A big thank you
2022 has been a remarkable year. Cities around the globe had to deal with the pandemic and its aftermath. Meanwhile, the acceleration of the energy transition has become more urgent than ever.
We are proud to have achieved several milestones in the areas of education, entrepreneurship & collaboration, and research & innovation. 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!
Before jumping into 2023, let's take a moment to reflect on this year, and take a look at our selection of 2022 highlights.
“We believe that by generating ideas, talent and collaborations, we can help analyze, design and engineer solutions for the cities we need and aspire. And again this year, the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit took flight within our research portfolio, MSc MADE students and alumni, and from our collaborations and partnerships.”
Five years of metropolitan education
Fortunately, this year, many of the educational activities could take place again at the institute. Even more so because this year was MSc MADE's 5th anniversary. We celebrated it with several lustrum events such as a Hackathon to further improve the impact of MSc MADE on the city of Amsterdam and a marvelous party for students, staff, alumni, hosted at AMS Institute. A night we will not soon forget!
Also, the first-year MSc MADE students shared their knowledge on contemporary urban practices, obtained during their first course Metropolitan Challenges, through a series of knowledge clips they produced.
And, next to saying "goodbye" to 19 graduates in April - who are ready to take on the city's challenges as Urban Engineers - we welcomed 47 new MSc MADE students in September. We can't wait to see what the future holds for this new cohort!
Accelerating business ideas
We're excited to see innovative ideas from our community turn into successful startups. Last year, we successfully wrapped-up three successful runs of the AMS Startup Booster - an incubation program to help develop and establish new start-up ideas like the aforementioned.
The participants experience 4.5 months of workshops, peer to peer sessions and 1-on-1 sessions with their coaches. We are proud to say that AMS Institute already guided over 20 startups in their journey to market success. Some of the startups have already experienced funding rounds and hired their first employees.
Just to name a few: Farmvent revolutionizes food production by reducing food miles and waste with automated vertical farms; The Leaf designs pergolas as as solution to make cities more climate adaptive by adding greenery while having to deal with limited space; Place AI facilitates park design and management by developing a data-driven approach that analyzes park use patterns and detects user needs.
AMS Scientific Conference
Another memorable event was to host and organize the AMS Scientific Conference on 16-18 Feb '22 during which we explored and discussed how cities can transform their systems, to become more livable, resilient and sustainable, while offering economic stability. The conference set the stage to spark a dialogue between scientists, policymakers, students, and industry partners from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. The program of Keynotes, Panel Sessions, Workshops, Special Sessions and Paper presentations covered topics such as urban green and circular strategies, new urban mobility frameworks, the energy transition, and local urban food production. View the collection on openresearch.amsterdam.
Kick-off Urbiquay: 3 research projects
Climate Resilient Cities
On June 24th we celebrated the start of three new research projects within the Urbiquay NWA-call here at AMS Institute. Three consortia of researchers, companies, and civil society organizations will conduct research on future-proof bridges and quay walls
Funding to accelerate timber building
Circularity in Urban Regions
AMS Institute receives funding for extended research on misconceptions regarding timber construction. With this collaboration, the project partners aim to shift mindsets towards timber building in the European construction industry.
Research & Innovation that impacts city life
In many ways, the impact of our Research & Innovation activities became apparent and tangible this year. For example, we celebrated the kick-off of the ‘Urban Bridge and Quay Wall Innovations’ (Urbiquay) program, last June, in which we proudly contribute to the valorization in three research project on future-proof bridges and quay walls. Also, we launched a project that investigates the state of Amsterdam's historic quays and bridges to keep the city safe, accessible and ‘future-proof’.
Another milestone: AMS Institute received funding from Built by Nature for extended research on misconceptions regarding timber construction, previously investigated and described in this booklet. With this collaboration, the project partners aim to shift mindsets towards timber building in the European construction industry.
What's more: in collaboration with TU Delft and with the support of the City of Amsterdam and Liander, AMS Institute investigated the electricity grid in two fast-growing areas in Amsterdam where the power grid reached its maximum capacity, to provide lesson for solving grid congestion. Specifically, to find if there are alternative solutions that allow safe grid integration of large new consumers before grid expansion is realized.
Furthermore, the development of sustainable urban agriculture needs to be accelerated. By 2050, food demand is expected to increase by at least 60% mainly due to anticipated global population growth. In light of these challenges, one of the most promising urban farming systems is vertical farming. GROWx is setting up an efficient, fully robotized, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven vertical farm in Amsterdam.
Also, On Oct. 20, 2022, we celebrated the official launch of a joint project on effective and inclusive communication on sensors in public spaces. Together with a group of national partners, this project focuses on increasing awareness about the use of smart systems in the city in order to safeguard democratic values. This project is part of our Responsible Sensing Lab that explores how to integrate social values in the design of sensing systems in public space. Another project of this Responsible Sensing Lab is Shuttercam - a remote camera with a shutter that monitors the crowd in a privacy friendly way. In September 2022, a new pilot with two Shuttercams started on the grounds nearby the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
Last but not least: We launched the project Safe Interactions of Pedestrians and Cyclists with Automated Transport (SIPCAT) in which we study interactions between autonomous vehicles and humans in a 3D VR environment of Marineterrein Amsterdam Living Lab. Automated vehicles can contribute to sustainable and efficient transport in cities and in this way be a solution to keep cities' mobility systems healthy.
Happy and healthy 2023!
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 2023!