Research Vouchers 2015

The VU Network Institute awarded five research-business collaboration proposals with a voucher of € 5.000 each. Businesses-research matches were made with 2CoolMonkeys, Konnektid,, ETCBC and Eigen Werk.

A successful matchmaking event in May paved the way for this call for proposals. IXAVU University Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Economic Board invited researchers and business owners to explore opportunities for research collaborations. During the afternoon, several researchers pitched possible ideas to work on with the present entrepreneurs. Eleven collaboration proposals were sent in after the matchmaking event.

Awarded projects

Five proposals were awarded with vouchers of €5.000, which stands for one month of research. This way, businesses and researchers work on substantiating a project, product or service. The five awarded projects are:

  1. Focused weather and rain information 

Dr. Chris van Aart (2CoolMonkeys BV), Prof.Dr. Hans Akkermans (Network Institute, VU), Dr. Victor de Boer (Network Institute, VU) and Francis Dittoh MSc (VU and University of Development Studies Ghana) work on providing weather and rain information to smallholder farmers and rural village communities. This information is often unavailable to local stakeholders, but given the frequent use of mobile phones and radio, solutions can be found in terms of information channels and getting adequate information to stakeholders.

  1. Measuring users’ behaviour

Simone Potenza (Konnektid), Dr. Davide Ceolin and dr. Lora Aroyo (both from the Computer Science Department) focus on finding metrics to measure user engagement, interaction and trust based on their activity and discourse analysis. Secondly, they focus on finding a set of features that are linked to user engagement and interaction.

  1. Attractive tool to present datasets

Akvo and DANS are searching for a tool that presents their dataset in an attractive manner. In collaboration with Victor de Boer (assistant-professor Web & Media Group, Network Institute) they will attempt to establish this. Victor de Boer has worked with Akvo on datasets before.

  1. Developing a topic visualizer for Syriac texts

The Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer (ETCBC) and digital innovators of Frontwise will develop together a topic visualizer for Syriac texts. This project will entail the design, construction and testing of a demonstrator. Ideally, the demonstrator will be used in a PhD project to analyse religious polemics from the formative period of Syriac Christianity.

  1. Business support workshop for SMEs and freelancers

Frans Heessels (Eigen Werk) and Dr. Ingrid Wakkee (VU Department/Faculty of Social Sciences VU and associated professor Entrepreneurship) will co-create a workshop to increase awareness for and support in developing exit strategies for (prospective) self-employed individuals and small business owners.