AI, Data & Digitalisation

The digital transformation is irreversible, rapid and has changed much over the past decade. Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a key role in digitisation. AI has endless applications. It is expected to have a massive socio-economic impact, and it relates to many challenges we are facing. As part of the theme AI, Data & Digitalisation, we study together how we can contribute to these challenges in society and health care ‘with’ and ‘in’ AI, and how the global scientific world can take a permanent leading role in this field. If we do this together, and based on different disciplines, we can take huge strides. For that reason, the Erasmus University, the Erasmus medical centre and the Delft University of Technology join forces in Convergence in ‘AI, Data & Digitalisation’. Together they strengthen the regional knowledge cluster in AI. Joining them are the University of Leiden and the Leiden University Medical Centre.

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Mission and vision

The AI, Data & Digitalisation knowledge cluster will further expand its strong current starting position into a permanent prominent knowledge cluster with big social impact. The partners want to use this collaboration to develop into a global knowledge cluster with a focus on education, research and innovation in the field of AI, Data & Digitalisation. This will be achieved by bringing together investments, talent and partners from inside and outside the universities.

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Research & Innovation Programme

A distinction is made between research ‘in AI’ (fundamental AI research) and research ‘with AI’ (applied AI research). Five focus themes are key in AI, Data & Digitalisation, in which the boundaries between alpha, beta and gamma sciences are abolished. As well as cooperation between universities and various disciplines, there will be intensive collaboration with partners from industry, government and the public to immediately address challenges at global and regional level.


The knowledge cluster has the following ambitions in the field of education:

  • offering specialised AI education specifically for fundamental knowledge development, aimed at training 1,500 students per year in interdisciplinary thinking and a multidisciplinary approach to AI subjects;
  • teaching basic knowledge in the field of AI, Data & Digitalisation across the board, aiming to reach 85,000 students;
  • hands-on training of professionals and alumni in basic knowledge of AI, Data & Digitalisation, aiming to reach 85,000 professionals and alumni.


To facilitate the education, research and innovation ambition, a hybrid campus will be developed, with hotspots in Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam, connected by a virtual network of new and existing AI labs. Here, AI and its application will come together.


The AI, Data & Digitalisation knowledge cluster is strategically led by the AI Steering Committee and managed by a coordination team with representatives from the three universities.

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