Creating smart societies

Two universities. One ambition. More social impact.

We are working on a smart and healthy digital society

This theme is about a smart and digital society. With the impact programme 'Smart Societies', we focus on the development of new digital technologies and the evaluation of the effects of this digital transformation. By doing so, we contribute to a fair, healthy and sustainable digital society.

Phased and planned 

A digital transformation includes all cultural, organisational and operational changes within an organisation, industry or ecosystem. The transformation is realised by integrating digital technologies, processes and competencies in a phased and planned manner within all functions at every level.  


  • Focus areas


    Smart health is about creating technological solutions that enable people to measure, record and understand their well-being and their health, activity and movement patterns. For this, we combine knowledge and expertise in the areas of exercise science, rehabilitation, data science and eHealth.

    Improving health

    It is becoming increasingly clear that the current healthcare system is not sustainable. This is mainly due to the increase in volume and, consequently, the demand for care with regard to chronic diseases. This requires new strategies for innovative solutions. The use of information and communication technologies in healthcare, eHealth, is a promising approach to improving health worldwide.

    eHealth and (sensor) technology 

    Both the UT and the VU Medical Centre are making significant contributions to eHealth research. For example, there is considerable expertise within the Centre for Healthcare Operations Improvement & Research, TechMed's personalised eHealth programme in Twente, and within the Centre of Rehabilitation in Amsterdam. We also have a great deal of knowledge and expertise in the field of (sensor) technology. We use this to continuously measure and analyse relevant parameters. The data are used to influence behaviour, activity and movement patterns, thus contributing to the improvement of health.

    Smart Areas

    Smart Areas are geographical areas that are monitored, managed and governed by smart technology to improve the quality of life of citizens. For this, we combine disciplines within Artificial Intelligence (AI), healthcare logistics, smart grid and biodiversity monitoring.

    Managing and improving

    A smart city is an urban area that uses various types of electronic methods and sensors to collect data. The insights from those data are used to efficiently manage facilities and services in a city. In return, these data are used to improve movements around the city. This involves data collected from citizens, devices, buildings and facilities. It is processed and analysed to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, utilities, water supply networks, waste, crime detection, information systems, schools, libraries, hospitals and other community services and amenities.

    Develop, optimise and connect 

    The concept of a smart city integrates information and communication technology and various physical devices connected to the Internet of Things. The aim is to optimise the performance, operations and efficiency of city activities and services, develop the city infrastructure, reduce costs and resource consumption and increase the city’s connection with citizens. 

    Smart Industry

    Smart Industry is about creating technological solutions to increase productivity and efficiency in the manufacturing industry. For this, knowledge in the areas of technically embedded AI, sensor detection and monitoring are combined. Smart innovations in the manufacturing industry are essential to the prosperity and well-being of society. Smart Industry is about personalised and smart products, optimised human-machine interaction and faster, cheaper and more sustainable production.

  • More information

    Would you like to know more about this impact programme? Please contact Carolien Rieffe or Victor de Boer. We are happy to help you.