- As cities grow, so do their challenges.
- In EnschedeLab educational institutes from Twente collaborate to create a smarter city.
Students from ROC van Twente, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, University of Twente and AKI-ArtEZ are collaborating on a smarter city that is (more) attractive for talented entrepreneurs, students and residents. Mayor Onno van Veldhuizen explains the ambitions on behalf of the cooperating partners: “Enschede is known as a city of innovation. The available space, knowledge and facilities offer ideal conditions for pioneering innovations. We make our city available for new concepts, products and solutions, and let our residents and visitors be the first to benefit from their innovations.”
Specifically, the parties work together on the following topics:
Vital and attractive city centres are of great social and economic importance. Smart Enschede, therefore, focuses on innovations in the city and its centre to be able to respond to new trends and developments. Real-time data plays an important role. Dr. Mettina Veenstra (lecturer in Smart Cities at Saxion): “Through new technology, we are collecting more and more data that benefits entrepreneurs and residents. A practical example is a project aimed at measuring groundwater levels in homes. Many households in Enschede have groundwater problems. With better insights, we can solve problems in a more targeted way.”
The knowledge institutions jointly invest in specific innovation clusters with opportunities to strengthen the position of the region. A concrete example is a collaboration and investment in Space53. ROC, Saxion and the University of Twente jointly developed a research and education program in collaboration with Space53 that contributes at all educational levels to new applications and technical opportunities with drones and unmanned systems. The combination of knowledge, talent and research facilities creates a distinctive system, taking the lead over other European regions.
One of the regional challenges is keeping graduated talents in Twente. There are ample interesting jobs in the region, but they are insufficiently in the minds of students. Smart Enschede ensures that students and businesses are connected during their studies. For example, by providing a part-time job that matches their studies. This way, students can gain relevant work experience and at the same time, get to know the business community in Twente. Within the IT sector, a program is in development. Also, the City of Enschede creates extra space for students within their organisation.
The Ondernemerslab (ROC van Twente), Stadslab and FabLab (Saxion), the DesignLab (University of Twente) and the AKI work together with students, residents and the municipality on innovative, sustainable solutions for the city of tomorrow. Students from all educational levels and study areas work together in a multidisciplinary manner on social issues. With their strong motivation, current knowledge and creative and entrepreneurial skills, students contribute to the design of innovative solutions. The labs open up their infrastructure, facilities and employees. The first projects will start in February 2018. The official will take place on the 19th of February 2018 with the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
Entrepreneurs are welcome at (Smart) Enschede in Business, which is part of the Entrepreneur Desk (Ondernemersloket) of the City of Enschede. Enschede in Business can offer knowledge, talent and facilities for testing and applying products, services or innovations in the City of Enschede. Developed solutions can be answers to a social issue, but also a solution to be applied in the public space, or, for example, a store concept.
Are you a student and do you want to create impact and make Enschede more sustainable, modern and smart? Then you’re a perfect fit for EnschedeLab! Join today.