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High Tech for a Sustainable Future

Imagine a future where crops can get the exact nutrients they need, where you don’t have to flee the city during a hot summer day, and where our healthcare and food services are perfectly customized to our needs.

This liveable and sustainable future is closer than you might think. In the High Tech for a Sustainable Future (HTSF) capacity building programmes of our four technical universities, talented researchers work on these types of socially relevant themes. With the ultimate goal: Deliver societal impact through scientific breakthroughs.

In the HTSF programme, structural and sustainable collaborative research and education between the four technical universities are stimulated, while simultaneously attracting new scientific talent. In 2018 the first round of HTSF programmes started. Now, after five years, they are ready to continue independently and make room for four new HTSF programmes to start. 

Programmes Round 1

In 2018, the first 5 programmes within HTSF were awarded funding. The multidisciplinary teams addressed research on the topics personalised medicine (Precision Medicine); disease prevention and treatment (Pride & Prejudice); smart farming (Plantenna); nature-inspired robots (Soft Robotics) and resilient societies (DeSIRE).

The aim was for the researchers to set up their own research projects within the themes, to attract funding and to recruit tenure trackers (44 in total).

Programmes Round 2 

In 2022, the second HTSF Call for proposals resulted in another 4 programmes in personalized healthcare (RECENTRE), reducing heat in cities (HERITAGE), developing green, biodegradable sensors (Green sensors) and a future-proof food system (REDESIGN). The kick-off of these programmes was during this spring with the appointment of another 19 Tenure Trackers and support staff. Find out the press release with first information. More news about the programmes will follow on their own websites - see text box below.

HTSF Crossover Event

Last Friday 9 June, 4TU secretary Marjolein Dohmen-Janssen, together with the rectors of the 4TU (Arthur Mol, WUR; Tim van der Hagen, TUD; Sylvia Lenaerts, TU/e and Tom Veldkamp, UT), kicked off round two of the 'High Tech for a Sustainable Future' (HTSF) programmes during the HTSF Crossover Event. Watch the aftermovie and read the report here.

HTSF programme

The goal of the High Tech for a Sustainable Future (HTSF) programme is to stimulate structural and sustainable collaborative theme-oriented research between the four technical universities on topics that require 4TU collaboration and for which it is currently more difficult to acquire funding externally (i.e. new or high risk topics). The societal relevant research programmes attract and develop new and diverse talent for the four TU’s and aim to deliver societal impact through scientific breakthroughs. After a funded start-up period of five years, research should continue without 4TU.Federation funding.