Impact Award 2019

Impact Award for surgical training, cell research and poverty alleviation.

Jaap Bonjer, professor of surgery at Amsterdam UMC,   receives the prize for the establishment of the Amsterdam Skills Center for Health Sciences (ASC). Because of this, the Netherlands has one of the most advanced surgical skills training centers in the world, with for instance 12 operating rooms and various laboratories.

Erwin Peterman, professor of Physics and Living Systems, and Gijs Wuite, professor of Physics and Life Processes, both work at the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam. They can map the smallest details of cellular processes by using their instruments such as the optical tweezers and fluorescence microscope. Peterman and Wuite succeeded in commercializing their high-quality equipment for fundamental research. This formed the foundation for the spin-off LUMICKS, which could call itself the market leader in high-tech measuring instruments for dynamic single-molecule analysis.

Roeland van Geuns, Professor of Poverty Interventions at the University of Applied Science (HvA), receives the Impact Award for his research on poverty and debt issues. Van Geuns has managed to make a difference to people who live from day to day. Debt issues is a broad social problem.

An honorable mention goes to Willem Bouten, Professor of Computational Geo-Ecology, of the University of Amsterdam for his innovation of lightweight GPS trackers for birds. These trackers and radar can predict bird density and large-scale bird mobility. This information is important for aviation and windmill farms. The innovation prevents collisions with birds and mass bird mortality. Bouten receives an honorable mention for his important contribution to the valorisation of ecological research. Bouten is a forerunner of e-Ecology, as valorisation can be challenging in this area of research.

The researchers have received their Award during the Festive Finale on November 26, 2019. The Impact Awards are part of the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award for the most innovative scientific idea in Amsterdam. The Impact Award is an initiative of IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam, Knowledge Transfer Office of UvA, VU, HvA and Amsterdam UMC, locations AMC and VUmc).

Foto credits Bastiaan Aalbersberg