Intensified collaboration between TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam for innovation and societal impact

Collaboration is not something we do on the side but something we must do if we truly want to innovate for societal impact, according to the board members of TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The three institutions will therefore enhance their collaboration to achieve their shared mission.

Since 2018, TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam have closely collaborated to achieve breakthroughs in fundamental science. Through their alliance, better known as Convergence, they aim to ‘fuse’ complementary disciplines in their pursuit of new insights and solutions to major societal challenges.

During the exploratory phase, there has been extensive experimentation with transdisciplinary research and education, resulting in numerous new initiatives and projects. In addition, partnerships were established with the municipalities of Rotterdam and Delft, other educational institutions, civil society and industry. This is testimony to the strength of Convergence and has laid the foundation for further growth.

Moving beyond collaboration

At the end of 2022, the boards of the partner institutions therefore decided to further expand the scope of their strategic alliance. By creating a unique ecosystem that brings together the required expertise, technology, data and infrastructure, they want to move beyond collaboration. Integration of Convergence within the existing structures and activities of the institutions is to ensure a sustained commitment to their shared mission.

This year, representatives from various segments have focused on the future of Convergence and the challenges and opportunities. The findings formed the basis for a  strategic dialogue on the 27th of October. On that day, board members, deans, directors, department heads, representatives of the operational support services, university councils and programme managers and academic leads of the five Convergence programmes all came together to build the foundation for innovative education and research that contributes to society.

Convergence has succeeded when it's no longer 'on top of' what we do, but when collaboration has become an inherent part of our operations, leading us to achieve improved results at a quicker pace.

Tim van der Hagen

TU Delft

President of the Board and Rector Magnificus

Means for societal impact

The conversations underscored that Convergence is not merely an end in itself, but rather a tool for fostering collaboration in the pursuit of sustainable solutions to address societal challenges. Now that the contours of the next phase have been outlined, the details will have to be specified. The institutions are one step closer to fulfilling their shared ambition: working together on excellent transdisciplinary research and education with a positive impact on citizens, society and the environment.