From the hospital of the future to saving our drinking water, from the dialogue on animal husbandry to the inauguration of Genmab’s immunotherapy and from the hackathon on making the laboratories at the Utrecht Science Park more sustainable to the final of the Sustainable City Challenge: the third edition of the Utrecht Science Week was a great success. The Utrecht Science Park spent a week introducing visitors to all that the Science Park has to offer. All partners involved presented a multifaceted programme.
This third edition of the Utrecht Science Week focused on the power of innovation and cooperation aimed at a healthy, sustainable society. The highly varied program included lectures, debates, tours and creative competitions for devising solutions to issues surrounding sustainability and healthy living. Established events such as the Betweter Festival, the Day of Sustainability and the Weekend of Science were also part of the extensive offerings. The activities took place at various locations in the Utrecht Science Park and at several locations in the city of Utrecht.
” The third edition of Utrecht Science Week was a great success and again shows the strong commitment of our partners. More than 8,000 visitors experienced the dynamics of the Utrecht Science Park for a week,” says Jan Henk van der Velden, managing director of the Utrecht Science Park Foundation.
The Utrecht Science Week program was put together in close cooperation with the partners: Hogeschool Utrecht, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Prinses Máxima Centrum, Genmab, Hubrecht Institute and RIVM.
Award ceremony Sustainable City Challenge
After an exciting final with pitches from various student teams on the themes of social wellbeing, healthy living, climate adaptation and active mobility, Mayor Sharon Dijksma announced the winner of the public prize: the community spaces for the new housing estate Cartesius.
Mayor Dijksma had another first: she had just been appointed a member of the Local Government Advisory Group of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. This advisory group is to establish more effective cooperation between all levels of government, with the goal of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Within the advisory group, Dijksma will deal with the theme of Future Generations. She could not have chosen a better stage for this honorable news.
About Utrecht Science Week
At the Utrecht Science Park, the largest science park in the Netherlands, over 55,000 students and 30,000 employees of renowned knowledge institutions, medical centers and companies work intensively together to develop and apply groundbreaking science and solutions in the fields of healthcare, life sciences and sustainability. The Utrecht Science Week puts the relevance and results in the spotlight.
Photos and retrospective
View photos here; aftermovies will be available here soon.
October 9, 2023
The theme of the second Utrecht Science Lecture revolved around sustainable collaboration, which is pivotal for the rapid advancement of a circular economy (an economy where waste is entirely repurposed). Businesses alone cannot solve this, nor can the realm of science. They must come together to formulate and execute sustainable solutions. During the lecture, keynote speakers Prof. Dr. Bert Weckhuysen, University Professor of Catalysis, Energy, and Sustainability at Utrecht University, and Dr. Patrick Cramers, Director of the Institute for Life Sciences & Chemistry (ILC) at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, showcased where the first strides in this intensive partnership are being made to enhance the sustainability of the Science Park. Their goal is to bridge the gap between their respective institutes.
Change is Imperative for a Revitalized Circular Economy
Bert Weckhuysen ardently champions the intensive collaboration between diverse educational entities and stakeholders to nurture a new wave of scientists. He emphasizes the significance of narrowing the gap between foundational research and applied science and is dedicated to bolstering mutual cooperation, knowledge dissemination, and infrastructure at the Utrecht Science Park.
In his lecture, he conveyed that societal and behavioral shifts are requisite for the birth of a faster circular economy. “The Utrecht Science Park is an ideal venue to collaboratively propel science, technology, and education forward. The campus, which serves as a hub for research, innovation, and education, possesses the perfect scale to act as an experimental site. Equipped with ample resources and a diverse user base to test, collaboration is of the essence. Communication — speaking, listening, connecting — is vital. Everyone holds a piece of the puzzle, and only together can we complete it,” asserts Bert Weckhuysen.
Dr. Patrick Cramers adds, “We have already groomed numerous individuals who are now making their mark in the business world. Hence, we are confident in our ability to educate those who will be the change agents of tomorrow. Our alumni in the corporate sector can champion these shifts from the inside. It’s crucial that we impart this vision during their academic journey, priming them for the challenge ahead.”
About the Utrecht Science Lecture
The Utrecht Science Lecture was conceived as an annual platform for distinguished Utrecht scientists to shed light on the contemporary state of science in the domain of healthy and sustainable living during the Utrecht Science Week. The inaugural Utrecht Science Lecture was delivered by Professor Hans Clevers.
5 October 2023
On Monday, 2nd October, the ‘Lab Sustainability at the Utrecht Science Park’ hackathon was held. This event aimed to gather concrete proposals to enhance lab sustainability and to foster collaboration amongst the various labs within the Utrecht Science Park. Every participant is affiliated with labs at the Utrecht Science Park and is dedicated to promoting sustainability.
Jan Henk van der Velden, the managing director, inaugurated the hackathon. Under the guidance of hackathon experts, Jesse van Doren and Arjan Hofmann, teams delved deep into their tasks, adhering to Design Thinking principles—a methodology centered around innovative problem-solving. This intensive session was held in the motivational environment of UtrechtInc’s workspaces.
Teams focused on distinct categories from the LEAF framework, an approach that emphasizes lab sustainability. These categories ranged from waste and people to equipment. The teams brainstormed strategies to elevate lab sustainability within their chosen category and encouraged campus-wide collaboration on this pressing issue.
At day’s end, the teams showcased their findings through pitches to institute directors and board members:
Subsequent to these presentations, a comprehensive report detailing the hackathon’s outcomes was handed over to the directors. Promising ideas that resonate with the panel could be potentially implemented in real-world settings.
This hackathon was a collaborative initiative among the Princess Máxima Centre, Genmab, Hubrecht Institute, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, and Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. By uniting for sustainability, these establishments are championing a brighter future for the Utrecht Science Park and beyond.
“The hackathon showed a strong commitment of the partners at the Utrecht Science Park to making laboratories more sustainable. Through joint efforts, we can take steps towards a greener and more sustainable world, with our laboratories playing a leading role in innovation and environmental awareness” said Jan Henk van der Velden, managing director of the Utrecht Science Park Foundation.
26 September 2023
The quality and availability of our drinking water are under pressure. Rainwater sometimes comes pouring down from the sky and then times it does not. This leads to all kinds of issues and problems that require innovative and sustainable solutions.
In the 3 podcasts New Scientist is recording on behalf of Hogeschool Utrecht, lecturer-researchers from Hogeschool Utrecht talk about how they are working on solutions together with students and partners from the field. You can be there live!
Date: Monday 2 October
Location: HU, Padualaan 101, lecture room 2.003A
You can find the programme via this link.
8 September 2023
Headline in the AD: ‘Alarm over billions of dumped cigarette butts in Dutch nature: biggest environmental problem of our time’. “Away with those dirty cigarette butts!”. Plandelman Anton Damen is completely done with it and calls on everyone to join him for an hour of plandeling on Monday 2 October at 12.30 as part of Utrecht Science Week.
Plandeling is a contraction of ‘walking’ and ‘picking up plastic’. Because most litter consists of or contains plastic. Even that ‘paper’ cup and even that cigarette filter, which is made of cellulose acetate (i.e. plastic). The aim of the plandering on Monday 2 October is to clean up the Rainbow Path, including the pavements. The start is at the Green Office of Utrecht University of Applied Sciences.
Take part and receive a beautiful design PeukenPocket from Anton as a reward for an inveterate smoker in your neighbourhood.
Utrecht Science Week is happy to support the Plandelman’s activities in this way.
Plandelen in Utrecht Science Park
Monday 2 October
Start at 12.30 at Green Office HU (Padualaan 101)
28 augustus 2023
At the opening day of Utrecht Science Week – Friday September 29 – Utrecht University of Applied Sciences will put the future of our water up for discussion. How do we turn the tide? Besides a keynote by meteorologist Reinier van den Berg, among others, the programme of this afternoon symposium offers six inspiration sessions
The inspiration sessions elaborate on various themes around climate change and its impact on water, namely:
Symposium The future of our water
On the afternoon of Friday 29 September, anyone interested is welcome to attend.
UMC Utrecht brings together the worlds of research, care, education and technology to improve healthcare. With the programme The Hospital of the Future on Monday evening 2 October, Utrecht Science Week offers all interested parties the opportunity to come and learn about results of these unique collaborations.
Come and see the latest developments in robotic surgery and imaging physiology.
Robotic surgery and augmented reality
Professor Jelle Ruurda and his researchers will give short presentations to demonstrate the innovative possibilities with robotic surgery and augmented reality in the operating theatre. For example, UMC Utrecht uses robotic surgery in operations on patients with oesophageal cancer, liver cancer or prostate cancer. With the robot, surgery can be performed very precisely, allowing the patient to recover faster and reducing the risk of complications. Robotic surgery offers the possibility of integrating MRI or CT images taken before surgery with live images of the operation. These images can help recognise anatomical structures and identify tissue to be removed during surgery.
Professor Dennis Klomp and his researchers will give short demonstrations to explain the innovative possibilities with MRI technology in patient care. By imaging organs and tissues, doctors can make increasingly precise diagnoses or predict the effectiveness of therapy. The combination with AI techniques also speeds up the procedure, allowing doctors and researchers to treat their patients earlier and more effectively.
After a brief explanation by both professors, the participants will go on an excursion around UMC Utrecht in small groups led by expert guides and visit fascinating innovations that will influence the patient care of the future. There will be ample opportunity to meet the doctors and researchers; they will be happy to answer any questions.
The hospital of the future
Monday evening 2 October
Walk-in with sandwiches from 18.00, start programme 18.30, end 21.30
Location: UMC Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100
You can register here!
14 July 2023
The Utrecht Science Week will programme the Final of the Sustainable City Challenge on Friday 6 October: which student team will walk away with the grand prize?
During the Sustainable City Challenge, students are challenged to design solutions for a more sustainable Utrecht. Together with partners including Utrecht Natuurlijk, CABlab, Municipality of Utrecht and Province of Utrecht, teams of students from intermediate vocational, higher vocational and university level will work on sustainable challenges to make Utrecht healthier, more liveable and greener.
The challenge is an intensive five-day pressure cooker, in which interdisciplinary teams work at different locations in the city (Overvecht, Cartesius and Utrecht Science Park) and are coached in developing their solution. Participants learn to design solutions using design thinking and learn a lot about collaboration, presentation and co-creation with stakeholders.
The themes during the challenge are mobility, exercise, healthy urban living, green living environments and liveable neighbourhoods.
Participation in the challenge is open to students from ROC Midden Nederland, Hogeschool Utrecht, Utrecht University, MBO Utrecht, MBO Amersfoort, Nimeto, Marnix Academy, Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht and Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht.
During the finals, the teams present their solutions to clients, who are keen for the teams to further develop promising ideas into a follow-up project. Mayor Sharon Dijksma will announce the winners. Attending the Finale is open to all interested parties. Register here!
Prior to the Finale (start 16.30 hrs), you can visit the exhibition where the teams exhibited their solutions. They will be happy to discuss them!
More information about the Sustainable City Challenge 2023 can be found on the website.
Final Sustainable City Challenge 2023
Friday 6 October, 16.30 – 17.30 hrs.
Accelerator, Uppsalalaan 17
Mayor Sharon Dijksma
Utrecht Science Week programmes on Monday 2 October: healthy and sustainable food, agenda-setting by the Institute for Preventive Health (i4PH) of the Knowledge Alliance TU/e, WUR, UU, UMC Utrecht.
Join us for an inspiring session on creating a healthy and sustainable food system, and driving change in society. The panelists, led by moderator Roel Vermeulen, will present future scenarios that envision a transformed world and provide strategies to bring it to life.
Discover the challenges and opportunities associated with building a sustainable food system, while exploring the broader implications of societal system change. Engage in dynamic discussions and gain insights into innovative ideas that pave the way for a better future.
Be part of this transformative event! Together, let’s shape a healthier, more sustainable world.
About the i4PH
The i4PH brings together the unique expertise of four prominent institutions in the Netherlands: Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht. This collaboration is unique in its approach to preventive health, which includes the integration of technology, behaviour, exposome, nutrition and biology.
The Institute is part of the strategic Alliance TU/e, WUR, UU, UMC Utrecht (EWUU); check www.ewuu.nl.
“Healthy and sustainable food: envision future scenarios to drive change in society”
Monday 2 October 2023 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Utrecht Science Park Foundation, Heidelberglaan 11, 3584 CS Utrecht
Roel Vermeulen, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Exposome Science (UU)
In the main programme of the Utrecht Science Week 2023 on the opening day Friday 29th of September: the HU symposium The future of our water.
Featuring a keynote by meteorologist Reinier van den Berg.
Climate change has a major impact on our water, resulting in social and technical challenges. Rising sea levels threaten coastal areas, water shortages and pollution are worsened by extreme weather events, because of this among others the drinking water supply and ecosystems are at risk. Even the return of infectious diseases lurks.
Cooperation in the water chain is essential to tackle these challenges and ensure a sustainable future with clean and resilient water. At this symposium, we will explore together how we can act together in this regard. Join companies, teachers, researchers and other experts in discussing these challenges.
Jim Jansen,, editor-in-chief of New Scientist, will speak with Wilma Scholte op Reimer, Chair of the Executive Board of HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, and Roberta Hofman, Associate Lecturer in Water Treatment HU/KWR, about the role HU can play together with the region in the major challenges.
After the plenary programme, choice of several inspiring workshops from Bath University, Rainbeer, RIVM, Vitens, Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden and KWR, among others.
Symposium The future of our water
Friday 29 September 13:15 – 17:00
including Reinier van den Berg, meteorologist
Check the site and the socials for the full programme, which will be availble soon.
Sign up here.