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Numerous matchmaking opportunities at HTSF 2021 event

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

On Friday 3rd of December, about 85 scientists of the 4TU community joined the digital matchmaking event for the 2021-call of the 4TU capacity building programme call “High-Tech for Sustainable Future”. The initial call for expressions of interest delivered 54 results. The programme will fund about 3-5 programmes.

The reviewing committee hopes to receive a maximum of 8 full final proposals. Therefore, the matchmaking event provided an accessible and open space to check whether the EoIs meet the HTSF themes. It also offered opportunities of collaboration for creating final proposals. A review of the event can be read here.

Author: Fons Janssen

Capacity investment for lasting research cooperation

The event was visited by applicants of the expression of interests, researchers from the technical universities invited by the deans and representatives of the 4TU research centres. It was hosted by multiple digital platforms to give attendees as many digital tools as possible to meaningfully network. The event was opened plenary on Zoom by Tom Veldkamp, rector of UT and member of the board of 4TU.Research, who explained: “The HTSF research programme is not a one-go project, it is a new structural capacity investment for lasting research cooperation theo among the technical universities.” 

After the opening, the HTSF themes (1. Materials and high-tech sensing technologies for the ageing built environment, 2. Low-cost sensing technologies for health, 3. Sociotechnical approaches towards data-driven sustainable food systems) were elaborated by the deans Theo Salet, Ena Voûte and Sjoukje Heimovaara, respectively.

Societal challenges

Theo Salet (dean Built Environment, TU/e)  explained the challenges in the built environment, where much of the European infrastructure from the post-WWII rebuilding period requires renewal, while demands have changed and materials and implementation need to be sustainable. Ena Voûte (dean Industrial Design Engineering, TUD) talked about the learnings from the corona pandemic and the importance of affordable and accessible high-tech health solutions for all people beyond smartwatches and sport devices. Lastly, Sjouke Heimovaara (general director Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, WUR)  expressed her enthusiasm on the social-technical research scope to transform food systems to prevent malnutrition and damage to climate and environment. She said the HTSF programme could bring the 4TU in a unique position to tackle food waste and enable new and improved sustainable food chains. Data-driven decision support and technical assistance in production, logistics, consumption and (re)processing can help, if we keep taking the human and cultural factors into account.


“It’s good to see that we are teaming up and making the world a little bit better through collaboration.”
Tim van der Hagen
Rector Magnificus TU Delft

After the plenary opening, attendees were brought in two sessions of workshops via Zoom and Miro, a collaborative online working board. The moderators enabled the attendees to meet new people actively in the same theme and to share, complement and fuse research ideas and expertise. The first session focussed on introducing each other while mapping the complexity, interconnection and diversity of the theme and the EoI’s. The second session offered smaller dialogue spaces to seek potential ways for collaboration. The lunch session and after talk provided open and private conversations among the attendees via the platform ‘wonder.me’.


Impression Miro whiteboard tool - theme Food 

Theme Health

The organizing team of the HTSF research looks back at a successful event that provided numerous matchmaking opportunities. As rector of TU Delft and member of the board of 4TU.Research Tim van der Hagen mentioned at the closing session: “It’s good to see that we are teaming up and making the world a little bit better through collaboration.” Despite that physical meetings offer superior interaction among attendees, the digital set-up provided a rich environment of information and inclusive spaces for exchange. The team hopes the matchmaking event will help the attendees to form a maximum of 8 full final proposals for the reviewing committee.

Next steps

The next step in the HTSF call is the Q&A sessions to answer the remaining questions for submitting full proposals. The deadline for the HTSF call is the 11th of March at 14:00 CET. More information