29/11/2011 | General Affairs
Three research areas, education, knowledge transfer and operations management
Collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology and UMC
Utrecht University, Eindhoven University of Technology and UMC Utrecht have entered into an alliance covering research and education as well as knowledge transfer and operations management. Bringing together fundamental, technical and clinical expertise, the new partnership is sure to be a hotbed of creativity.
The newly formed alliance will build on existing collaborative links and forge new relationships. Together, the institutions in the alliance will make more than 3 million euro available for joint research. In addition, they will encourage and support collaboration on mutual terms. This close collaboration, while interesting and useful in itself, is also prompted by government policy, which prescribes that universities should develop a strong profile and forge links between research, education and business and industry.
Areas of collaboration:
- Solar Fuels
- Medical Imaging
- Regenerative Medicine
- Exchange of researchers and teachers
- Exchange of academic programmes and students; combined degrees
- Joint innovation in education; digitisation of teaching and assessment
- Joint knowledge transfer activities
- Exchange of speakers; joint organisation of Studium Generale sessions
- Operations management: learning from each other
Frans Verstraten, Professor of Experimental Psychology (UU): “This partnership will make existing links with Eindhoven more concrete. Our research is mostly fundamental, in my case the observation of light; they develop applications. In meetings with their Industrial Design Department, we discovered a lot of overlapping interests. To give you an example: in the future, perhaps you’ll furnish your living room with different virtual bookcases or paintings every day.
By working together in this partnership, it’ll be easier to get grants, especially with Philips in the background. We’ll be able to peek in on product development and to apply this to our programmes. One day, I’d want to develop a method to teach students how to get from fundamental research to applications. Maybe we’ll see fertile ground for that in the future.”
Anje Bakker, research adviser (UU): “It is second nature to researchers to work with colleagues from outside their own institutes. The new alliance will give this inclination an extra boost. We’re planning to showcase these partnerships, which will also increase the researcher’s visibility. And there are lots of opportunities in terms of programmes and courses. How about a Master’s course that brings together theoretical, technical and clinical chemists? That should promise to be a stimulating experience. I welcome anyone with ideas for partnership activities to contact me.
Jan Hogendijk, Programme Director for the Bachelor of Mathematics (UU): “A former student of ours who got a job at Eindhoven invited us to come and talk with the programme directors there. A little later came the news of the alliance, so that fitted quite nicely. Mind you, we had met before; the mathematics community in the Netherlands is one big family. All you need to do is put these people together – that sparks all sorts of things.
If you give your students the opportunity to do a few courses at a sister university, the quality of the programmes will go up. We’re working to offer some reciprocal courses from September 2012 – a modest beginning. A consequence may be that students go and do their Master’s at the partner university. You may think of that as unpleasant, but that’s not how I want to look at this. What matters is that every student finds the place that is right for them.”
Commuting between sites
Carlijn Bouten, Professor of Cell-Matrix Interactions (TU/e): “I’m collaborating with Utrecht University and UMC in the area of curing heart and blood vessel diseases. I’d already been doing that before the launch of the alliance; also with Biology, in the field of predicting atherosclerosis. So, there were joint projects but the initiative would come from staff.
Now the initiative is going to come from the top and collaborative projects will get more support, for example in terms of funding. We can now take on people who’re going to commute back and forth and teach Master’s-level courses in two locations. Another change will be the embedding of the partnership. If you want students to be able to graduate from two institutions, you should put good arrangements in place. All that will now be possible.”