May 25, 2023

The power of deep tech to transform business and the planet

Amsterdam Science Park is home to visionary innovators in both deep tech and sustainability. At the Park’s latest Science & Innovation dinner, hosted by the Science & Business Organisation, they were joined by industry professionals interested in learning how these fields could help them compete in the market while making their products and services more sustainable. Guests discussed a range of topics and explored opportunities to establish new partnerships and put cutting-edge research into practice.

Collaboration between science and business

Complex, bigger picture problems are central to sectors such as life sciences, energy, clean technology, and computer science. They require substantial technical and scientific advances that are the hallmark of deep tech. By investing in research and development of new technologies, businesses can not only achieve significant breakthroughs, but also make their operations, products and services more sustainable and drive positive change.

Organisations and businesses including Conclusion, MVO Nederland, Deep Tech Equity, The Next Web, ACE, Rabobank, UNStudio, the Province of North Holland and the Amsterdam Economic Board were represented at the dinner, where experts from various fields discussed how deep tech can contribute to a circular economy and a healthy living environment. Topics included the considerations for protected versus open-source intellectual property and how this relates to sustainability, as well as the social and ethical implications of innovation in the field.

Industry power-boosted with computer science

Alfons Hoekstra, director of University of Amsterdam’s Informatics Institute, shared his insights on the collaboration potential between computer science and businesses. Guests learned how computer science is being applied to help predict, design, analyse and test molecules and materials. The emergent technologies can have a significant impact in areas such as the energy transition, health, food and agriculture and construction materials.

Helping businesses succeed sustainably

Other speakers explored the ways in which deep tech can help create a more sustainable future. Roos van Maanen from Amsterdam Green Campus is using CROP-XR research, which integrates modern plant biology with AI and functional modelling to understand and predict how plants can better respond to stress conditions. By developing crops that are inherently resilient to climate change without the need for protective products, it aims to make agriculture more efficient and environmentally friendly. Sander Bothé from the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science called attention to the need for computing systems to rely on far less energy than it currently consumes, and offered insights into the future of energy-efficient AI using neuromorphic computing. Mirko Vaars from BIT and BIT Academy shared how deep tech can help companies innovate and succeed, emphasising the importance of a strong business case to drive innovation.

With ongoing collaboration between businesses and scientific institutions, we are opening new roads towards future-proof businesses that have sustainability at their core.

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