Just before Christmas, two LDE groups received some good news. Both Medical Delta and the Centre for Sustainability are part of consortia which are receiving a subsidy from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to conduct research.
The consortia have been designated as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) and will receive a subsidy worth hundreds of millions. The exact amount is not yet known. According to Medical Delta director Menno Kok, who was involved in the winning consortium InnoLife, however, that is not the main benefit. “InnoLife consists of 52 parties in Europe, from top universities to leading multinationals like Philips and Intel. Once the subsidy has been divided among all those parties, it won’t be that much. The main thing is that all these parties are now making a statement: we’re going to join forces to apply health-related science in practice. This could produce fantastic results, particularly in the future.”
Giving something back to the taxpayer
According to Kok, the EIT was founded ‘to give something back to the taxpayer for the money invested in science’. Businesses and universities must therefore work more closely together (valorisation) to develop new products, for example. Kok also mentions several other examples which must meet that requirement. “You could give PhD students an extra year to apply their research in practice.” Students must also reap some of the benefits of the renewed cooperation. Online teaching modules are currently being developed. “It might be that some of your lectures are given by a lecturer from Erasmus MC, while others are followed online. Or we may fly people in from abroad.”
In addition to an EIT subsidy in the field of health, the LDE Centre for Sustainability also won an award. The centre is involved in the consortium RawMatTERS, which has also been designated a KIC. Over a hundred parties from twenty EU member states and the centre are involved in the consortium. One of the focuses of the LDE centre will be on waste recycling and designing business models for these sectors. EvR