During the event we have been exploring new horizons. It’s all about connecting science to societal challenges and how we can create an impact for the city. The event was moderated by Anna Gimbrère.

We explored different perspectives on the topics of creating a circular economy, future proof assets and stimulating entrepreneurial activities in the field of innovation to make impact.

This year's event also marked the celebrative handover between Scientific Directors Arjan van Timmeren and Eveline van Leeuwen. It was great to share this special moment with all friends of AMS Institute.

Opening Academic Year AMS Institute 2020

Event program

How do cities stay resilient during changing dynamics?
During this discussion to kick-off the event, we introduced our new Scientific Director Eveline van Leeuwen. Together with Managing Director Kenneth Heijns and Director of Innovation Stephan van Dijk the topic of the resilience of cities was explored, as well as the challenges cities face in current times. With:

  • Eveline van Leeuwen, Scientific Director (starting September 1st), AMS Institute
  • Kenneth Heijns, Managing Director, AMS Institute
  • Stephan van Dijk, Director of Innovation, AMS Institute

Bridges & Quay walls – sustainable use of the city’s infrastructure
Ask anyone to describe the city center of Amsterdam, and the historic canals with bridges and quays are likely to be mentioned. In past and present time, this canal system is a vital element of the Amsterdam city infrastructure. It is part of the city’s DNA and a dominant factor in the unique atmosphere of the inner city.

However, the fact of the matter is: for about 200 km of quay walls and 850 bridges there is not enough information available as yet on their state. How can we not only tackle the state of the bridges and make use of this historic infrastructure in a sustainable way? What load can a bridge or quay still handle and how can we prioritize which ones should be replaced? With:

  • Henk Wolfert, Program Manager, AMS Institute
  • Sarah Bork, Head of Innovation and Development of the Program Bridges & Quay, City of Amsterdam
  • Dirk Jan Peters, Research Coordinator Hydrolic Structures, TU Delft

Climate Resilient Cities - Amsterdam’s Bridges & Quay walls

Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Working on sustainable metropolitan solutions for the city’s most pressing urban challenges from a cross-fertilization between research, innovation and educational activities, and all the valuable collaborations in our eco-system, creates a vibrant breeding ground for ideas.

Ideas that can transform into business opportunities and at the same time accelerate transformations in our urban environments – talk about a win-win! During this session we have discussed why innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. With:

  • Eefje Smeulders, Project lead Startups & Innovation, City of Amsterdam
  • Koen Kaljee, MSc MADE Alumnus, Co-founder of Mublio
  • Stephan van Dijk, Director of Innovation, AMS Institute
  • Arnout Sabbe, Program Developer Circularity in Urban Regions, AMS Institute & CEO and Co-founder of geoFluxus

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Circularity: turning wastewater in valuable nutrients and products

Amsterdam wants to be a circular city by 2050. Circularity means to rethink and redesign the flow of resources such as building materials, water and food that drive urban activities.

With about 900.000 Amsterdammers producing wastewater on a daily basis, the potential impact on our urban environment, if we use this waste stream to our advantage, could be enormous. Did you know that composite materials for the construction sector can be made from wastewater resources? And did you know that urine can be transformed into plant food, for instance for urban farming? Let’s explore the ‘untapped potential of wastewater’. With:

  • Eveline Jonkhoff, Strategic Advisor Sustainability and Circular Economy, City of Amsterdam
  • Arjan van Timmeren, Scientific Director (until September 1), AMS Institute
  • Peter Mooij, Research Fellow, AMS Institute/TU Delft

Circularity in Urban Regions - Resources from Wastewater


COMPRO: resources from wastewater

Circularity in Urban Regions

What if we could build bridges from flushed toilet paper? As resources are ultimately finite, there is a growing urge to


CINDERELA - living lab

Circularity in Urban Regions

In a circular society, we aim to close waste streams in order to keep valuable resources in the loop. One of these resource-rich waste streams is wastewater. CINDERELA transforms urine from wastewater into a nutrient-rich fertilizer.


Wastewater to bio-composites

Circularity in Urban Regions

Amsterdam’s wastewater can be used as feedstock for producing high-value bio-composites, which can be applied in transport, building or other urban sectors. As such, these composites contribute to a more circular urban society.


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’.


The AMS Startup Booster

In October AMS Institute will run its first edition of the AMS Startup Booster. The program focuses on early-stage startups that want to make an impact on city life and solve metropolitan challenges.


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...