Convergence brings together 60 million investments in future-proof healthcare

Ten Flagship projects in Convergence, the strategic collaboration between TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam will carry out research aimed at making the healthcare system future-proof. The flagships will receive a total of € 20 million from the Convergence Health & Tech program. Cooperation with public and private parties will add an additional DKK 40 million.

Stefan Sleijfer, Chairman of the Board of Erasmus MC, launched the flagships on Wednesday 6 July at Convergence Square, the specially established innovation hub, in Rotterdam. The focus on joint research is a major step forward in the collaboration between the three institutions. Hundreds of scientists and dozens of societal stakeholders are coming together to find innovative solutions to problems facing the healthcare system.

Healthcare has complex problems. Rising demand for healthcare and an extremely tight labor market are putting the sustainability of our healthcare to the test. ‘Upscaling is necessary to make healthcare secure for the future. That’s what Convergence does, ‘says Floris Italianer, Director of Convergence. ‘With ten Flagship programs, Delft and Rotterdam jointly develop solutions, for example in the field of prevention, innovation programs in the organization of care and rapid reintegration of patients.’

The flagship projects were selected from 36 proposals submitted by mixed teams of researchers from the three institutions. The contributions were judged by an international panel of scientists. Projects not selected in the first round will be considered for the next round, and other ways of supporting these initiatives are being explored.

About convergence
Convergence is the collaboration between TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC. The flagships are establishing a core scientific program to develop and strengthen the scientific Convergence Health & Technology community.

New scientific knowledge and technology are needed to make public health future-proof. Human behavior plays a crucial role in this. This requires a merger or convergence of a wide range of disciplines. Only through the use of medical and health sciences, life sciences, engineering and computer sciences, social sciences and the humanities can we succeed in securing the future of our healthcare system.

Ten Flagship projects have received a start-up grant of € 2 million from Convergence Health & Tech. The projects are listed below. Audience overviews can be read on the Convergence website.

Integrative Neuromedicine (IN)
Topic: Neurodegenerative diseases
Daan Brinks, Delft University of Technology; Zhenyu Gao, Erasmus MC and Maren Wehrle, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Proactive technology-supported prevention and mental health in adolescence (Protect ME)
Topic: Mental health of young people
Loes Keijsers, Erasmus University; Manon Hillegers, Erasmus MC and Willem-Paul Brinkman, TU Delft

Convergence Imaging Facility and Innovation Center (CIFIC)
Topic: Innovation bio-imaging
Jacob P. Hoogenboom, Delft University of Technology; Adriaan B. Houtsmuller, Erasmus MC and Murat Tarakci, Erasmus University

Healthy joints
Topic: Healthy joints
Sita Bierma-Zeinstra, Erasmus MC; Jaap Harlaar, TU Delft and Inge Merkelbach, Erasmus University

Organ transplantation: make unsuitable donor organs suitable
Topic: Organ perfusion for eg transplantation
Jan NMIJzermans, Erasmus MC; Pim French, TU Delft and Esther de Bekker-Grob, Erasmus University

Consultation room 2030 – Continuity in care from hospital to home
Topic: Digital technologies at the medical center
Joke Hendriks, Erasmus MC; Richard Goossens, TU Delft and Kees Ahaus, Erasmus University

A life course and individual-based view of lifestyle to improve health (ALIVE)
Topic: Lifestyle Interventions
Annemarie Liège, Erasmus MC; Jos Kraal, Delft University of Technology; Trudy Voortman, Erasmus MC and Bram Wouterse, Erasmus University

Personal, real-time health impact of climate change and pollution
Topic: Effects of environmental impact on the individual
Alina Rwei, Delft University of Technology; Pilar Garcia-Gomez, Erasmus University and Hok Bing Thio, Erasmus MC

Topic: Individualized cell models
Joyce van Meurs, Erasmus MC; Joana Gonçalves, TU Delft and Ken Redekop, Erasmus University

Convergence Human Mobility Center
Topic: Home rehabilitation after stroke
Gerard Ribbers, Erasmus MC; Jane Cramm, Erasmus University and Laura Marchal-Crespo, TU Delft

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