A big thank you
What a year this has been, a year in motion one could say. In these new and also dynamic times, society as a whole is challenged to deal with this situation in a healthy and constructive way. Before jumping into 2021, let's take a moment to reflect on this year.

Looking back at developments in the areas of education, entrepreneurship & collaboration, and research & innovation, 2020 was a remarkable year due to its special circumstances and new challenges, but also a year with numerous milestones that we can be proud of. This would have been unimaginable if not for the vast amount of expertise, effort, and enthusiasm brought to the institute by all the people we work with. For which we warmly say: thank you!

“Although not always easy, the past year required us too to look for creative solutions to find a suitable way to continue our work. It’s a complex time for all of us, but luckily problem solving is part of AMS Institute's DNA.”

Kenneth Heijns

Managing Director

Education transforms into a hybrid program
The agility of our MSc MADE students and educational team became very apparent this year. Overnight educational activities took place online. For example, last April the second year students transformed the yearly recurring Living Lab Expo into an inspiring online session - for which our students even launched a website.

Also, next to saying "goodbye" to 15 graduates in September who are ready to take on the city's challenges as Urban Engineers, in the same month we welcomed a record number of more than 60 new MSc MADE students.


MSc MADE Living Lab Exhibition 2020


After months of hard work, co-creation sessions, research, stakeholder interviews, design, and product development, the first MSc MADE Living Lab website is now online!


MSc MADE graduation ceremony 2020


With our second cohort of MSc MADE graduating, the city of Amsterdam gained 15 bright minds who are eager to tackle urban challenges. The past 2 years these now-alumni have enlightened us with countless ambitious solutions to improve city life.


Winner of an Urban Greenhouse for China


How can food best be produced in urban areas? “TeAMSpirit”, a group of our MSc MADE, WUR and TU Delft students made it t

“This year, and maybe even more so as a result of Covid-19, the set-up of our educational program has proved itself again. I'm proud to see how rapidly our team and MSc MADE students redesigned the program to fit the current situation.”

Arjen Zegwaard

Former Program Director MADE at AMS Institute

Startups that leave a mark on the city
Also this year, the entrepreneurial spirit took flight within our research portfolio, MSc MADE students & alumni and from our collaborations & partnerships. From a startup focused on crowd monitoring, one that creates tailor-made interior solutions to make spacious housing more affordable to a mobile app that helps curious travellers uncover any monument’s story on the spot - just to name a few.

Last September, we successfully launched an incubation program, the AMS Startup Booster, to help develop and establish new start-up ideas like the aforementioned. The AMS Startup Booster provides an eco-system to grow businesses that make an impact on the cities and its citizens. A selection of 7 ambitious teams are currently transforming their innovative ideas into startups. Curious what they're working on? Take a look here.

Young Urban Engineers (YUE)

Contributing fresh perspectives to create meaningful urban transitions.


Winners Nationals Climate Launchpad 2020

A new generation of climate entrepreneurs, eager to make a difference, joined the ClimateLaunchpad @AMS Institute. The teams pitched their business ideas to a jury of experts. And the winners are...

“We aim to help the next generation of early-stage ambitious urban startups to turn ideas into reality. Startups that find their origin within AMS Institute, as well as startups from outside our institute are welcome to boost their business!”

Research & Innovation to impact the city
In many ways, the impact of Research and Innovation became apparent and tangible this year. This year marked the start of many new research projects, like one that dives into the technicalities of making Amsterdam's quay walls future-proof - for which a total of 6 Living Labs are set-up throughout the city.

The scale and impact of this project resulted in a lot of traction. Not only did we have interesting discussions at events like this one at Pakhuis de Zwijger. Instead of going on a study trip abroad, our first year MSc MADE students took on a consulting role and shared their expertise with the City of Amsterdam on how to integrate climate adaptability into the design of quay walls.


Roboat introduces full-scale boat

Smart Urban Mobility

What if autonomous boats could relieve Amsterdam's city center of heavy traffic over its vulnerable quays and bridges while making the canals a testbed for innovation?


Social Distancing Dashboard

Smart Urban Mobility

As countries take their first tentative steps towards loosening COVID-19 lockdown, society faces the difficult task of maintaining social distancing rules in practice.


Future-proof historic quay walls

Climate Resilient Cities

Investigating the state of Amsterdam's historic quays and bridges to keep the city safe, accessible and ‘future-proof’.

“For instance, by using Roboat to collect waste from Amsterdam’s city center, the number of traffic movements within the city center can be reduced, which alleviates pressure from the fragile quays of the Amsterdam canals.”

Stephan van Dijk

Director of Innovation

Also our researchers instantaneously started incorporating the current affairs in their projects, and developed the widely shared Social Distancing Dashboard. And - another promising milestone - our Roboat team successfully launched the full-scale design of Roboat, which will be running tests in the water of Marineterrein Amsterdam starting 2021.

“Cities in particular can make a difference in tackling major transitions. Also in times of Corona cities have shown their resilience.”

Happy and healthy 2021!
This handful of highlights already excites us for what the future holds with regard to our educational activities, entrepreneurial ideas that we'll see flourish into start-ups, and innovative solutions to be designed by our community of experts with and for the city. We wish you a happy and healthy 2021.