City of Rotterdam

Luchtfoto Rotterdam

Rotterdam is in Erasmus University's DNA. Once founded by port barons, EUR has traditionally been closely linked to the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is like a laboratory where many metropolitan issues and social developments occur. Our scientists' and students' knowledge and skills can make a significant contribution to this. But the city also contributes to the development of new scientific knowledge.

Uitzicht over Rotterdam

Since 2010, the EUR has had a long-term partnership with the City of Rotterdam in which it has expressed to each other to cooperate in many areas. An example of this is the Knowledge Labs. The council of Rotterdam also plays an important role in the Convergence in which Erasmus MC, Erasmus University Rotterdam and TU Delft work together.

Publications related to the partnership

In order to learn from the partnership, an evaluative study took place in 2021, commissioned by Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Municipality of Rotterdam. See the report / summary Bevlogen grenswerk, begrensde nabijheid for the results of the study.

The knowledge infrastructure also inspired the council of Rotterdam to ask these partnerships to think about which topics are important for the new city government. It is unique in the Netherlands for such a local knowledge infrastructure to draw up a recommendation to realise the impact for the city from knowledge. The compilation Woorden ter inspiratie voor daden (words for inspirations to deeds) contains this advices.

All publications can be downloaded, see below.

Want to know more?

About cooperating in Rotterdam or with Erasmus University, please contact Marjolein Kooistra or Isabel van der Heiden of Regiegroep Samenwerking EUR - gemeente Rotterdam - for both external and internal parties. Both work at Academic Affairs.

Knowledge infrastructure Rotterdam

An extensive knowledge infrastructure has emerged over the past few years. Many research collaboration initiatives have gotten off the ground, such as CEPHIR, the Knowledge Labs (KWP) and Smart Port.

Knowledge Labs and other collaborations

Developing scientific and practical knowledge together and sharing this knowledge widely is essential for future-proofing the city and its port. Researchers and Rotterdam policymakers work together in Knowledge Labs and other partnerships on issues that are important for Rotterdam, and for the resilience of the city and its residents.

  • KWP Livable Neighbourhoods

    The central goal of the KWP is to improve the livability of Rotterdam neighbourhoods. The lab wants to make explicit use of existing knowledge and experience in the field of livability improvement ('co-creation’ of knowledge).

    Contact: Dr. Beitske Boonstra & Vivian Visser

    Former coordinator Dr. Erik Snel received the City Medal De Rotterdammert for his great commitment to the Knowledge Lab Livable Neighborhoods 2012-2022, handed over during KWP's 10th-anniversary celebration by an alderman.

    KWP Leefbare Wijken
  • KWP Urban labour market

    Perhaps Rotterdam's greatest challenge lies in the labour market, where supply and demand no longer match and in the reintegration of people who have dropped out of the labor process. This is what the Urban Labor Market KWP is focusing on. The Knowledge Lab has developed a municipal training cource in 2022, see Vakwijzer Leeratelier 'Dealing with tightness in the labour market 2022-2023'.

    Contact: Dr. Fabian Dekker & Prof. dr. Menno Fenger

    KWP Stedelijke Arbeidsmarkt
  • KWP Rotterdam Talent

    The KWP contributes to knowledge development in the field of Rotterdam talent. By sharing knowledge and applying that knowledge, the KWP wants to contribute to the improvement of Rotterdam's educational policy and practice.

    Contact: Drs. Tom Tudjman & Dr. Jacqueline Schenk

    KWP Rotterdams Talent
  • KWP Urban Big Data

    How can the potential of big data be monetized? What is needed to do so and what risks are involved? What data are available and how reliable are they? And what about privacy sensitivity? The KWP Urban Big Data investigates these and other questions.

    Contact: Dr. Rebecca Moody

    KWP Urban Big Data
  • GOVLAB010

    EUR and Rotterdam City Council want to move forward together on themes crucial to Rotterdam. The transition from a sustainable city to a city without division, to a city that grows, to a healthy city. These transitions require new forms of governance. How can the city organise itself so that social changes can be properly managed?

    Knowledge Lab Organisations in a Smart City continue under the flag of GOVLAB010.

    Contact: Lizet Kuitert | Prof. Dr. Arwin van Buuren

  • CARE Lab Rotterdam (Connect, Action, Research, Education) (Municipality of Rotterdam & ESHPM)

    CARE Lab Rotterdam aims to conduct action research and improve support for people with multiple problems and contribute to a learning culture.

    Contact: Dr. Jeroen van Wijngaarden & Dr. Lieke Oldenhof

    Care Lab Rotterdam

    CEPHIR is the Academic Knowledge Lab for Public Health in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Zeeland, and Zuid-Holland Zuid regions. CEPHIR conducts public health research and shares this knowledge with society to support policy for a healthy community.

    Contact: Dr. Mariëlle Beenackers

    CEPHIR Logo
  • Healthy'R

    Healthy'R is the expertise centre of the City of Rotterdam and the EUR. The goal is to help Rotterdammers make choices for healthier behaviour.

    Contact: Prof. Dr. Semiha Denktas & dr. Paul Kocken

    Healthy'R logo oranje
  • ST-RAW

    Within ST-RAW, fourteen organizations from across the youth aid chain work together with the goal that all young people are given equal opportunities in Rotterdam's youth policy.

    Contact: Dr. Wilma Jansen


Major collaborative research projects in Rotterdam or the region

  • Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC)

    The aim of VCC is to strengthen the quality of life within cities. Achieving this by forming a network with municipalities, civil society organizations, initiatives, companies and the creative industry while sharing knowledge with each other on the basis of scientific research.

    VCC provide advice the City of Rotterdam on regular basis. Students are involved in the projects.

    Contact: Prof. Dr. Jurian Edelenbos and Britt Boeddha, MSc

    Logo Vital Cities and Citizens
  • Child Poverty Research Program

    The Child Poverty Research Program is a collaboration between Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp, the City of Rotterdam, Hogeschool Rotterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The program will conduct research into the effectiveness of interventions and professional practices aimed at children growing up in poverty. This unique collaboration provides a new connection between science, policy and practice in the field of child poverty and is led by Prof. Dr. Nicole Lucassen (EUR) and Dr. Mariëtte Lusse (lector Kinderarmoede, Hogeschool Rotterdam).

    For more information see the press release.

    Contact: Marjolein Kooistra, EUR; Anouk Erkelens, City of Rotterdam; Floortje van Ree, Hogeschool Rotterdam

    OPKA logo
  • Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab (RASL)

    Within RASL, Codarts Rotterdam, Arts & Culture Studies (EUR), Erasmus University College (EUR) and Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam work together more intensively and join forces in the field of education and research.

    Contact: Prof. Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens

    Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab (RASL)
  • Smart Port

    SmartPort is the knowledge hub of the Port of Rotterdam. We form the bridge between port businesses, knowledge institutions and governments and stimulate alliances, fund scientific research and provide public knowledge dissemination. The knowledge hub has one central goal: knowledge development for the port of the future (2030-2050+) based on questions from the Rotterdam business community and accelerating innovation. SmartPort is a not-for-profit partnership of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Deltalinqs, City of Rotterdam, Erasmus University, Delft University of Technology, TNO, Deltares and Marin.

    Contact: Prof. Dr. Rob Zuijdwijk

    Smart Port
  • Medical Delta

    Medical Delta brings together three renowned universities, two university medical centres, four city governments, regional and national governments, companies, healthcare institutions and other parties in the province of South Holland, such as the city of Rotterdam and companies. They work together on technological solutions for sustainable care.


    Medical Delta

Examples of other research projects / collaborations in which the City of Rotterdam actively participates

Healthy Start (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus MC, TU Delft) - Healthy Start has the ambition to improve the future of new generations.
Contact: Dr. Karlijn Hermans

RUGGEDISED - European project for large-scale area development Rotterdam South
Contact: Prof. Eric van Heck

Citylab010 (City of Rotterdam) - supporting civic initiatives with knowledge
Contact:  Andre Hendrikse

Grow It app - Erasmus MC, EUR, City of Rotterdam - This app gives young people aged 12 to 25 more insight into how they are feeling and provides them with a daily fun challenge to support them in their daily stress including during the corona crisis and beyond.
Contact: Prof. Manon Hillegers & Prof. Loes Keijsers

Students | Education

Our students are encouraged to engage more intensively with urban issues. The Erasmus Verbindt student initiative is part of the EUR strategy and aims to get students more involved in working on solutions to issues facing the city. In addition, Erasmus master's students can participate in the annual Rotterdam Thesis Award, which is awarded to a thesis relevant to Rotterdam. In the National City Deal program, both the City of Rotterdam and the EUR and other knowledge institutions participate to involve students in the city.

UNIC (European University of Post-Industrial Cities in Transition)

In 10 years, it will be natural for EUR students, faculty and researchers to attend and deliver lectures, conduct research and create knowledge throughout Europe. UNIC takes inclusion to the next level by taking the super-diverse environment that many of our students are part of as a given. By working with local partners in CityLabs, we not only bring 'science to the city' but also contribute to the development of local communities and city resilience.
City of Rotterdam is a major partner of UNIC University.


Erasmus scientists in the city

Scientists can regularly be found in the city to share their knowledge with a wide audience. For example, every month there is Studio Erasmus in Arminius and there are annual events, including the Rotterdamlezing, Lof der Geneeskunst, and the Tiger lecture at the IFFR. Children are introduced to science through the activities of the Science Hub.

Rotterdam. Make It Happen brand coalition.

Erasmus University is one of the initiators of the Rotterdam. Make It Happen brand coalition that started in 2014. Since then, 33 leading Rotterdam organisations, so-called brand partners, have joined. Through brand positioning 'Rotterdam. Make it Happen.' This joint effort is made to increase Rotterdam's national and international appeal.

Smart, healthy, circular

By starting from a shared Rotterdam identity and mentality, a familiar tone, style and a common brand promise, the brand alliance aims to position Rotterdam in a challenging way. The coalition focuses on (international) profiling of the city among talent, businesses, visitors, investors, residents and students to contribute to economic value with social impact. The focus in recent years has been on Rotterdam as a smart, healthy and circular city.

E-mail contact brand alliance:

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