Science and society at the heart of Impact 2021
If it were up to Dutch universities, the Netherlands would be the first country to have a national postdoc programme for entrepreneurship. This plan, known as the Faculty of Impact, was one of the many initiatives discussed during the Impact 2021 digital event. Within a talk show setting, prominent speakers discussed the importance of the broad impact of science on society. Among other things, they focused on the importance of valorising research conducted at universities and university medical centres (UMCs). The winners of the Academic Startup Competition, a competition for the most innovative academic startups, were also honoured during the event. These and other examples of the impact of science can be found on the website www.impact2021.nl, which went live at the start of the event.
About Impact 2021
Impact 2021 was organised by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The digital talk show was broadcast from Amsterdam, in collaboration with VU University Amsterdam. Guests such as outgoing State Secretary Mona Keijzer, chair of the Executive Board of UMC Utrecht and the NFU Margriet Schneider, professors Ben Feringa, Beatrice de Graaf, Eveline Crone and Bert Weckhuysen, Special Envoy of Techleap.nl Constantijn van Oranje, vice-chair of the Executive Board of UMC Utrecht Arno Hoes, CTO of FrieslandCampina Margrethe Jonkman and President of VU University Amsterdam Mirjam van Praag were featured during Impact 2021.
The broad impact of Dutch science
Under the leadership of host Lieven Scheire, the impact of scientific research in the coronavirus period was discussed with Tim van der Hagen, Ben Feringa and Margriet Schneider. During the animated talks, the discussion partners concluded that science, especially in the recent period, has been progressing at full speed and that the impact of science is the key to a resilient and agile society and plays an important role in the Netherlands’ recovery. 'Universities and UMCs work closely together and have a great deal of knowledge and expertise when it comes to tackling the big, broad contemporary themes. In particular, the example of prevention shows how great the challenges can sometimes be and which innovative solutions are being devised to advance society', says Margriet Schneider.
Valorisation in practice through cooperation in ecosystems
Following the announcement of the postdoc programme focusing on entrepreneurship, ‘Faculty of Impact’, the discussion with State Secretary Mona Keijzer and Marianne van der Steen continued on cooperation in ecosystems. In the words of State Secretary Mona Keijzer, 'Innovation arises from cooperation. By ensuring that companies, civil society organisations and other partners find each other, we can work together to achieve a more innovative and prosperous Netherlands.' Constantijn van Oranje, special envoy of Techleap.nl, President of VU University Amsterdam Mirjam van Praag and Arno Hoes, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, vice-chair of the Executive Board of UMC Utrecht and board member of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres, spoke with great enthusiasm about how entrepreneurship can further scientific research. The strength of academic entrepreneurship was highlighted by the honouring of the ten winners of the Academic Startup Competition and the subsequent interview.