Impact Award recipients 2023

Amsterdam Impact Awards for radioactive TomTom, mathematical optimization and essential fungi

Researchers Guus van Dongen, Dick den Hertog and Toby Kiers have been presented with the Impact Awards 2023. The award honours the outstanding contributions of these distinguished researchers whose work has made a meaningful impact on society. There are three categories: Health, Society and Environment & Climate.

Guus van Dongen, professor of medical imaging and biomarkers at Amsterdam UMC, developed new imaging techniques to visualize the behaviour of medicines in the body at molecular level. Van Dongen was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Amsterdam UMC Imaging Center.

Dick den Hertog, professor of Operations Research at the University of Amsterdam, shows that mathematical optimization can provide solutions for a wide variety of societal problems. Den Hertog has founded the Analytics for a Better World Institute. To ensure that research results are really used and actually have an impact.

Toby Kiers, professor of Evolutionary Biology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, researches underground ecosystems. She discovered that fungi under the ground behave according to economic principles. They exchange nutrients with the plant roots with which they enter into symbioses.

Marcel Kloosterman (deputy director of IXA UvA-HvA): “There’s a tremendous amount of high-quality and innovative research being conducted at our Amsterdam knowledge institutions. This provides a broad foundation for making a significant impact on society. However, that impact does not happen automatically. For an Impact Award, we look at researchers who make extra efforts. They actively contribute to the actual use of insights and results from their research for a longer period of time. They work together with public and/or private parties and organizations. We see this with all three of these researchers: their efforts benefit society through their insights and research results. All three of them do this on a highly socially relevant topic. They are clearly role models for other researchers within the knowledge institutions.”

Presentation of the Impact Awards 21 November 2023
The presentation of the Impact Awards took  place on November 21, 2023, at the time of the innovation festival at NEMO Amsterdam. The awards are an initiative of IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam, the Knowledge Transfer Office of the Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.