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As part of the Amsterdam Academic Alliance (the collaborative partnership between VU University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS/HvA)), the UvA and VU University Amsterdam are set to collaborate with the newly established Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). This institute is an initiative by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and partners. The first issues that the organisations will jointly address are big data and social sustainability

Amsterdam By Night
Photo: Flickr, Szudi

The Amsterdam Data Science Research Center – a collaborative partnership between the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science, the AUAS/HvA, the UvA and VU University Amsterdam in the field of data science – will look at safety, healthcare and smart cities together with the AMS. The UvA's Centre for Urban Studies focuses on issues relating to sustainable urban development and planning, and will address these issues with the AMS.

Amsterdam: a knowledge hub

With two research universities, two teaching hospitals, four universities of applied sciences and dozens of research institutes, Amsterdam is a rich hub of higher education and science. The institutions are integral parts of the city, strengthen the city and make the city more attractive. The institutions see the introduction of the AMS as enriching and adding to the existing infrastructure.

The UvA, VU University Amsterdam and AUAS/HvA hope that the results of the research and knowledge gained will be applied in practice, in the city, within public organisations and private enterprises. Collaborating with the AMS is also in keeping with this aim: the application of technology in the city. The institutions will be addressing ‘human capital in a global world’. Knowledge-intensive companies need to view Amsterdam as an attractive location due to its large and accessible supply of highly educated young people. Amsterdam therefore needs to be portrayed as a global intellectual hub.

Cooperation within and with the city

The aim of close cooperation between knowledge institutes, companies and public institutions is to ensure that Amsterdam remains economically strong, academically competitive and attractive at an international level. The Amsterdam Economic Board (AEB) has been set up to encourage this type of cooperation.

Participation within the Amsterdam Academic Alliance (AAA) – an academic alliance between the UvA, AUAS/HvA, and VU University Amsterdam – should also be viewed in this light. This alliance offers interdisciplinary and complementary education and research, geared towards the future, with greater choice for students and more resources for researchers. It operates at the heart of the community with ‘field labs’ and ‘living labs’: research locations in the city that focus on urban problems, equipped with state-of-the-art data technology. International students and researchers also benefit from the collaboration, because they are able to choose from a highly differentiated offering of study programmes and research at a high level.

The introduction of the Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) is in line with this goal: by pooling knowledge, sharing experiences, and by devising and testing joint solutions in practice, we can create a unique global hub of urban innovation.