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Universities Launch Digital Society Research Agenda

During the VSNU-Impactfestival on 23 November, the Dutch universities presented the Digital Society Research Agenda. The first copy of the agenda was handed to Minister Van Engelshoven by three of its authors, Andrea Evers, Frank van Harmelen and Harold Bekkering, as well as by VSNU President Pieter Duisenberg.


The Digital Society Research Agenda aims to secure the Netherlands a leading international position in the field of human-centred information technology, and to find solutions to global challenges. The agenda focuses on seven themes: Citizenship & Democracy, Responsible Data Science, Health & Well-Being, Learning & Education, Work & Organisations, Digital Cities & Communities and Safety & Security. In our view, the seven research programme lines incorporated in this agenda offer enormous opportunities with the potential for global impact. Explicit attention is given to the role of data science in meeting these challenges. 


In order to secure a leading global position, the Netherlands will have to develop new insights and solutions to digital issues through pioneering research and experimentation. This will attract national and international talent, investment, technology development, enterprise and collaboration. Research will thus contribute to broader society at a social, technological, and economic level.


The research agenda signals a unique collaboration by Dutch academics. The fourteen universities are joining forces and together will free up and apply additional research capacity in order to further develop the agenda. The research agenda builds on the first proposition on the Digital Society.


We extend our sincere thanks to all academics who have contributed to the agenda, especially the coordinating authors Andrea Evers, Marleen Huysman, Franciska de Jong, Liesbet van Zoonen, Harold Bekkering, Frank van Harmelen, Inald Lagendijk and Maarten de Rijke.


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