On Wednesday 7 July, the presidents of TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam signed a framework agreement for far-reaching strategic cooperation within the Convergence Alliance. In research and education the institutions are committed to combining their strengths, knowledge and methods to address issues related to climate change, sustainability, pressure on the healthcare system, urbanisation and digitalisation.
The intention to work closely together has already been announced at the beginning of 2020, but with the signing of the Framework Agreement, the release of kick-start funding of 5 million euros per year and the launch of a multi-year strategy, the next phase has begun in which the three knowledge institutions grow closer together. The framework agreement regulates, among other things, the organization of the alliance and the establishment of a joint Convergence Office.
The corona crisis has not slowed down the institutions, but confirmed their mission, which is to converge to meet the increasing complexity of societal challenges and the rapid development of technologies, which make an integrated approach from scientific disciplines urgent and inevitable. This will result in a unique ecosystem, with academic, public and private partners, in which the municipalities of Rotterdam and Delft actively participate.
A new Convergence Alliance website has also been launched with stories and news from the 3 social themes: Resilient Delta, Health & Technology and AI, Data & Digitalisation. Within these themes, there is collaboration with companies in the region, such as the Port of Rotterdam, with government agencies, such as the municipality of Rotterdam and Delft and the province of South Holland, and with social partners and other academic institutions, including Leiden University and the LUMC.
Working visit Hugo de Jonge
That same day, demissionary minister Hugo de Jonge paid a working visit to Convergence Square in Erasmus MC, to be informed about health and technology in the future, and the collaboration between the universities.