf also took the time to speak with IDE Professor Maaike Kleinsmann regarding the Healthy Start Initiative. And since the initiative is applying a design approach to their work, Professor Kleinsmann thought it would be an excellent opportunity to present the minister with his very own copy of ‘Technology and Society in Equilibrium’, the sector portrait for Design Engineering Sciences.

The Healthy Start Initiative focuses on increasing opportunities for young people from -1 to 21, regardless of background and starting position. Healthy Start is a unique collaboration between Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus MC, and TU Delft with partners from the field and the Rotterdam region as a living lab. In this joint approach with medical, technical and social scientists, social partners and the young people themselves, innovative solutions and measures are being worked on that have a direct impact on the child, the city, and society.