Opening of the first Convergence Square
On May 20 this year, the first Convergence Square was officially opened at Erasmus MC. In this first Convergence Square people will collaborate on the research theme Health & Technology. “The fact that we have created the first meeting space so quickly shows the enormous energy behind the whole convergence initiative,” said Ernst Kuipers, President of the Executive Board of Erasmus MC.
“We sometimes say: real science is made at the coffee machine. The Convergence Square is a kind of coffee machine: a place where we can come together and get new ideas about which way to go with research,” adds Ed Brinksma, President of the Executive Board of Erasmus University. “Especially in Covidtimes and post-Covidtimes this is important. People will be working more from home, so the places they still go should be precisely those meeting places.”
This shows the enormous energy behind the whole convergence initiative
Bring people together
Richard Goossens is Professor of Physical Ergonomics at the TU Delft. He stood at the cradle of the Convergence Squares. “I see the Convergence Square as a particle accelerator; I wanted disciplines to collide.” In order to converge, it is necessary that people also meet each other in person, Goossens argues. “We can do a lot through Zoom and Teams, but good ideas arise from coincidences. To encourage these coincidences to happen, we need to bring people together.”
The first Convergence Square was developed in a corridor of Erasmus MC. “The place consisted of a long corridor with small rooms, like the entire Erasmus MC is built up. I broke down the walls of the rooms as much as possible to create large passages, but also still places where you can retreat with your team.” On the outside, glass fronts are attached so that people can see what is happening. The walls are whiteboards. “That way, people who work there can easily write down and draw out ideas.” The idea of the whiteboards comes from the ‘Applied Labs’ that Goossens previously created at TU Delft.
In post-Covid times besides working from home we need places where people can meet each other
Health & Technology office
The Convergence Square in Erasmus MC is the place where scientists and other partners working within the Health & Technology theme can come together. The location will serve as a meeting place for two or three years. There will also be a meeting room. “And we are going to install facilities there so that it will be easy to connect digitally with the other convergence squares.” Convergence Squares will also be established at the Erasmus University and the TU Delft. Goossens: “In Delft, I am already far advanced; I hope to be able to open the second one there this year.”
The Convergence Square is like a particle accelerator; I want disciplines to collide
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Questions about the Convergence Square? Please contact us.