Isabel Rijk (Management Board IRP) and Sijbrand de Jong (Dean Faculty of Science)
Isabel Rijk (Management Board IRP) and Sijbrand de Jong (Dean Faculty of Science)

Interdisciplinary Research Platform launched

The Faculty of Science has officially launched the Interdisciplinary Research Platform with a kick-off symposium on 11 April 2022. The platform aims to connect researchers from different research institutes at the Faculty of Science and stimulate them to start collaborative projects. Pallas Agterberg (Alliander) and Prof. Max Welling (UvA & Microsoft Research) were invited as guest speakers to inspire the audience.

The Interdisciplinary Research Platform (IRP) aims to bring together researchers from all research institutes of our faculty to collaborate across the boundaries of institutes and with industrial and societal stakeholders. After an introduction of the IRP by vice dean of research prof. Richard van Wezel, the IRP Management Board presented the initial focus areas:

  • Green Information Technology – presented by Dr. Jeroen Jansen
  • Machine Learning in the Natural Sciences – presented by Prof. Bert Kappen
  • Experimental Laboratories in Life sciences – presented by Prof. Michiel Vermeulen

Keynotes Pallas Agterberg & Max Welling

Keynote speaker Pallas Agterberg discussed the value of collaboration, also referring to the declaration of Intend that was signed by Alliander and Radboud University last month. She also discussed the perspectives needed to create collaborative research and societal impact. Max Welling – professor in Machine learning at the University of Amsterdam and distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research – provided an introduction in Graph Neural Networks, with applications in scientific computing. These GNNs give rise to multiple interdisciplinary research fields, for example when they are used to predict the properties of molecules.

Voucher call

The IRP organises yearly calls for proposals for vouchers of 50.000 euros each. The first call for six vouchers has been launched at the kick-off symposium and has a deadline of 16 May 2022. All scientists at the Faculty of Science are encouraged to apply for small exploratory projects that involve different institutes within the Faculty of Science. For questions they can contact Isabel Rijk (IRP Management Board) or one of the IRP coordinators (Neha Awasthi for Green IT, Eduardo Domínguez Vázquez for Machine Learning & Anna Senovska for Life Sciences).