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The High Tech for a Sustainable Future (HTSF) 2021 call aims to stimulate structural and sustainable theme-oriented collaboration between the 4TU’s that delivers societal impact through scientific breakthroughs. The call for proposals is now open. Deadline for submission of proposals is March 11, 2022; 14.00 hrs.
Built environment, health & food systems
The deans of 4TU have selected the following three themes for the 4TU HTSF 2021-call, which have been approved by the rectors:
- Theme 1. Materials and high-tech sensing technologies for the ageing built environment;
- Theme 2. Low-cost sensing technologies for health;
- Theme 3. Sociotechnical approaches towards data-driven sustainable food systems.
For further information about the themes, see below.
In order to answer any questions that you may have about the HTSF 2021 programme and the Call for Proposals we organize three online webinars / questions hours:
- Thursday, 20 January 2022, 16-17 hrs. Click here to join the meeting
- Tuesday, 1 March 2022, 9-10 hrs. Click here to join the meeting
More about the themes
Inspired on the 54 Expressions of Interests that have been submitted in October, the deans of 4TU have selected the following three themes for the 4TU HTSF 2021-call, which have been approved by the rectors:
1) Materials and high-tech sensing technologies for the ageing built environment
The built environment is full of ageing (physical) infrastructure that provides a range of services enabling our daily life such as energy, shelter, mobility, data, ecology and water). Besides the decay by ageing, current societal challenges force our (physical) infrastructure to be renewed and innovated sustainably. Solving this requires an ecosystem approach that takes into account multiple transitions like the energy transition, housing, repurposing areas, climate adaptation, digitalisation and shifts in the modes of transport.
This theme is centred around the question: How can we repurpose, renovate and improve infrastructure in the ageing built environment in a sustainable way with (circular) materials and high-tech sensing technologies?
2) Low-cost sensing technologies for health
The corona pandemic has illustrated the importance of low-cost and easily accessible sensing technologies to support healthy living and allow easy monitoring of diseases. Moreover, new insights have been gained on social processes for adopting health technology. However, health care systems remain burdened by an ageing population, unhealthy behaviour and harming (social) environments. Digitizing and monitoring our health status and/or behaviour for prevention, during chronic illness, or in recovery offers opportunities to relieve the health system. While many sophisticated sensor and monitoring technologies focus on delivering high sensitivity and precision, ease of use, accessibility and affordability are ultimately determining the adoption of new sensor technologies in health care. Moreover, new data processing technologies and system analysis provide new possibilities to obtain useful information based on low-cost and easy-to-use sensors.
This theme is centred around the question: Which low-cost high-tech solutions can help to sustain our health care systems responsibly and be adopted in society?
3) Sociotechnical approaches towards data-driven sustainable food systems
Food production, processing, supply and consumption (food systems) play an important role in numerous societal challenges. In order to solve these challenges, our food systems need to transform. Thereby it is important to take cultural contexts and human behaviour into account. Digital and physical technologies can offer data-driven management and decision support for private, common and public actors. These technologies support for instance logistics, strategic investments or residue management towards a circular and more robust economy.
This theme is centred around the question: Taking into account cultural contexts and human behaviour, how can we accelerate data-driven sustainable food systems?
Important steps & expected time line
- Matchmaking around the themes - December 3rd 2021
- Full proposal submission - March 11th 2022, 14.00 hrs
- Evaluation and selection of proposals - April/May 2022
- Start Programma - January 2023
Important characteristics of the programmes
- Programme duration: 5 years, after which they should become financially independent
- All four TU’s are involved and will host at least 1 Tenure-Track position
- Proposals should fit within at least one of the themes of 4TU HTSF 2021 (see above)
- Topics awarded in the previous HTSF programme are excluded - see * below
- External funding is possible, but not necessary
* Current HTSF Programmes
DeSIRE: Designing Systems for Informed Resilience Engineering;
Precision Medicine: Integrating Multiscale Functional Imaging and Advanced Machine Learning;
Pride and Prejudice: Chronic disease prevention through real-life monitoring and intervention design;
Plantenna: Innovative sensors for plant stress and environmental strain for sustainable vegetation and farming;
Soft Robotics: Next generation soft robotic systems
The 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. The programmes strive to increase visibility and impact of the 4TU.Federation in society.