How can the unequal starting position of children in the Rotterdam region be bridged so that all young people have the opportunity to develop their talents optimally, with which they can grow into young, participating, and active citizens? Healthy Start is a new scientific initiative by Eveline Crone (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Vincent Jaddoe (Erasmus MC) and Maaike Kleinsmann (TU Delft) with the ambition of breaking through the unequal starting position in the lives of children and young adults. This initiative fits entirely within the Convergence Alliance of the three knowledge partners. The kick-off took place on June 15th 2021.
Not all children who are born have a good starting position in life. The Healthy Start agenda focuses specifically on inequalities in starting positions of children. How can these be bridged through interventions? And how can all young people be given opportunities to develop their talents optimally? Healthy Start wants to grow into an international, interdisciplinary centre with fundamental research, applied research, and citizen involvement, and knowledge transfer. In addition to research, Healthy Start will also design an extensive education and training program. Through the collaboration between the three convergence alliance partners, EUR, Erasmus MC, and TU Delft, it is possible to offer an optimal combination of knowledge and facilities to break through the unequal starting position of children and young adults in the Rotterdam region.
About the convergence alliance TU Delft, EUR, EMC
TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Erasmus MC are joining forces in the Convergence Alliance. Our time’s urgent and complex social challenges call for fundamentally new forms of cooperation, crossing the boundaries between institutions and disciplines to create new perspectives and solutions. In research and education, efforts are being made to combine expertise, knowledge and methods to tackle societal challenges such as: climate change, sustainability, pressure on healthcare, urbanisation, and digitisation. The alliance works with a large number of public and private partners in Zuid-Holland and beyond.
On 15 June, the Healthy Start initiative kick-off took place, which was attended by more than 80 researchers. During the kick-off, knowledge was shared, and the attendees were invited to think together for an ambitious research agenda that improves opportunities for children and adolescents. During the kick-off Prof Irwin Reiss, Prof Renske Keizer & Prof Moniek Buijzen presented their academic showcases. Prof. Manon Hillegers (RE-Connect – Rotterdam Experts- Connect), postdocs, and PhD. candidates pitched various social impact projects. During the breakout sessions, the question: “how can we best make Healthy Start flourish within the organisations of EUR, TUD, EMC?” was addressed.