TU Delft Strategy
TU DELFT Strategy
2 Strategy 2007-2010
1. TU Delft in profile 5
2. Trends and position 6
3. Research 15
Preferred Partner in Research
4. Education 24
Preferred Partner in Education
5. Knowledge valorisation 35
Preferred Supplier of Knowledge
6. Organisation 42
Implementation via comprehensive P&C Cycle 47
TU Delft Targets for 2010 50
3 Strategy 2007-2010
In the next twenty years ground-breaking scientific insights and revolutionary technologies will be es-
sential in order to meet basic needs worldwide – and hence, also in the Netherlands.
The world population is expected to rise by almost fifty percent over the next forty years while people
continue to pursue higher standards of living at the same time. Things are moving so fast that, if the
forecasts are correct, by 2050, more than six times the earth’s potential will be needed to meet all the
needs. Engineering and technology can help steer these alarming prospects in a positive direction for
the present and future generation(s).
Inevitably, the Netherlands will face the direct and indirect consequences of these autonomous trends.
It is therefore also in the interests of Dutch society to invest long-term and on a large scale in creating
the right conditions for technological breakthroughs, not only to encourage research but also to inter-
est enough young people in science and technology at a very early age.
TU Delft is rising to the challenge and is gearing up to play its own part in the search for solutions to
the huge problems that await us. Given the short timescale in which the effects of these developments
are expected to emerge, a course needs to be charted now.
It will take a lot of time and talent to devise such radical solutions. Scientific progress is hard to predict
and calls for investments with a long time horizon. It will also take a very long time to educate enough
young people in science and technology. In the Netherlands, it is the mainly the government which sets
the framework for knowledge institutions. The government therefore has a heavy responsibility and
plays a major role in the realisation of the required technological breakthroughs. When this framework
is being developed it is essential to take account of the time horizon of research processes and the time
needed to train a new generation of engineers.
3TU is an example of a government-set framework. The intensification of 3TU – by means of, amongst
others, the formal establishment of a federation – is expressed primarily in the development of focus
and mass in research via Centres of Competence and Centres of Excellence. This enables 3TU to posi-
tion itself better internationally and – above all – to harness academic excellence in the search for
solutions to urgent societal problems.
This Institutional Strategy sets out the course that TU Delft has chosen to follow in the next phase
within the framework which it is afforded. The central aim is to deliver high societal value in return for
the public resources placed at its disposal, from the position of preferred partner in all its operational
domains, both nationally and internationally.
G.J. van Luijk
President of the Executive Board, TU Delft
4 Strategy 2007-2010
1 TU Delft in profile
The situation Given the effects of significant growth in the world population in the coming decades
and the ongoing quest for greater economic prosperity worldwide, major technological breakthroughs
will be essential in order to satisfy people’s basic needs. These global trends will have a profound
impact on the societal mission and the long-term position of TU Delft in the coming years – all
within a context of the further rigorous internationalisation of political, economic and academic
With its unique technological infrastructure, broad knowledge base, worldwide reputation and success-
ful alumni, TU Delft is contributing significantly to the development of responsible solutions to urgent
societal problems in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.
TU Delft intends to fulfil its mission by developing new, ground-breaking insights that will pave the way
for the urgently needed technological breakthroughs (knowledge as a product). A key part of this vision
is to realise world-level multidisciplinary research and design with a view to sustainability. The faculties
and unique large-scale technological research facilities at TU Delft will play a key role in realising this
vision. TU Delft disseminates its knowledge by training highly qualified knowledge workers and by
stimulating the application of research results (knowledge as capital). Its programmes are internation-
ally attractive. One of the driving aims behind the vision is to attract and utilise a variegated pool of
talent. Education and research, both important prerequisites for knowledge valorisation, are interwo-
ven and harmonised.
To realise its vision and mission TU Delft intends to achieve the following objectives by 2010 by means
of selective (inter)national partnerships, continuous quality improvements and a stronger profile:
• Preferred partner in research for (potential) leading-edge universities across the world;
• Preferred partner in education for students from the Netherlands and abroad;
• Preferred supplier of knowledge and graduates to multinationals, government organisations, SMB and
The strategy will be realised by the following policy spearheads:
• Attract the best academic talent in the world;
• Invest in disciplines that contribute to solving urgent societal problems;
• Offer broad internationally-oriented programmes with active formats;
• Create an inspiring work and study environment;
• Invest in large-scale state-of-the-art research facilities;
• Expand and develop the strategic alliances with preferred partners;
• Offer attractive locations for businesses.
5 Strategy 2007-2010
2 Trends and position
Applied science and technology play a crucial role in initiatives to develop sustainable solutions for
societal problems and to strengthen the innovative capacity of the economy. TU Delft is committed
to providing the knowledge required for this purpose and therefore accords priority to investment
in human talent – “knowledge as capital” – and to the acquisition and transfer of knowledge –
“knowledge as a product”.
Global scientific and technological challenges1
The world population is expected to increase from 6.4 billion in 2005 to around 10 billion in 2050. This
trend is creating huge scientific and technological challenges. The demand for energy and raw materi-
als will soar and the pressure on fresh water supplies and agriculture will escalate. The population
growth will lead to rampant urbanisation. Waste and emissions will further increase, possibly causing
climate changes and hence rising sea levels.
Secondly, if the growth in the world population
World population prospects is considered in combination with the world-
(2005-2050) in billions
wide movement towards more economic pros-
perity, future generations may not even be able
10 to provide for their basic material needs. In ad-
9 8,92 8,36
8 7,85 dition, the average longevity is expected to in-
crease and trigger more societal problems
5 worldwide.2 Ground-breaking scientific insights
and technological breakthroughs are essential
2 in order to make a meaningful contribution to
2025 solutions to urgent sustainability problems in
2005 Medium Variant High Variant 2050 society.
• TU Delft intends to use its multidisciplinary strength to play a significant role in answering major
scientific and technological challenges in vital sectors such as energy, water, natural resources,
transport, building, healthcare, materials, industrial production and product development; and in
enhancing the technologies and disciplines that serve these sectors.
• Each faculty will set out the principles behind its own research, design and programmes from its
own perspective on sustainability.
1 United Nations, Global Challenge, Global Opportunity, Trends in Sustainable Development (2002), Shell Scenarios
2 UN, World Population Prospects, The 2004 Revision, Analytical Report, vol.III, Ch. II, Population Age Composition
6 Strategy 2007-2010
The inexorable trend towards a global knowledge economy is set to continue in the coming years. No
one can predict the speed or intensity of this process but it is almost certainly irreversible. The re-
moval of trade barriers, international competition, strategic business alliances and the re-positioning
of national governments are key concepts in this process. Economic globalisation also means that the
biotope of the knowledge sector – and hence of the universities – is becoming more heterogeneous and
therefore more complex all the time.3 Against this background the emphasis rests primarily on knowl-
edge as a product: the concrete results of research.4 Phenomena such as the ‘brain drain’, deregulation
of the education market, off-shoring of R&D, the growing international demand for education and the
increasing relevance of international league tables, the re-alignment of the relationship between public
and private funding and a growing dependence on knowledge workers from abroad are all thrown into
relief by the trend towards a globalising economy, as a result of which, international competition be-
tween knowledge institutions to win students, talented academics and funding will intensify in the
• Building on its unique reputation in the world (the TU Delft brand), TU Delft will position itself in
the global market as one of the leading international knowledge organisations with a broad port-
folio of activities in education (teaching curricula) and research (focus areas) portfolio.
• The position of TU Delft as a preferred partner will be based on, amongst others, its pioneering
academic staff and staff networks, its strong international reputation and the reputations of its
faculties, state-of-the-art research facilities, strong mono-disciplines as a broad base for multi-
disciplinary research, an interesting range of programmes, long-term relationships with multina-
tionals and an international alumni network.
• Strategic partnerships and alliances will enable TU Delft to position itself as one of the world’s
leading knowledge organisations. This will take place at the level of (1) peer-to-peer contacts (2)
the faculty and (3) the institution within a global, European, national, regional and sectoral con-
• In 2007 a guideline for assessing institutional alliances at faculty and institutional level will be
developed with a view to the TU Delft strategy. This guideline will not apply to (individual) peer-
• Institutionally TU Delft is strengthening alliances at various levels, including: regional (Leiden,
Rotterdam and municipalities and provinces), sectoral (the 3TU federation, for example), Euro-
pean (the IDEA League, for example) and worldwide (China, for example). TU Delft has institu-
tional ties with universities in other countries besides China and operates in many worldwide
academic networks at faculty and peer-to-peer level.
• TU Delft intends to expand collaboration opportunities in education and research for the benefit
of developing countries via a direct approach at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the form of
3 R. King (2004), The University in the Global Age, Magna Charta Observatory (2005), Managing University
Autonomy: university autonomy and the institutional balancing of teaching and research; Magna Charta
Observatory (2003), Shifting Paradigms in University Research
4 AWT-rapport, Kennis als Vermogen (2005)
7 Strategy 2007-2010
Realisation of the european Higher education area and the European research
Economic globalisation is an important point of reference for positioning Europe’s ambition to be one
of the world’s most dynamic and competitive economies by 2010, with sustainable economic growth,
more and better jobs and more social cohesion.5 The development, transfer and application of knowl-
edge will play a key role in this process. The European Union is therefore giving high priority to the
development of the “Europe of Knowledge”. European universities play a central role in the realisation
of this ambition and will be high on the European agenda in the coming years.6 The topics of debate
are not only the development of the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area
and their implementation in a large subsidy programme such as the 7th Framework Programme, the
European Research Council, and the possible establishment of a European Institute of Technology; but
also the place and the role of universities. Europe as a centre of decision-making and policy will be-
come increasingly important – also for universities.7
• TU Delft recognises the growing importance of Europe as an arena of policymaking and decision-
making in higher education and academic research and as a source of funding. TU Delft has
therefore joined the Brussels-based Netherlands House for Science and Education, which is part
of a pending EU strategy to respond more effectively to opportunities at EU level.
• TU Delft advocates establishing a virtual European Institute of Technology to confirm the central
role of universities and research centres as the backbone for realising the objectives of Lisbon
and Barcelona. TU Delft sees a European Institute of Technology primarily as a network of top-
notch research groups, clustered around specific technological themes. The Delft Research Cen-
tres at TU Delft are well positioned for participation. The participating Delft researchers would
still officially be part of TU Delft.
• TU Delft is giving its programmes a clear international position. It is also participating in Euro-
pean initiatives to promote student mobility, extend a common credit system and stimulate Euro-
pean cooperation in quality monitoring.
5 European Commission, Lisbon European Council 23 and 24 March 2000, Presidency conclusions and the new
Lisbon Strategy, An estimation of the economic impact of reaching ﬁve Lisbon targets, Industrial Policy and
Economic Reforms Papers No. 1, European Communities 2006.
6 European Commission, Role of Universities (2003), idem (2006) Modernising Universities
7 AWT-rapport, Nederlands kompas voor de Europese onderzoeksruimte (2004)
8 Strategy 2007-2010
Geographic information systems (GIS) are essential in the prevention and
handling of emergency situations. GIS systems can, for example, tell
emergency services responding to a fire at a chemical plant where the most
dangerous or vulnerable pipes are so that priority is given to these areas.
And if floods threaten the countryside, GIS systems can indicate which
polders are the best candidates for preventative, intentional flooding to
In practice, however, simply having a GIS system on hand does not
necessarily guarantee ideal disaster management practices. That is because
GIS systems are not designed with emergency services in mind, meaning
that communication between the emergency services and the GIS system
regularly breaks down. Communication procedures can be streamlined by
taking the need for quick and reliable communication during emergencies
into consideration during the design phase. With this in mind, the OTB
Research Institute at TU Delft has designed an infrastructure for geographic
information that will provide improved communications between emergency
services in the Netherlands. Police, fire and ambulance services in the
province of Gelderland are already using a prototype of the system.
9 Strategy 2007-2010
GIS system development costs are high. Governments are often
faced with a dilemma: of course they want to provide
information for free, but then they are faced with the risk that
the GIS system may not be of the absolute best quality due to
cost concerns. But if they charge the end users for accessing the
system, the risk is that potential users will shy away, which
would be a shame.
Bastiaan van Loenen, an OTB researcher, has struck upon a
compromise. In his view, the societal importance of a GIS
system should determine the most efficacious access policy.
Governments should promote cost-effective design models,
especially in the very beginning of the design phase. As soon as
data quality has reached a specified level and can be
guaranteed, information can be provided at far lower prices or
even for free. That is an advantageous situation, because many
groups, including individual citizens, can profit from the system.
10 Strategy 2007-2010
Shifts in the Dutch system of higher education
Dutch policy on higher education reflects a general and long process of transition in the Netherlands
from a welfare state to more or less free market economy.8 Performance agreements, demand-driven
strategies, accountability, knowledge valorisation, transparency and excellent quality are therefore key
words for the university sector.9 In line with European ambitions, the Netherlands aims to rank as a
knowledge economy among the European leaders in education, research and innovation by 2010. As
the development, transfer and application of scientific knowledge play a crucial role in this process,
higher education in the Netherlands is extensively addressed in the political agenda.10 The anticipated
core issues are a possible review of the higher education act (WHOO), large-scale research infrastruc-
ture, more forms of conditional funding, a realigned relationship between universities and institutes of
higher professional education, knowledge valorisation and the development of a Knowledge Invest-
ment Agenda 2006-2016.
• TU Delft will contribute to the realisation of the national ambitions in reltion to the knowledge
economy. To achieve this, government policy and university funding must be based on a long-
term and consistently implemented vision.
• TU Delft will systematically strengthen its presence in key policy-domains via an issue-driven
approach in public affairs, so that it will be able to take timely action and steer policy develop-
ments that are relevant to the university.
• TU Delft is anticipating performance agreements with the government by setting targets for each
core activity. These targets correspond largely with the categories proposed by the government
and are assigned a major role in the TU Delft Planning & Control Cycle. This will promote trans-
parency and manageability in the organisation as a whole and strengthen policy cohesion.
• By offering competitive research programmes TU Delft aims to acquire additional funding to con-
tinue to carry out its core activities at a qualitatively high level. It will achieve this by, amongst
others, stepping up its partnerships with businesses. The core activities at TU Delft are heavily
dependent on high-quality and costly infrastructure for education and research.
Increase in knowledge intensity in the (inter)national business community
The (inter)national business community needs access to high-quality scientific knowledge and graduates
to maintain its competitive position in the market; knowledge which – once applied – can lead to innova-
tive and competitive products. The business community’s diverse needs for knowledge are therefore
expected to grow still further. Many businesses have had to scale down their own (long-term) research
efforts for economic reasons11 and increasingly view universities – alongside many others – as potential
suppliers of knowledge. Most businesses think globally on these matters: location scarcely matters any-
more when choosing a knowledge provider, but high-quality and readily applicable research results do.
This is another trend which is intensifying the international competition between universities.
8 Shell Global Scenarios 2025 (2005), Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (2005), The European Higher
Education and Research Landscape 2020, Scenarios and Strategic Debates
9 HOOP 2005-2008, Wetenschapsbudget 2004
10 Innovatieplatform (November 2004) Vitalisering van de kenniseconomie
11 o.a. NOWT (2005), Wetenschaps- en Technologieindicatoren
11 Strategy 2007-2010
Long-term partnerships both with other universities and businesses are becoming increasingly impor-
tant to universities, especially as more and more businesses are co-funding research programmes.12
Accordingly, universities are usually regarded by businesses – and governments – as networks within
a greater global network of knowledge institutions. The disciplines that make up a university organisa-
tion are often more interesting to external customers and therefore of more direct relevance than the
university as an institution. A more systematic approach from the perspective of an open innovation
model is more in line with this trend.13
• TU Delft will enter long-term partnerships with multinationals and large technology-intensive
companies. TU Delft (in future, together with institutes of higher professional education) will
enter agreements on further collaboration with the knowledge front-runners in SMB, the develop-
ment-focused SMB and the technology-followers in SMB on the basis of an open innovation mod-
el. TU Delft intends to use the YES!Delft Incubator to provide opportunities for young techno-
entrepreneurs with the potential to build up a permanent relationship with the university.
• TU Delft intends to develop into an attractive location for businesses with a high R&D compo-
nent. It will build the Technopolis Innovation Park in its direct surroundings so that businesses
can draw maximum benefits from the knowledge hub at TU Delft. TU Delft is co-owner of the
land and will make it available only to businesses that are prepared to invest at their own risk.
Low intake in exact sciences
An economy that depends largely on academic knowledge for further growth, especially in the exact
sciences and technology, needs a constant flow of graduates who have this knowledge and know how
to apply it. The economic and societal demand for knowledge workers is rising.14 In Western Europe –
and in the Netherlands in particular – there has been a relative decline in interest for science and
technology; though the absolute number of students is rising, the percentage is falling.15 This lasting
trend seems most critical in maths and physics and is exacerbating the shortage of knowledge workers
in science and engineering. This, in turn, is holding back the knowledge economy. Given the economic
ambitions, of the Dutch government and the European Union, this issue will be high on the agenda.
12 European Commission (2006) Modernising Universities.
13 AWT (2006), Opening van zaken – Beleid voor open innovatie
14 OCW (2006), Wetenschapsbudget 2007; OCW (2003), Deltaplan Beta en Techniek
15 OESO, Evolution of Student Interest in Science and Technology Studies (2006); OECD, Education at a Glance
12 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft intends to offer students from the Netherlands and abroad challenging and didactically
inspiring programmes so that the Delft alumni of the future will be employable in a wide range of
fields and able to compete on the international labour market for research, policy and business
or as independent entrepreneurs. TU Delft aims to be an A-brand for future alumni and the la-
bour market: the programme that produces Delft engineers. Key spearheads in this ambition are
didactic and curricular renewal and a constant focus on sufficient intake, low drop-out rates and
• The programmes at TU Delft are designed for both Dutch and international students. They offer
them an education that will enable them to compete in (inter)national labour markets.
• TU Delft works closely with local colleges of higher professional education. This is leading to a
cohesive, efficient and attractive range of university and higher professional education pro-
grammes in science and technology in the region. The aims are to promote intake, two-way re-
ferral and mobility in higher professional education, to make better use of costly infrastructure,
and to limit student drop-out.
• Design technology and the social relevance of technology will be more strongly profiled. The
concepts of ‘exploratory learning’ and ‘learning by doing’ will play a key role didactically. In the
Bachelor’s programmes the scope for selection and flexibility will be enhanced by, amongst oth-
ers, the introduction of minors.
• To stimulate interest in science and technology, TU Delft participates in national and regional ini-
tiatives including JeTNet, Technika 10 and Technotalent. It is also forming close ties with sec-
ondary schools in the region to bring about a long-term increase in the intake.
• The level and structure of the programmes are harmonised in the 3TU Graduate School so that
students can gain direct entry to Master’s programmes at other Dutch universities of technology.
The worldwide race to attract academic talent will accelerate in the coming years. There are many
other organisations on the global knowledge market besides universities which produce, use and trans-
fer knowledge. There are already many players – and competitors – on this market and more are ex-
pected. One of the effects of globalisation is that academic talent is more likely to move around.16 TU
Delft therefore needs to position itself as an attractive employer on the global knowledge market, who,
above all, offers talented academics an inspiring environment where they can excel at global level in
their own discipline. They form the driving force behind and for TU Delft, so it is essential for the uni-
versity to invest even more in its academic potential and, especially, in the factors that will enable it to
constantly deliver a world-class academic performance.17
16 Innovatieplatform (2003/4), Grenzeloze mobiliteit; OCW (2003). Deltaplan Beta en Techniek, OCW (2006),
17 AWT (2005), Kennis als vermogen
13 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft is primarily talent-driven: there would be no university without academic talent. It needs
to invest in the ‘upstream’ of the academic process (talent) to continue to deliver the ‘down-
stream’ (knowledge). More attention than ever will have to be paid to maintaining this core com-
petency at a high standard in the years ahead.
• TU Delft intends to further strengthen its academic reputation. The ambition is to play in the
European premier division in all research fields and degree programmes and in a number of se-
lected fields at global level. Professional academic leadership is key in this process. This will be
displayed by engaging in international leading-edge research and by transferring knowledge and
skills in an attractive and inspiring teaching and learning environment. The leading-edge element
will be reflected in outstanding research evaluations and education visitations, publications in
leading journals, coverage in image-shaping media, the acquisition of external research funding
and leading roles in international research consortia. In the coming period more systematic use
will be made of research results for the benefit of the economy and society. TU Delft realises
academic excellence by ongoing efforts to provide optimal conditions.
• TU Delft sets high standards for its academic staff. To facilitate this the staff composition needs
to be flexible enough to allow the existing potential to develop further and to recruit first-class
talent at the same time. This approach will also allow timely adaptations to be made to the staff
composition. Responsible solutions will be sought to enable those who are unable to contribute
sufficiently to the development of their discipline and the transfer of knowledge to continue their
career elsewhere. TU Delft is determined to identify, recruit and retain the best staff in specific
• TU Delft endeavours to provide its academic staff with a working climate in which each can at-
tain the highest level of excellence within his/her own development potential and thus earn the
professional recognition of (inter)national peers.
Large-scale research infrastructures
A sophisticated research infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for realising ground-breaking re-
search and technological breakthroughs. Such facilities play a crucial role in training new generations
of researchers and knowledge workers.18 TU Delft has many (some unique) large-scale research facili-
ties of national importance and profound societal relevance. To continue to fulfil its societal mission,
TU Delft needs to upgrade its existing infrastructure or invest pro-actively in new infrastructure. This
entails heavy investment commitments, which touch the limits of its financial scope.
18 Innovatieplatform (2005), Kennisambitie en researchinfrastructure
14 Strategy 2007-2010
`The entire world is currently undergoing a process of urbanisation,
the likes of which have never before been seen in the history of
mankind´, says Jürgen Rosemann, Professor of Urbanisation at TU
Delft’s Faculty of Architecture. `Fifteen per cent of the world´s
population currently lives in cities. Future urbanised regions will be
of enormous dimensions, with populations of up to fifty million
This sums up the enormous challenge facing urban planners, namely
the challenge of serving the mobility, environmental and many other
needs of fifty million people living in a limited space. Take water
management. Some cities, Lima and Beijing for example, will face
enormous shortages, since they already consume all the water
available to them from their surroundings. And in other places in the
world, in the Netherlands for example, water drainage can become a
major problem. On the other hand, people really want to live near
the water. That means that water has many positive aspects as well.
15 Strategy 2007-2010
The philosophy behind the urbanisation research at TU Delft is
‘research by design’. This means that urban analysis goes hand in
hand with the formulation of solutions. “’We consider, for example,
the spatial factors that influence cities’ competitive advantages and
disadvantages,’ says Rosemann. The great economic, social and
cultural appeal of the metropolis is quite clear. European cities, and
especially those in the Netherlands, are not growing at global rates,
however. TU Delft has decided to study how the Netherlands’ Western
Randstad region can grow to become a true metropolis.
‘Concentric cities such as Amsterdam have a limited maximum size,’
according to Rosemann. ‘The future is in network cities, with a
number of different centres. The urban Randstad is perfectly suited
to become a network city, because the centres are already there.
Four fifths of foreign investment is currently directed towards
Amsterdam however, partly because it is an important Internet hub.
We are looking at ways to spread investment more effectively to
promote balanced growth.’
16 Strategy 2007-2010
• The core activities at TU Delft are heavily dependent on top-quality and expensive research in-
frastructure. These facilities enable (mostly) model-based simulations to be tested for reality
value – which is not possible anywhere else in the Netherlands. They were realised and are main-
tained by government funding under the Strategische Overwegingen Component. If such impor-
tant societal research is to continue, the government funding must not become further eroded.
In the case of TU Delft this applies to – amongst others – the following large-scale facilities:
- Experimental nuclear reactor
- Institute of Micro-electronics and Submicron Technology
- Wind tunnels
- Water basins for coastal and marine research
- High-voltage engineering laboratory
- Aerospace facilities (including Cessna, Simona)
- Large-scale radar and telecommunication test facilities
- Process-engineering pilot plants
- High-performance computer network
• To finance and maintain its (unique) large-scale research infrastructure TU Delft will participate
in the government- and EU-initiated process to develop specific roadmaps within ESFRI.
17 Strategy 2007-2010
Preferred partner in research
By 2010 TU Delft intends to have positioned itself in the international knowledge arena as the
preferred partner in research for a select number of leading-edge universities. It will achieve this
ambition thanks to its excellent research record, its talented academic staff, a strong presence in
international academic and industrial networks, state-of-the-art (large-scale) research facilities
and a very broad knowledge base for multidisciplinary research. The aim of the applied scientific
research at TU Delft is to contribute, from the perspective of sustainability, to the realisation of
solutions for urgent (inter)national societal problems.
Societal value of applied scientific research
Applied scientific research is essential for the development of the Dutch and the European knowledge
economy.19 It is also, above all, a driving force behind the development of innovative and sustainable
solutions to national and global problems. Such solutions call for ground-breaking technologies, revo-
lutionary scientific insights and – as teaching and research are inextricably intertwined – the transfer of
knowledge to new generations of students and researchers. TU Delft is making an active contribution
to vitalising the Dutch knowledge economy through its research results and the application thereof.
• TU Delft will systematically draw public attention to its added value to society by directly publi-
cising the technological breakthroughs which are the result of research at TU Delft and which are
now being applied worldwide.
Multidisciplinary knowledge networks
The traditional demarcation lines between knowledge institutions are fading. Multidisciplinary net-
worked consortia are increasingly producing, applying and transferring knowledge on a global knowl-
edge market. The increasing complexity of societal questions is necessitating multidisciplinary partner-
ships which can break down traditional patterns of thought.20 Technology is regarded, also from the
perspective of multidisciplinarity, as a type of research that revolves around both theory and applica-
tion (use inspired basic research).21
19 Rapporten Innovatieplatform (2004-2006), Sectorplan Techniek
20 Gibbons, M . (et al.), The new production of knowledge, the dynamics of science & research in contemporary
societies; Magna Charta Observatory (2003), Shifting Paradigms in University Research .
21 Stokes, D.E. (1997), Pasteur’s Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation; see also: Evaluation
Leading Technological Institutes (EZ, 2005) and: AWT (2005): Ontwerp en ontwikkeling, De functie en plaats van
onderzoeksactiviteiten in hogescholen
18 Strategy 2007-2010
Use inspired • One of the foremost aims of TU Delft is to
conduct ground-breaking and innovative sci-
entific research geared primarily to the appli-
Quest for TU Delft
cation of results. More fundamentally-oriented
fundamental research is therefore placed in an applied
Pure applied perspective. Multidisciplinary research based
No (Edison) on strong mono-disciplinary knowledge plays
a pivotal role. The research at TU Delft is
therefore largely characterised by use in-
No Yes spired basic research (see figure).
Considerations of use
• In an environment dominated by multidisciplinary knowledge networks, TU Delft is continuing its
activities on all levels to develop strategic regional, national and international research alliances.
By operating multilaterally rather than unilaterally, these alliances can better guarantee (interna-
tional) access to the resources – talent and funding – that TU Delft needs. The relationships with
the Universities of Tsinghua, Fudan and Harbin are examples of intensive international collabora-
European Research Area
The European Research Area aims to fundamentally strengthen the global competitive position of Eu-
rope in research by concentrating the specialisations in which an EU member state excels in large re-
search centres, and by free movement of researchers. Accordingly, the European Commission has de-
veloped several policy instruments, such as the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, for which ap-
proximately 50 billion euros have been reserved for 2007-2013), the initiative for the development of a
European Institute of Technology, the establishment of the European Research Council and initiatives
to stimulate public-private partnerships via European Technology Platforms and the subsequent Joint
Technology Initiatives. These large-scale impulse programmes are enhancing the importance of the
European dimension in research.22
• TU Delft aims to play a substantial role in FP7. The European spearheads correspond closely with
research themes of TU Delft and 3TU.
• TU Delft plans to participate, mainly via the Delft Research Centres, in European Technology
Platforms and, through these, in the subsequent Joint Technology Initiatives in a select number
of research fields.
• TU Delft intends to provide more systematic support for international staff mobility by, amongst
others, encouraging its academic staff to participate in European mobility schemes.
22 European Commission: Tussentijdse evaluatie van de Lissabonstrategie (2005), Meer onderzoek en innovatie –
Investeren voor groei en werkgelegenheid: een gemeenschappelijke aanpak (2005), De rol van de universiteiten
in het Europa van de kennis (2003), Creëren van een innovatief Europa, Verslag van de Onafhankelijke
Expertengroep inzake O&O en innovatie, aangesteld na de top van Hampton Court (2006), AWT (2004)
Nederlands kompas voor de European Onderzoeksruimte
19 Strategy 2007-2010
3 TU Institute of Science & Technology
The research partnership between TU Delft, TU Eindhoven and the University of Twente is incorpo-
rated in the 3TU Institute of Science & Technology. By establishing Centres of Excellence and Centres
of Competence, these partners intend to take irreversible steps to bring about increased focus and
mass in 3TU research. By combining the research activities in a number of strategic research areas, TU
Delft can further strengthen its international competitive position.23 The government has allocated 50
million euros to stimulate joint research in Centres of Excellence in the coming years.
• TU Delft sees the development of Centres of Excellence as a constructive method to give further
shape to the 3TU research alliance. They will enable it to build on existing alliances on the aca-
demic workfloors of the individual universities.
• TU Delft will itself invest in the establishment of Centres of Excellence (in addition to the allo-
cated 50 million euros) within the framework of 3TU. Each Centre of Excellence will need an an-
nual investment of several million euros for a period of 8-10 years. TU Delft hopes to win sub-
stantial indirect and contract funding besides the amount assigned to 3TU.
• TU Delft will attract its share of the 30 new top professors from outside 3TU to strengthen the
research fields in the Centres of Excellence:
- High-tech systems & materials
- Technologies for sustainable energy
- NIRICT: services and applications
- Fluids and solid mechanics
- Applications for nanotechnology
• TU Delft and its 3TU partners have agreed that the new professors will become part of the per-
manent staff when the universities take over the funding after the 5-year subsidy period has
• TU Delft intends to start a process of renewal with the establishment of Centres of Excellence
within the framework of 3TU: new lines of research will be defined which can incorporate current
ones. The temporary funding will be used to set up new groups with levels of excellence that will
impact on the other research. The details of this renewal process still need to be worked out, but
the Chair Strategy will provide a valuable framework for this.
• TU Delft plans to start a process of prioritisation within the framework of 3TU for all the other
research domains in which at least two TUs are active. This process will take the same form as
the process behind the establishment of the Centres of Competence. The results of research
evaluations will play a major role in this process. The decision to establish specific Centres of
Competence and macro-efficiency will be translated into a (collective) Chair Strategy and ap-
pointment policy. The TU Delft research fields, which are unique in 3TU, constitute special cases
in this context and will be explicitly considered in 3TU policy decisions.
23 Brief 3TU aan Ministeries OCW/EZ (2006) inzake Centres of Excellence
20 Strategy 2007-2010
‘Our mission is to design instruments and tools that are easy for
people to use,’ says Dr Frans van der Helm, Professor of Biomechani-
cal Technology at TU Delft’s Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and
Materials Engineering. That may sound simple, but behind every
seemingly simple design there is a tremendous amount of brainpower
The way a human body works is very complex, after all. To design a
good instrument, you first need to know a lot about how that complex
body works. This is why TU Delft does a lot of research into power
feedback: if someone uses a tool, how much force is placed on the
various parts of the tool? If you know these values, you will more than
likely be able to design a new tool that can be used with far less
effort. That could really be a godsend for disabled or elderly people.
Making use of the insights gleaned from this approach, TU Delft
designed a kitchen cupboard with a special shelf that makes opening
and closing it to store a heavy crate a piece of cake.
21 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft engages in a great deal of research into medical appli-
ances, both prostheses for patients and tools for doctors. The
university has, for example, invested years of research into a
prosthesis for the shoulder joint – one of the most complicated
parts of the body, mechanically speaking. Researcher Dr Paul
Breedveld invented the steerable, flexible endoscope, which allows
surgeons to perform operations through a keyhole incision in the
abdomen. Work like this gets down to the millimetre, and it is
essential that the surgeon can easily manipulate the instrument.
Breedveld’s inspiration came from the octopus, whose tentacles can
move smoothly in all directions. The endoscope is just five millime-
tres thick and it improves hand-eye coordination: a tiny camera on
the end of the endoscope lets the surgeon see exactly where his
instruments are. That way, he can intuitively feel the movements
needed to get the endoscope to move in the right direction.
22 Strategy 2007-2010
Academic focus and critical mass
The TU Delft research agenda is geared to promoting internal cohesion in the curricula (academic fo-
cus) and the targeted bundling of resources (critical mass).24 By implementing its research policy TU
Delft has made considerable progress in generating more focus and mass in its research: it has set up
a transparent university-wide research portfolio, organisationally repositioned or phased out research
programmes, and realised the Delft Research Centres:
• Earth: observation, utilisation, ecology and engineering
• Information and communication technology
• Life science and technology
• Mechatronics and Microsystems
• Mobility of persons and transport of goods
• Water: waterworks, water management and water quality
• Next generation infrastructures
• Sustainable energy, extraction, conversion and use
• Sustainable Industrial Processes
• Sustainable Urban Areas
• Computational science and engineering
• Materials science
The development of a transparent research organisation and clearly positioned research themes con-
tribute to a strong position in the (inter)national knowledge arena. Sustainability is a unifying theme
for the different Delft Research Centres and thus contributes to the visible positioning of research at
TU Delft. Also, a number of Delft Research Centres form (part of) the core of the Centres of Excellence
and therefore help to visibly position the research.
• TU Delft assumes that – allowing for the differences between the disciplines – each faculty works
on its research and design from its own perspective on sustainability. In their multi-year plans
the faculties indicate the aspect of sustainability which they (intend to) pursue. Implementation
is addressed in the Planning & Control Cycle.
• TU Delft will continue to systematically work towards focus and mass in research, but will ascer-
tain whether the present organisational structure – the Delft Research Centres – is robust
enough as a policy and funding instrument to effectively contribute to the position and profile of
TU Delft as preferred research partner. Accordingly, TU Delft will investigate other organisational
structures to determine whether they might further strengthen this position.
• TU Delft will continue to take account of national and EU research priorities when setting its own
research priorities at university level – also after the Delft Research Centres have expired.
24 Investeren in dynamiek, eindrapport Commissie Dynamisering (2006)
23 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft intends to make the link between its academic profile and its position in society more
explicit by organising its research activities more systematically under major societal themes.
• On the basis of its research profile and as the only technical university in the Dutch Randstad,
TU Delft will further develop its partnerships with knowledge institutions in the region and local
governments, particularly Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Eramus Medical Cen-
tre, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Province of Zuid Holland and the municipalities of Rot-
terdam, The Hague and Delft. Priority will go to the development of the Health Science & Tech-
nology research programme, which addresses, amongst others, the consequences of longevity.
TU Delft is recruiting more and more PhD research talent on international knowledge markets. Although
this makes it more dependent on the international flow of research talent, it also proves that TU Delft
can position itself as a preferred partner in this market segment. TU Delft will aim, within the context
of the European Research Area, to create harmonisation in the research programmes, analogous with
the Bachelor-Master system. The Dutch government wants to significantly increase the number of PhD
students, especially in science and technology, with a view to their value to the knowledge society.25
Having repositioned themselves as broad knowledge institutions, the institutes of higher professional
education are expected to offer more places for ‘professional doctorates’.26 Dutch universities are ex-
pected to accommodate more research programmes in special Graduate Schools instead of or along-
side existing research institutes.27
• TU Delft will work pro-actively, in dialogue with the business community, to give PhD students
from abroad the opportunity to spend more time contributing to the Dutch knowledge economy
after gaining their degree.
• TU Delft wants PhD research to continue to form a part of a clear organisational format, such as
a research institute, as this will guarantee critical mass and academic focus, both vital prerequi-
sites for top-quality programmes.
• TU Delft will maintain the research institutes in which it participates or for which it is the coordi-
nating university. Research institutes reinforce the profile of TU Delft. ECOS recognition is an
important hallmark of quality. Initiatives for new research institutes are also seen in the light of
the debate on Graduate Schools.
• If Graduate Schools are developed, TU Delft will first apply the model in which the local Graduate
School and (parts of) research institutes are combined. That way, it can reap the benefits of
• TU Delft intends to prepare PhD students not only for an academic career but also for the labour
market in general by, for example, providing specific training in presentation techniques.
25 Kennis in Kaart 2006
26 Wetsvoorstel WHOO (2006), AWT (2005), Ontwerp en ontwikkeling, De functie en plaats van
onderzoeksactiviteiten in hogescholen
27 OCW (2005), Onderzoekstalent op waarde geschat
24 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft intends to strengthen the relationship between PhD programmes and the master phase.
During the coming period, it will look at how, in specific cases, the final year of the master phase
could also be the first year of the PhD project. This will take place on the basis of an action plan
presenting modalities for possible implementation
• TU Delft is continuing its policy to improve PhD programmes. It is concentrating particularly on
the PhD Training and Coaching Plan, which is aimed at improving supervision and ultimately the
yield from and the duration of PhD programmes. PhD students will be provided with better infor-
mation, housing advice and – in the case of international students – assistance with visa applica-
Quality of the research
An international reputation as a leading academic institution is essential for TU Delft if it is to success-
fully position itself as a preferred partner in research. Such recognition is heavily dependent on the
intrinsic quality of the research, which is determined by (inter)national peers. The peer review system
weighs heaviest in the determination of the quality of research, especially in international comparisons.
This is the worldwide standard for every academic discipline and is essential to self-renewal in a re-
search organisation. The Dutch system of external research evaluation provides a transparent and
proven framework for external peer reviews. This system, combined with judicious administrative use
of the results, will contribute to the realisation of the research ambitions of TU Delft.
• TU Delft will continue to produce internationally acknowledged top-quality scientific and techno-
logical research and strives for an average score of 4-5 on the Standard Evaluation Protocol
2003-2009. TU Delft regards a transparent Chair Strategy – as a constituent of a broader human
talent policy – as a necessary measure and wants its faculties to form a Chair Strategy for this
• TU Delft will retain the current Standard Evaluation Protocol, which offers scope for customisa-
tion and detailed assessments and prevents mass evaluations between dissimilar types of re-
• TU Delft and the other 3TU members have agreed that, in principle, discipline evaluations should
take place collectively, the aim being, amongst others, to improve the coordination of research
• TU Delft will retain discipline evaluations as far as possible and wants its own research to be
evaluated alongside similar research by other universities, for instance, with preferred partners
in the region.
• Faculties are the focal points for evaluations. Up to 2010, a total of eleven external research
evaluations will take place in which TU Delft will be involved. The quality of the PhD programmes
will also be considered in these evaluations.
• Managerial application of the results of the research evaluations is part of the overall Planning &
Control Cycle. The results of the research evaluations are put into practice via the overall Plan-
ning & Control cycle.
25 Strategy 2007-2010
Annual government and EU funding for scientific research and large-scale research infrastructure is
expected to increase in the years ahead as a result of the FP7 resources for 2007-2013, the proposed
Knowledge Investment Agenda 2006-2016 of the Innovation Platform, government initiatives such as
Smart Mix and Omnibusregeling28, the debate on how to allocate the rising returns from natural gas via
the Fonds Economische Structuurversterking (special programme to strengthen the economic struc-
ture) and the proposed increase in the budget of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
(NWO). The anticipated growth in these budgets is driven by the ambition to realise the Lisbon targets.
Top-quality applied research contributes to the pursuit of this ambition by serving economic growth.29
This trend is expected to push up programme-based government funding still further in the next few
years and – subsequently – the internal transaction costs to acquire it.
• TU Delft is strengthening its representation in the choice of themes and programmes proposed
by external (government) financiers and will therefore invest more specifically in its public affairs
in relation to research policy and funding. It will also make more systematic use of existing infor-
mal administrative and expert networks.
• TU Delft plans to realise a 20 percent increase in indirect funding by 2010 (compared with 2005)
by enlarging its market share in the mainstream of indirect funding. It will also endeavour to
enlarge the possibility of acquiring indirect funding for design and construction research by tar-
geting the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. With this in mind TU Delft will also
look at ways of including ‘design’ as a separately financed activity in the allocation model.
• TU Delft intends, by means of a TU Delft Knowledge Investment Agenda (also within 3TU), to
further orchestrate the process of submitting research proposals for programme-based govern-
ment funding. This will optimise opportunities in a strongly competitive field and control the in-
ternal transaction costs of preparing research proposals.
• TU Delft is formulating a vision on ground rules and procedures for matching, for registering for
indirect and private funding projects, and for criteria for recovering the (overall) cost price.
Research is becoming increasingly dependent on digitally available research information. This applies
to both the content and the accompanying services. The content will consist more and more of digital
information objects in the form of datasets etc. The services will be customised, location-free, and
available via all digital communication channels. These developments lay the foundations for a virtual
research area (collaboratory).
• TU Delft aims to be part of the fast-moving digitisation of scientific research information facilities.
28 AWT (2006), Beter omgaan met FES-middelen voor kennis en innovatie
29 Innovatieplatform (2005), Kennisambitie & researchinfrastructuur Investeren in grootschalige kennisnfrastructuur
26 Strategy 2007-2010
Flight is an effective means of transport when covering long distances,
but it has some significant disadvantages, including contributing to the
greenhouse effect and noise pollution at ground level. Plus, the skies
and airports themselves are becoming increasingly crowded thanks to
all that flying. To address this phenomenon, the European Union has
prepared ‘Vision 2020’, a document that sets a number of goals for
making air travel more efficient, safer and more environmentally
friendly. By 2020, passengers will need to be at the airport just 30
minutes before a flight, and 99 per cent of flights will depart and arrive
on time, regardless of the weather. Computers will become more
important in the cockpit, for many accidents are the result of human
The environmental goals are ambitious as well. Noise pollution cause
by air travel will be reduced by half. Future aircraft will emit half as
much carbon dioxide as today’s planes, and 80 per cent less nitrogen
27 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering is currently working on a
research programme that will surpass even the goals of Vision 2020.
Scientists feel that this can be achieved by the more effective use of
materials and improved designs. ‘Many coatings used in the aircraft
industry are not environmentally friendly. We are looking at
alternatives,’ explains Professor Rinze Benedictus. This is but one
example. Toxic coatings and surface treatments are soon to be banned.
TU Delft is studying many alternatives. Benedictus: ‘All materials used
in the fabrication process must also be recyclable. We need to reach a
stage in airplane design where the aircraft’s long-term effects on the
environment are minimised.’
It’s not just the plane itself, but also the way it is used that contributes
to environmental friendliness. The ‘tunnel in the sky’ concept, for
example, guides pilots as it were along a set flight lane. The concept
facilitates steeper take-offs and landings, meaning a reduction in noise
pollution for people living near airports.
28 Strategy 2007-2010
Preferred partner in Education
TU Delft aims to be a preferred partner in education for students worldwide by 2010 by offering
intrinsically challenging and didactically inspiring courses. Intrinsically challenging because of the
direct connection with urgent societal themes, particularly in areas of sustainability. Didactically
inspiring because of the multiple use of active teaching methods. TU Delft sees students as its
future alumni – who can be flexibly deployed and can compete in the international labour market.
The programme leading to the qualification of Delft engineer is an A-brand worldwide. To maintain
this quality TU Delft must constantly renew its range of programmes, both intrinsically and
Competing on the basis of quality
International competition between universities will increasingly revolve around the attractiveness,
quality and international reputation (rankings) of the programmes. The degree to which these pro-
grammes are able to respond to changing societal needs and research trends is another important
factor in this process, which calls for a quality-conscious and professional educational organisation
based on ongoing improvement of the curricula and a stimulating work and study environment.
• TU Delft is committed to educational renewal, more robust quality monitoring and improved
services for Dutch and international students in the coming years.
Technological knowledge and academic training
The education at TU Delft is geared to training academically developed Bachelors and Masters of
Science who are in demand on (inter)national labour markets. The development and societal embed-
ding of technological knowledge and products are important starting points for defining the intrinsic
and the didactic form of the curricula. The programmes at TU Delft derive their content from new re-
search results and aim to teach the students to design innovative engineering systems. Teaching and
research are intertwined. The teaching is based on the systematic transfer of the required disciplinary
knowledge and skills and is closely attuned to the labour market.
Students as young professionals
TU Delft regards its students as young professionals, who contribute to the development of knowledge
in their own discipline through exploratory learning. TU Delft sets clear standards for its students and
offers them many opportunities to develop their talents. Self-study and an inquisitive and critical mind
are crucial in this process.
30 Criteria voor Academische Bachelor en Master Curricula (3TU, januari 2005)
29 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft takes the view that each programme – allowing for the differences between the disci-
plines – works from it own perspective on sustainability. In their multi-year plan faculties set out
the perspective on sustainability from which they (intend to) work. Implementation takes place
via the Planning & Control Cycle.
• TU Delft accommodates the students’ wishes as far as possible and offers opportunities for spe-
cialisation, diversification and multidisciplinarity; minors are an important part of this concept,
as are the options that are available after the Bachelor’s programme.
International Student Mobility
The position of TU Delft as an international leading-edge university is, to a large extent, connected with
the way in which it further develops the international mobility of students and post-graduates. Interna-
tionalisation boosts the quality of the education and research. A high intake of international students
and post-graduates is also important to offset the relatively low intake of Dutch students and the an-
ticipated outflow after the bachelor’s phase.
Competing on the basis of quality means that outstanding students choose to study at TU Delft. In this
respect TU Delft is following the example of leading universities abroad. As part of these efforts, the
University has adopted the internationally recognised bachelor-master structure to help attract inter-
national students. TU Delft has a good starting position with internationally prominent research groups,
a wide range of English-taught MSc and PhD programmes, and a steadily growing intake of interna-
• TU Delft intends to increase the intake of international students in its programmes and will in-
crease the international mobility of Dutch students and staff by, amongst others, direct market-
ing and the development of joint masters.
The focus is on further internationalisation of the curricula and the development of an international
community where both Dutch and foreign students and staff feel welcome and where the climate en-
courages high standards of teaching and research. To steer this process in the right direction, it will be
necessary to further professionalise the management organisation by, amongst others, the establish-
ment of an international office. TU Delft is also exploring the possibility of extending the English-taught
education to some BSc programmes. English-taught bachelor courses can only be introduced as op-
tions; courses taught in Dutch will have to be offered at the same time.
• TU Delft intends to further internationalise its programme and services by, amongst others,
strengthening organisational support and realising English-taught courses.
• TU Delft aims to offer an attractive range of English-taught Master’s programmes and to develop
close partnerships with a select group of top universities.
• TU Delft is exploring the possibilities of offering more bachelor programmes taught in English.
• TU Delft intends to attract top-quality students by participating in the Huygens Scholarship Pro-
gramme, the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund and by the implementation of ‘Knowledge Grants’,
among other efforts.
30 Strategy 2007-2010
These days multinationals, even industrial giants like Shell, find it impossible
to employ the full complement of experts needed to facilitate continuing
employee development (a concept that is often referred to as lifelong
learning). This is why Shell has approached four universities to solicit their
participation in its worldwide Project Academy. TU Delft was a member of
this group, and the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management in
Shell’s Project Academy put together a programme for all Shell employees.
This training programme allows them to become more adept in all kinds of
aspects of project management. This is done through guidance and counsel-
ling, but learning events also play an important role. An agreement was
reached with the four universities in 2006. Six hundred people were subse-
quently enrolled for training at the Project Academy. ‘Shell’s Project Acad-
emy is a long-term investment that gives us the opportunity to engage some
of the best project practitioners in the industry, to train them and to retain
them. The programme offers significant benefits to individual employees, to
the projects in which they work and to the company as a whole,’ according
to Shell’s Jeroen van der Veer.
31 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft was selected after an intensive selection procedure.
The three other universities are the McCombs School of Business
on the University of Texas in Austin (USA), the Cranfield School
of Management (UK) and the Queensland University of
Technology (AUS). The four universities have formed a
consortium together with Shell. The consortium has devised a
curriculum comprising more than 20 learning events, based on
the general knowledge of the universities and the applications
that are relevant for Shell.
Training takes place primarily in a digital learning environment.
Participants and teachers communicate directly via the Internet,
but there are also modules with live interaction. These modules
are held not at the universities, but at Shell locations worldwide.
32 Strategy 2007-2010
Combining strengths with higher professional education
TU Delft intends to realise a regional concentration of higher technical education on its campus and
has entered a partnership with the Haagse Hogeschool/TH Rijswijk, Hogeschool Rotterdam and Hoge-
school Inholland for this purpose. The agreements entail intensive collaboration and the physical relo-
cation of a number of professional education courses to Delft. This will make for a tightly cohesive,
efficient and attractive selection of academic and higher professional education programmes in Delft.
• TU Delft intends to consolidate its intensive collaboration with local institutes of professional
education in order to promote mobility between their programmes and university programmes
and to improve two-way referral.
University partners in the region
The Dutch Randstad offers opportunities for universities in the region to further consolidate their
strengths. The partnership with Leiden University offers some promising openings in this respect. To-
gether, a range of science and technology programmes has been developed which has proven popular
among students. The subjects include molecular science, mathematics, computer science, physics and
biomedical sciences. TU Delft and Leiden University also work together in the University Campus of The
Hague. TU Delft intends to strengthen this relationship. It is also collaborating with Erasmus University
Rotterdam along the lines of the research, focusing particularly on (bio)medical technology and trans-
port. This collaboration is leading to the development of joint courses and specialisations.
• TU Delft is striving for a close regional partnership with Leiden University and Erasmus University
in order to strengthen the range of programmes.
Given society’s growing need for knowledge workers with a technological background, it is essential to
increase the intake into the programmes and the number of graduates. 3TU will therefore enhance and
harmonise its range of Bachelor’s programmes. Harmonisation will take place at the level of the objec-
tives and the structure of the programmes.
• 3 TU enables students to proceed seamlessly to Master’s programmes at other TUs.
• 3 TU is enhancing the appeal of the programmes by strengthening the connection with pre-uni-
versity education and by introducing minors.
33 Strategy 2007-2010
Macro-efficiency of the programmes
3TU aims to establish an efficient and (inter)nationally attractive range of Master’s programmes in
technological disciplines, which reflects the research spearheads of the individual universities. The
entire range of Master’s programmes in the technological disciplines is being transparently restructured
and reorganised under the auspices of the 3TU Graduate School. This is taking place within the norms
of macro-efficiency as set out in the 3TU Sector Plan Slagkracht en innovatie (Decisiveness and
Innovation). The designer’s and teacher’s programmes and the post-initial education will be combined
in the 3TU Graduate School in addition to the Master’s programmes.31
• TU Delft is offering new national Master’s programmes in new fields of Engineering Sciences
under the umbrella of the 3TU Graduate School .
Bachelor’s Degree Programmes
Recruitment and new target groups
TU Delft is endeavouring to increase the intake into its Bachelor’s programmes and to create a large
enough potential for throughflow to Master’s programmes in the technology sector. It is doing so be-
cause the demand for knowledge workers in science and technology is overtaking the supply. The shift
in demand from lower to more highly qualified professionals (skill-based growth) is expected to con-
tinue. As the current intake at national level will not satisfy the anticipated demand for graduates, the
shortage of knowledge workers will increase, especially in science and technology, and will not only
slow down the economy but also the flow of engineers who will be able in the longer term to contribute
to solving major societal problems.
• TU Delft intends to target a broader group of potential science students, particularly women and
people from ethnic groups, and is exploring the possibilities of an international intake into the
• TU Delft intends to renew the didactic form and the content of the Bachelor’s programmes by
aligning its starting levels with the exit competencies of the pre-university Science and Technol-
ogy cluster. A single TU-wide recruitment agenda will be compiled.
TU Delft coordinating with Pre-university education
The forthcoming changes in Pre-University Education (more flexibility) and the relatively low interest in
science and technology programmes are accentuating the need to invest in a smooth transition be-
tween pre-university and academic education. The collaboration with local secondary schools will be
stepped up, primarily to ensure that more students find a niche at TU Delft. The current initiatives in
this area, particularly Scholierenlab (www.scholierenlab.nl) and Beter Bèta (a partnership with five
schools in the region), will be substantially expanded in the years ahead. For this purpose, an urgently-
needed integrated and coherent set of activities will be provided for schools, students, teachers and
31 Sectorplan Wetenschap en Techniek (2004)
34 Strategy 2007-2010
parents. The aim is to enable these schools to profile themselves as Bèta schools (science and technol-
ogy). The TULO (acronym for all the training programmes for technology lecturers), in collaboration
with the secondary education renewal committees, will provide support for the development of materi-
als for teaching science subjects and the professionalisation of science teachers. Further activities will
be developed for talented secondary-school students. Students will also be able to participate in final
exam training in science subjects.
• Every year, intake targets are agreed with each faculty as part of the Planning & Control Cycle
(see appendix). This takes place on the basis of the objectives in the faculty multi-year plans.
The intake problem differs from one faculty to another, so the instruments that have been devel-
oped at institutional level can be deployed in different ways. The problems surrounding the low
intake are so complex that they can only be solved by a multi-pronged approach. The measures
to increase the intake should therefore be seen in their relationship to one another.
• TU Delft is stimulating interest in science and technology by participating in national and region-
al projects such as JeTNet, Technika 10 and Technotalent.
• TU Delft is developing close partnerships with secondary schools in the region to systematically
increase the intake.
Expansion and flexibilisation
The introduction of the Bachelor-Master’s system has brought flexibility to the range of programmes.
In the near future it will no longer be automatically assumed that students who begin a Bachelor’s
programme at TU Delft will take a (follow-up) Master’s programme at the same university. The Bach-
elor’s programmes at TU Delft therefore need to be able to serve different target groups: students who
opt for a Master’s programme in the same field; students who opt for a Master’s programme in the
Netherlands or abroad; and students who decide to go straight into the labour market after completing
a BSc. This calls for a curriculum which facilitates different outflow possibilities and which enables the
students to study an individual choice of subjects. TU Delft will also explicitly create space in its cur-
ricula for academic training and orientation to other disciplines.
• TU Delft intends to be an attractive and hence a preferred university by offering a broad and
flexible range of Bachelor’s programmes and a wide choice of minors.
• TU Delft will continue with the phasing-in of minors in the Bachelor’s programmes: some will be
geared to expanding or integrating individual knowledge, a few will explore certain subjects in
TU Delft offers intrinsically and didactically atractive programmes with a strong focus on research and
design. To enhance the appeal and accessibility of the Bachelor’s programmes, all the curricula are
calibrated and some are adjusted. TU Delft is pursuing a consistent course in educational reform. In
concrete terms, it is accentuating the profile of design technology and highlighting the societal impor-
tance of technology. To strengthen the interest in design in the curricula an inter-faculty minor in
Multidisciplinary Design will be offered. The leading didactic principles are ‘exploratory learning’ and
‘learning by doing’. For the programmes this means a review of full curricula and a reduction in passive
35 Strategy 2007-2010
Extra attention will be paid to tricky subjects and to more intensive study coaching. Substantial invest-
ments will also be made in the further development of ICT-supported learning in the next few years.
TU Delft requires its students to take considerable responsibility for their own learning process: active
participation, cooperation and output are essential. Students are monitored by a system of study guid-
ance and progress reviews.
• TU Delft intends to place more emphasis than before on active education in its curricula in the
next few years.
• TU Delft is investing in the further development of ICT-supported learning.
Distinction between Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes
The composition of the master student population is becoming increasingly heterogeneous as a result
of the rise in the number of international students and students from colleges of higher professional
education. TU Delft therefore decided in 2006 to sharpen the distinction between the Bachelor’s and
the Master’s programmes and give them more scope to develop as separate entities.
• In the next stage of the strategy TU Delft will ensure that bachelor’s and master’s curricula are
organised with a view to a seamless transition from the Bachelor’s to the Master’s programme.
Master’s degree programmes
The Master’s programmes reflect state-of-the-art design and research and are geared to the acquisition
of in-depth knowledge in specific domains. Students decide either to deepen their insight into a spe-
cific discipline or take an interdisciplinary Master’s programme to deepen their insight into a specific
theme. The growing intake of students from abroad, students from higher professional education or
students with a bachelor’s degree that falls short of the academic level are leading to a more hetero-
geneous master’s student population and greater differentiation in the starting competencies. This
means that, besides well-organised logistics, TU Delft must offer flexible programmes which allow stu-
dents to follow more or less their own study path within the set quality criteria and framework. The
flexibility and the range of choice in the Master’s programmes call for a strong sense of responsibility
and careful study planning on the part of the student. TU Delft intends to intensify its student coaching
and supervision system with the ultimate aim of achieving a ninety percent increase in the output from
its Master’s programmes by 2010.32
• The Master’s programmes are geared to future developments in research and design.
32 Deltaplan Bèta en Techniek (2003, OCW), Focus op Onderwijs TU Delft (2003)
36 Strategy 2007-2010
Scientists often collect tremendous amounts of experimental results
and other data during their research. They save those results to their
hard drive in the way that suits them best at that particular moment. At
the conclusion of the research, much of the data is simply forgotten.
That’s a shame, because others might be interested in the data for
their own research or for verifying the research results of colleagues.
Dutch scientists, for example, measure traffic on motorways. They then
write articles about their findings. If a colleague wishes to do
comparative research into traffic patterns in various European
countries, then he can use that article and articles prepared on other
countries. But it would be better if he could compare the raw data
behind all that research.
Effective re-use of research data depends on three things: traceability,
accessibility and sustainability. Centralised administration of datasets
can also help: others need to know where to go to access reliable,
open datasets. Furthermore, the data must be archived in such a way
that their content is immediately identifiable to third parties.
37 Strategy 2007-2010
To address this need, the TU Delft library and a number of partners
started the Darelux project in 2005 (Darelux stands for Data Archiving
River Environment LUXemburg). The aim of the project is to develop
methods for sustainable data storage. And that entails more than just
installing great big computers to save everything in.
Dataset re-use is only practicable if the data are made accessible in the
right way. This places great demands on the research-specific metadata,
the research context and the user interface. Data archive design
therefore requires specialised knowledge and close cooperation with
researchers. Within the wider TU Delft context, one of the TU Delft
library’s ambitions is to establish a leading centre for data storage for
the technical and exact sciences. Delft datasets will be stored in the TU
Delft Repository in the future. This digital ‘treasury’ will hold the
scientific output of the university, which will be made available to
interested parties world-wide. The information will remain available for
use by future generations.
38 Strategy 2007-2010
International focus of the Master’s programmes
The Master’s programmes at TU Delft are attracting more and more successful students from abroad.
The recruitment at TU Delft targets excellent students. It is on the basis of excellence that they are
selected for the programmes. The Master’s programmes are taught in English and are characterised by
an international orientation. TU Delft intends to invest more expertise in inter-university masters be-
sides its own programmes. Joint masters will also be set up in an international context with specially
selected institutions of comparable calibre and reputation, such as Shanghai Fudan University.
• The TU Delft Master’s programmes also target the international student market.
Designer and teacher training
More strongly positioned designer training courses
Designer training courses meet a specific need in society and enhance the profile of technology. These
courses are small-scale and have close ties with the business community. TU Delft is endeavouring to
improve the range of designer training courses by joining forces with the other two universities of
technology to realise one comprehensive collective nationwide range of options in this area under the
auspices of the Stan Ackermans Institute.
• TU Delft intends to strengthen the range of designer training courses within 3TU.
Renewal of training programmes for TU lecturers
In the future TU Delft will continue to offer students an opportunity to train as teachers. The shortage
of science teachers is all the more urgent given that ‘the engineer as teacher’ has always played an
important role as an example. Systematic cooperation with secondary schools in the region is therefore
essential. TU Delft is cooperating with the other TUs to convert the teacher training courses into one
single Master of Science degree in Education and Communication. The collaboration with institutes of
higher professional education to train science teachers for lower grades in secondary education will
also be stepped up.
• The TU Delft teacher training courses will be clustered in the new Master of Science in Education
and Communication and will be converted into an attractive programme for prospective teachers
and science communication professionals.
39 Strategy 2007-2010
Quality control and the organisation of education
Quality control and peer review
In 2008 all TU Delft programmes will be accredited. The programme directors support one another by
means of intervision in the development and evaluation of self-studies. At teacher level efforts are be-
ing made to encourage the development of communities, which are responsible for the quality of a
specific part of the curriculum. Given the international orientation in its education programmes, TU
Delft attaches great importance to international benchmarking. Quality Principles have been formu-
lated within the IDEA League to monitor internal quality and common quality profiles have been com-
piled for the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. These profiles simplify and facilitate international
TU Delft has started streamlining the different quality-monitoring systems in the faculties. The aim is
to design a university-wide quality-monitoring system which can accommodate the individual faculty
systems and peer reviews. Such a system will enable TU Delft to prepare for possible institutional ac-
creditation from 2010.
• All TU Delft programmes will be accredited by 2008.
• By 2010 TU Delft will have an operational university-wide quality-monitoring system, which will
incorporate peer reviews and pave the way for possible institutional accreditation.
A stimulating educational environment
A quality-conscious and professional teaching organisation is essential in order to realise high-quality
education and win a strong position for TU Delft programmes in a market which is increasingly charac-
terised by keen international competition. TU Delft is meeting this challenge in various ways: by provid-
ing high-quality education, an excellently organised and challenging environment for students and
teaching staff, state-of-the-art ICT equipment and a modern university library with first-class facilities.
TU Delft regards the network of student societies and associations, as well as sport and cultural facili-
ties, as crucially important to the future development of its students and will continue to invest in
them. Projects such as Nuna, Wasub and Formula Student should also be followed up in the future.
Studium Generale plays a useful role in strengthening the social orientation of the students and can
therefore complement the mainstream programmes. Further, a university-wide project team called
Logistieke Kwaliteit (Logistic Quality) has been set up to measure student satisfaction with the or-
ganisation of the teaching, the facilities and the communication. The results of these measurements
will form the basis for improvements in the period covered by the strategy.
• TU Delft is committed to providing a stimulating teaching and learning climate and good logisti-
cal support for its programmes.
• TU Delft aspires to a student satisfaction score that is among the highest for universities in the
40 Strategy 2007-2010
Hurricane Katrina, which caused the disastrous flooding in the city of
New Orleans on 9 August 2005, not only served to fuel the flames of
discussion on the greenhouse effect and the effectiveness of emergen-
cy services, but it also served to renew interest in the technical possibil-
ities for protecting the city from future storms. The flood control
systems designed by the US Army Corps of Engineers failed during the
hurricane’s onslaught. The question must be raised, however, if it will
ever be possible to design a sea defence system that can stand up to
natural forces of this magnitude. Katrina pushed sea levels up by nine
metres. Sea defences in the Netherlands (which are designed to
withstand surges of up to five metres) would have failed too.
And then there are the costs to consider… the south coast of the
United States has so many vulnerable areas that complete protection is
unaffordable. Plans for the future protection of the coast are therefore
subject to complicated considerations of the pros and cons. There
must be a combination of technical measures that offers residents the
best protection. But which?
41 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft offered its assistance in the field of water management to the
United States immediately after Hurricane Katrina abated. The period
immediately following the disaster was a hectic time, and the
authorities did not accept the offer initially. ‘There are some great
minds in America,’ said Han Vrijling, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering
at TU Delft at the time, ‘but when it comes to closing holes in dykes, it
seems to me that we have a bit more expertise.’
These days there are a number of contacts. For example, Dr Jurjen
Battjes, Professor of Fluid Mechanics, is a member of the External
Review Panel, which monitors and assesses the work of the
Interagency Performance Evaluation Taskforce (IPET). The Army Corps
of Engineers asked IPET to investigate what went right and what went
wrong with the sea defences in and around New Orleans during
Hurricane Katrina. Four students of Civil Engineering on work
placement in New Orleans came up with two innovative concepts to
afford better protection to the city. One is for a dyke that raises itself
at high water, and the other is for plastic floats that cause the
42 Strategy 2007-2010
Students make high demands on information services. They expect information to be fast, accurate
and available on demand. At the same time, the information flow needs to be manageable, regardless
of whether it concerns student services or academic data. The process of the production and long-term
storage of new information needs to be facilitated. This applies likewise to working together in aca-
demic communities. Information skills therefore occupy a strategic place in education. Both teaching
staff and students will be offered facilities to incorporate information skills in the curriculum.
• TU Delft intends to further develop the digital learning environment.
• TU Delft will set up a repository for the long-term storage and re-use of learning tools.
• Services need to match the students’ expectations; this means faster and more digital.
• Information skills will be embedded in the curriculum.
Professionalisation and ratings
The realisation of the above educational reforms will depend largely on the efforts of motivated and
didactically skilled teaching staff who know that they are valued and respected for the work they do.
TU Delft has set up a centre of didactic excellence to promote innovation in teaching. The aim is to
provide all new teaching staff with didactic training and to reach agreements with existing staff within
the Result & Development Cycle on their (further) didactic professionalisation. TU Delft also intends to
use training to strengthen the didactic leadership skills of managers. Part of this will involve more ef-
ficient utilisation of the HRM policy instruments for motivating and assessing the performance of teach-
• In 2008 teaching will be an integral part of the Result & Development Cycle at TU Delft.
• TU Delft will introduce the Didactic Qualification for University Teachers for new and existing
members of the teaching staff.
43 Strategy 2007-2010
5 Knowledge valorisation
Preferred supplier of knowledge
It is essential to utilise new scientific insights, once achieved, in the search for solutions to crucial
sustainability problems. Universities of technology play an important role in this area and are
working on the technological breakthroughs that are needed to tackle problems in domains such
as energy, water, natural resources, building and production. The exploitation of scientific
knowledge is also a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth both in the Netherlands and in
Europe as a whole. The third core task for TU Delft is to make its knowledge reservoir and potential
accessible to society.
Preferred Supplier of knowledge and graduates
Knowledge valorisation is also essential if TU Delft is to compete effectively with the world’s top knowl-
edge institutions. Involvement in leading (inter)national networks forms a necessary part of this proc-
ess. TU Delft therefore needs to set itself apart from the rest. The better it demonstrates the eco-
nomic and societal added value of its expertise, the more attractive it becomes as a partner. It is also
vitally important from an economic perspective to exploit the potential value of TU Delft’s core activi-
ties and to make optimal use of facilities at regional, national and international level.
• TU Delft intends to occupy a recognised international position as a preferred supplier of knowl-
edge and graduates to (multinational) companies and other market players.
• TU Delft intends to enter long-term partnerships with (large) businesses and knowledge institu-
tions and to become a birthplace for new enterprises.
TU Delft Valorisation Centre
The 3TU collaboration in knowledge valorisation is accommodated in the 3TU Innovation Lab, which
serves as a central helpdesk for all questions from the business community, the government and other
players in society. The TU Delft Valorisation Centre in Delft is the local equivalent of the 3TU Innovation
Lab and is the 3TU contact point in the West, as opposed to Twente in the North-East and Eindhoven
in the South.
• TU Delft will use the Valorisation Centre to offer an inspiring market place where science, busi-
nesses and public institutions come together.
44 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft in the valorisation chain
Knowledge valorisation is not just a task for universities, but also for institutes of higher professional
education, TNO and the five LTIs (Large Technological Institutes). The TU Delft activities therefore
overlap to some extent with the activities of these other organisations. The cardinal difference, how-
ever, is that the university also provides space for more fundamental, long-term research which can
form the basis for major technological breakthroughs. TU Delft therefore occupies a complementary
position in relationship to TNO and the LTIs.
• TU Delft will ascertain which knowledge valorisation strengths can be combined with institutes of
higher professional education, TNO and LTIs with a view to a stronger position in the longer
TU Delft will make better use of its knowledge by expanding all aspects of its collaboration with the
business community, the government and other players in society (research, education, entrepreneur-
ship, facility-sharing, networking and human resources). It will achieve this not only by strengthening
its ties in education and research but also by developing the contacts between businesses and univer-
sities. TU Delft also runs Master’s programmes, master-classes and tailor-made courses for entrepre-
neurs and employees of engineering companies. It will also make better use of its intellectual property
by pursuing a systematic and expedient policy. Lastly, it has established a Technology Transfer and
Innovation Network to optimally lower the access thresholds to TU Delft.
3TU reserves a substantial part of its own resources each year for the 3TU Innovation Lab. This needs
to be matched by a more or less similar amount every year to realise the above ambitions. The 3TU
Innovation Lab is applying for funding primarily from the new Techno Partner Programme of the Dutch
Partnerships with businesses and organisations
Long-term partnerships with large organisations
Besides engaging in many short-term contract research, TU Delft will develop long-term partnerships
with multinationals, large technology corporations and specific government institutions. It will achieve
this by entering strategic, long-term agreements with these parties not only on research but – prefer-
ably – also on training (lifelong learning), knowledge management and facility-sharing.
• TU Delft aims to enter long-term strategic partnerships with large organisations by, amongst
others, holding Customer Days with each faculty as the first point of contact for two of these
• TU Delft aims to increase private funding by twenty percent within the timescale of the strategy
(reference year: 2003).
• TU Delft intends to raise the knowledge and skills of its staff in order to network with major or-
ganisations at a higher level.
45 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft, as part of 3TU, will aim to harmonise the partnership conditions in R&D with at least
five major companies (Philips, Shell, Akzo Nobel, DSM and Unilever) as well as TNO, NWO, STW
• TU Delft intends to reach agreement with STW on the implementation of a joint knowledge val-
orisation policy and the measures and programmes to be realised for this purpose.
Partnerships with small and medium-sized businesses
In 2006 TU Delft compiled an inventory of the SMB experience within the different faculties and ana-
lysed the role of external players such as Syntens, institutes of higher professional education and sec-
tor organisations. In 2007 a concrete multi-year plan will be drawn up for the TU Delft-SMB partnership
in close consultation with all the stakeholders. The experience and insights will be incorporated in 3TU
by, amongst others, the establishment of a regional SMB portal and participation in an SMB policy ex-
periment supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
• TU Delft intends to make itself more accessible to SMB by, amongst others, setting up a patent
databank, so that businesses can easily see the patents that TU Delft has free to place on the
Technopolis Innovation Park
A large R&D site known as the Technopolis Innovation Park will be built in the immediate surroundings
of TU Delft. Technopolis is intended for businesses which have a high R&D component and a relation-
ship with TU Delft. Businesses that settle in Technopolis can benefit optimally from the proximity and
talent of TU Delft besides enjoying a top economic location and (local) government cooperation. TU
Delft has already launched various initiatives to interest businesses in settling in Technopolis. The new
SMB policy will also pursue this objective. More importantly, initiatives are underway to help busi-
nesses with growth potential to expand their operations. TU Delft is co-owner of the land and will sell
it only to businesses that are prepared to invest at their own risk.
• TU Delft intends to develop Technopolis into the ideal site for knowledge-intensive businesses.
The proximity of TU Delft will be exploited as a strategic advantage to achieve this.
• TU Delft plans to reach further agreement with the Province of Zuid Holland and the Municipality
of Rotterdam on incorporating Technopolis Innovation Park in the concept of Kennisboulevard
46 Strategy 2007-2010
Bacteria do a lot of dirty jobs, including in the sewage treatment
process. They use waste products for their own metabolism, so that
clean water is left at the end of the process. The satiated bacteria form
flocs that sink to the bottom of the enormous settling basins. But
there’s a problem: the bacteria flocs sink rather slowly. The result is
that it takes a long time before the water is sufficiently clean, meaning
that the settling basin’s treatment capacity is limited. And this is a real
concern, because settling basins cover a large surface area. A given
basin could treat far more water if only the bacteria would just sink
Anaerobic bacteria, which use no oxygen and are not very efficient for
purification purposes, are known to have the capacity for becoming
granular, which makes them sink faster. The same effect ought to be
possible with the more efficient, aerobic bacteria, thought Dr Mark van
Loosdrecht, Professor with the Faculty of Applied Sciences. And that
thought turned out to be right on the money.
47 Strategy 2007-2010
The flocs originate during the process of bacterial growth, during
which the bacteria split during reproduction. The bacteria begin to
form loose clumps. The loose structure causes them to become
suspended in the water, as it were. One would think that you would
need to get the groups of bacteria to clump together more firmly.
Paradoxically, intensive mixing actually seems to help in this process.
Mixing causes the bacteria to form stiffer structures that are resistant
to the high shearing forces involved in the mixing process. By
adjusting the process, it is even possible to guide the selection of
granulating bacteria. Van Loosdrecht does not yet fully understand
the bacterial behaviour. But the fact of the matter is that the bacteria
granules sink forty times faster than flocs, and that the same level of
purification can be achieved in smaller basins. Treatment plants can
certainly benefit from this new technique.
48 Strategy 2007-2010
Technostarters and New Business Development
From student to entrepreneur
To increase the proportion of technologically innovative businesses in the Dutch economy, TU Delft is
focusing extensively on encouraging entrepreneurship, particularly technostarters. The aim is to de-
velop an ‘ecosystem’ that extends across the entire spectrum from student to successful business. The
steps are shown in the figure below.
Student Technostarter Technostarter
Target Student Technostarter ‘Steady ‘Exponential
‘Start-up’ Growth’ Growth’
I learn how
Desire I like it I can do it I can do more I can excel
to do it
Create Help scale to
Need Educate Help start Help grow
awareness full potential
TU Delft Need/who ‘20x20’
Fulfillment TU Bachelor YES!Delft
YES!Delft to fill? Programme
TU Delft wants to enable every student to come into contact with entrepreneurship during their study
and is therefore encouraging the inclusion of business subjects in the curriculum. The involvement of
successful entrepreneurs in awareness activities creates role models. Extra-curricular entrepreneurship
activities will be organised in close collaboration with student societies and associations. A collective
master track will be started in the 3TU Innovation Lab and a joint course in entrepreneurship will be
developed for PhD students and staff members.
• TU Delft intends to combine these initiatives in the Delft Centre for Entrepreneurship, which aims
to bring students into closer contact with entrepreneurship and hence produce more technostart-
TU Delft expects to produce around 250 start-ups a year comprising fledgling design agencies, ICT
businesses, architects’ firms, businesses offering technology services, technostarters (entrepreneurs
that launch a new technological product on the market) and others. YES!Delft, which was established
in association with the Municipality of Delft and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, encourages and sup-
ports these technostarters with various services including office space, legal advice, coaching by expe-
rienced entrepreneurs and networks.
• TU Delft plans to support 50 technostarters a year via YES!Delft by 2009.
49 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft and the Municipality of Delft are working closely on an infrastructure for young and growing
businesses. Communal premises will offer such businesses spatial flexibility. DelfTechpark and Tech-
nopolis will provide space for businesses which are leaving the incubator. TU Delft also intends – in
close collaboration with Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Municipalities of Rotterdam and Delft and
the Ministry of Economic Affairs – to compile a support programme for ambitious entrepreneurs who
want to expand their business.
• In the coming period TU Delft will work closely with local and provincial authorities on new busi-
ness ventures. Concrete (financial) support for an infrastructure for young growing businesses is
absolutely essential here.
The Technosprint project – a 28-member consortium – has been set up to devote more attention to
knowledge valorisation in the faculties. Besides a new IP policy, a number of screening and scouting
pilots will be introduced in the coming phase. Departments will actively search for openings to com-
mercialise new research (screening) and for business partners who want to buy knowledge (scout-
• TU Delft will use Technosprint to significantly strengthen the academic staff’s awareness of the
importance of intellectual property and knowledge valorisation with an increase in the number of
applied patents and the number of technostarters as key indicators.
Post-initial education at TU Delft
The European Commission has formulated policy goals in which lifelong learning is earmarked as one
of the instruments to achieve the Lisbon objectives. After all, a knowledge-based economy enhances
the need for lifelong learning. It also increases the demand for specific post-doctoral courses. Besides
the existing Master’s programmes, TU Delft will run specific Master’s programmes for people with sev-
eral years of hands-on experience. Delft alumni will be actively involved in these efforts where possi-
• TU Delft will use Delft TopTech to position itself in this growth market as a provider of top-qual-
ity knowledge. In the coming phase a strategy will be formulated, which will focus on collabora-
tions with other universities, personalised learning programmes and short courses.
TU Delft is developing an active policy to cultivate patent-awareness among its academic staff. The
screening and scouting will take place at the faculties. Training courses will be organised for research-
ers (potential inventors). The patent portfolio will be sifted, thinned out where possible and updated
for each faculty.
• TU Delft will develop a vision of ground rules and procedures for patenting specific inventions
(basic patent) and for streamlining the patent portfolio.
50 Strategy 2007-2010
Academic information services
TU Delft can only exploit its knowledge if it is defined. Nowadays, new knowledge-management and
datamining techniques are part and parcel of the academic infomation services that the university li-
brary maintains and manages. On the basis of the research output these techniques can reveal knowl-
edge patterns which lay the foundations for knowledge valorisation. This, in turn, will support the ap-
plication process for patents and define relationships in research networks.
Technology Transfer & Valorisation Network
Many potential players in the external market are unclear about the knowledge that TU Delft can offer.
As a result, there is no optimal match of supply and demand. The Customer Days for large companies
and SMB are one way of bringing supply and demand closer together. Secondly, TU Delft has at least
one Technology Transfer Officer (TTO) at each faculty who is fully informed of the available knowledge.
With the TTO-ers as the point of contact, businesses and other market players gain faster access to the
TU Delft knowledge bearers which are relvant to their needs. Supported by the TU Delft Valorisation
Centre, the TTO-ers form a Technology Transfer & Valorisation Network within TU Delft
51 Strategy 2007-2010
As part of its ‘preferred partner’ ambition TU Delft aims to internationally position itself as a
preferred employer by, amongst others, offering a broad range of high-quality general facilities: an
inspiring university campus, attractive conditions of employment, a sound financial policy, a reliable
ICT infrastructure and service, customer-focused protoservices for prototypes, test sites and
experimental equipment, a modern university library, clear legal and administrative guidance, and
targeted marketing and communication.
Inspiring university campus
TU Delft wants its campus to form an environment that encourages people to stay – a campus that
invites interaction and adds to the attractiveness of the university. The heart of the TU Delft campus
will therefore be converted into a welcoming, park-like and car-free residential area in line with the
Mekelpark plan. Investment will be made in a superior public transport system, more student resi-
dences, an international student house and, possibly, a congress hotel. On the edge of the campus
space will be available for institutes of higher professional education and new residences for their stu-
dents. This will give concrete shape to the envisaged collaboration with higher technical professional
• TU Delft intends to realise the new university campus by 2008.
Working with perspective
To achieve its ambition as preferred employer, it is essential for TU Delft to offer attractive facilities,
especially for academic staff. The TU Delft talent policy is therefore based on the principles of lifelong
learning and diversity. Within this perspective staff will be afforded systematic opportunities for per-
sonal development, to professionalise their knowledge and to strengthen their competencies. The
university-wide Result & Development interviews constitute an important instrument in this process as
they give staff members deeper insight into their performance and prospects. The university is inves-
tigating whether, and if so, how a Tenure Track System can be developed as an intake policy for new
members of the academic staff. This will provide new academic talent with concrete career prospects.
The TU Mobiel advisory centre will play an important role in providing individual career advice regard-
ing internal job rotation and other aspects of career development.
Subscribing to the principle that diversity makes for better results and contributes to an inspiring envi-
ronment, TU Delft will accentuate diversity in its profile as an employer. Accordingly, it will employ
more women in its academic staff, particularly more women professors. The DEWIS network (Delft
Women in Science) for female academics at TU Delft fits in neatly with the diversity policy. The pri-
mary aim of DEWIS is to encourage women at TU Delft to develop personally, professionally and aca-
demically. During the coming phase efforts will be made via DEWIS to track down, follow and coach
academically talented women.
52 Strategy 2007-2010
• TU Delft aims to employ at least 15 women professors by the end of 2008 via a targeted search
strategy and via training, mentoring and coaching. Explicit attention will be paid to creating fur-
ther awareness of this issue and to the unintended side-effects of the current selection proce-
• The theme for 2007 is ‘Ambition converted into action’: the Result and Development Cycle will be
extended across the entire TU. Talent-scouting will be approached more professionally.
• The theme for 2008 is ‘Mature motivation and ties’. TU Delft is an attractive employer, as demon-
strated by the motivation of its staff and their ties with the university.
• The theme for 2009 is ’Mobility is a fact’. The intended results of the reorganisation of all the
support services of four years ago become visible.
Sound Financial policy
The financial scope of TU Delft in the next phase of the strategy will be determined to a considerable
extent by national developments in university funding. Around sixty percent of direct funding is based
on performance in terms of, for example, first enrolments, the number of graduates and PhDs, and the
income from indirect and private sources. This calls for a financial policy which is geared to strengthen-
ing the share of TU Delft in the various performance domains. The frameworks from the previous
chapters will determine this. Internal efficiency measures, including judicious investment, the large-
scale reorganisation of support services and strict cost control have given TU Delft a solid financial
position. The yield from these internal efficiency measures and improvements in the performance-re-
lated components in the national distribution model is enabling TU Delft to significantly expand its
academic staff, make necessary investments in accommodation (approx. M€ 245 up to 2015) and im-
plement the faculty multi-year plans. A steep decline in the liquidity position is expected in 2007-2008
as a result of the planned investments. The qualification process for researchers will be tightened to
support TU Delft’s ambition to further increase its share of indirect and private funding.
• Resources that have become available as a result of the reorganisation of the support services
will be used to strengthen the primary processes. Some of these resources will be channelled
into the realisation of new teaching and research facilities and improvements to existing (stu-
dent) facilities, as explained in previous chapters.
• The link between contract management, project administration and (ultimate) accountability
towards research financiers will be strengthened by, amongst others, time registration, clear
contract registers and digital project files. That way, TU Delft will improve the structure and the
organisation of the management process.
ICT Infrastructure & services: flexible, custom-made, reliable
The primary processes at TU Delft depend to a large extent on ICT. More and more services, demands
and information flows are ICT-driven. These trends are necessitating reliable IT support services that
can provide flexibility and customisation.
The internationalisation of education and the growing need for lifelong learning are intensifying the
use of ICT in teaching and learning. Students need to master the right study and research skills in order
to learn independently at any given moment (just-in-time learning). Technological developments offer
opportunities to realise these new approaches to education. In addition, more and more business-
critical and research processes are supported by software. Software life-cycles are getting shorter all
the time while the criteria for quality and budget-control getting tighter.
53 Strategy 2007-2010
ICT facilities will also be harmonised within 3TU. The 3TU data protection policy will be synchronised
to create uniform rights and obligations. A 3TU trusted network will be built to quickly and safely link
information and information systems for research, education and organisation at 3TU.
• TU Delft will expand and renew the e-learning environment, also to support multimedial teach-
ing, study at any time and place, tailor-made information and educational collaboration.
• Facilities will also be developed for collaboration in research and access to research data will be
Support for the academic staff
Much ground-breaking research and many technological breakthroughs are preceded by the design and
construction of prototypes, test sites and experimental devices. The accompanying (support) services
are organised in close cooperation with the researchers. One important trend in this area is the in-
crease in the range of technical tools, (semi-finished) products and specialised and standard services
from the market. This trend is bringing down costs and widening the possibilities to meet the needs of
the researcher. Mounting competition in the coming period will also call for more efficient utilisation of
capacity and increasingly higher levels of excellence and specialisation.
• TU Delft will ascertain which benefits can be gained from partnership in electronic and mechani-
cal support in the region and within 3TU.
Modern university library
The university library at TU Delft is the technological and scientific knowledge hub in the Netherlands.
The library supports education and research at TU Delft at national and international level and is cur-
rently building up a digital library (‘e-library’) for scientists and technologists. The possibilities of ap-
plying social software in the coming years will also be explored.
A shared infrastructure is a key factor in academic information services. This is made possible by the
acquisition of licences to access academic information and will be further developed within 3TU. The
‘author pays’ model is also expected to become more important: this means that TU Delft would pay
the cost of the publication process at the moment of publication instead of taking out subscriptions via
the university library. Also, more and more subsidy agencies will demand that research results be pub-
lished in open access media.
• TU Delft will work within 3TU on the long-term storage of and access to digital research data
with the aim of setting up a data centre.
• TU Delft will ascertain how the expected changes in the publication process will affect the inter-
nal funding model.
54 Strategy 2007-2010
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) programs put Internet users into direct contact with
each other. Well-known examples include chat programs, VoiP
applications like Skype and file sharing systems like Kazaa and
Bittorrent. What make the latter so special is that users provide their
information directly from their own computers, without the intervention
of a third party. Although P2P is often associated with sharing
copyright-protected files, the amount of fully legal music and films
available for download on P2P networks has been showing a marked
The current generation of P2P networks does not facilitate easy
cooperation between users. Buddy sites like MySpace and Hyves give
users the opportunity to get to know quite a bit about each other,
whereas users on file sharing networks know nothing about their peers.
They are, however, able to indicate their evaluation of other users’
files, just as users on the auction site Ebay can. The lack of third-party
intervention also makes it difficult to effect payments, making the sale
of legal content on P2P networks less appealing.
55 Strategy 2007-2010
Tribler is far more intelligent than today’s P2P systems. For example,
users can recommend interesting files and see what files others with
similar interests are downloading. The Tribler project is also working on
on-line payments between users. This will let downloaders support artists
who produce good work, whether it be a professional act or a garage
band. Other than information on and about users, Tribler (an expanded
version of today’s Internet hit, Bittorrent) takes advantage of some of the
more technical aspects of P2P. For example, users can share real-time
video, and a clever approach to bandwidth use means an increase in
download speeds by a factor of two.
A group of Dutch researchers is the driving force behind Tribler. Some
are from TU Delft’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and
Computer Science. The Tribler team won the prestigious Vosko Trophy
for business and innovation in 2006. The open-source software has been
up and running since early 2006, and new functions are regularly added.
Tribler can be downloaded for free at www.tribler.org.
56 Strategy 2007-2010
Clear legal guidance
TU Delft is committed to establishing a better system of legal control and quality monitoring to enable
the organisation to anticipate the developments set out in this institutional strategy. This will make it
possible to deliver a correct and appropriate contribution leading to more (inter)national cooperation,
an increase in knowledge valorisation and the marketing of intellectual property as well as more strin-
gent cost-monitoring by the government.
• TU Delft will strengthen the system of legal control and quality monitoring; this fits in with the
overall Planning & Control Cycle.
Targeted marketing and communication
TU Delft will use targeted marketing and communication to systematically draw attention to its contri-
bution to the economy and society and thereby publicly project its societal role and its reputation.
Essentially, the guiding principle is to constantly update a broad public on the research results and
processes and thus strengthen the societal support base for new developments in technology and sci-
ence. This principle will also steer the communication for (inter)national student recruitment, public
affairs, knowledge valorisation and press contacts. Under the banner of Challenge the Future, specific
market analysis, continuous effect measurement and a consistent brand policy will lay the foundations
for communication on the positioning of TU Delft and student recruitment. Finally, alumni – graduates
and PhD-ers – are among TU Delft’s most valued stakeholders. To TU Delft, investment in alumni
means investment in a worldwide network of ambassadors. TU Delft offers its alumni access to its
entire knowledge network throughout their career.
• TU Delft will deploy marketing strategically.
• TU Delft sees academic communication as the guiding principle for positioning itself internation-
ally as an A-brand university.
• TU Delft will strengthen the ties with its target groups in terms of recruitment. This will be based
on demand-driven communication.
• TU Delft intends to invest in particular in its alumni relations and will formulate a strategy for
this purpose in the coming period.
Efficiently organised general support processes
Efficiently organised support processes make a vital contribution to the realisation of preferred partner
status in education, research and knowledge valorisation. The support organisation must therefore
provide an excellent level of general student and staff services and facilities. That way, it brings added
value to the core processes and hence contributes to the international positioning of TU Delft.
• TU Delft will implement a management system and a coherent audit, safety & security system to
continuously improve the internal business processes.
• The support services – which form an integral part of TU Delft as a talent organisation – will con-
stantly improve competence management, talent scouting and management development.
57 Strategy 2007-2010
Implementation via an overall Planning & Control Cycle
Every two years Dutch universities are legally obliged to draw up an institutional strategy setting out
their vision for the next four years. Once a year, via the Annual Report, they are accountable to the
government with regard to the realisation of the financial and institutional policy objectives. Both the
Annual Report and the Institutional Strategy are part of the overall TU Delft Planning & Control Cycle.
The Institutional Strategy is the umbrella document that defines the conditions and the tasks for the
faculties and the management teams. Faculties and management teams therefore use the Institutional
Strategy as the starting point for designing and implementing their own strategies.
Planning & control cycle
The Planning & Control Cycle is based on certain key goals, viz: more cohesion between the strategy
and the policy of the intitution, the faculties, the departments and the support services; more dialogue
and coordination between the aforementioned levels. This is an ongoing process of learning and im-
provement: do we do the right things as TU Delft and as individual faculties and do we do things right?
Besides internal goals, performance targets are agreed between the individual universities and the
Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science which need to be followed through.
Faculty Multi-year plan
The faculties set out their vision, mission, strategy and policy spearheads in faculty multi-year plans.
Each faculty does this from its own perspective and within the strategic goals and guidelines of the
university, as set out in the Institutional Strategy. The faculty multi-year plans are reviewed every two
years and, like the Institutional Strategy, have a time horizon of four years. These multi-year plans
also provide input for the next Institutional Strategy.
Bilateral policy meetings
Every autumn, as part of the overall Planning & Control Cycle, a round of bilateral policy meetings is
held between the Executive Board, the Dean, and the management team of each faculty. At these
meetings the realisation of the faculty goals is discussed and agreements are reached on the main
faculty goals and challenges for the next year. These agreements relate to both the content of the
policy and the achievement of targets in education, research, knowledge valorisation and manage-
ment. These agreements must fit in with the (multi-year) budget of the faculty.
The outcomes of these bilateral meetings are recorded in an annual Management Contract, which also
forms an integral part of the Dean’s appraisal, held every spring by the Executive Board with regard to
the past calendar year.
Input and involvement
In the coming phase the Planning & Control Cycle will be further embedded in the administrative or-
ganisation and the management system of TU Delft. Any interim adjustments that need to be made to
the Institutional Plan will, of course, be submitted to the General Meeting for approval.
58 Strategy 2007-2010
A very large part of the world population lives at or below poverty
level. The way of thinking about them is undergoing a revolution:
they are no longer confronted with their misery, but with their
economic potential. Poor people are encouraged to take control of
their lives. Microcredit can help people to open a shop, for example,
or to invest in better agricultural tools.
This new way of thinking also means a new way of designing
specifically for this group. In other words, affordable products that
address their needs and living conditions. TU Delft has been
responsible for dozens of designs with this segment of the world’s
population in mind. Adjustable eyeglasses are but one example.
They cost just one dollar a piece to produce and last a lifetime. Next
year one thousand schoolchildren in India will receive a pair of these
glasses. If they are happy with them, large-scale distribution will
follow. The theme of TU Delft’s 165th anniversary will be sustainable
59 Strategy 2007-2010
…you drink it through
Another example of a cheap but exceptionally worthwhile
design is the Lifestraw, a drinking straw with a built-in filter
that purifies water as it is sucked through the straw. Industrial
designer Roelie Bottema took the prototype, produced by the
Danish company Vestergaard Frandsen, to Ghana for tests.
Users were very satisfied with the product. However, children
under five were not strong enough to suck water through the
filter. Bottema designed a squeeze bottle for them, meaning
they could squeeze the water through the filter with their
The Lifestraw must still undergo safety testing, but it will be
an affordable product when it hits the market. Variants on the
Lifestraw are under study, for example a version that can be
dropped from airplanes in disaster areas.
60 Strategy 2007-2010
TU Delft targets till 2010
As set out in the Technology Sector Plan (Sectorplan Techniek, 2004) TU Delft has set the
following targets for 2010. Progress towards realisation is reported in the TU Delft Annual Reports.
The reference year is 2003.
Subject Target for 2010
Increase the intake in Bachelor’s programmes by, amongst others, attract- + 15%
ing more students from abroad.
Increase the yield from the Bachelor’s programmes. 70%
Increase the intake in the Master’s programmes and the training courses + 20%
Increase the international intake in the Master’s programmes. + 30%
Increase the yield from the Master’s programmes. 90%
A (3TU) place in the European top with research themes, according to the
standard ranking systems.
Confirm this position in international visitations for all research themes.
Increase the number of PhDs. + 20%
Increase the PhD yield – after the first year (2008). 75%
Increase indirect funding. + 20%
Increase international funding. + 20%
Increase private funding. + 20%
Increase the number of patents (incl. novelty research and involvement in + 25%
patents developed by external parties).
Increase the number of spin-off businesses. + 25%
Organisation (specifically for TU Delft)
Improve the ratio of academic to support staff. 1.4 (target for 2007)
Increase the number of academic positions. + approx. 250
Increase the number of women professors. Minimum 15
61 Strategy 2007-2010
Knowledge worker Someone who contributes to science or the innovation
Large Technology Institutes LTIs recruit and retain knowledge from an area of tech-
nology and develop specific technology for the govern-
ment and businesses
SMB Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Planning & Control Cycle Annual bilateral meetings between the Executive Board
and the faculties to discuss strategy content, progress
and agreements, the objectives and the policy on the
basis of the multi-year plans and the accompanying man-
R&D Research and Development
Repository: Internet work environment in which learning tools and
academic output can be accessed and consulted
Technopolis Innovation Park Large-scale Research and Development site near TU Delft
WHOO Wet op het Hoger Onderwijs en Onderzoek (Higher Edu-
ca- tion & Research Act)
Delft Research Centre TU Delft accommodates parts of the research in thirteen
multidisciplinary spearheads known as Delft Research
Centres of Competence Clustering of research topics under five strategic 3TU
research themes. Each Centre of Competence (CoC) cov-
ers, in theory, all the researchers who are working in a
specific discipline or within a specific theme
Centres of Excellence Clustering of activities of top researchers in the CoCs and
hence within the CoC themes
Graduate School Organisation for accommodating PhD projects
European Technology Platform ETPs bring together the stakeholders in specific areas of
technology under leadership of the industry to formulate
and implement a common strategy
62 Strategy 2007-2010
Joint Technology Initiative JTIs stem largely from European Technology Platforms
(ETPs) and relate to one or a few selected aspects of
research in their own area. They combine private invest-
ment with national and European public funding
European Institute of Technology European virtual network focusing on the combination of
education, research and innovation
FP7 EU framework programme for research and technological
European Research Council Pan-European subsidy provider under FP7 directed at
excellent research and excellent students
European Research Area Internal research market aimed at free movement of
knowledge, researchers and technology in order to
strengthen the competitive position of Europe
European Higher Education Area Initiative to harmonise the structure of higher education
within the EU
63 Strategy 2007-2010
Delft University of Technology
P.O. Box 5
2600 AA Delft
Telephone +31 (0)15 27 85404
Fax +31 (0)15 27 81855
Concept and graphic design
Haagsblauw, The Hague
Writing and editing of TU Delft Highlights
Schefferdrukkerij BV, Dordrecht
TU Delft, January 2007
64 Strategy 2007-2010