Dick den Hertog will receive the award in the Society category. He is a professor of Operations Research at the University of Amsterdam. His research shows that mathematical optimisation can provide solutions for a wide range of societal problems. His work has contributed to optimising the height of dykes in the Netherlands, the locations of hospitals in countries like Timor-Leste and Vietnam, or the food supply chains of the World Food Programme (for which he developed the innovative model Optimus). He now works for The Ocean Cleanup, optimising navigation strategy to remove as much plastic from the ocean as possible within a certain timeframe. ‘These are often problems where there are many possible decisions to make. Exploring all the possibilities with a computer takes a long time. By using smart mathematical techniques, you can find the best one within a few minutes’, says Den Hertog. That's why Den Hertog also founded the Analytics for a Better World Institute. The institute ensures that research results are truly used and have a real impact.
The Impact Awards will be presented to the winners on 21 November 2023 in a ceremony set to take place during a major innovation festival at NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam.
The Impact Award is part of the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Awards, an Amsterdam-based competition recognising research-based innovative ideas and impactful innovations. The awards ceremony is an initiative of IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam), the Knowledge Transfer Office of Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Amsterdam, and VU University Amsterdam. Collaboration partners include the city of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Science Park.