Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategy meeting on working together towards 2050

lde bijeenkomst

What will the cooperation of the three LDE universities look like in 2050? What themes are urgent and promising to take up in a multidisciplinary context? Who would you like to call tomorrow already? These questions were addressed at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities working conference at Lijm & Cultuur in Delft.

wim sjoerdThe working conference is part of developing the new Leiden-Delft-Erasmus 2025-2030 strategy.Wim van den Doel, Dean of Leiden-Delft-Erasmus, indicated that while a charcoal sketch has been written, it is ‘not set in concrete’.

Van den Doel: ' The working conference was therefore precisely an opportunity to contribute new ideas, for example on unusual combinations of scientific cooperation. In research but also in education.

hans tafelBut we also wanted to use the knowledge and vision available to see if there are blind spots: pressing issues in society that could be well addressed by the combined strength of the LDE universities.'


That combined strength was coined by Van den Doel as 'LDE - Power House', because of the many disciplines the three universities together represent, in alpha, beta and gamma sciences as well as engineering and medicine.

The afternoon was divided according to the themes of the new strategy:

1 Sustainable Futures and Liveable Planet
2 Technology, Science and Society
3 Urban Transitions
4 Healthy Society
And right across this the theme Global Engagement

One topic that was frequently mentioned was Artificial Intelligence, where law, economics, ethics and the social sciences can shine a broad light on this development in addition to technical knowledge.

Green and Healthy

Another promising new combination is sustainability and health. Think of particulate matter, noise pollution, heat stress, chemical pollution. An existing example fittingly mentioned in this is the thesis workshop Sustainable Hospitals of Medical Delta and the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability.

mdThese are topics that are highly topical in South Holland and in which the collaborating LDE universities can form a knowledge hub together with social partners.

Exchange in data management methodologies, stimulating citizen participation in scientific research and making large datasets accessible to each other and set up together were also seen as opportunities for cooperation. 

Dream partner

When asked ‘Who is your dream partner for collaboration and would you like to call tomorrow?’, not only other scientists were mentioned but also organisations outside universities and, of course, students!

Van den Doel: 'We look back on a successful afternoon, with many thanks to the attendees and especially the pairs who led the tables and noted down ideas. The notes will now be further incorporated into the next version of the new LDE strategy and shared with attendees after further discussions with stakeholders, among others.'

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