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International design contest to set up an applied technology institute in Amsterdam

The City of Amsterdam is inviting knowledge institutions and companies from the Netherlands and abroad to participate in the ‘Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions’ design contest to establish a new institute in Amsterdam focussed on applied technology.

This was announced by Alderperson Carolien Gehrels (Economic Affairs). An independent jury will assess the submitted proposals and advise the city government later this year. By establishing a technical institute, the City of Amsterdam wishes to improve the economic structure of the city and region, and build and maintain connections that Amsterdam has with other cities.

“We are continually looking for opportunities to attract and retain talent, knowledge and businesses for the city of Amsterdam and to ensure connections to other cities,” states Alderperson Gehrels. “This allows for economic growth and creates valuable jobs. In this respect, the technical institute can play an important role.” This spring, the city government will decide on an investment of 20 to 50 million euros.

By early June, coalitions of companies and knowledge institutes should indicate whether they wish to participate in the contest and if so, they will be required to discuss their eligibility and present initial plans. In the second round, five parties will be selected to develop and submit detailed designs by the end of September. An independent jury will then assess these proposals. In the autumn of 2013, the city government will make a definitive decision about the institute.

Applied technology institute
Several international cities have already launched similar initiatives or are in the process of doing so. For example, Cornell NYC Tech in New York is a new university focusing on applied sciences, while Barcelona is launching the Barcelona Institute of Technology for the Habitat this year. Likewise, Singapore has established a new campus where renowned international universities and research institutes can collaborate closely.

Last year, the City of Amsterdam began research into the options for an institute that will allow international companies and knowledge institutions to collaborate on developing innovative solutions for major metropolitan challenges in various fields including water, energy, health care, transport and waste.

Members of the jury for the first round are Wim Kuijken (Government Commissioner for the Delta Programme), Wiebe Draijer (president of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands) and Doortje van Unen (deputy director Amsterdam Economic Board).

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is presently home to more than 2,000 international companies, accounting for approximately 15% of overall employment in the region.

For more information on the design contest: