Although each time period has its challenges and moments of darkness and lightness, today both short and long-term forecasts often appear grim.
However, 2023 at AMS Institute was a very hopeful year. Students, researchers, entrepreneurs, policy officers and citizens working together on meaningful change. AMS Institute is a fundamentally human-centered institute: reinventing cities with and for the people, making a difference in the life of Amsterdammers, and many other citizens across the world. To build a city not on economic efficiency alone, but on other ideals like equal opportunities, collectiveness and health within planetary boundaries. A city in which we reduce and reuse goods and energy, avoid waste, are CO2 neutral, and share life with nature and each other.
2023 at AMS Institute was a year of new talent and partnerships, inspiring conversations and ideas, of new pathways and evidence-based solutions to lead the way. From small to big projects, from PhD dissertations to big NGF-funded programs, to our students who make full use of the institute to learn, experiment and contribute to a more sustainable and just city. And it is not only the results that matter, but also the journey itself. Showing the world that through collaboration, entrepreneurship, inclusivity and trust, together we can make a difference, here and now, elsewhere and later.
We thank all partners, entrepreneurs, students, scientists and staff for an inspiring 2023 and for truly making a difference. See you in 2024!
A continued partnership
An important milestone. Last June the Mayor of Amsterdam (Femke Halsema) and the Presidents of the Executive Boards of Wageningen University & Research (Sjoukje Heimovaara) and TU Delft (Tim van der Hagen) visited AMS Institute. The visit revolved around signing of the letter of intent between the City of Amsterdam, TU Delft (TUD) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) for the next phase of AMS Institute. Central to this is amplifying the impact that AMS Institute is already having on cities around the globe.
Innovation and Knowledge coalition
Another big partnership is the collaboration between AMS Institute, Amsterdam University of the Arts and (AHK) Codam, also known as the AAA Coalition. Beautifully illustrated by an event called the "Stolenbike-athon" at the Marineterrein this last June. This collaborative effort brought together talented software engineering and urban design students to tackle the challenge of tracking stolen bikes in the city. It stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the potential for transdisciplinary approaches in addressing complex urban challenges.
AMS Insititute also partnered with Rockstart, an early stage VC-accelerator, and the Municipality of Amsterdam to launch the Amsterdam Circular Investor Readiness Program. It is a new program designed to strengthen Amsterdam’s early stage circular economy startups and their funding efforts. We have just wrapped up the second edition of this successful program and are exited about the coming year.
National Growth fund
On February 24th, 2023, the National Growth Fund commission approved an extensive program proposal that more than 130 partners submitted under the banner of TKI Bouw en Techniek. With the program, the partners aim to give an impulse to the realization of sustainable economic growth and a transition within the infrastructure sector, working on emission-free, circular, and climate-proof solutions.
Opening Academic Year
Another celebratory moment was of course the opening of the academic year. An inspiring event where we delved into this year's theme 'Reinventing Messiness’ and explored the perspectives of urban innovators and urban experts on various urban challenges.
Safety of Amsterdam quaysides
A beautiful project result we would like to highlight, is the new model predicting the safety of Amsterdam's quaysides. Research by AMS Institute and TU Delft, conducted in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam, has resulted in a new model that provides insight into the construction, load, and failure of Amsterdam's quaysides. Mart-Jan Hemel defended his thesis on this at TU Delft on November 30.
MADE students create elephant dung bench
Five of our MSc MADE students have collaborated with ARTIS to create a sustainable park bench made of elephant dung. The project, part of a living lab, was designed to find a circular solution to ARTIS's largest organic waste stream: elephant poop.
Dung to Design
Speaking of living labs... If we go viral, why not with elephant dung? Last February five of our MSc MADE students launched their collaboration with ARTIS where they created a sustainable park bench made of... elephant dung. The project, part of a living lab, was designed to find a circular solution to ARTIS's largest organic waste stream: elephant poop.
A beautiful example of how AMS Institute is intertwined with the city of Amsterdam is highlighted in the Ideal(s) City. Many of the major challenges facing the city are linked. Yet in daily practice, they are often tackled 'problem by problem' and one ideal is lost at the expense of the other. At Ideal(s) City the believe is things must and can be done differently. In this project, AMS Institute is working together with Wageningen University and the City of Amsterdam to provide insight into these interrelationships.
And last but certainly not least, we would like to highlight Innofestival. On October 6, 2023, the Municipality of Amsterdam and AMS Institute organized the 'Innofestival' at the Marineterrein in Amsterdam. It was a day centered around the question "How can we shape the city of the future together?". The whole day was beautifully captured in an aftermovie that can be found through the link below.
On behalf of our team, we extend warm wishes for a prosperous and inspiring 2024 and we wish you joyous holidays.