Professors have proven themselves as connectors between scientific disciplines and between science and practice”

In the shadow of Rotterdam’s impressive skyline, a world of medical innovation and scientific progress unfolds. From genetics to clinical research, Rotterdam is not only a city with striking buildings, but a breeding ground for groundbreaking discoveries and innovative solutions in the field of Bioinformatics.

Rotterdam is part of Medical Delta, a medical-technological collaboration between Erasmus University, Erasmus MC, Leiden University, TU Delft, Leiden UMC and four universities of applied sciences in South Holland, supplemented by governments, practice partners, science parks and companies. Aim: to promote interaction between clinicians and technologists, to develop technology that contributes to better, faster or more cost-effective healthcare. “We design collaborations with the aim of coming up with innovative solutions for healthcare. These are solutions that are really workable, knowledge institutions cannot do that alone. They also seek cooperation with hospitals, healthcare institutions, and for example with general practitioners and other healthcare providers, and also with companies,” says Medical Delta’s innovation manager Marijke Will-Janssen.

One of the ways in which Medical Delta facilitates this is by facilitating so-called Living Labs. Will-Janssen: “These test promising innovative solutions from companies, knowledge institutions and healthcare institutions in real-world environments with healthcare professionals and patients. Practical questions form the basis for the public-private projects that the labs take on. In this way, the labs help to realize concrete innovations, in the form of products or processes. This gives the labs a social and economic impact on the region and beyond, and they bridge the gap between the research of the academic knowledge institutions of Medical Delta.”

There are also now about 500 scientists associated with Medical Delta. Among them are 40 ‘Medical Delta professors and lecturers’, such as Prof. Dr. Marion Smits, who has been a Professor of Radiology at Erasmus MC since 2018 and also a Professor of Neuroradiology at TU Delft since November 2022. These professors have proven themselves in their research and work as connectors between scientific disciplines and between science and practice. Necessary, because in healthcare we face many challenges, such as staff shortages and a growing demand for care, which are characterized as ‘wicked problems’: complex problems with multiple interconnected causes.

It is the collaboration between companies, research and knowledge institutions, and the government in Rotterdam that is the bedrock for many medical innovations that originate here and find their way to patients all over the world.

The Rotterdam Science Tower is one of the landmark buildings in Rotterdam filled with innovation and entrepreneurship. Get in touch with Teun to find out more.