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University of Twente






Entrepreneurial partner







The challenge We live in a world in which a growing population is making an ever increasing demand on the diminishing resources available to us. The only way to deal with this is to seek smarter ways to conduct our lives and our business. Smarter use of energy and water, smarter solutions for the rising demand for health care and education and smarter ways of manufacturing. Smart solutions are integral and interdisciplinary. Solutions that unite the know-how of various disciplines. A new type of fuel should not only be capable of driving an engine, but should also fit in the existing infrastructure and appeal to governmental agencies, manufacturers and consumers. A diagnostic device in the field of health care is only viable when it is reliable, affordable and patient-friendly. To deliver such smart solutions in the face of society’s current challenges, we need organizations in which research is conducted to the highest standards. Organizations able to apply knowledge by reaching beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines. Open organizations with unambiguous links to the world outside and where external talent is embraced. It is that kind of organization the University of Twente aspires to be. (Route 14, Strategic Vision of the University of Twente 2009-2014) As a modern university it is our challenge to play a distinctive role in the creation of solutions for the issues society has to address, such as sustainability, energy, health and safety. Such a challenge demands ambition. At the UT we invest in high-quality knowledge, are open to innovation, welcome talented researchers and stimulate students to market their ideas. The combination of technology and behavioural and social sciences provides us with the unique opportunity to offer technical innovations within a societal context. According to the Times Higher Education Supplement, the University of Twente ranks among the top 200 universities worldwide and according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, among the top 100 universities in the field of chemistry. This demonstrates our ability to meet these challenges by designing suitable answers to today’s problems through our research and by educating students who can make a difference in society by developing fitting solutions. The executive board of the University of Twente is not alone in this ambition. It is supported by the efforts of its employees and students, by its highly valued relationships with the region of Twente and with the UT alumni and partners, by its collaboration with (inter)national research and educational organizations and local, regional and (inter) national companies. Together with these partners, we confidently accept the challenge. Executive Board University of Twente Dr Anne Flierman, president Professor Ed Brinksma, rector magnificus Ir Kees van Ast, vice-president



Founded in 1961, the University of Twente characterizes itself as an entrepreneurial university. Situated in the east of the Netherlands, it is a dynamic, international institution where more than 3,100 scientists and other professionals join forces in outstanding, cutting-edge research. Moreover, the UT stimulates innovations relevant to the world beyond the campus and it offers inspiring educational programmes to nearly 10,500 students. High tech, human touch The UT embodies “high tech with a human touch”. In our perspective, new technology drives change, renewal and progress in society. However, technology is not an isolated phenomenon. We believe that the most relevant and successful scientific breakthroughs result from the cooperation between technology on the one hand and behavioural and social sciences on the other. That is why we seek synergy between these disciplines wherever possible. Examples of such a concerted effort are technology assessments (studies of the societal effects of scientific and technological development) and human-machine interactions.

“A better future in a smart surrounding: the University of Twente makes it possible.” Paul Havinga, Professor of Pervasive Systems










Entrepreneurship is in our genes and it is our aim that society as a whole benefits from the invaluable knowledge developed here. Our aspiration to put this to good use in economic activity is reflected in the more than 750 successful spin-off companies launched by the UT and which provide permanent jobs to over 7,000 highly qualified employees. Our approach to entrepreneurship is not merely focused on the economy, however, it is also integrated in everything we do here. Constantly striving to expand our boundaries, we are proud of our four multidisciplinary research institutes and portfolio of educational programmes. Collaboration is not limited to the campus. We work closely together with other universities, companies, local authorities and (governmental) organizations, both regionally and (inter)nationally. The University of Twente is the only true campus university in the Netherlands with all buildings situated on a leafy estate. It is pre-eminently a location where cooperation can flourish. The campus is not only a place to work, study and live but it is also used as a test and demonstration facility for UT and external research.

Stimulating talent Working at the University of Twente means working in an innovative, international and entrepreneurial environment. The University of Twente strives to accommodate ambition and talent and we stimulate our employees to make the most of themselves. Young and brilliant scientists, for example, are offered tenure track positions which enable them to attain a full professorship within a period of six years. Please visit our internetsite for the latest job opportunities.



Studying at the University of Twente means working in an interdisciplinary fashion, having an international perspective and being truly entrepreneurial. We educate our students to be professionals, capable of acquiring high-tech knowledge and translating this into practical applications. Characteristic of all of our three-year bachelor of science degree programmes is the focus on research, design and organization. Students already possessing a BSc have access to one or more master’s degree programmes, resulting in an MSc. In the master of science degree programmes, students can specialize further in research, design or organization. At the University of Twente, and on completion of their MSc, students interested in a specific type of research can opt to pursue a doctorate, a title conferred after a four-year period of research.

“Driven by our neverending aspiration to be a leading university, we constantly seek the ultimate mix of breadth and depth, both in our ­educational programmes and in our research.” Professor Ed Brinksma, Rector Magnificus



To attract even more highly talented students, the University of Twente has founded the Twente Graduate School, which offers integrated master and PhD programmes, comprising both technological, social and behavourial components and led by internationally renowned research professors. These graduate research programmes focus on the core subjects of our four multidisciplinary research institutes, such as nanotechnology, sustainable energy, ICT and biomedical technology. Each programme must fulfil an elaborate set of quality criteria to meet the high standards of our degrees. We also offer postgraduate educational programmes (in Dutch), varying from complete master of science degree programmes to tailor-made in-company training.

Creative Technology Creative Technology is a unique (English-taught) bachelor of science degree programme in which students learn to design new creative applications using existing technologies. A vital role when designing these new applications is to address the problems and issues society has to contend with. We teach our students to understand technology and at the same time be resourceful and use their skills to create a better and safer world. To do this we not only offer them sound technical knowledge of both electrical engineering and computer science but also a firm grasp of human-product relationships and design principles. That is why both technical students and students with a less technical background can enrol on the BSc programme of Creative Technology.


The educational programmes at the University of Twente cover various scientific disciplines, ranging from applied physics to communication studies and from business administration to biomedical engineering. What makes our educational programmes so unique is that they extend beyond the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines. In our vision, collaboration between the disciplines produces the best solutions to the pressing issues society has to deal with. All of our bachelor and master’s degree programmes are approved by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This organization ensures the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). Additionally, the University of Twente issues a Diploma Supplement (in English) - automatically and free of charge - to every student on graduation. This Diploma Supplement is an internationally recognized document which is appended to the diploma. Nearly all our master’s degree programmes (26) are taught in English. In addition, we offer four bachelor’s degree programmesin English, namely Creative Technology, Advanced Technology, International Business Administration and European Studies.

Nanotechnology Nanotechnology focuses on the design and creation of functional materials, structures, devices and systems by directly controlling matter at the nano-level, as well as the exploitation of novel phenomena and properties occurring at this level. In general, ‘nano-level’ is defined as being smaller than 100 nanometres, depending on the physical and chemical characteristics of the particular system that undergoes quantitative and qualitative changes when the length scale boundary is crossed. Nanotechnology research and development includes the controlled manipulation of nano-scale structures and their integration into larger material components, systems and architectures. Within these larger scale assemblies, the control and construction of their structure and components continue to be at the nano-level. In nanotechnology, it is essential to have direct control of matter whether between two nanolevel objects or between a micro/ macro-level object and a nano-level object.

foto: Gerard Kuster



The University of Twente focuses on developing a personal relationship with its students. Despite having nearly 10,500 students, we do not see them as mere numbers. As much as possible, work is conducted in small groups to prevent students from disappearing into anonymity. We encourage our students to be actively involved in one or more of the university’s student associations, to have a broad and international orientation and to develop, market and commercialize their ideas. Hence some 91 student-run businesses have been established on the UT campus. The appended “Facts & Figures” present an overview of the current BSc and MSc programmes at the University of Twente. International meeting point The campus of the University of Twente unites students and researchers and is pre-eminently a place for international encounters of all kinds. We strongly stimulate students to have an international focus. Approximately 19% of our bachelor and master students and 58% of our PhD students come from abroad. The University of Twente caters to over 60 different nationalities on campus. Several international student associations (for example Erasmus Student Network Twente and the Indonesian Student Association) offer recreational activities that bring Dutch and international students together. International survey results show that the UT’s international student associations and their activities rank among the world’s best.

Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation Satellites circle our planet in space, constantly producing detailed recordings of the surface of the earth and its subsoil. This geo-information is also collected by airplanes and ships. In the MSc programme of the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) we teach post-graduate students from all over the world the relevant skills and competences for the acquisition, processing, transformation, analysis, modelling, storage and presentation of geo-information. Our students use this knowledge to solve a variety of urban and rural planning issues, such as determining the risk of natural disasters such as landslides, mapping forest fires, detecting environmental pollution and designing a good wildlife management system.

foto: Gerard Kuster







At the UT we combine highly qualified scientific research with a keen eye for its applicability and we strive to translate this acquired knowledge to economic use. We are at the forefront of the technologies of the future: nanotechnology, biotechnology and ICT. In this context, we focus on social issues such as health, water, sustainable energy, safety and education. The research of the University of Twente is organized in four, multidisciplinary research institutes: - CTIT Centre for Telematics and Information Technology New areas of applications, emerging from a firm technical basis for reliable ICT. - IGS Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies Management and governance of social and technological innovation. - MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology One of the world’s leading institutes in the field of nanotechnology. - MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine Top technology for patients: from fundamental issues to application within the clinic.

foto: Eric Brinkhorst



“It is not only about reaching scientific excellence, but you also have to be able to market your scientific results”. Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk, scientific director of MIRA

The success and also the applicability of our research is clearly demonstrated by the numerous prizes and awards the UT reseachers have been honoured with. For example: - In 2011 Professor Dave Blank, scientific director of the University of Twente’s research institute MESA+, was awarded the title of Simon Stevin Master. - Five young MESA+ researchers received prestigious European research grants in 2011: Dr Regina Luttge, Professor Serge Lemay and Dr Allard Mosk received the Starting Grant from the European Research Council and Dr Sonia Garcia Blanco and Dr Floris Zwanenburg received the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant. - Dr Séverine Le Gac, likewise a MESA+ researcher, received a Grant for Fertility Innovation from Merck Serono in 2011 (together with colleague researcher Professor Nils Lambak from the VU University in Amsterdam). - Also in 2011, the Wiley Young Investigator Award was bestowed on Professor Christian Beckmann (MIRA). This award honours young scientists who have made an important contribution to the research field of Human Brain Mapping. In 2009, the US-based company Veridex was awarded the prestigious Prix Galien USA for its CellSearch Circulating Tumor Cell Test. This test was developed under the leadership of UT researcher Professor Leon Terstappen (MIRA).

Growing human tissue Researchers of the University of Twente have developed a degradable resin with which they create 3D-structures of human tissue, using light and a specialized printer. This makes it possible to copy, for example, cardiac valves or other human tissue in resin. By subsequently growing human cells on these 3D-models, it is possible to implant these tissues into patients. The unique feature of this resin is that it will be degraded by the human body once the actual tissue has grown back. Moreover, researchers are able to accurately determine the material characteristics of the hardened resin. Softer tissue requires very different material characteristics than harder tissue such as bone. foto: Bram Saeys

Modern and fully equipped research facilities are scattered around our campus and include a comprehensive virtual reality laboratory and a state-ofthe-art nanolaboratory with cleanroom facilities.



“For more than 150 years diseases like Parkinson’s have been studied. Thanks to nanotechnology we are finally making actual progress in this field of research.” Vinod Subramaniam, Professor of Nanobiophysics

Pilot project Water Management in Africa Most roses in Dutch supermarkets originate from the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya. According to researchers Anne van der Veen and Robert Becht of the Faculty of ITC, numerous interests are at stake in this region: “While the area consists of internationally protected wetlands, water is essential to the growing of flowers which provides jobs to tens of thousands of Kenyans.” In their research these scientists look into the possibilities of uniting the conservation of nature and wildlife with the economic interests of a nation. “Lake Naivasha is a pilot project for integral water management in Africa. We work closely together with all parties concerned: government, flower growers, clients, NGOs and other scientists. They all know us due to the fact that we have worked in this area for a long period of time.”

Algae as a source of energy Our fossil fuels are slowly running out. Moreover, the combustion of these fuels contributes to global warming. Using biomass as an energy source is considered a solution to these problems. But some of these land-grown energy crops have serious disadvantages, such as the reduction of biodiversity, the loss of alternative uses of the land or the competition with the food market. The University of Twente is thus exploring the possibilities of using algae as a source of energy. These micro-organisms can grow quickly in fresh as well as in salt water. The University of Twente is developing smart bio-refining processes to make the best use of algae by not only obtaining fuels but also warmth, electricity and all kinds of chemicals.


“Instead of determining to what extent technology is allowed to invade the human space, ethicists need to claim an active part in the development and embedding of technology.” Peter-Paul Verbeek, Professor of Philosophy of Technology

Robotics At this moment, robots are mainly used in the industrial sector, but that is about to change according to Stefano Stramigioli, Professor of Robotics: “Much of the caregiving linked with the aging of the population can be done by robots. At the University of Twente we are developing robots which will enable the elderly to stay in their own homes despite being in need of care. These robots can accomplish relatively simple medical examinations and are able to notify medical staff when necessary. Besides this, we are developing robots for the use of minimal invasive medical surgery, in which the robot supports the surgeon.” Stramigioli expects that robots will also be used to inspect objects: “For example, we are building a robot that can move independently through gas pipes and check them from the inside. In the same way, robots could be used to inspect bridges or embankments.”

Lab-on-a-chip Laboratories are usually vast spaces filled with all kinds of equipment. That this does not have to be the case is proven by the nano-technologists at the University of Twente. They are at the forefront of the lab-on-a-chip technology, in which miniature laboratories are built with the size of a stamp or even a pill. The applications of this technology are numerous. Labs-on-a-chip have been developed to detect a virus in human blood, or to enable men to test their fertility in their own home. Important advantages of these miniature labs are that they are not only quick to use, with only a small sample, but also that they can be used anywhere. UT Professor Albert van den Berg received the Spinoza award in 2009 for his research in the field of the lab-on-a-chip technology. The Spinoza award is the most prestigious scientific award in the Netherlands.


Entrepreneurial partner

Cooperation is at the heart of the University of Twente, both on and off campus. The University of Twente works closely together with other (inter) national universities, companies, local authorities and (governmental) organizations. As an entrepreneurial university we also want the immediate vicinity to benefit from our activities. Putting our knowledge to good use in economic activity is of vital importance to us. To ensure that society fully benefits from our knowledge, we encourage our researchers and students to be enterprising. We are thus proud of the more than 750 successful spin-off companies the UT has launched since 1984. It is self-evident that we still have strong connections with many of these companies and that we maximize our collaboration with them.

“Cooperation is one of our core values. This is self-evident for an institution like the University of Twente: working in a multidisciplinary context and aspiring to connect with society.� Dr Anne Flierman, president of the Executive Board of the University of Twente

Kennispark Twente as a knowledge network and sciencepark To transform innovations into tangible economic activity and to strenghten the innovative approach and knowledge infrastructure of the region of Twente further, the University of Twente founded Kennispark Twente together with the province of Overijssel, the municipality of Enschede and the University of Applied Sciences Saxion. Here, knowledgedriven companies can continue to develop their business and prosper. Kennispark Twente gives both young and more seasoned entrepreneurs access to financing, talented staff, business development support programmes, new concepts and housing. Additionally, they can make use of the research facilities of the University of Twente. In this unique way, scientists and entrepreneurs have joined forces to bring about innovation. Even the physical surroundings are being altered to include both actual and virtual meeting places for scientists and entrepreneurs.



“Kennispark Twente is all about the power of combination. All parties concerned are creating the conditions in which knowledge-driven entrepreneurs can develop their business successfully.” Dr Kees Eijkel, director of Kennispark Twente

Water footprint network We use a lot of water to produce food and commodities. For example, the preparation of one cup of coffee requires 140 litres of water. And 16,000 litres to produce a kilo of beef. The water footprint, a concept introduced by Arjen Hoekstra, Professor of Water Engineering & Management, is a measurement for the quantity of water used annually by man, business or country. Much of this water is not utilized in the same country as where the food or the commodities finally end up. For example, only 20% of the Dutch water footprint actually consists of Dutch water. To create awareness that we can influence the water use in other countries, the University of Twente founded the Water Footprint Network together with the World Wildlife Fund.

Partnerships Collaboration implies more than just the UT’s spin-off companies. We also work closely together with universities, knowledge institutions and multinationals from all over the world. The University of Twente is member of the 3TU Federation, in which the three leading universities of technology in the Netherlands – Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of Twente – have joined forces to maximize innovation, thereby strenghtening the competitive position of the Dutch knowledge economy. In the field of health and sustainable energy we also cooperate closely with the Dutch universities of Groningen, Wageningen and Nijmegen. In the Netherlands the University of Twente is moreover the only (and also founding) member of the ECIU, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. This invaluable consortium consists of relatively young, entrepreneurial and progressive universities such as Aalborg University (Denmark), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Linköping Universitet (Sweden), University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom) and Technológico de Monterrey (Mexico). In addition to the ECIU cooperation, the UT maintains academic relationships in several target regions around the world. There are strong ties with European top research universities such as Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster (Germany), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University (Sweden) and Warsaw University (Poland). In Asia, the UT cooperates with various universities in China, Indonesia and India. Furthermore, the UT collaborates with – among others – the province of Overijssel, the municipality of Enschede, various Dutch hospitals and leading international companies such as ASML, Boeing, Google, Microsoft, Unilever, Akzo Nobel, Shell, Siemens, BP and Philips. Alumni The UT strives to maintain a strong relationship with its over 40,000 alumni around the world. We consider our graduates to be ambassadors of the university and wish to keep in close contact with them. The university also supports the establishment of alumni circles, both in the Netherlands and beyond, which provide alumni with a framework to meet one another, to expand their networks and to benefit from locally organized activities and programmes.

Scoring for the community Football is not only the most popular sport in the Netherlands but it also unites people. FC Twente – located only a stone’s throw from our campus - underpins this with its project “Scoring in the neighbourhood”. Together with the municipality of Enschede, the housing cooperatives and locally involved residents, FC Twente has taken it upon itself to improve the neighbourhoods of its fans. “The University of Twente is also taking part in this project,” Bas Denters, Professor of Public Administration, explains. “We monitor existing projects and evaluate the results. Moreover, we help to come up with new initiatives.” This project has also attracted students of various UT bachelor and master of science degree programmes for their internship.


CAMPUS The campus of the University of Twente is an international meeting place for students, for scientists with a multidisciplinary focus and for companies and governments in their quest for knowledge. The campus buildings are located on an impressive verdant estate of nearly 150 hectares (approximately 375 acres), in the municipality of Enschede. The scenery is diverse: meadows, water, landscaped gardens and much woodland. Scattered around the campus are state-of-the-art research and educational facilities. But the campus is also a place to live, play sports and relax. In summer the campus is a popular spot for walks and other forms of leisure. It offers a wide range of facilities, such as student and staff housing, sports halls and grounds, shops, a hairdresser, meditation and prayer facilities, including a mosque, a general practitioner, a dentist, a bar, restaurants and even a theatre. The campus is also a venue for events like “Create Tomorrow”, the world’s largest student think tank and the “Batavierenrace”, the world’s largest student relay event. The campus is within cycling distance of the bustling centre of Enschede, which has often been designated as “best student town”. Enschede also offers many cultural attractions as well as places of worship.

“At the University of Twente it is possible to study, research, relax and live in a beautiful leafy environment. The campus is the cradle of new concepts.” Ir Kees van Ast, vice-president of the Executive Board of the University of Twente


“The Student Union ensures that students have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities, thus developing additional knowledge and skills. This leads to involved, independent and entrepreneurial students, ready for the future.” Max Haspels, chairman of the Student Union

Living lab Utilizing our campus as a “living lab” means that we use it as a test and demonstration facility for the latest technology originating from our university and beyond. Examples are the development of a smart grid to monitor and regulate the supply of energy, the use of LEDs as exterior lighting and the development of a state-of-the-art water treatment system. In this way we are not only improving our campus, but we are also helping our research.

Sports and culture The University of Twente has a whole range of sports facilities at its disposal. Scattered around the campus are (indoor and outdoor) swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a climbing wall, sports halls, football grounds and fields or courts for hockey, basket ball, baseball, beach volleyball and athletics. One does not need to look far for entertainment either with the UT’s cultural centre regularly organizing theatre productions, exhibitions, concerts, lectures and film and debate nights.

foto: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

In total, more than 100 sports, social and cultural student associations are active on the campus. Together they form the Student Union, which, managed by students and representing the interests of the entire student population, is responsible for all extracurricular activities at the University of Twente.

UT Corporate brochure  

Corporate brochure of the University of Twente