Job Opportunity: eScience Research Engineers for “Visual Storytelling for Climate Effects”

June 25th, 2019

The Netherlands eScience Center is the Dutch national expertise center for the development and application of research software to advance academic research. We are convinced that research in every academic discipline can be improved by taking advantage of available digital technology. We take a multidisciplinary approach, combining our deep knowledge of both academic research and software development to help define and solve research challenges. We share our ideas and the tools we develop. Together with a wide range of partner organizations, we advance not just our research projects, but the state of academic research in general.

We are looking for enthusiastic:

eScience Research Engineers for “Visual Storytelling for Climate Effects”

The position

As an eScience research engineer, you will operate in a team consisting of both eScience Research Engineers and academic colleagues. Your goal will be to develop high-quality scientific software for ongoing research projects. Together with your team, you will be responsible for translating the scientific questions raised by this project into dedicated solutions.

In this 2-year position, you will work on several projects that deal with scientific data dissemination and visualization, with a strong focus on the communication aspects of research. The overarching goal of most of our team’s projects is to convince decision-makers to take scientific analyses seriously and to use that knowledge for future policy-making. To this end, you will mostly be making web-based software.

A significant part of your work will consist of working on the RECEIPT (REmote Climate Effects and their Impact on European sustainability, Policy and Trade) project. In this project, we will develop software with which to create and view visual stories based on the scientific data of multiple European institutes. This data will include economic-, financial-, risk-, weather-, agriculture-, infrastructure- and demographics forecasts and more.

eScience is intrinsically a team effort. You will therefore work closely with other eScience Research Engineers in- and outside the team and facilitate knowledge transfer between scientific disciplines. Good soft skills for communicating with researchers and colleagues are important, as are skills for accurate requirements engineering. In this position you will collaborate closely with researchers, present your work at conferences and workshops, and sometimes work on-site at our project partners, including those at European-level.

We require

  • A completed Masters’ degree or PhD
  • Some experience developing scientific or information visualization(s) and/or web applications
  • Expertise with different programming languages (preferably Javascript, Typescript, WebGL, D3.js)
  • Expertise with Angular, React or Vue is a bonus
  • Good communication and writing skills in English

Working conditions

We offer a position at the eScience Center for a fixed period of 2 years within the collective agreement for Dutch Research Institutes (cao-OI). The candidate will be based at the Netherlands eScience Center in Amsterdam. Classification is based on education and experience with salary depending on qualifications and experience, starting from € 2.672- up to € 4.945,- gross per month, with a 38-hour working week (salary scale 10-11). Holiday pay amounts to 8% of the gross salary and we also offer a 13th month of salary as an end-of-year payment.

The eScience Center offers an interesting and challenging position with additional options for personal development. You will work in an international team with an informal but creative and ambitious working environment. The main location is Amsterdam (Science Park). The eScience Center has an active diversity policy and seeks to hire persons with a background that is underrepresented at the eScience Center. We therefore encourage women and minorities to apply.

Interested in this position?

Are you interested in joining the eScience Center’s team and work on the RECEIPT project? Please send your application to before July 31, 2019.

Your application must include:

  • A recent CV
  • A motivation letter
  • A code sample
  • Any applicable references

For more information about this opportunity, please contact, Senior eScience Research Engineer and project manager of the RECEIPT project, at

Four public-private projects on big data and health have been awarded grants

June 24th, 2019

In the Commit2Data round for Big Data & Health, four public-private research projects have been awarded grants for research into the early detection and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, NWO, ZonMW, the Heart Foundation and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport have jointly made a total of €6.58 million available for these projects. The Netherlands eScience Center is also providing each project with support in the form of eScience Research Engineers.

Approved public-private research projects

Perfect Fit: Targeting key risk factors for cardiovascular disease in at-risk individuals using a personalized and adaptive approach
Smoking and lack of exercise increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A consortium led by Prof. N.H. Chavannes (Leiden University Medical Center) will use big data to develop a personalized and flexible virtual coach that will help people to quit smoking.

Partners: TU Delft, University of Twente, Trimbos Institute, Leiden University, m, Sense Health, Virtuagym, Roessingh Research & Development, Stichting Pharos, Stichting Publiek Privaat Partnership Stop met Roken, GlaxoSmithKline and Stichting Zorg & Zekerheid.

CARRIER - Coronary ARtery disease: Risk estimations and Interventions for prevention and EaRly detection

– a Personal Health Train project
A consortium led by Prof. A.L.A.J. Dekker (Maastricht University) aims to identify groups with a high risk of cardiovascular diseases using existing datasets obtained from Statistics Netherlands, hospitals and general practitioners. The research group is also developing an electronic lifestyle coach to encourage people in this high-risk group to stay with their therapy programmes. Patients and caregivers will use the coach to develop a personalized lifestyle plan.

Partners: Maastricht University, Maastricht UMC+, Sananet Care BV, CBS, MAASTRO Clinic, HuisartsenOZL and Huis van de Zorg.

MyDigiTwin: Using Big-Data to put a cardiovascular digital twin into the hands of people
A consortium led by Prof. P. van der Harst (University of Groningen) will use MyDigiTwin to identify ‘personal digital twins’ using artificial intelligence algorithms. MyDigiTwin can predict the effects of lifestyle changes on the health of individuals. By comparing themselves with their digital twins, individuals can be made aware of the risk of cardiovascular disease and act accordingly.

Partners: UMC Groningen, UMC Utrecht, University of Twente, Erasmus MC, Siemens Healthineers Nederland N.V., HartKlinieken, Drimpy, Harteraad, HartNet Noord-Nederland, Huisartsenpraktijk Waardenburg, Mijnhuisarts BV, Hartstichting, NL Heart Registration, Heartlife Klinieken, Niped, Gezondheidsplein Middelstum, NL Healthcare Institute, The Story Network, RTRN, Menzis, Novartis Pharma B.V., Bayer B.V. and Sanofi-Aventis NL B.V.

STRAP: Self TRAcking for Prevention and diagnosis of heart disease
A consortium led by Prof. P. Markopoulos (Eindhoven University of Technology) is investigating opportunities, restrictions and successful case studies in the care of heart patients. The research group will examine how vulnerable groups and healthcare personnel can be involved in, and become more committed to, the care process. The research group will develop a platform where patients can enter healthcare data themselves based on questionnaires and digital sensors.

Partners: Eindhoven University of Technology, Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Cardiron BV, MyoVista, Sostark SME, Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis, Stethee, BOBO Tech, Game Solutions Lab SME, Smart Toilets and WCN.

More information on Big Data & Health

Source: NWO

Self-learning machines hunt for explosions in the universe

June 12th, 2019

And speed up innovations in industry and society

The National Science Agenda has awarded a 5 million euro grant to CORTEX – the Center for Optimal, Real-Time Machine Studies of the Explosive Universe. The CORTEX consortium of 12 partners from academia, industry and society will make self-learning machines faster, to figure out how massive cosmic explosions work, and to innovate wider applications.

Machine learning has rapidly become an integral part of society, in speech recognition or information retrieval. This is also the case in science, for detecting patterns in nature and the Universe. But the need is growing rapidly for such machines to respond quickly, in the application of self-driving cars and responsive manufacturing for example. On a more fundamental level, self-learning machines help us unveil a dynamical Universe we did not know existed up to recently. Bright explosions appear all over the radio and gravitational-wave sky. Many citizens and scientists are curious to understand where these come from.

“In CORTEX we aim to solve these open problems by bridging fundamental research to society,“ says Dr. Joeri van Leeuwen (ASTRON), the project lead. “We can only reach these ambitious goals if academic, applied, public and industry partners work together.”

Ben van Werkhoven (Netherlands eScience Center) explains the role of the Netherlands eScience center within the project (video in Dutch):

“Within CORTEX, The Netherlands eScience Center investigates how we can create software with the help of AI that can make optimal use of the computing power of modern computers. We then want to apply this technology to implement software with which we can observe explosive events in the universe.”

The Netherlands eScience Center has a central role in CORTEX. We will be extending Kernel Tuner, a tool by Ben van Werkhoven that uses machine learning algorithms to effectively speedup the optimization process of compute-intensive applications, with many new features and capabilities. We will then use this technology to automatically optimize the real-time machine learning pipelines for observing the explosive universe developed within CORTEX.

The 5 million Euro grant from the Nationale Wetenschapsagenda: Onderzoek op Routes door Consortia (NWA-ORC) program thus funds research at partners ASTRON, Nikhef, SURF, Netherlands eScience Center, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, IBM Nederland B.V., BrainCreators B.V., ABN AMRO N.V., NVIDIA, NOVA, and Stichting ILT; in cooperation with Rijksmuseum, Thermo Fisher B.V., and Leiden University.

Job opportunities: eScience Research Engineers

June 4th, 2019

The Netherlands eScience Center is looking for eScience Research Engineers for Data Analytics, Optimized Data Handling and for Efficient Computing.

We are looking for enthusiastic team players who will contribute to a medium size, growing and flexible non-profit organization with many stakeholders. The eScience Center offers an interesting and challenging working environment with options for personal development. You will work in an international team with an informal but creative and ambitious atmosphere. More information about our organization can be found in the Annual Report.

For more details regarding each position check out the links below:

eScience Research Engineers for Data Analytics

eScience Research Engineers for Optimized Data Handling

eScience Research Engineers for Efficient Computing

We are pleased to announce three new collaborations in the area of Earth Observation

June 3rd, 2019

The projects are a result of the 2018/2019 GO Call for Proposals (User Support Programme Space Research), published in collaboration with the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The aim of the GO Call was to support researchers working in the Netherlands in the use of space infrastructure for the purpose of excellent studies in the areas of earth observation and planetary research.

Scheduled to start in 2019 the three awarded projects are collaborations with research teams from Utrecht University and TU Delft:

Eratosthenes - chasing shadows to investigate glacier change worldwide
Prof. dr. Michiel van den Broeke (Utrecht University)

This project will detect shadows casted by mountain tops in satellite imagery of glaciers. Changes in these shadows are used to estimate changes in glacier height. This new, unconventional approach provides unprecedented information about the health of small glaciers, and improves water discharge forecasting, sea level predictions and glacier models.

Remote sensing of damage feedbacks and ice shelf instability in Antarctica
Dr. Stef Lhermitte (TU Delft)

Antarctica is the largest uncertainty in sea level rise projections, with contributions ranging from -7.5 cm to >1 m by 2100. Ice shelf weakening due to damage plays an important role, although its impact is still poorly understood. Therefore, this project will combine remote sensing and big data approaches to assess this impact.

A new perspective on global vegetation water dynamics from radar satellite data
Prof. dr. ir. Susan Steele-Dunne (TU Delft)

The Advanced Scatterometer on the Metop series makes it possible to monitor radar backscatter as a function of incidence angle. For the first time, this information will be used to study global vegetation water dynamics to better understand the role of vegetation in the water, energy and carbon cycles.

National eScience Symposium 2019: Digital Challenges in Open Science

May 9th, 2019

We are pleased to announce that the Netherlands eScience Center will organize its 6th annual symposium, with this year’s specific focus: Digital Challenges in Open Science. The symposium will be held on November 21, 2019 at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam.


The Dutch National eScience Symposium is a one-day event where academic researchers, industry representatives and policy makers from various disciplines meet. The focus is on the application of innovative digital technologies for the advancement of Open Science.

According to the European Commission “Open Science represents a new approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work and new ways of diffusing knowledge by using digital technologies and new collaborative tools. The idea captures a systemic change to the way science and research have been carried out for the last fifty years: shifting from the standard practices of publishing research results in scientific publications towards sharing and using all available knowledge at an earlier stage in the research process.” The 2017 Coalition Agreement of the Dutch cabinet states that very soon “Open Science […] will be the norm in scientific research”.

The systematic change of the practice of science is made possible only by a close collaboration between practitioners, policy makers, and the designers and developers of new digital solutions and tools. In particular, the role of research software and support is essential. The 2019 National eScience Symposium is an opportunity for anyone working in academia, industry, research funding, research publishing, and research policy to engage in fruitful discussions with advanced technology experts. It is the place for knowledge exchange on these topics, and to help shape and define the future of Open Science.


The symposium will feature thematic sessions showcasing world-class research and digital developments around Open Science. More details regarding these sessions follows soon.

The Young eScientist Award 2019

Each year young and ambitious researchers can participate in the Young eScientist Award competition. The award aims to stimulate a young scientist demonstrating excellence in eScience: the development or application of digital technology to address scientific challenges. The Netherlands eScience Center awards €50,000 worth of expertise to the winner. At the symposium the Young eScientist 2019 will be announced. Would you like to get motivated to participate this year? Read the winning research idea of 2018 by Esther Bron.


Detailed information regarding the program, as well as registration and logistical arrangements will be announced soon.

Preliminary Program

09:00 – 09:45: Registration & Coffee
09:45 – 10-00: Welcome by Director Netherlands eScience Center
10:00 – 10:45: Keynote Speech by leading researcher in Open Science (to be confirmed)
10:45 – 11:15: Coffee & networking – incl. information stands partners
11:15 – 12:45: Sessions on various Open Science topics, including keynote, lightning talks and discussions
12:45 – 13:45: Lunch & networking – incl. information stands partners
13:45 – 15:15: Sessions on various Open Science topics, including keynote, lightning talks and discussions
15:15 – 15:30: Young eScientist Award 2019
15:30 – 15:45: Closing + eScience Demo
15:45 – 18:00: Demo Exhibition, networking, and drinks


Johan Cruijff ArenA
ArenA Boulevard 1

Netherlands eScience Center labeled “Center of Excellence” by international review committee

May 7th, 2019

In February 2019, an international independent assessment committee reviewed the quality, impact, relevance and viability of the eScience Center over the period January 2014-June 2018. The committee was impressed with the technological expertise and concluded that the research is of excellent quality. According to the multidisciplinary committee of experts, the eScience Center has national leadership in its core areas of research. A number of recommendations was made to further improve the visibility and impact of the eScience Center's work.

The committee praised the fast progress since the inception of the center. The open calls and in-kind funding mechanism to select and conduct projects across the country were identified as unique and effective. The academic relevance and the leadership of the organization in terms of digitalization was highly appreciated. Besides the organization's involvement with a wide range of stakeholders and disciplines, the committee commended the eScience Center's involvement in training and workshops, conferences, advisory boards, the NWA, international research projects and joint research calls.

For the future, the committee recommends taking up a leading role in open science and the stimulation of software reuse. To further increase the impact of the eScience Center’s work, closer connections should be established with eScience initiatives within universities and with international eScience Centers. Also, possibilities for public-private partnerships should be more actively explored. The recommendations will be taken into account in the future strategy of the eScience Center.

The Evaluation Committee members were prof. Emmo Meijer (Topsector Chemistry, chair), prof. Dorret Boomsma (VU Amsterdam), prof. David De Roure (Oxford University), prof. Simone Hochgreb (Cambridge University), prof. Sverker Holmgren (Uppsala University) and prof. Maarten van Steen (University of Twente). The full report can be downloaded here.

New series of computational skills workshops

April 30th, 2019

The Netherlands eScience Center and SURF are joining forces to bring to the research community a new series of essential computational skills workshops. These workshops are aimed at researchers who would like to improve their computational skills to conduct research in our digital era.

Through these workshops, the eScience center and SURF inform and inspire researchers about the use of best practices in scientific software development as well as efficient use of cutting-edge computing systems.

Are you a researcher and looking at expanding your digital skills? Then these workshops are for you! Do you know someone who would benefit from improving their computational skills? Please encourage them to join!

The workshops

Good practices for High Performance Computing and Cloud
Good practices for machine learning
Good practices for research with Python
Make your research reproducible

You can participate in each workshop separately. It is not necessary to participate in the entire series.

Job Opportunity: Algemeen Directeur

April 25th, 2019

Het Netherlands eScience Center is een jonge en ambitieuze organisatie met een betrokken team. Wij zijn het nationale ‘Center of Excellence’ voor de ontwikkeling en toepassing van geavanceerde onderzoekssoftware. Wij zijn ervan overtuigd dat vrijwel elke wetenschappelijke discipline verbeterd en tot versnelde resultaten gebracht kan worden door gerichte toepassing van geavanceerde digitale technieken. Onze werkwijze is expliciet multidisciplinair, waarbij we onze kennis op het gebied van ICT, big data analytics, efficient computing, grootschalig datamanagement en kwaliteitssoftware combineren met diepgaande begrip van vele wetenschappelijke disciplines.

We zijn een stichting met meer dan 70, veelal internationale, werknemers met een omzet van 7 miljoen Euro op basis van verschillende geldstromen. De belangrijkste financiering komt van NWO en SURF, waar we nauw mee samenwerken.

Zeer recent heeft een onafhankelijke, internationale evaluatie van het Netherlands  eScience Center plaatsgevonden. De bevindingen van de evaluatiecommissie waren zeer positief en de aanbevelingen van de commissie bieden een uitstekende basis voor de verdere ontwikkeling van het Netherlands eScience Center in de komende jaren.

Wij zijn actieve pleitbezorgers van ‘Open Science’: we stellen onze kennis, ontwikkelde methodologieën en tools zo veel mogelijk publiek beschikbaar, zodat ze (her)bruikbaar zijn voor iedereen. Wij werken in onderzoeksprojecten samen met universiteiten en kennisinstellingen, zowel nationaal als internationaal. Door onze focus op generieke en herbruikbare kwaliteitssoftware beogen wij tegelijk een bijdrage te leveren aan de wetenschap als geheel.

Het Netherlands eScience Center is op zoek naar een

Algemeen Directeur 0,8-1,0 fte (m/v).

De positie

De algemeen directeur geeft leiding aan het Netherlands eScience Center, en is verantwoordelijk voor de voorbereiding, ontwikkeling, formulering en het tot uitvoer brengen van de missie en strategie van het Netherlands eScience Center, alsook het realiseren van haar inhoudelijke en bedrijfseconomische doelstellingen.

De directeur heeft grote affiniteit met en kennis van eScience in al haar verschijningsvormen. De directeur is een gepassioneerd verkondiger van de mogelijkheden van (nieuwe) digitale ontwikkelingen ter ondersteuning en voortstuwing van zowel bestaand als geheel nieuw wetenschappelijke onderzoek – in alle domeinen. De directeur is in staat zaken en situaties op een creatieve en pragmatische wijze te bekijken, en te komen tot strategieën en oplossingen die mogelijk onconventioneel of onorthodox zijn.

De directeur is een echte teamspeler, en coördineert en implementeert in nauwe samenwerking met het directieteam en alle andere collega’s het door het Bestuur vastgestelde beleid. De directeur legt daarbij verantwoording af aan het Bestuur. De directeur stuurt het Netherlands eScience Center zodanig aan dat alle medewerkers op een prettige en natuurlijke wijze tot maximale prestaties worden gebracht, en tot optimale uitwisseling van kennis en ervaring. De directeur heeft tevens een constructieve blik naar buiten, en ontwikkelt en onderhoudt nauwe relaties in het algehele eScience-landschap, met inbegrip van wetenschap, industrie, overheid en maatschappij.

Het takenpakket van de directeur bestaat uit de volgende onderdelen:

  • Het ontwikkelen van voorstellen aan het Bestuur ten aanzien van visie, strategie en beleid waarmee invulling gegeven kan worden aan de taken van het Netherlands eScience Center;
  • Voortbouwend op de succesvolle internationale evaluatie, en gebruikmakend van de aanbevelingen uit het evaluatierapport, leidinggeven aan de volgende fase in de ontwikkeling van het Netherlands eScience Center, specifiek op het gebied van personele, organisatorische en budgettaire aangelegenheden;
  • Het coördineren en bewaken van de voortgang en de samenhang van de implementatie van strategie en beleid;
  • Het signaleren, onderzoeken en benutten van kansen voor de verwerving van financiële middelen voor de intermediërende rol van het Netherlands eScience Center, en het opbouwen en onderhouden van een hiertoe relevant netwerk als onderdeel van het ecosysteem voor eScience;
  • Het vertegenwoordigen van het Netherlands eScience Center in de nationale en internationale onderzoeksgemeenschap;
  • Het zorgdragen voor een goede verstandhouding tussen het wetenschapsveld en het Netherlands eScience Center, alsmede voor een vooraanstaande positionering in het wetenschapsveld;
  • Verantwoordelijkheid dragen voor een groeiende organisatie van meer dan 70 werknemers, en een omzet van meer dan 7 miljoen Euro per jaar.

Een interessante kandidaat herkent zich in het volgende:

  • Ruime managementervaring; pragmaticus met een aantoonbaar streven tot samenwerking en teambuilding; oog voor een gezonde werkcultuur en ‘de menselijke maat’;
  • Ruime ervaring met academisch onderzoek; gepromoveerd in een voor het Netherlands eScience Center relevante discipline; kan worden beschouwd als een autoriteit in het eigen onderzoeksgebied, zowel nationaal als internationaal;
  • Aantoonbaar en meermaals succesvol in het zelfstandig verwerven van onderzoeksfinanciering;
  • Ruime ervaring met (inter)nationale samenwerking, op het terrein van tenminste twee disciplines anders dan het eigen onderzoeksgebied;
  • Succesvol trackrecord in de (mede-)ontwikkeling van multidisciplinaire data- en/of rekenintensieve eScience oplossingen en applicaties; ruime ervaring in het bereiken van wetenschappelijke doorbraken door toepassing van eScience tools en methodologieën;
  • Ruime ervaring met (wetenschaps)beleid; oog voor maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen en de relevantie daarvan voor beleid en strategie van het Netherlands eScience Center; in staat tot beleidsmatig en strategisch ‘out-of-the-box’ denken;
  • Beschikking over een sterk netwerk in het technologieveld, incl. ICT science, data science, en e-Infrastructuur;
  • Goede onderhandelingsvaardigheden en in staat om netwerken op te zetten en te onderhouden, zowel in het wetenschapsveld als in het bedrijfsleven.


Wij bieden een aanstelling van in eerste instantie een jaar met uitzicht op een vast dienstverband, voor 0,8-1,0 fte. De salariëring is, afhankelijk van opleiding en ervaring, conform de CAO-Onderzoekinstellingen en naar rato van het dienstverband.

Het Netherlands eScience Center kent gunstige secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden waaronder een eindejaarsuitkering van 8,3% en 8% vakantietoeslag.


Perrett Laver is gevraagd het Netherlands eScience Center en de benoemingsadviescommissie te ondersteunen bij het identificeren en beoordelen van mogelijke kandidaten.

Zoals gedefiniëerd in de Algemene verorderning gegevensbescherming (AVG) is Perrett Laver een gegevensbeheerder en een gegevensverwerker, en haar wettelijke basis voor de verwerking van uw persoonlijke gegevens is ‘legitiem belang’. Voor meer informatie hieover, uw rechten en de aanpak van Perrett Laver omtrent gegevensbescherming en privacy kunt u terecht op de website van Perrett Laver:


Voor inlichtingen kunt u contact opnemen met Robert Prettner van Perrett Laver op +31(0)202404341. Sollicitaties kunnen worden geüpload op onder vermelding van referentienummer 4151.


Belangstellenden kunnen solliciteren tot 12 mei 2019. U wordt verzocht uw cv en motivatiebrief te sturen naar
Sollicitatiegesprekken en een mogelijk assessment zullen plaatsvinden in de eerste drie weken van juni 2019.

Het Netherlands eScience Center hanteert een actief diversiteitsbeleid. Wij verzoeken belangstellenden met een achtergrond die ondervertegenwoordigd is in onze organisatie daarom nadrukkelijk hun interesse in de positie kenbaar te maken.We moedigen daarom vrouwen en minderheden aan om te reageren.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

Uitnodiging Oratie: The e-scientist. Universal scientist or specialist?

April 23rd, 2019

Rob van Nieuwpoort geeft woensdag 8 mei zijn oratie over eScience: “The e-scientist. Universal scientist or specialist?” Heb je interesse in eScience & Efficient Computing, woon de oratie bij in the Aula van de UVA!

Wetenschap wordt steeds complexer en heeft meer en complexere ICT nodig. Het toepassen en onderzoeken van innovatieve complexe ICT in de wetenschappelijke disciplines noemen we eScience. Een echt kenmerk van eScience is dat het onderzoek plaatsvindt in nauwe samenwerkingsverbanden tussen informatici en wetenschappers in de disciplines. EScience bestrijkt alle wetenschapsgebieden, van archeologie tot levenswetenschappen en de astronomie. Ook technisch is eScience enorm breed. Afhankelijk van de wetenschappelijke vraag en het vakgebied kan het gaan om grootschalige simulaties, het koppelen van modellen, het integreren van observaties en modellen, het koppelen van verschillende databronnen, het zoeken in ongestructureerde data, visualisatie, machine learning en nog veel meer.

Het is enorm spannend en uitdagend om state-of-the-art informaticaonderzoek toe te passen om lastige wetenschappelijke problemen aan te pakken. Ook levert eScience een enorm veel inspiratie op voor nieuw en innovatief informaticaonderzoek. Een belangrijk aspect van eScience is het vergroten van impact van informaticaonderzoek. Dan gaat het niet alleen om impact in de wetenschap, maar ook maatschappelijke impact, bijvoorbeeld in de gezondheidszorg, of juist in industriële fabricageprocessen. Tegelijkertijd werkt het ook omgekeerd, en kunnen we als e-scientists met kennis van nieuwe technische mogelijkheden wetenschappers juist uitdagen om hun onderzoeksvragen aan te scherpen en nog groter te denken.

Rob's leerstoel heeft de titel “Efficient Computing for eScience”. Efficiënt rekenen heeft drie verschillende aspecten. Efficiëntie op grootschalige systemen, de schaalbaarheid dus; energie efficiëntie, en de efficiëntie van het programmeerproces zelf. Zijn onderzoek behandeld elk van deze thema’s, in verschillende toepassingsgebieden, met een focus op grootschalige gedistribueerde radio telescopen, zoals LOFAR en de Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Oratie: The e-scientist. Universal scientist or specialist?
Datum - Tijd: 8 Mei, 16:00 uur
Locatie: Aula UvA
Spui, 1071 DN Amsterdam

Note: The lecture will be in Dutch

Job Opportunity: Human Capital Adviseur

April 23rd, 2019

Het Netherlands eScience Center is op zoek naar een part-time Human Capital Adviseur.

Bij het eScience Center zijn we ervan overtuigd dat wetenschappelijk onderzoek versterkt kan worden door de inzet van digitale technologie. Ons multidisciplinaire team, dat bestaat uit meer dan 70 medewerkers, heeft veel kennis van software ontwikkeling én van wetenschappelijk onderzoek in uiteenlopende disciplines. Sinds onze oprichting meer dan zes jaar geleden hebben we met meer dan honderd wetenschappelijke teams samengewerkt, van sociologen tot biologen en astronomen. Zulke samenwerkingen leiden niet alleen tot wetenschappelijke doorbraken, maar ook tot vernieuwende software die door andere wetenschappers kan worden ingezet. Naast onderzoek besteden we daarom ook veel aandacht aan het verspreiden van onze kennis en software om zo niet alleen onze projecten, maar ook de wetenschap als geheel vooruit te helpen.

Het eScience Center is een jonge, groeiende en ambitieuze organisatie zonder winstoogmerk met een betrokken team van veelal internationale werknemers. Er zijn veel mogelijkheden om kansen te pakken en jezelf te ontwikkelen. Daarnaast bieden wij een goed secundaire arbeidsvoorwaardenpakket aan met onder meer een eindejaarsuitkering, goede pensioenregeling en een ruime verlofregeling.

Human Capital Adviseur (m/f)
Part-time: 24 uur

Wat ga je doen?

Als Human Capital adviseur ben je verantwoordelijk voor Human Capital (HC). De waarde van de werknemer staat hoog in het vaandel bij ons Center en om dit te benadrukken hebben wij gekozen voor deze alternatieve benaming van Human Resources.

Je bent bij het Center de enige HC adviseur en je maakt deel uit van een klein Operations team. Je bent sparringpartner van het managementteam voor alle HC gerelateerde onderwerpen, rapporteert aan de Director Operations en via de Director Operations adviseer je ook het directieteam. Naast adviestaken, voer je zelf de HC administratie (o.a. in Loket), voer je recruitment uit, stel je zelf (arbeids)overeenkomsten op, en personele wijzigingen geef je door aan de externe salarisadministratie. Ook maak je rapportages en analyseer je HC gegevens ten behoeve van HC management informatie. We hebben regelmatig werknemers vanuit het buitenland waardoor je ook verantwoordelijk bent voor visumaanvragen en 30% regeling aanvragen.

Je bent empathisch, tactvol en houdt goed contact met zowel alle leidinggevenden als alle werknemers zodat je een goed beeld hebt wat er speelt en je tijdig kan benodigde acties kan afstemmen met de Director Operations. Je ondersteunt en begeleidt alle leidinggevenden bij o.a. het aanname proces, personeelsontwikkeling en verzuimdossiers.

Je krijgt energie van het leiden en implementeren van HC projecten (organisatie-breed), actualiseren van HC beleid en zorgen dat de werknemers van de wijzigingen op de hoogte zijn.

We zoeken een oplossings- en servicegericht persoon die meedenkt hoe we de organisatie professioneler maken, hoe processen efficiënter ingericht kunnen worden en iemand die in staat is deze inzichten pro-actief om te zetten in concrete acties en/of projecten.

Jouw werkuren kunnen over meerdere dagen, minimaal drie, in de week op kantoor verspreid worden. Het is de bedoeling dat je in elk geval de maandag en donderdag (deels) aanwezig bent.

In deze functie werk je nauw samen met de Director Operations. We zijn als organisatie hard aan het groeien. Daarom kijken we naar wat je kunt en spelen daar op in binnen de ontwikkeling van deze functie.

Wat is jouw profiel?

  • Je hebt een HBO/WO opleiding of equivalente werkervaring;
  • Een goede beheersing van de Engelse en de Nederlandse taal in woord en geschrift;
  • Minimaal 2 jaar ervaring als stand-alone HR adviseur in een groeiende organisatie;
  • Je hebt aantoonbare ervaring met het structureren van administratieve processen en het meedenken over organisatieontwikkeling en ontwikkeling van HC beleid;
  • Affiniteit met wetenschap, wat blijkt uit je cv;
  • Projectmanagement ervaring;
  • Je kan goed overweg met het Microsoft Office pakket;
  • Je hebt een pro-actieve werkhouding en durft op mensen af te stappen;
  • Samenwerken staat bij jou voorop en je bent in staat om met een grote verscheidenheid aan mensen te werken;
  • Je bent accuraat;
  • Ervaring met Loket is een pré;
  • Ervaring in samenwerking met een OR is een pré;
  • Ervaring met het schrijven van notities is een pré.

Wat bieden we jou?

Een aanstelling van vooralsnog één jaar, voor 24 uur per week. Salariëring, afhankelijk van opleiding en ervaring, van minimaal € 2.736,- tot maximaal € 4.339,- bruto per maand (schaal 10 van CAO-Onderzoekinstellingen 2019), bij een 38-urige werkweek. Het Netherlands eScience Center kent gunstige secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden waaronder een eindejaarsuitkering van 8,3% en 8% vakantietoeslag.


Stuur je motivatie en CV uiterlijk 13 mei 2019 per email naar

Wil je meer weten over het Netherlands eScience Center, bezoek dan onze website Voor meer informatie over deze vacature kun je contact opnemen met de Mariska de Vogel, HC advisor a.i. (

Bij het eScience Center hanteren we een actief diversiteitsbeleid. We zijn bewust op zoek naar nieuwe medewerkers met een achtergrond die ondervertegenwoordigd is in de organisatie. We moedigen daarom vrouwen en minderheden aan om te reageren.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

New call & matchmaking meeting ‘Energy System Integration’

April 4th, 2019

NWO is organising a third call in the Energy System Integration programme in close collaboration with the System Integration Programme of the Top Sector Energy.

Researchers from knowledge institutions recognised by NWO, TO2 institutions and universities of applied sciences, can submit proposals in this call in the area of energy system integration and digitization. A total of 4.9 million euros has been reserved, funded by NWO Science, NWO Social Sciences and Humanities, the Top Sector Energy, the Taskforce for Applied Research (NPRO- SIA) and the Netherlands eScience Center. Interested parties can register for the information and matchmaking meeting to be held on May 23.

Energy system integration

The call 'Energy system integration' focuses on the integration issues of energy systems on various scales, such as coupling and optimizing the infrastructures for production, transport and storage of energy, finding optimal transition paths, etc. The system as a whole is central here, not specific parts. Another aim of the call is to make digital technologies for energy system integration widely available.

For whom?

The call is relevant for researchers in science and technology disciplines (such as mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, physics and chemistry), as well as the disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Researchers from knowledge institutions recognised by NWO can submit as a main applicant or a co-applicant, and can request funding for 2-3 PhDs or postdocs. Researchers from universities of applied sciences and TO2 institutions can also apply for salary costs. They can only act as co-applicants.


An eScience Research Engineer will be added to each project awarded funding. Each proposal should therefore contain an approach for the eScience component of the research. Furthermore, proposals should have a design that is as multidisciplina as possible. There is a compulsory in-kind contribution (but no cash contribution) in addition to the project budget requested from NWO, which must be provided by public/private parties. The information about conditions for the call is subject to change. The final conditions will be stated in the call as soon as it is published in mid-May 2019.

Information and matchmaking meeting

On 23 May an information and matchmaking meeting will be held. You will receive more information about this call and its conditions during the meeting. You will also be able to pose questions to all partners involved and there will be the opportunity to find suitable consortium partners. You can now register for the information and matchmaking meeting via In your mail please state your title, first name, surname, organisation, scientific discipline, and any dietary requirements. By registering you agree with your details being passed on to the other attendees for the purpose of matchmaking unless you explicitly state otherwise.

Contact and more information

Do you have questions or would you like to receive a specific advice about the suitability of your project idea or possible partners? Please do not hesitate to contact NWO via In your mail please state whether the project idea can be shared with the funding partners of the call.

Source: NWO

New Call for Proposals: Innovative eScience Technologies for ‘Big Science’ (eTEC-BIG)

March 25th, 2019

New Call for Proposals & Information Event: Innovative eScience Technologies for ‘Big Science’ (eTEC-BIG)

The new call for proposals ‘Innovative eScience Technologies for Big Science (eTEC-BIG)’ is open. We invite ‘Big Science’ researchers and ICT researchers to apply for funding to address innovative compute-intensive and/or data-driven research problems.


This call for proposals aims to support research and development of innovative eScience technologies and software associated with big data handling, big data analytics and related computational methods, driven by a direct demand from any research area that can be identified broadly by the term ‘Big Science’.

In the context of this call, ‘Big Science’ broadly indicates those scientific research directions 1) whose challenges in terms of complexity and 2) whose needs in terms of data analytics and data management capabilities, as well as processing power, far exceed that of other research endeavors today. Typically, technological developments in Big Science domains are expected to arrive in – and impact – other (non-Big Science) domains only years or even decades later.

Each project must focus on one of the following ‘Technological Research Directions’:

I. Scalable Machine Learning & AI
II. Processing of Streaming Data
III. Large-scale (Distributed) Data Organization, Management & Semantics

Projects awarded in this call for proposals typically will be led by either:

- a technology-oriented PI from the selected Big Science research area, or
- a domain-oriented PI from ICT Science (i.e. a technical discipline such as data science or computer science). In this case, it is required to include at least one co-applicant & team member from the selected Big Science research area.

When to apply?

The deadline for the submission of pre-proposals is Thursday 9 May 2019, 14:00 CET.
The deadline for submission of full proposals is Thursday 29 August 2019, 14:00 CET.

Information event

To further inform interested applicants of the specific aims of this call for proposals, the mission and approach of both the eScience Center and SURFsara, the role and expertise of the eScience Research Engineers and the SURFsara Technology & e-infrastructure Experts, the software technologies implemented and applied by the eScience Center and SURFsara, and the specific capabilities of the Dutch National e-Infrastructure, an information event will be organized at Amsterdam Science Park on April 9, 2019. Registration is required. Presence of at least one team member at the event is highly recommended, but not mandatory.


13:30 – 14:00 Arrival & Coffee
14:00 – 14:20 General introduction: eTEC-BIG Call for Proposals
14:20 – 14:50 Netherlands eScience Center & Core Technological Competences
14:50 – 15:20 SURFsara, Technological Expertise & SURF e-Infrastructure
15:20 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 16:00 Examples of ongoing eScience & SURFsara projects
16:00 – 16:30 Remaining questions
16:30 Drinks


Dr. Frank Seinstra (NLeSC): of 020 – 460 4770
Dr. Axel Berg (SURFsara): of 020 – 800 1300
Dr. Barbara van der Sar (NWO): of 070 – 349 4602

The Netherlands eScience Center is looking for a Community Officer Research

March 14th, 2019

The Netherlands eScience Center is the Dutch national expertise center for the development and application of research software to advance academic research. We are convinced that research in every academic discipline can be improved by taking advantage of available digital technology. We take a multidisciplinary approach, combining our deep knowledge of both academic research and software development to help define and solve research challenges. We share our ideas and the tools we develop. Together with a wide range of partner organizations, we advance not just our research projects, but the state of academic research in general. Our activities are collaborative research projects with partners, dissemination of our expertise and coordination of eScience activities nationally and internationally. In this way we create an effective bridge between science and scholarly research and state-of-the-art digital technologies. We are looking for an enthusiastic:

eScience Community Officer Research 0.8 fte (m/f)

The position:
As ‘eScience community officer research’ you will stimulate data and compute intensive research in research communities nationally and internationally. You link the eScience Center’s expertise with different research communities in the Netherlands. That means that you will actively engage these communities with eScience activities. These communities are digital competence centers at university campuses and networks of researchers across the Netherlands and abroad. You will particularly focus on promoting and stimulating open science methodologies, with an emphasis on re-using and sustaining software. You like to make connections and can easily develop and maintain a network of external research partners. To enable the dissemination of eScience expertise and knowledge exchange, you are expected to initiate different activities such as organizing digital skills workshops. Also, you will stimulate the use of an important tool for sharing expertise develop by the eScience Center: the Research Software Directory. In this way you will stimulate our external stakeholders in academia to enhance scientific and scholarly research through efficient utilization of such tools. To make this happen you have a deep understanding and experience in research software development and usage and you combine this with strong communicating and networking skills.

Main components of the position:
• Develop and maintain a network with research institutions and research programs in the Netherlands relevant for the eScience Center, such as upcoming digital competence centers and domain research infrastructures;
• Organize activities with external research parties to stimulate (re)use of research software, stimulate software sustainability and strengthen digital skills in support of open science;
• Stimulate the (re)use of the Research Software Directory as a federated resource with external parties to find and share high quality research software;
• Engage in relevant activities on open science, with a focus on research software;
• Stimulate and facilitate external research parties to apply methodologies, applications and software developed by the eScience Center;
• Contribute and possibly initiate acquisition of research proposals.

We require:
• Academic level, with a PhD degree or equivalent experience;
• Experience in managing networks of partners;
• Experience in the use of scientific ICT;
• Proven expertise in research software (re)use and software sustainability;
• Experience with organizing events, such as teaching courses and workshops;
• Good software development skills, knowledge of software architectures and open source software communities.

• Strong communication skills;
• Strong networking skills;
• A critical and constructive attitude to contribute actively to eScience developments;
• Motivated, flexible, creative, initiative taking, independent but also a real team player.

Working conditions:
We offer a position at the eScience Center within the collective agreement for Research Institutes (Cao-OI). Classification is based on education and experience, starting from € 2734 up to € 5064 gross per month, based on a 38-hour working week (salary scales 10-11). Holiday pay amounts to 8% of gross salary actually received and a full 13th month of salary as an end-of-year payment.

The eScience Center offers an interesting and challenging position at the interface of science and digital technologies. You will work in an international team with an informal but creative and ambitious working environment. The location is Amsterdam (Science Park), but site work at collaborating organizations is an important part of your work and this will involve travelling.

The eScience Center has an active diversity policy and would like to hire persons with a background that is underrepresented at the eScience Center. We therefore encourage women and minorities to apply.

For more information about this opportunity, you can contact Wilco Hazeleger, by emailing or by calling +31(0)20-4604770. Please send your resume and application letter before May 1, 2019 to Additional information may also be found at

Director eScience Center takes on new challenge

March 11th, 2019

Netherlands eScience Center director Wilco Hazeleger departs the organization. As of July 1st, 2019, prof. dr. ir. Wilco Hazeleger will be the new Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences of Utrecht University. Hazeleger served as the director of the eScience Center since 2014.

During Wilco’s time at the Netherlands eScience Center the organization grew from 25 to 60 people. In that period, digital methodologies and research software obtained a prominent position in most research practices and the eScience Center played a pivotal role in putting that on the agenda. Hazeleger feels it is the right time to hand over the eScience Center to a new director. I have had a great time at the eScience Center, primarily because of my dear colleagues. Together we have managed to position the eScience Center as an important expertise center in the Dutch academic landscape. I am very proud on the accomplishments of the past 5 years.”

Wilco Hazeleger is returning to his own research domain, taking on a position that fits his intrinsic interests in the Earth System and impact of environmental change. He will also be responsible for the strategic theme 'Pathways to Sustainability' of the university.

Utrecht University is an international research university of the highest quality and the alma mater of many leading names, academics and scientists who have made an important contribution to the quality of society. The Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth – always with a focus on sustainability and innovation.

Job Opportunity: Technology Lead “optimized data handling”

March 8th, 2019

The Netherlands eScience Center is the Dutch national expertise center for the development and application of research software to advance academic research. We are convinced that research in every academic discipline can be improved by taking advantage of available digital technology. We take a multidisciplinary approach, combining our deep knowledge of both academic research and software development to help define and solve research challenges. We share our ideas and the tools we develop. Together with a wide range of partner organizations, we advance not just our research projects, but the state of academic research in general. Our activities are collaborative research projects with partners, dissemination of our expertise and coordination of eScience activities nationally and internationally. In this way we create an effective bridge between science and scholarly research and state-of-the-art digital technologies. We are looking for an enthusiastic: 

Technology Lead “optimized data handling” (m/f)

The position

The team of three Technology Leads are the eScience Center’s experts within their specific technological competence. They have a broad strategic view of their expertise and as such have an advisory role towards the director’s team of the eScience Center on related strategic topics. They develop and update the technological vision and strategy of the Center and promote this vision both internally and externally. They convert the technological strategy into a concrete work plan, and coordinate and oversee its execution. The Technology Leads are in close contact with the management team of the Center to be continuously aware of the expertise of the eScience research engineers and the technological needs within the various projects. Technology leads crucially also have an outside-in view. They recognize new developments in research and technologies, and they scout for digital technologies and methods outside the eScience Center. Also, they represent the eScience Center in (inter)national policy discussions. Finally, they take initiative and are involved in acquisition to strengthen the eScience Center expertise areas. The position of Technology Lead resorts under the Director of Technology.

The candidate holds a PhD and has shown experience in applying digital technologies in scientific and scholarly research. The technology lead can communicate easily and is interested in sharing knowledge and experience.

Main components of the position 

• Develop and update the technological vision and strategy of the Center and promote this vision both internally and externally.
• Convert the technological strategy into a concrete work plan, and coordinate and oversee its execution.
• Recognize the demand for technical solutions in our eScience project portfolio;
• Scout for and recognize new technical developments nationally and internationally;
• Ensure developed methodologies, applications and software in the eScience Center are applied and available for reuse or further development potentially in different domains;
• Contribute to and possibly initiate acquisition of research proposals for the eScience Center’s research;
• Build and maintain a relevant network in order to acquire new partnerships.

We require: 

• Academic level, with a PhD degree in computer or data science or equivalent experience;
• Broad experience with large-scale optimized data management;
• Excellence in one or more of the following topics: databases, data assimilation and integration, handling sensor data, linked data and semantics, real-time data analysis;
• Good software development skills, knowledge of software architecture;
• Technical project management experience;
• A drive to enthusiastically disseminate state-of-the-art digital technology to researchers and policy makers;
• Excellent research experience in academia or industry; 
• Experience with writing grant proposals;
• Excellent command of English and Dutch (both verbal and written);


• A critical and constructive attitude to contribute actively to eScience infrastructure improvements;
• Motivated, flexible, creative, initiative taking, independent but also a real team player;
• Strong communication skills with an external orientation;
• Innovative: translate scientific questions into unconventional (technological) solutions and new ideas and also able to realize them;
• Networking nationally and internationally;

Working conditions: 

We offer a position at the eScience Center within the collective agreement for Research Institutes (CAO WVOI). Classification is based on education and experience with salary depending on qualifications and experience, starting from € 4.478,- up to € 6.243, - gross per month, based on a 38-hour working week (salary scales 12-13). Holiday pay amounts to 8% of gross salary actually received and a full 13th month of salary as an end-of-year payment.


The eScience Center offers an interesting and challenging position at the interface of science and digital technologies. You will work in an international team with an informal but creative and ambitious working environment. The location is Amsterdam (Science Park), but site work at the eScience Center collaborating organizations is an important part of your work and will involve travelling. The eScience Center has an active diversity policy and would like to hire persons with a background that is underrepresented at the eScience Center. We therefore encourage women and minorities to apply. 

For more information about this opportunity, you can contact Rob van Nieuwpoort, Director of Technology, by emailing or by calling +31(0)20- 4604770. 

Please send your resume and application letter before May 13, 2019 to Additional information may also be found at

Workshop Sustainable Software Sustainability 2019

February 21st, 2019

Organised by the Software Sustainability Institute (UK), DANS (NL) and the Netherlands eScience Center (NL), the Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability 2019 (WOSSS19) will bring together software creation, user, evaluation, and deposition groups from an array of disciplines, industry representatives, and cultural heritage organisations, to explore and discuss all aspects around Sustainable Software Sustainability (3S), from how to revive important legacy to preventing new legacy issues via training and guidelines.

3S focusses on long-term supported solutions for Software Sustainability. It addresses two forms of sustainability:

● How to cope with the existing legacy software (sharing insights and methodologies to revive old software and keep it maintainable for the future), and
● How to prevent new legacy to be created today (devising methods and principles that lead towards maintainable software with minimal technical debt).

At WOSSS19, we will explore the following 3S topics in relation to research software:

● FAIR principles for Software
● Software Legacy/Heritage
● Software Development: current and future best practice
● Software deposition routes
● Software Directories
● Resource acquisition & planning
● Software handover and succession

WOSSS19 will be an interactive workshop hosting talks from key organisations and long-term projects to discuss and establish the state-of-the-art in Sustainable Software Sustainability. The aim is to document the current state of 3S, publish a report, and help broadcast our findings to any relevant communities of practice.

Register for free and see the latest information about the program! Spaces are limited and allocated on a first come first serve basis. 

Date: April 24-26, 2019
NWO Den Haag
Laan van Nieuw Oost-Indië 300
NL-2593 CE The Hague
Registration fee: Free

Do you want to host a leading-edge workshop on digitally enhanced research?

February 19th, 2019

Lorentz-eScience competition 2020

The Netherlands eScience Center and the Lorentz Center are looking for researchers who want to join the Lorentz-eScience competition and organize a workshop at the Lorentz Center@Snellius, Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Lorentz-eScience competition aims to host a leading-edge workshop on digitally enhanced research (efficient utilization of data, software and e-infrastructure). The workshop should bring together researchers from the academic community and the public/private sector.

What we seek
• an innovative scientific programme, that takes us beyond our current boundaries
• an open and interactive format, with few lectures
• at least one scientific organizer based within and one outside the Netherlands
• at least one scientific organizer from the academic community and the public/private sector

What we offer
• a 5-day workshop for up to 25 people in the first half of 2020
• travel and accommodation reimbursements
• no registration fees or other organizational costs
• a professional support organization

• a 1-page expression of interest by 15 April 2019
• a full application by 6 June 2019
• final decision end of June 2019
• submit applications to:

• Wilco Hazeleger, director Netherlands eScience Center
• Arjen Doelman, director Lorentz Center
• Henriette Jensenius, scientific manager Lorentz Center

Netherlands eScience Center contributes to new insights into the human body clock and health

January 31st, 2019

The study, published in Nature Communications, suggests that being genetically programmed to rise early may lead to greater wellbeing and a lower risk of schizophrenia and depression. The study was conducted by an international collaboration, led by the University of Exeter and Harvard Medical School and funded by the Medical Research Council.

An important aspect of this research is the data collection. 100,000 individuals from the UK were asked to wear a movement sensor for seven days during their daily life. The method to detect when individuals are sleeping was recently developed by dr. Vincent van Hees, Senior Research Engineer at Netherlands eScience Center. Sleep detection is not an easy task as inactivity during the evening and in the morning can easily be confused for extended bedtime and vice versa. In the absence of a reliable reference method to train such classifier with machine learning, a heuristic approach based on knowledge about the data was used to classify the data. You can find details of the method, released as open source software, in the following article: “Estimating Sleep Parameters using an Accelerometer without Sleep Diary”.

Dr. van Hees is a co-author of “ Genome-wide association analyses of chronotype in 697,828 individuals provides insights into circadian rhythms”. Additional publications using Dr. van Hees’ method to gain better insights in sleep and health are expected soon.

Related news
NYT:Searching for the Genetic Underpinnings of Morning Persons and Night Owls
CNN:Hundreds of genes might decide whether you're an early bird or night owl
Daily Mail: Early risers less prone to mental health problems - study
The Conversation: Morning or night person? It depends on many more genes than we thought

Four new eScience collaborations to start in 2019

December 12th, 2018

We are pleased to announce the initiation of four new collaborative projects in the areas of Environment & Sustainability and Humanities & Social Sciences.

The projects are the result of the 2018 ASDI call for proposals. Scheduled to start in 2019, the projects are collaborations with research teams from multiple Dutch academic groups: VU University Amsterdam, Wageningen University, Tilburg University, and University Medical Center Utrecht.

MOdelling Sea level And Inundation for Cyclones
Dr. P.J. Ward
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Read more

2. Monitoring tropical forest recovery capacity using RADAR Sentinel satellite data
Demonstrating the potential of European Sentinel satellite data
Dr. ir. J. Verbesselt
Wageningen University
Read more

3. Understanding visually grounded spoken language via multi-tasking
An alternative approach for intelligent systems to understand human speech
Dr. G. Chrupala
Tilburg University
Read more

Early Prediction of Dyslexia in Infants Using Machine learning
Dr. H.G. Schnack
University Medical Center Utrecht
Read more

Over 350 international participants for eScience Conference 2018

November 2nd, 2018

The winner of the Young eScientist Award 2018 is…

October 30th, 2018

Esther Bron (post-doc researcher at the Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, Erasmus MC) has been awarded the Young eScientist Award 2018.

The prize aims to stimulate a young scientist demonstrating excellence in eScience: the development or application of digital technology to address scientific challenges. The prize will be used to undertake a joint research project, in which Esther will receive support by eScience Research Engineers (experts in the development and application of research software).

Her main research interest is advanced analysis of brain MRI for improving diagnostics. Currently, she is organizing a large international comparison study: The Alzheimer’s Disease Prediction Of Longitudinal Evolution challenge TADPOLE. This challenge objectively compares the performance of methods by international research groups that predict evolution of individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Her research idea is to develop a user-friendly web-based platform that allows users to apply TADPOLE methods to their own data. She would like to collaborate with the eScience Center to build a web-based platform, to integrate the prediction methods into the platform and to validate them. This will make a different state-of-the-art prediction methods publicly available and easily applicable which is in line with the definition of Open Science.

Esther impressed the reviewers with her track record and the impact she already created on a national and international level. Her proposal also fully embraces open science.

We hope Esther's research will inspire and encourage other young eScientists to enter next year’s competition!

Photo from left to right: Gennady Roshchupkin (Erasmus UMC), Esther Bron (Erasmus UMC), Meike Nauta (University of Twente) (Photography by Michiel Wijnbergh)

Making Open Science a reality: Rewards, Incentives & Support

October 15th, 2018

Date: 30 October 2018
Time: 16:30 - 17:30
Location: Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam
Costs: Free of charge

We would like to invite you to join a conversation with Stan Gielen (NWO) & Erik Fledderus (SURF) on Open Science during the 14th International IEEE eScience Conference in Amsterdam. 

Open science is one of the hot topics across all scientific communities, and is seen as an important step towards making scientific research more sustainable. However, the current reward and incentive policy in academia and of research funders makes practicing full open science unrewarding for scientists. Also in order to fully embrace open science, scientific researchers should be able to rely on solid infrastructure and support without having to turn towards parties with a commercial interest.

In this interactive session, Stan Gielen, President of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research will join up with Erik Fledderus, CEO of SURF to discuss the changes needed both in policy and practice in order to make open science the modus operandi in the research community. As policy shapers within the field of open science, they will share their visions and ideas on how to create a sustainable open science system that rewards and supports scientists for practicing open science. Furthermore, Stan and Erik will invite the session audience to join in on a discussion led by Marcel Brosens about the practical aspects of open science. Feedback from the research community on open science is highly appreciated in order to better connect policy and support to practice. 

We hope to welcome you to the Open Science session.

Date: 30 October 2018 Time: 16:30 - 17:30
Costs: Free of charge
Location: Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam
Please confirm your attendance by sending an e-mail to

This session is part of the International IEEE eScience Conference 2018 The fourteenth IEEE eScience Conference will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from October 29 - November 1, 2018. This conference brings together leading international researchers and offers a platform for digital technologies to advance research - from the humanities to the physical sciences. If you want to attend the full conference, please register here.

DAS-6 gets funding!

October 11th, 2018

The Dutch Science organization NWO has announced that the DAS-6 proposal submitted by the DAS steering committee, headed by prof. Henri Bal of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, will receive EUR 500.000 funding to build the next-generation high performance computing infrastructure. 

The Netherlands eScience Center is one of the 6 project partners. Together with VU, UvA, Leiden, Delft, ASTRON and SURFsara, the eScience Center will also invest over EUR 500.000.

The challenge of the new DAS-6 project is to study the feasibility of a next generation trusted ecosystem to face the proliferation of many developments in Computer Science, such as streaming applications, edge and fog computing, in-network processing, and complex security and trust policies. The DAS-6 research ecosystem will consist of 6 clusters with different functionalities, integrated into a coherent shared distributed system that is designed to fit the current research agenda of numerous Computer Science groups in The Netherlands. Over 60 funded research projects will use DAS-6 once it is operational, especially in systems areas like trust, security, blockchains, scheduling, big data, Internet-of-Things, and accelerators and in application areas like artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning (DL), and eScience.

The DAS steering committee will now work hard on starting the procurement procedure. DAS-6 is expected to become operational in the second half of 2019.

Congratulations to the winners of the IEEE eScience Conference Travel & Attendance Grants!

September 24th, 2018

After the announcement of the Travel & Attendance Grant, we received 46 applications from around the globe. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. Your applications have been truly inspiring and the variety we received show the vast array of eScience research happening across the globe. The grants are gratefully provided by the Moore Foundation, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Philips. Without further ado, we are delighted to announce the winners of the Travel Grant competition. Congratulations go to:

Sponsored by Philips:
Mrs. Fagbola (Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria)

Sponsored by the Moore Foundation:
Mrs. Adeleke (Bowen University, Iwo,Osun State,Nigeria)
Mr. Bogado (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina)
Mrs.Pule (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
Mrs. Salamani(University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Sponsored by WMO:
Mrs. Mwenye(Department of Research and Specialist Services, Zimbabwe)
Mrs. Ogunrayi (Ondo State Ministry of Environment, Nigeria)
Mrs. Timsina (Sikkim University/Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan)

We are looking forward to meet the winners at the IEEE eScience Conference!

Draag bij aan onderzoek naar hart- en vaatziekten

September 20th, 2018

Draag bij aan onderzoek naar hart- en vaatziekten

Geef je mening op de onderzoeksplannen uit het programma Big Data & Gezondheid

Acivity trackers, zoals een Fitbit, zijn tegenwoordig immens populair. Mensen gebruiken deze apparaten om hun stappen te tellen, hartslag te meten, gewicht bij te houden en andere gezondheidsinformatie te verzamelen. De informatie, ook wel data, die deze apparaten oplevert biedt ondersteuning bij een gezonde leefstijl. In wetenschappelijk onderzoek wordt deze data gecombineerd met andere gegevens en biedt het inzicht in ziekte en gezondheid. Al deze data bij elkaar noemen we Big data. Omdat burgers steeds meer te zeggen hebben over hun eigen (medische) informatie roepen wij hen op om mee te denken.

Vroege opsporing en preventie van hart- en vaatziekten

Het programma Big Data & Gezondheid, vroege opsporing en preventie van hart- en vaatziekten, financiert onderzoek naar Big data. Heeft u ervaring met hart- en vaatziekten in uw naaste omgeving, bent u zelf patiënt of zorgverlener? Dan hebben wij uw hulp nodig om te zorgen dat de beoogde resultaten van deze onderzoeksplannen zo goed mogelijk aansluiten bij de wensen en behoeften van burgers, patiënten en zorgprofessionals. Wij nodigen u uit om uw mening te geven op de ingediende onderzoeksvoorstellen.

Bijeenkomst: Maandag 8 oktober 2018 organiseren wij een bijeenkomst waar zowel onderzoekers als geïnteresseerden voor zijn uitgenodigd. Op deze bijeenkomst lichten de onderzoekers kort hun onderzoeksplan toe (pitch) waarna de aanwezigen kunnen meedenken over het onderzoekplan. De aanvrager neemt deze feedback mee om zijn of haar onderzoeksplan te verbeteren.

Locatie: De bijeenkomst vindt plaats op een centrale plek in Utrecht. De ontvangst is vanaf 15:30 uur, de bijeenkomst start om 16:00 uur en duurt tot 19:30 uur. Voor een avondmaaltijd en afsluitende borrel wordt gezorgd. Uw inbreng wordt gewaardeerd met een attentie en uw reiskosten worden vergoed.

Aanmelden: Wilt u bijdragen aan onderzoek naar hart- en vaatziekten? Meldt u dan aan voor deze bijeenkomst door een e-mail te sturen naar U ontvangt een bevestiging van uw deelname. 

WUR Scientific Symposium: FAIR Data Science for Green Life Sciences

September 19th, 2018

The Wageningen Data Competence Center – part of Wageningen University and Research – is organising a one-day scientific symposium on FAIR Data Science for Green Life Sciences. The symposium focuses on state-of-the-art knowledge in data science and data management, new applications in the green life sciences, and insights from other domains that could be transferred. The symposium aims to bring together researchers and domain experts for discussion and exchange of ideas of the latest developments in data science as well as on the best practices within the green life sciences.

Developments in data science offer enormous opportunities for the agri-food chain and life sciences. Advances in information science and technology, data science and analytics, applied to domain specific developments are expected to enable breakthroughs in the agri-food domain. Wageningen University & Research is building on current efforts of applied data science and actively surveying its research domain for new opportunities. Here, we adopt ‘green life sciences’ as a shorthand for this research domain.

For questions, please contact Chantal Hukkelhoven (Research Coordinator Wageningen Data Competence Center) at:

Organised by: Wageningen Data Competence Center

Date: Wed 12 December 2018

Venue: Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Price: Free

Online registration open soon

Job Opportunity: Postdoc Machine Learning

August 20th, 2018

The position

The post-doctoral researcher’s work will be part of a collaborative project, externally funded by the Lilly Research Award Program. The overarching objective of the position is to enhance sleep research by developing an innovative open analytical tool for quantifying human sleep from high resolution wearable movement sensor data. These data are now widely collected in population studies, which typically involve thousands of participants who are asked to wear the movement sensor on their wrist continuously for a week. The candidate will work in an international and inter-disciplinary team of health researchers in Europe and the United States, and data science and software engineering specialists at the Netherlands eScience Center in Amsterdam.

Enhancing sleep research by developing an open analytical tool for quantifying human sleep

Scientific background of the position

Sleep is fundamental for human health and wellbeing. Poor sleep may present a significant risk factor for the development of dementia and other illnesses. Existing research methods to quantify sleep under real life conditions are limited by their reliance on subjective self-reported data or use wearable movement sensors for whom only closed software is available. Additionally, little is known about how to best define and quantify the fragmentation (scattering) of sleep over time as an indicator of sleep quality. The post-doc will lead the development of a probabilistic classifier for sleep and sleep depth using existing ground truth datasets, explore how sleep fragmentation can best be defined and quantified, work with project partners to apply the newly developed tools to real-life large datasets, and lead on papers describing the new technology. The existing code base is in R (R package GGIR), which already includes a data cleaning pipeline and a heuristic binary sleep classification approach. Where possible, the candidate will use this as a starting point for their work. All code developed in the project will be released as open source software.

If the candidate accepts a full-time (38-hour) position, they will be expected to work for 15% of the time on other eScience projects to broaden their eScience experience and impact to other fields of science. If the candidate prefers a 32-hour work week, then this does not apply.

We require

  • Finished or close to finishing a PhD in an analytical discipline (Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Bioinformatics, Physics, Computational biology, Epidemiology, etc.);
  • Experience with programming in R, Python, and/or C++;
  • Experience with advanced data analysis;
  • Demonstrated scientific writing skills.

We desire

  • Experience with machine learning techniques and/or probability theory;
  • Experience with wearable sensors, sleep assessment and/or health research.


  • Initiative taking;
  • Creative / Innovative problem solver;
  • Keen to learn about new technologies and ways of doing things;
  • Strong team player with excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Working conditions

We offer a position at the Netherlands eScience Center initially for 1 year within the collective agreement for Dutch Research Institutes (cao-OI) and, under the condition of sufficient progress can be extended to a two-year fixed period. When the candidate fits well with experience needed in other projects of the Center there will be other opportunities after the end of the Lilly project. The candidate will be based at the Netherlands eScience Center in Amsterdam.

The salary for the position is € 3.352,- gross per month growing to € 3.477,- in the second year, based on a 38 hour working week working week (salary scale 10). Holiday pay amounts to 8% of the gross salary and we also offer a 13th month of salary as an end-of-year payment.


The eScience Center offers an interesting and challenging working environment with options for personal development. You will work in an international team with an informal but creative and ambitious atmosphere.

The eScience Center has an active diversity policy and would like to hire persons with a background that is underrepresented at the eScience Center. We therefore encourage women and minorities to apply.

For more information about this opportunity you can contact Vincent van Hees, eScience Research Engineer at the Netherlands eScience Center, by emailing Please send your resume and application letter before the 11th of September 2018 to Additional information may also be found at

The winner of the Lorentz - eScience competition 2018: Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

July 25th, 2018

We congratulate Robbert Fokkink (TU Delft), Roy Lindelauf (Netherlands Defence Academy), Arnout van de Rijt (Universiteit Utrecht), Paulo Shakarian (Arizona State University) and V.S. Subrahmanian (Dartmouth College) on winning the competition for the Lorentz-eScience workshop with their proposal ‘Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity’. We are very pleased that we can continue this program with such a high quality and interesting workshop.

About the workshop

There is a growing community of computer scientists, mathematicians and computational sociologists conducting research in, and communicating ideas on:

  • Mining key-terrorists, criminals and hackers on Dark-web forums and markets
  • Game theoretic cyber threat mitigation
  • Identifying pathogenic social media accounts such as ‘fake news bots’
  • Identification of cyber threats from online discussions.

The central topic around which these researchers meet and conduct research is the analysis of phenomena related to cyber from different perspectives: mathematics (network science), computer science (cybersecurity) and computational sociology (social networks).

This workshop aims to get academic problem formulations related to cybersecurity more in sync with the practical end-goals of the practitioners in the field, and to have practitioners gain a wider understanding of state of the art practice in the academic field of cybersecurity research.

About the Lorentz-eScience competition

The Lorentz-eScience workshop competitions, organized by the Netherlands eScience Center and the Lorentz Center, sponsor leading-edge international workshops on the application of software to advance academic research. The workshops should bring together researchers from the academic scientific community with those from the public/private sector.

We Make The City Festival Workshop: “Audit the Algorithm”

July 5th, 2018

The VWData research programme hosted an interactive workshop (break-out session) during the “We Make The City” Festival in Amsterdam, on Thursday 21 June 2018. The workshop dealt with “Algorithm Auditing” and focused on a project that the City of Amsterdam, KPMG and the University of Amsterdam are conducting. The project will study the usage of algorithms by the City of Amsterdam, and will focus on algorithmic transparency, ethical auditing, and legislation. With: Tamas Erkelens (City of Amsterdam) and Sander Klous (KPMG and UvA). Approximately 20 people joined the workshop and there was a lively discussion. Topics mentioned included: ‘when is an algorithm good enough’, ‘who is responsible when things malfunction’, ‘how can you establish norms and criteria that an algorithm must meet’, and ‘what is a good role for the government in this domain’?

Research and software: perspectives from different communities

April 13th, 2018

Last week the Principal Investigators collaborating with the eScience Center’s team came together to share experiences on collaborative research projects.

Our work is driven by the challenges faced by academic researchers, which is why we want to deeply understand the needs and objectives of our principal investigators. We are convinced that by working together with researchers from different academic disciplines and technology areas we can advance the state of academic research. One of the goals of this day was therefore to jointly signal challenges and formulate opinions and solutions at the intersection of software and academic research.

Inspiring talks

The day started and ended with inspiring talks from eScience Prinicipal Investigators. In the morning, Christian Lange from Utrecht University presented his research on the Arabic-Islamic corpus. The ‘Bridging the Gap’ project is a collaboration with Christian Lange’s team and the eScience Center in which we develop and apply research software to gain more insight into the vast corpus of digitized Arabic texts that has become available in the last decade.


Christian Lange’s presentation was followed by a talkshow with two eScience Research Engineers collaborating on this project: Dafne van Kuppevelt and Janneke van der Zwaan. Dafne and Janneke talked about their experience on working in a discipline they were unfamiliar with before (Arabic literature), and the process of finding and re-using research software.

Finding and re-using software in different research communities was also the topic of the talkshow that followed. Joeri van Leeuwen (ASTRON), astronomer, Rolf Hut (TU Delft), hydrologist, and Martin Reynaert (Tilburg University), digital humanities, discussed how the practices of working with research software differ between their communities. The talkshow resulted in a lively discussion in which it was clear that there are different practices and opinions between communities around the use and sharing of software.

Break-out sessions on research & software

In the afternoon this discussion continued in smaller groups, in which different ways to stimulate to re-use of software were explored.

After lunch, Jurriaan Spaaks, eScience Research Engineer, presented the eScience Center’s Research Software Directory (RSD). The RSD is one of the vehicles by which the eScience Center aims to encourage the re-use of software. However, the success of any such directory depends on how well it fits the needs of Principal Investigators and different research communities. Jurriaan’s presentation was therefore followed by a break-out session in which Principal Investigators and the eScience Center’s team developed SWOT-analyses of the RSD — what are its strengths and weaknesses, and can we identify opportunities or threats?

After two energetic break-out sessions, Principal Investigator Frank Takes closed the day by presenting his exciting research on offshore finance in which he uses software to analyze complex relations and networks.

Valuable insights

The day provided valuable new input for the eScience Center on the needs of different research communities, which will guide the continued development of our activities in enabling digitally enhanced research, and specifically also the RSD. We are thankful for the contributions and inspirational insights of our collaborative partners in these discussions.

Photography: Elodie Burrillon

Werkbijeenkomst onderzoeksprogramma Big Data & gezondheid

April 11th, 2018

De Hartstichting, NWO, ZonMw, de Topsector LSH en het Netherlands eScience Center bundelen hun krachten en ontwikkelen samen een publiek-privaat onderzoeksprogramma onder de paraplu van het Big Data onderzoeksplatform Commit2Data. Voor de voorbereiding van projectvoorstellen wordt een werkbijeenkomst georganiseerd.

Doel onderzoeksprogramma Big Data & Gezondheid
Het doel van het programma is het benutten van (nieuwe) verbindingen tussen de gezondheid- en levenswetenschappen, data science en de creatieve industrie voor de ontwikkeling van nieuwe benaderingen in preventie en vroege opsporing van hart- en vaatziekten. Burgers en patiënten krijgen hierin een centrale rol. De Kennis en Innovatie Agenda ICT, LSH, en ClickNL en de principes van vitaal functioneren en positieve gezondheid zijn de inhoudelijke leidraad.

Doel projecten
Het programma zal bestaan uit 4 tot 6 verschillende publiek-private wetenschappelijke onderzoeksprojecten met een omvang van circa 1.5 M€ (per project). Ieder project is gericht op de beantwoording van belangrijke vraagstukken over preventie en vroege opsporing van hart- en vaatziekten en bevat wetenschappelijk onderzoek op het gebied van data science en de creatieve industrie. Deze projecten wordt voor een deel gefinancierd door een bedrijf of maatschappelijke organisaties (onder bepaalde voorwaarden).

Doel bijeenkomst
De werkbijeenkomst wordt georganiseerd om publiek-private consortia de gelegenheid te geven zich (verder) te vormen en stappen te zetten richting een projectvoorstel. Ook de kaders, planning en voorwaarden voor het onderzoeksprogramma zullen in deze bijeenkomst worden gepresenteerd. Deelname van potentiele aanvragers en van relevante consortia i.o. wordt ten sterkste aanbevolen. De werkbijeenkomst is maandag en dinsdag 2 en 3 juli 2018 (in principe met overnachting).

Voor wie is deze werkbijeenkomst?
Publiek-private consortia die in aanmerking komen voor subsidie bestaan minimaal uit twee verschillende universitaire vakgroepen, een bedrijf of maatschappelijke organisatie, burgers of patiënten en een of meer eScience Research Engineers aangesteld bij het Netherlands eScience Center. Om deze reden is de werkbijeenkomst bedoeld voor:

  • Wetenschappers o.a. uit de geneeskunde, gezondheidswetenschappen, levenswetenschappen, ICT, wiskunde, sociale en geesteswetenschappen
  • Bedrijven en maatschappelijke organisaties die zich in dit veld bewegen
  • Burgers en patiënten

Doe mee aan deze interactieve bijeenkomst Big Data en Gezondheid. Aanmelden kan tot uiterlijk 15 mei 2018 via het aanmeldformulier.Stuur uw aanmelding naar:
Niet aanwezig maar wel geïnteresseerd in de call? Laat het ons weten en stuur een mail!.
Voor vragen en meer informatie kunt u contact opnemen met onderstaande personen:

NWO Exacte en Natuurwetenschappen & Commit2Data
Astrid Zuurbier, coördinator van dit programma,

Deborah Alfarez,

Inge Valstar,

NWO Sociale en Geesteswetenschappen
Janneke van Kersen,

Topsector LSH
Jolande Zijlstra,

Netherlands eScience Center
Frank Seinstra,

Celebration and brainstorm with research partners on new collaborations

March 15th, 2018

On 12 and 15 February, the granting of fourteen new collaborative projects was celebrated at the Netherlands eScience Center. The new collaborations between the eScience Center and research teams from different Dutch universities will start in the first half of 2018.

During this day, several new collaborators of the eScience Center pitched their projects. Subsequently, the challenges and opportunities of the new collaborations were discussed in smaller groups together with eScience Research Engineers from the eScience Center.

The aim was to create an opportunity for the new Principal Investigators to benefit from the combined knowledge of the eScience Research Engineers at an early stage. eScience Research Engineers have knowledge of both academic research and software development, which can help define and solve research challenges.

We are looking forward to these new collaborations, through which we hope to advance not the just the projects itself but academic research in general.

Photography by Elodie Burrillon / HUCOPIX

Kabinet investeert extra in digitale infrastructuur voor onderzoekers

March 13th, 2018

Er wordt 20 miljoen euro per jaar extra geïnvesteerd in de Nederlandse digitale onderzoeksinfrastructuur. Ondersteuning bij data- en software-intensief onderzoek is hiervan een belangrijk onderdeel Dat heeft minister Van Engelshoven (OCW) afgelopen vrijdag laten weten in een brief aan de Kamer

In de kamerbrief wordt voor de invulling van de middelen verwezen naar het in 2017 verschenen adviesrapport van NWO, “Topwetenschap vereist topinfrastructuur. Hierin wordt gewezen op de sterk gestegen behoefte van de Nederlandse wetenschap aan hoogwaardige ondersteuning op het vlak van big data, onderzoekssoftware, snelle netwerken en supercomputers. Om de Nederlandse wetenschap op wereldniveau te laten blijven meedraaien, zijn volgens het rapport extra investeringen via de drie nationale partijen op het gebied van digitale infrastructuur - SURF, eScience Center en DANS - dan ook noodzakelijk.

The Second Information Universe Conference

February 26th, 2018

From 3 - 6 July the University of Groningen is organizing the Second Information Universe Conference.

The key topic of the IU conference series is: “What is the role of information in the Universe and its description?”. In an epoch where scientists need to handle Big Data and simulations, find highly organized systems in nature and grapple with the role of information in physics and other sciences, this appears to be one of the more fundamental questions that needs to be answered in order to understand the world around us. The Information Universe conference intends to unite various approaches, addressing the fundamental role of information both in nature (“in vivo”) and in data analysis, theory and computer modelling (“in vitro”).

The conference will approach the key role of information from the point of view of several disciplines: e.g. cosmology, physics, mathematics, life sciences, computer science (including quantum computing) and neuroscience. The deeper role of information is formulated in different ways by these various disciplines, leading to a multitude of fundamental questions such as:

  • Is there a deeper physical description of space-time based on information?
  • What are the consequences of quantum mechanics for cosmology?
  • Will quantum systems dominate the future of computing?
  • How do our numerical simulations and Big Data repositories (in vitro) differ from real natural system (in vivo)?
  • What is the role of information in highly organized complex life systems and genetics?
  • What will be the role of machine learning in the future of science?
  • How will information guide us in understanding fundamental cosmological problems: dark matter, dark energy, inflation and structure formation?
  • What is the deeper meaning of the information paradox at the Black hole horizon?
  • Is the universe one big information processing machine, a hologram, one of many?

To address these questions, the conference will host sessions on:

  • Emergent space-time and gravity
    Keynote speaker: Erik Verlinde
  • Euclid, cosmology and large-scale structure
    Keynote speaker: Alan Heavens, Invited speaker: Alessandra Silvestri
  • Quantum information & quantum computation
    Keynote speaker: Lieven Vandersypen
  • Machine learning (including industrial applications)
    Keynote speaker: Larry Wasserman
  • Information, complexity & handling big data (including applications)
    Keynote speaker: Peter Sloot, Invited speaker: Giuseppe Longo
  • Life science and biology
    Keynote speaker: Karlheinz Meier
  • Information and the Theory of Everything
    Keynote speaker: Thanu Padmanabhan

In addition there will be (at least) one public evening, and a panel discussion at the end of the conference.

The conference will be held in the 260 seater planetarium theatre in Groningen, which provides an immersive 3D full dome display. This enables speakers to show unique and inspiring visuals, e.g. numerical simulations of the formation of our Universe, the brain in 3D, and anything else that springs from the imagination of the presenters.

For more information and registration, please visit:

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Prof. Dr. Eric Bergshoeff (Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity)
  • Prof. Dr. Konrad H. Kuijken (Leiden Observatory)
  • Prof. Dr. Edwin Valentijn (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute)
  • Prof. Dr. Rien van de Weijgaert (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute)

Local Organizing Committee

IEEE eScience 2018 Calls for Contributions

February 26th, 2018

The 14th IEEE Conference on eScience will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 29 Oct – 1 Nov 2018.

We are pleased to now invite contributions for inclusion in the conference program: Call for Papers Call for Workshops & Tutorials Call for Abstracts: Data Handling and Analytics for Health Call for Abstracts: Exascale Computing for High Energy Physics Call for Abstracts: Advances in eScience for the Humanities and Social Sciences Call for Abstracts: Weather and Climate Science in the Digital Era Please find all information regarding the calls and submission guidelines on our website.

Key Dates for Contributions

  • Abstract submission deadline: Friday 25 May 23:59 (AoE)
  • Full paper submission deadline: Friday 1 June 23:59 (AoE)
  • Notification of acceptance: Wednesday 15 August 2018
  • Camera-ready papers: Monday 17 September 2018

We look forward to receiving your submission and welcoming you to Amsterdam in October 2018. Visit

About IEEE eScience 2018

The 14th IEEE Conference on eScience brings together leading international researchers and research software engineers from all disciplines to present and discuss how digital technology impacts scientific practice. eScience promotes innovation in collaborative, computationally- or data-intensive research across all disciplines, throughout the research lifecycle.

New this year: Multitrack day with focused sessions The three-day conference program consists of two single track days open for all eScience contributions. New this year is a multitrack day with focused sessions on Exascale Computing for High Energy Physics, Weather and Climate science in the digital era, Data Handling and Analytics for Health, Advances in eScience for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and Computer Science: Tools & Infrastructure.

On the day prior to the conference there will be workshops and tutorials.

Chair & Supervisory Committee

General chair
Wilco Hazeleger (Netherlands eScience Center, The Netherlands)

Program chairs
Adriënne Mendrik (Netherlands eScience Center, The Netherlands)
Rob van Nieuwpoort (Netherlands eScience Center, The Netherlands)

Supervisory committee 2018
Daniel S. Katz (National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, United States)
Franciska de Jong (CLARIN ERIC)
Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee, United States)
Michelle Barker (Nectar, University of Melbourne, Australia)
Dan Henningson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Tony Hey (Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom)

Focussed session chairs

Computer Science: Tools & Infrastructure
Raül Sirvent Pardell (Barcelona Supercomputing Center)
Ben van Werkhoven (Netherlands eScience Center)

Weather & Climate science in the digital era
Peter Bauer (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts)
Martine de Vos (Netherlands eScience Center)

Data Handling and Analytics for Health
Jaap Heringa (VU, Amsterdam)
Vincent van Hees (Netherlands eScience Center)

Advances in eScience for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam)
Carlos Martinez-Ortiz (Netherlands eScience Center)

Exascale Computing for High Energy Physics
Jeff Templon (Nikhef)
Yifat Dzigan (Netherlands eScience Center)

3D-e-Chem team develops building blocks and recipes for Computer-Aided Drug Discovery

February 16th, 2018

Following the development of a virtual machine (JCIM), the 3D-e-Chem team now published a series of building blocks (nodes) and recipes (workflows) that can support complex computer-aided drug discovery efforts. The 3D-e-Chem team consists of cheminformatics and bioinformatics researchers from Netherlands eScience Center, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Radboudumc Nijmegen, and BioAxis Research, including Stefan Verhoeven (eScience) and Chris de Graaf (PI, VU Amsterdam).

These newly developed cheminformatics tools and workflows for KNIME (the leading open data analytics platform) integrate chemical, pharmacological, and structural information for the prediction of interactions between drug molecules and therapeutic protein targets. The modular setup of these computer-aided drug discovery workflows and the use of well-established standards enables researchers to re-use and customize these workflows for their own drug discovery projects.

The 3D-e-Chem software tools and applications thereof are described in a recent open access publication in ChemMedChem. All the building blocks (nodes) are readily available as a community contribution in KNIME. Moreover, the source code of the nodes is open and available on the 3D-e-Chem GitHub.

Karel Luyben appointed National Coordinator for Open Science

February 12th, 2018

Today, the steering group of the National Platform Open Science appointed former Delft University of Technology Rector Karel Luyben as the National Coordinator for Open Science. In this newly created role, Luyben will work to achieve the Netherlands' open science ambitions and to strengthen the country's pioneering role in this field. This will benefit everyone. Open access to publications, for example, allows lecturers to read up on the most recent developments in their field and to incorporate them into their courses. Furthermore, it allows doctors and nurses to apply the latest medical methods for better care.

Open science is about sharing research data and making scientific publications (digitally) available to a large audience. Publicly funded research must be publicly accessible. Dutch Minister of Science Van Engelshoven sees open science as an important priority of the Coalition Agreement.

The Netherlands is known as a pioneer in this field in Europe. This also became apparent during the Netherlands' EU presidency in 2016. They helped introduce the ambitions that by 2020 all scientific articles should be freely accessible, research data is to be optimally available for reuse and researchers must be valued and rewarded for sharing research data and results.

The Netherlands feels that open science should be encouraged and supported and has documented these ambitions in its National Plan Open Science, which was presented to the National Platform Open Science exactly one year ago today. A large number of organisations with a stake in this development are working together on this platform. Since its launch one year ago, the percentage of open-access publications has gone up and the sharing of research data has soared. The Netherlands has also taken the lead to create a European platform together with Germany and France to make all this possible: the GO FAIR initiative.

To interconnect the various Platform activities and monitor progress, it was decided to appoint a National Coordinator
for Open Science. Today it was announced that Karel Luyben will be filling this position. He was also given the specific task to make 'the scientist's voice' heard on the Platform. Karel Luyben was appointed by the National Platform Open Science, in which organisations such as VSNU, KNAW, NWO, VH, PNN, KB, SURF, NFU, ZonMW and GO-FAIR have joined forces.

Minister Van Engelshoven supports the appointment: "I am very pleased with this decision. Luyben is no stranger to the European networks and has a proven track record in the field of open science. I feel he has the expertise to set in motion and interconnect the national and international open science policies."

For more information, see

Het VWData startimpulsprogramma is van start

February 1st, 2018

Zo’n 50 onderzoekers kwamen op 29 januari in Amersfoort bij elkaar voor de aftrap van het VWData startimpulsprogramma. Programmaleider Inald Lagendijk gaf aan hoe de uitvraag voor de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda resulteerde in 11700 vragen, die geclusterd zijn in 140 Grote Vragen, die op hun beurt weer in 25 ‘routes’ zijn gecombineerd, en hoe daaruit 8 routes zijn geselecteerd om middels een ‘Startimpuls’ hun bestaansrecht op de kaart te zetten. 

Het VWData startimpulsprogramma bestaat uit verschillende onderzoeksteams die zich richten op een gezamenlijk vraagstuk: Hoe kunnen we Big Data inzetten op een manier die juridisch en ethisch verantwoord en maatschappelijk acceptabel is? Fotografie: Elodie Burrillon / HUCOPIX

Een relevant thema voor zowel wetenschap als maatschappij

Het VWData programma, voluit “Verantwoorde Waardecreatie met Big Data”, komt voort uit de Big Data Route. Het programma concentreert zich op twee belangrijke concepten: FAIR (Findable, Accessible , Interoperable, Reusable) data, en FACT (Fair, Accurate, Confidential, Transparent) data science. Een buitengewoon relevant thema: het zal moeilijk zijn om een krant of een journaaluitzending te vinden waarin er niét “iets met data” aan de hand is.

Het programma zal niet alleen goede wetenschap bedrijven om zijn doelen waar te maken. Minstens zo belangrijk is dat ambassadeurs voor FACT en FAIR er voor zorgen dat zowel wetenschap als maatschappij verder bouwen op de VWData inzichten en resultaten. Daarom zal het programma óók contacten leggen met andere routes binnen de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda, maatschappelijke organisaties, nationale en internationale initiatieven linken.

Juridische, ethische en maatschappelijke vraagstukken

De kick-off startte natuurlijk met het presenteren van de projecten waaruit VWData opgebouwd is. Een korte greep uit die projecten (op de website staat de volledige lijst met projecten en onderwerpen) geeft bijvoorbeeld aan dat bias één van de onderwerpen is: hoe percipiëren nieuwsconsumenten hun filter bubble? En is daar wat tegen te doen? Dicht daarbij ligt het onderwerp hoe je bias in nieuwsberichten zélf kunt opsporen; kun je bijvoorbeeld geautomatiseerd vaststellen hoe het met het diversiteitsgehalte in ons nieuws staat? Of de ‘toxiciteit’ van een bijdrage aan een forum bepalen?

Privacy is natuurlijk een ander belangrijk onderwerp. Het duurde niet lang voordat de GDPR genoemd werd, de General Data Protection Regulation die op 4 mei in Nederland van kracht gaat. Bijvoorbeeld bij het project dat netwerkdata wil analyseren – maar dan wél privacy-vriendelijk. Het verzamelen van data is überhaupt iets waarbij privacy altijd een rol speelt, en één van de projecten gaat dan ook expliciet in op de vraag of je daarvoor een ethisch afwegingskader kunt maken.

Opvallende observatie bij een project dat vooral op transparantie ingaat: soms is veel transparantie juist niét gunstig voor het vertrouwen dat gebruikers hebben in de geleverde dienst. Een mooie uitdaging voor het betreffende project…

Tot slot is het natuurlijk de vraag hoe al die data analyses kunnen worden uitgevoerd op zó’n manier dat er niet meer met de data gesleept hoeft te worden dan strikt nodig: van sommige gevoelige data (bijvoorbeeld medisch) wil je niet dat die het ziekenhuis verlaat. Het uitwerken van een aanpak waarbij het algoritme naar de data reist (en niet andersom) is een aanpak daarbij. Er werden mooie nieuwe woorden gebruikt als ‘FAIRification’ en ‘ FACTification’. Als je gedistribueerde data hebt, wil je ook wel weten of je data FAIR zijn. Heb je daar metrieken voor?

Meer dan een verzameling deliverables

Presenteren van de projecten is één; zorgen dat die projecten samen méér worden dan een verzameling deliverables is iets anders. Tijdens de kick-off is er daarom veel ruimte gereserveerd om te brainstormen over ‘overkoepelende demonstrators’ - hoe kunnen we de concepten van Verantwoorde Waardecreatie met Data laten zien op een aansprekende manier? Het zijn de verhalen die VWData gaat vertellen en de discussies die daardoor teweeggebracht worden, die er voor zorgen dat het programma met recht een Startimpuls genoemd kan worden.

In een vijftal groepen hebben de aanwezigen de eerste ideeën voor die verhalen geformuleerd. Er kwamen tools voorbij om mensen te helpen echte ‘FACT & FAIR services’ te ontwerpen, marktplaatsen, bijsluiters met stoplicht-indicatoren bij algoritmen, video’s waarin (een deel van) de 11700 vragen worden beantwoord, FACTathons, en nog veel meer. Opvallend was dat enerzijds de ‘schotjes’ tussen de projecten helemaal wegvielen bij de discussie, maar dat de ideeën ook nog wel wat generiek van aard waren. 

Op weg naar nieuwe en nóg betere vragen

De kick-off heeft gelukkig meer vragen opgeleverd dan antwoorden: de onderzoekers zullen hier de komende twee jaar hun handen meer dan vol aan hebben. Waarschijnlijk liggen er na die tijd naast een stapeltje antwoorden ook vooral weer nieuwe en nog betere vragen – zoals het een goede startimpuls betaamt!

De kick-off startte met de presentatie van de verschillende VWData projecten - Lora Aroyo presenteert het project ‘Capturing Bias’

Brainstormen over ‘overkoepelende demonstrators’

Programmaleider Inald Lagendijk

Pitches over ‘overkoepelende demonstrators’

Getekend verslag vatte de dag samen in een kunstwerk

Fotografie: Elodie Burrillon / HUCOPIX

Dynaslum research team publishes in Nature Scientific Data

January 26th, 2018

eScience Research Engineers from the eScience Center are collaborating in the research carried out within the projects DynaSlum and SIM-CITY. The projects are led by UvA researchers Peter Sloot and Michael Lees, and results of these projects were recently published in the journal Nature Scientific Data. 

New data yields deeper understanding of poverty in India

A new international study led by UvA researchers Peter Sloot and Michael Lees has yielded extensive data on slums in Bangalore and provides a detailed insight into the problem of poverty in India. The highly granular data, which was collected through a field survey of 36 slums, could lead to a better understanding of poverty and to more effective strategies for managing and improving conditions for slum dwellers. The results were recently published in the journal Nature Scientific Data.

In 2010, an estimated 860 million people were believed to be living in slums worldwide. In order to formulate effective slum development programs and poverty alleviation methods, more insight is needed into the characteristics and needs of slum dwelling communities. As part of their study, the researchers collected data to gain a more complete picture of the problem and developed predictive computer models. ‘Until now, the available data wasn’t sufficient enough to build the advanced computer models needed to calculate intervention scenarios’, says Sloot, who is professor of Computational Science and director of the UvA’s Institute for Advanced Study.

Fieldwork in 36 slums

Over the course of several years, the team conducted surveys and interviews in 36 slums across the city of Bangalore. The slums were chosen based on stratification criteria such as their location, population size, ethnicity and religious profile. By combining the fields of sociology, geography and computer science, the researchers studied the slums with geographical information systems and (agent-based) computer simulation. The collected data included approximately 267,894 data points spread over 242 questions for 1107 households. ‘With this data we are able to develop high-resolution computational models to gain a new understanding about the evolution of slums in India.’ says Michael Lees, assistant professor at the UvA’s Computational Science Lab.

Targeting horizontal inequality

The research team has used the dataset to conduct further research into the structure and dynamics of slums. ‘We have investigated group segregation and how it reinforces inequality within the slums of Bangalore’, adds Debraj Roy, a postdoctoral fellow closely involved in the project. ‘Our results show that we might be able to increase the rate of successful interventions in slums if we target so-called horizontal inequality – which is inequality between, for example, Indian ethnic and religious groups.’

The research team has used the insights from the unique dataset to develop an agent-based model called DynaSlum to identify the key social determinants that impact the behaviour of a slum household. Over the next three years, the researchers will evaluate other, wider aspects like water infrastructure, water management and sanitation practices. The ultimate objective is to create a computer system that will calculate the effects of interventions and allow policymakers to assess different policy strategies before implementation.

Publication details

Debraj Roy, Bharath Palavalli, Niveditha Menon, Robin King, Karin Pfeffer, Michael H. Lees & Peter M.A. Sloot: ‘Survey-based socio-economic data from slums in Bangalore, India’, in:Nature Scientific Data5 (9 januari 2018).

Source news item:

Internship Digital Storytelling

December 22nd, 2017

Do you get excited about inspiring a broad audience with exciting scientific research? Do you think you have a knack for (online) stakeholder engagement, and a persistent attitude to successfully execute your ideas? And can you tell and show us how digital tools and social media can contribute to our overall communication strategy?

Then we should have a coffee. We are providing an internship for minimum 4 - 6 months in which you will learn what it’s like to work as a communications employee in a young and ambitious digital research organization. You’ll get freedom to suggest what you want to focus on in your internship. As long as you contribute to inspiring our broad set of stakeholders with the many hidden stories of the eScience Center.

With 50 digital scientists as your colleagues and many collaborations with researchers throughout the Netherlands, we have almost inexhaustible resources of inspiration for you.

What’s in it for you?

  • Get the freedom to express fresh and creative ideas to contribute to a fast-growing digital research organization
  • Develop and execute your own digital storytelling strategy
  • Meet researchers across a diverse range of disciplines, from Astronomy to the Humanities
  • Work within a fun, diverse and very ambitious team of digital researchers
  • Learn about the latest digital trends in academic research
  • Grow your network with leading academic organizations in the Netherlands
  • Gain knowledge about organizational communication
  • Learn how communication can contribute to organizational success
  • Learn and experience how to present your ideas to a Management Team
  • Unlimited high quality coffee! (according to academic standards)


  • Are in your final year of a related HBO or university study
  • Speak and write English fluently
  • Like to think about impactful ways to get across stories
  • Are not afraid to dive into complex scientific subjects and turn these into stories that appeal to a broad audience
  • Are not afraid to express a different opinion
  • Want to get things done
  • Can handle freedom and take responsibility

What we ask from you:

Develop and execute a digital storytelling strategy that contributes to the eScience Center’s organizational success. This includes advice and assistance on growing our blog, social media and newsletter.

Monthly compensation:

You will receive a monthly compensation of 300-400 EUR (based on a 38 hour week) depending on your level of education. We also offer compensation for travel costs from home to work.

More information:

For more information about this internship you can contact Lode Kulik, Communications Advisor of the Netherlands eScience Center, by emailing, or by calling +31(0)20 460 4770.

Please send your resume and motivation letter at the latest on January 28th 2018 to Additional information may also be found at


28 January 2018

Fourteen new eScience collaborations to start in 2018

December 17th, 2017

We are pleased to announce the initiation of fourteen new collaborative projects in the areas of Environment & Sustainability, Life Sciences & eHealth, Physics & Beyond and Disruptive Computer & Data Science.

The projects are the result of the 2017 ASDI, JEDS and JCER calls. The 2017 JEDS call was organized in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Domain Science and Commit2Data. The 2017 JCER call was organized in collaboration with the NWO-Shell programme.   

Scheduled to start in 2018, the projects are collaborations with research teams from multiple Dutch academic groups.

2017 ASDI project call

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to enable domain scientists to address compute-intensive and/or data-driven problems within their research.

Stochastic Multiscale Climate Models
Dr. ir. F.W. Wubs
University of Groningen
Read more about this project

Integrated omics analysis for small molecule-mediated host-microbiome interactions
Prof. dr. ir. D. de Ridder
Wageningen University
Read more about this project

2017 JCER project call

This call for project proposals aims for computational sciences for energy research, focused on developing eScience technologies.

Multiscale simulations of excitation dynamics in molecular materials for sustainable energy applications (MULTIXMAS)
Dr. A.V. Lyulin
Eindhoven University of Technology
Read more about this project

A phase field model to guide the development and design of next generation solid-state-batteries
Dr. ir. M. Wagemaker
Delft University of Technology
Read more about this project

Passing XSAMS
Dr. ir. J. van Dijk
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Read more about this project

A light in the dark: quantum Monte Carlo meets solar energy conversion
Prof. dr. C. Filippi
University of Twente
Read more about this project

eScience Technology to Boost Quantum Dot Energy Conversion
Dr. I.A.C. Infante
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Read more about this project

Parallel-in-time methods for the propagation of uncertainties in wind-farm simulations
Prof. dr. ir. R.W.C.P. Verstappen
University of Groningen
Read more about this project

Accurate and Efficient Computation of the Optical Properties of Nanostructures for Improved Photovoltaics
Prof. dr. ir. J.J.W. van der Vegt
University of Twente
Read more about this project

Scalable high-fidelity simulations of reacting multiphase flows at transcritical pressure
Dr. ir. S. Hickel
Delft University of Technology
Read more about this project

2017 JEDS project call

This call for proposals aims at research and development of disruptive solutions associated with big data handling, big data analytics and related computational methods in order to be able to address the novel cross-sectoral scientific challenges described in the Commit2Data White Paper.

FAIR is as FAIR does: Integrating data publishing principles in scientific workflows M. Dumontier
Maastricht University
Read more about this project

FEDMix: Fusible Evolutionary Deep Neural Network Mixture Learning from Distributed Data for Robust Medical Image Analysis
Dr. P.A.N. Bosman
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)
Read more about this project

SecConNet: Smart, secure container networks for trusted Big Data Sharing
Dr. P. Grosso
University of Amsterdam
Read more about this project

Inside the filter bubble: A framework for deep semantic analysis of mobile news consumption traces
Dr. W.H. van Atteveldt
VU University Amsterdam
Read more about this project

Netherlands Research Software Engineer Survey 2017

December 5th, 2017

We would like to invite everyone working on research software in the Netherlands to participate in the RSE survey and spread the word.

The Netherlands Research Software Engineer community (NL-RSE) was started to gain insight into the various communities of RSEs in the Netherlands and increase the interaction between them. The RSE surveys in the UK in 2016 and 2017 [1, 2] have allowed to gain valuable insights and spread the word about the RSE movement. That is why the Netherlands eScience Center, ePLAN (Platform of eScience/Data Research Centres in the Netherlands), NL-RSE, and the UK RSE Association are organizing this survey for 2017 in the Netherlands.

The study is conducted by the University of Southampton on behalf of the Software Sustainability Institute and complies with University of Southampton ethics guidelines (reference no.: ERGO/FPSE/30610). The investigators are Simon Hettrick and Olivier Philippe. Contacts in the Netherlands are Ben van Werkhoven and Tom Bakker from the Netherlands eScience Center.

[1]: See RSE State of the Nation Report 2017, page 21.

[2]: See UK-RSE Survey 2017: Invitation to participate

Board members of The Finnish Union of University Professors visited the Netherlands eScience Center.

December 5th, 2017

Big Data and Research Methods

Higher education in the Netherlands is highly ranked. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2016–2017, it was ranked third after Singapore and Finland.

Moreover, Dutch universities as a group have done very well in global university rankings. All thirteen publicly funded research universities made it to top 200 in THE World University Rankings 2018. Seven were ranked higher than the best-ranked Finnish university and twelve higher than the second bestranked Finnish university.

The board and office of the Finnish Union of University Professors visited the Netherlands to find out what there is to learn from the Dutch university system. They were hosted by Leiden University and Netherlands eScience Center. This article will focus on the eScience Center.

In the past, scientific disciplines worldwide had their own characteristic methods and research tools. In digital society, however, the most important tool in all scientific disciplines is the computer. Since researchers can have access to large amounts of data that must be managed, research projects are getting more and more complex and require new software, new methods and new practices.

The Dutch government seems to have understood what this means to Dutch universities. The “Wetenschapsvisie 2025” of the Dutch government calls for the strengthening of e-infrastructure and eScience in order to maintain the position of Netherlands as an attractive country for scientists and innovative industry. Modern e-infrastructure facilitates highperformance and distributed computing, networking, storage, and visualisation.

The eScience Center is a joint initiative of the Dutch national research council (NWO) and the Dutch organisation for ICT in education and research (SURF). The Center defines itself as “the national hub for the development and application of domain overarching software and methods for the scientific community”. The Center makes collaborative calls. The eScience Center funds and participates in multidisciplinary projects with data-handling, computing and big-data analytics at their core.

In other words, the eScience Center helps Dutch universities develop and apply digitally enhanced scientific tools and methods. The path from data to scientific breakthroughs consists of four steps:

Optimised data handling
1. Data: storage, access, privacy, metadata
2. Processing: annotation, integration

Big data analysis
3. Analysis: modelling, statistics, machine learning
4. Interpretation: visualisation, user interfaces

The Center prefers to develop a limited number of core technological competences where it can have a broad impact on research practices. To create an eScience platform, the Center tries to develop versatile tools and research software that can be generalised. Part of the work is to participate in international coordination within the confines of PLAN-E and EOSC.

The approach is problem-driven. The Center can collaborate with any research discipline. To increase the impact of its work, the Center nevertheless focuses on four broad discipline areas: Environment & Sustainability, Life Sciences & eHealth, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Physics & Beyond. While some of the disciplines within these discipline areas are early adopters of eScience methods, some may use eScience for the first time.

The benefits of Netherlands eScience Center are long term. For funding reasons, however, the Center has thought about ways to show even short-term benefits. Since eScience is the future of research, there are no past economic benefits. One may nevertheless signal research benefits in a quantitative way on the basis of research papers, downloads, or software IDs, or in a qualitative way by narratives. In the future, the Center might lead to spin-offs or consultancy work.

Although the eScience Center develops digital methods, the Center prefers face-to-face meetings with its partners. The staff of the eScience Center thus spend much time on the road visiting Dutch universities and talking directly to researchers and customers.

What lessons can one learn?

The first lesson is about ambition. The Dutch government seems to have understood that a country cannot be competitive in research unless its universities develop new digital research tools and practices that help to address questions that used to be beyond scientists’ reach.

In contrast, the Finnish government has chosen a different path. The Finnish government seems to focus on the digitalisation of education in the false belief that this will help to reduce the number of university lecturers and cut costs. This explains why the digitalisation of education tends to be mentioned — and the digitalisation of research not mentioned — in the new strategies of Finnish universities.

The second lesson relates to the structure of the university sector. It brings benefits to break the silo model of traditional universities. Innovative research increasingly is problem-driven. As a multidisciplinary platform for problem-driven cooperation and as a center that develops generally applicable research tools and practices and participates in multidisciplinary projects, Netherlands eScience Center contributes to a matrix organisation of university research.

University research that the eScience Center participates in is not organised along disciplinary lines. In the long run, this can contribute to new multidisciplinary structures at Dutch universities as well.

Third, one thinks about the number and spatial proximity of universities. The spatial proximity of many research universities in a rather small country seems to increase both cooperation and competition and the spreading of know-how. Cooperation and competition lift all boats and make the Dutch university sector more competitive and innovative as a whole.

The fourth lesson relates to collaboration. Netherlands eScience Center pays attention to being collaborative. It collaborates with researchers, start-ups and established firms. What it tries to avoid is focusing too much on its own research or technology. Shortly put, an eScience center should not be too lured towards its own infrastructure if it is to have an impact.

The fifth lesson is about proximity. Having many eScience specialists under the same roof increases the spreading of knowledge and innovation. So do face-to-face meetings between eScience specialists and scientists. There is no serious collaboration unless the parties meet in the same place.

Of course, university researchers could learn much more from the research projects of the eScience Center. You can use big data to study things ranging from the Big Bang to the human brain and from the weather to the use of case law by judges.

NWO advocates permanent funding for national digital infrastructure

November 28th, 2017

In a report entitled ‘Top science requires top infrastructure’, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) advises the new government to make an extra €27 million per year available for the Netherlands’ national digital infrastructure. According to the NWO Committee who produced the report, this is essential if the country is to remain among the best in the world in this area and if it is to meet Dutch researchers’ growing need for digital infrastructures.

Rationale behind the resources

The increasing digitization of science means that researchers have a growing need for digital infrastructures, such as advanced networks, supercomputers, research software and data facilities. Additional investments are also needed to meet the growing ambitions of the Dutch research community, as expressed in the Dutch National Research Agenda, the National Open Science Plan (OCW, 2017), The Digital Society (VSNU, 2016) and the National Roadmap (NWO, 2016). NWO’s Board of Directors has adopted the Committee’s advice, together with its recommendations, and has submitted these to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Investments provide a new boost

According to the report, additional investments are needed in terms of networks, data facilities and cybersecurity to facilitate the massive growth in data and digitization. This is in line with the Netherlands’ ambition to be a digital ‘mainport’ (hub). Additional investments in large computing facilities are also needed to keep pace with other leading knowledge economies in Europe. This will give researchers unprecedented opportunities to tackle major societal challenges. These issues include climate simulations in the context of global warming, research into specifications for new materials, and DNA analysis.

The Committee also considers that additional investments are needed to support the use of research software and big data. Researchers have an increasing need for specialist services and support of this kind. It also helps researchers to work in compliance with the principles of open science. This involves making scientific articles, research data, methods and software freely accessible to – and reusable for – researchers, companies and society at large.

Keeping up with the best in the world

Boosting investment in the country’s digital infrastructure will enable Dutch researchers to keep up with the best data-intensive research in the world. It will also give the Netherlands an opportunity to play a leading part in the development of open science.

More information

Kas Maessen, Science Division, Head Procedures and Quality
Telephone: +31 70 344 06 95 / 070 344 05 90


Advisory report on the national digital infrastructure for scientific research June 2017

Source: NWO

eScience Center participates in new NWO Perspectief program

November 21st, 2017

In the coming years almost a hundred researchers are going to develop innovative technologies together with industry and social organisations. That will happen in six new Perspectief programmes, which have been given the green light by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, on21 November 2017. The programmes should lead to a new 3D printer for large metal components, more efficient deep-learning systems, extreme microscopy, new bacteria for the chemical industry, injury-free exercise and wearable robotics for people suffering from muscular disorder.

The board of NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES) is providing 21 million euros for six large-scale research programmes within the Perspectief funding programme. The companies, civil society organisations and knowledge institutes involved in the programmes will supplement NWO’s funding with another 11 million euros. The overall budget will support 74 PhD candidates and 25 postdocs in their work for the coming five or six years.

With Perspectief, NWO is challenging scientists to establish a close partnership with industry and social organisations. It concerns multidisciplinary research with a special emphasis on application. Together the parties will develop new research lines linked to the top sectors.

View the selected 2017 Perspectiefprogramma's on YouTube.

The eScience Center will participate in the program called 'Efficient Deep Learning Systems'.

Efficient Deep Learning Systems

A computer that recognises dangerous situations on security footage: this is possible with deep-learning automated systems. But before this kind of system can operate independently, you have to design it and then train it with a huge number of examples. In addition, you need considerable computing power to let the system make decisions. At the Efficient Deep Learning programme, researchers are going to make deep learning much more efficient by using examples from daily life. They want to make it possible to use the technique (Of: They want to make the technique applicable) for other automatic visual inspections, tissue analysis, smart maintenance of equipment and intelligent hearing aids that can handle noisy environments.

Programme manager: Professor H. Corporaal (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Participants: AIIR Innovations, ASTRON, CWI, Cyclomedia, Cygnify, Donders Institute, FEI, 2getthere, GN Hearing, Holst Centre, ING, Intel, Irdeto, Lely, Mobiquity, Netherlands eScience Center, NXP, NVIDIA, Océ, Radboudumc, Schiphol, Scyfer, Sectra, Semiotic Labs, Siemens, Sightcorp, Sorama, SURFsara, TASS International, Tata Steel, TU Dresden, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Thales, TNO, TomTom, University of Twente, University of Amsterdam, 3DUniversum, VicarVision, ViNotion, VU Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research

Link to NWO news item:

Over 300 researchers visit National eScience Symposium 2017

October 18th, 2017

This year's edition of Science in a Digital World featured over 30 speakers and the announcement of the Young eScientist Award winner 2017: Frank Takes (read more).

The five thematic sessions, on Internet of Things, Energy Science, Natural Language Processing, Brain, Cognition and Behavior and The Future of Machine Learning were co-organized with SURFnet, Shell-NWO progamme, CLARIAH, NeuroLabNL and Commit2Data.

View a selection of photos below - for more photos visit our Flickr album.

The program, including all speakers and abstracts, can be viewed here.

Photography: Elodie Burrillon /

Wilco Hazeleger (Director Netherlands eScience Center) welcomes everyone at Science in a Digital World

Paul Rullmann (Chair of SURF) opens Science in a Digital World

Cecilia Aragon (University of Washington) gives her keynote presentation on 'The hearts and minds of data science'

Demo and poster exhibition

Discussion in the Brain, Cognition and Behavior session (with NeuroLabNL)

Discussion in the Internet of Things session (with SURFnet) 

Young eScientist Award 2017. From left to right: Maureen van Eijnatten (winner 2016), Frank Takes (winner 2017), Rob van Nieuwpoort (Director eScience Technology, Netherlands eScience Center)

Diederik Jekel delivers closing keynote on 'Living in a scientific revolution'

Young scientist wins award for platform to investigate corporate tax avoidance

October 12th, 2017

Frank Takes (31) from the University of Amsterdam has won the Young eScientist Award 2017. The prize aims to stimulate a young scientist demonstrating excellence in eScience: the development or application of digital technology to address scientific challenges. The prize will be used to undertake a joint research project, in which Takes will receive support by eScience Research Engineers (experts in the development and application of research software).

Investigating tax havens

Takes’ research focuses on corporate tax avoidance via offshore finance. This has been a hot topic in recent years, especially with large companies moving offshore from their ‘home’ nation for the purpose of tax avoidance. Together with the eScience Center, Takes’ wants to develop an interactive web-based platform to investigate the dynamics of this global network of offshore finance.

The platform, aimed at a non-technical audience, should serve both as a data hub and a yearly updated index of tax havens, and visualize value flows between hundreds of countries. This will enable researchers, journalists and policy makers to directly gain insight in the evolution of corporate tax avoidance across the globe – a topic with great relevance to society.

About the Netherlands eScience Center

For scientific researchers wanting to take full advantage of ever growing amounts of data and increasingly powerful digital technology, research software is essential. The Netherlands eScience Center is the Dutch national center of excellence for the development and application of research software.The eScience Center is a joint initiative of the Dutch national research council (NWO) and the Dutch organization for ICT in education and research (SURF).

More information about the Netherlands eScience Center:

More information about the Young eScientist Award: or contact

Photography: Elodie Burrillon /

Health-RI conference on 8 December 2017

October 12th, 2017

Health-RI 2017 will discuss the latest developments and opportunities in biobanking, FAIR data management, ethical and legal aspects, IT solutions, and exciting science, all centered around our collective quest for more and impactful personalized medicine and health solutions. Additionally, Health-RI 2017 will give you an update on how the Netherlands is gearing up for a collective biomedical research infrastructure that maximally supports research projects, and boosts the value of existing and newly generated research and healthcare data. 

This conference offers you an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people from academia and industry, government, and health foundations to discuss your ideas and explore possible new collaborations.

This year's conference will take place on 8 December 2017 in Utrecht.

Visit the conference website here.

Adriënne Mendrik on Grand Challenges in Computer Vision Magazine

October 12th, 2017

Open science is supported by the eScience Center. One of our eScience Coordinators (Adriënne Mendrik) was co-organizer and presenter at a tutorial on designing benchmarks and challenges for measuring algorithm performance in biomedical image analysis at the 20th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (September 14th, 2017 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada - view the article in Computer Vision Magazine).

Challenges are open online competitions, for which data and evaluation metrics are made publicly available to get insight into algorithm performance for a specific problem.

Adriënne Mendrik and Stephen Aylward presented a theoretical framework to help guide challenge design and redefine the objective of grand challenges, to either gain insight (insight challenge) or solve a problem (deployment challenge).

For more information see

There is to date no long-term solution that fully facilitates the sustainability of grand challenges in the biomedical image analysis field

NWA-routes conferentie

September 20th, 2017

Eén jaar na de presentatie van het Portfolio voor onderzoek en innovatie is er veel gebeurd binnen de 25 routes van de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda. Tijd om te reflecteren op het proces en de ontwikkeling van nieuwe samenwerkingsverbanden, resultaten te delen en nieuwe mogelijkheden voor co-creatie en kennisbenutting te verkennen. Dat doen we graag samen met de vertegenwoordigers van de routes en hun netwerken tijdens de NWA-routes conferentie op 31 oktober in Nieuwegein.


Het programma is samengesteld op basis van de wensen die leven binnen de routes. We bieden ruimte voor ontmoeting en verdere verdieping, maar ook inhoudelijke themaworkshops, zoals over big data, living labs, sustainable development goals, kunst, kennis en innovatie én publiek-private samenwerking. Bekijk hier het complete aanbod van workshops.


De conferentie is gericht op deelnemers vanuit de wetenschap, maatschappelijke organisaties, overheden en bedrijfsleven. Belangstellenden kunnen zich tot en met donderdag 19 oktober aanmelden.


De conferentie vindt plaats in de Woonindustrie te Nieuwegein. De ontvangst is vanaf 9.30 uur. Het programma begint om 10.00 uur.


Mocht u nog vragen hebben over logistieke en/of organisatorische aspecten van de dag, dan kunt u ons per e-mail bereiken via

AA-ALERT project detects Fast Radio Burst

September 6th, 2017

Fast Radio Bursts, or FRBs, are one of the hottest topics in astronomy right now. These intense blasts of radio energy reach us from outside the galaxy, lasting only milliseconds before they disappear once more. Astronomers aren’t sure what causes them, and none of these bursts have ever repeated — except one, FRB 121102, which made headlines with the identification of its host galaxy, sitting nearly 3 billion light-years away.

ALERT, the Apertif Lofar Exploration of the Radio Transient Sky, is investigating the Northern Sky with unprecedented speed and precision, to determine the nature amongst others such Fast Radio Bursts. The Apertif Radio Transient System (ARTS) is the new, high-speed, wide-field radio camera for the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. It consists of the revolutionary new Apertif front ends (the "eyes") and an exceedingly powerful GPU supercomputer ("the brain"). The algorithms (the "thoughts") for this supercomputer were developed in a collaboration involving ASTRON, Universiteit van Amsterdam, and the Netherlands eScience Center.

The final ARTS GPU hardware was just installed in the Westerbork server room, in the last week of August. On 31 August the team started commissioning the system by observing FRB 121102. During this observation, ARTS detected a bright FRB, its first. The burst is very short (1.3 ms) and bright (24 Jy). The team reported the detection in ATel #10693. Further details and plots are available at

Read more about the project on our blog and on the project page.

Image source: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NRC/NSF/NRAO

“Crowdsourcing for Medical Image Analysis” wins Lorentz-eScience workshop competition

August 3rd, 2017

We congratulate professors Lora Aroyo (VU University Amsterdam), Alessandro Bozzon (Delft University of Technology), Veronika Cheplygina (Eindhoven University of Technology), Danna Gurari (University of Texas at Austin, USA) and Zoltán Szlavik (IBM Center for Advanced Studies Benelux) on winning the competition for the second Lorentz-eScience workshop with their proposal “Crowdsourcing for Medical Image Analysis”. We are very pleased that we can continue this program with such a high quality and interesting workshop.

Crowdsourcing for Medical Image Analysis

The vast amount of visual data collected at hospitals each year offers exciting opportunities for computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) of widespread diseases such as COPD or diabetes. However, progress in algorithms for CAD relies on annotated data, requiring costly annotation by medical experts. Crowdsourcing - outsourcing tasks to a crowd of internet users without any specific experience - has emerged in other communities, such as computer vision, to successfully offer a cost-effective, scalable alternative to extract meaningful information from images. However, medical images are still widely believed to be too difficult for untrained people to interpret.

Bringing together experts from academia and industry

This workshop will serve as an inter-disciplinary gathering for individuals in academia and industry interested in advancing this important, emerging field. The workshop will bring together experts from medical imaging (including clinical experts), machine learning (including computer vision) and crowdsourcing in order to identify key problems to tackle as a community, explore medical imaging datasets and crowdsourcing tools during hands-on sessions, and initiate projects to develop the community in the future.

The workshop will take place in the week of 9 – 13 July 2018 at the venue Lorentz Center@Snellius in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Lorentz-eScience workshop competitions, organized by the Netherlands eScience Center and the Lorentz Center, sponsor leading-edge workshops on the application of digitally enhanced research. The workshops should bring together researchers from the academic scientific community with those from the public/private sector. More information:

Prof. Jan de Boer joins Board of Directors eScience Center

July 24th, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Jan de Boer of the University of Amsterdam is joining the Board of Directors of the Netherlands eScience Center as of July 2017.

Jan de Boer has been associated with the University of Amsterdam since 2000 as Professor of Theoretical Physics. Between 2010 and 2015 he was education director of the Graduate School of Science. He also leads the Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA), part of the Institute of Physics. 

He was also one of the founders of GRAPPA research center. From 2015 until 2016, Jan de Boer was in the executive board of FOM and from 1 January 2017 in the board of NWO Domain Science (ENW). Jan de Boer is looking forward to strengthen the relation between the NWO Domain Science and the eScience Center.

An ambition for the global astronomical community

July 17th, 2017

Groen licht voor NWA Startimpulsprogramma VWData

July 7th, 2017

Op 5 juli heeft de NWA Route Big Data groen licht gekregen voor het uitvoeren van het Startimpulsprogramma VWData (Verantwoorde Waardecreatie met Big Data). Dit programma heeft een omvang van 2,5M Euro plus 0,5-1M Euro cofinanciering. In totaal heeft de Raad van Bestuur van NWO 20M Euro toegekend uit het Startimpulsbudget voor de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda aan acht verschillende Startimpulsprogramma’s.

Een succesvolle eerste stap
‘Dit is een succesvolle eerste stap in de implementatie van de NWA,’ aldus NWA-voorzitter Louise Gunning. ‘Zoals de NWA beoogt zijn er nieuwe samenwerkingsverbanden gecreëerd tussen wetenschappers van verschillende disciplines, maar ook tussen verschillende kennisinstellingen, ministeries, bedrijfsleven en maatschappelijke organisaties. Ook is geëxperimenteerd met een andere manier om geld aan partijen toe te delen en de krachten te bundelen. Hopelijk volgt er nu ook snel financiering voor de andere routes.’

VWData Startimpulsprogramma
De verantwoordelijkheid over het VWData Startimpulsprogramma programma is in handen van de aanvragers van dit programma. Het team van aanvragers bestrijkt de brede achterban van de route Big Data, en bestaat uit: Inald Lagendijk (route boegbeeld, hoofdaanvrager), Wilco Hazeleger (route trekker), Henk-Jan Vink (route trekker), Wil van der Aalst, Geleyn Meijer, Natali Helberger, en Wiro Niessen.

Het programma is tot stand gekomen door de selectie uit maar liefst 54 voorstellen. De grote en diverse set van ingeleverde voorstellen weerspiegelt het belang van verantwoorde waardecreatie met big data, en de grote betrokkenheid van partijen die zich met dit vraagstuk bezighouden.

Het programma bestaat momenteel uit zeven projecten (en projectteams) die zijn verdeeld over vijf inhoudelijke werkpakketten, met daarnaast een overstijgend werkpakket voor programmamanagement en kennisdisseminatie en voor onderzoek naar de betekenis en impact van FAIR en FACT ten behoeve van VWData-synergie en toekomstige programmering.

Werkpakket Fairness
FairNews: Nieuwsvoorziening in een Big Data Data tijdperk
Hoe ver kunnen en mogen algoritmes gaan in het filteren van informatie? Wanneer komen fundamentele rechten in het geding?
Claes de Vreese (UvA/CW), Claudia Hauff (TUD) en Joris Hoboken (UvA/IvIR)

Werkpakket Accuracy
Capturing Bias: Diversity-aware Computation for Accurate Big Media Data Analysis
The WP provides bias- and diversity-aware methods & tools to support accurate analysis and interpretation of big media data over time.
Lora Aroyo (VUA), Alessandro Bozzon (TUD), Alec Badenoch (UU) en Antoaneta Dimitrova (UL)

Werkpakket Confidentiality
Enabling of privacy-friendly analysis of network data and beyond
In dit project worden technieken ontwikkeld om big data op een privacy-vriendelijke wijze op te slaan, te delen en te analyseren.
Bart Jacobs (RUN), Joeri de Ruiter (RUN), Roland van Rijswijk-Deij (SURF) en Aiko Pras (UT)

Werkpakket Transparancy
Responsible Collection and Analysis of Personal Data in Law Enforcement
We will clarify how to balance transparency with other values, esp. accountability, confidentiality and fairness, in the collection and analysis of personal data in law enforcement.Ibo van de Poel (TUD), Nicolien Kop (Politieacademie) en Marc Steen (TNO)

Data-gedreven diensteninnovatie: compliancy en transparency 'by design'
By-design meenemen van en inzicht geven in verantwoorde verwerking van (big) data in innovatieve digitale diensten.
Gerard Schouten (Fontys), Johan Versendaal (HvU), Martijn Zoet (Zuyd Hogeschool) en Remko Helms (OU)

Werkpakket Accessibility & Operability
Distributed FAIR information systems to enable federated learning and reasoning
Enabling reliable, explainable federated learning and reasoning from distributed FAIR data assets with security enforcement mechanisms.
Cees de Laat (UvA), Henri Bal (VU), Barend Mons (LUMC, GO FAIR), Wessel Kraaij (UL/TNO) & team UU, VU, UL, KPMG, UvA, KLM, NLR, ASTRON

Analyzing partitioned FAIR health data responsibly
Combining and learning from access-restricted FAIR health and socioeconomic data across entities in a privacy-preserving manner.Michel Dumontier (UM), Andre Dekker (MUMC). David Townend (UM), Annemarie Koster (UM) en Bob van den Berg (CBS)

Over de Startimpuls
In september 2016 maakte het ministerie van OCW bekend 30 miljoen euro te investeren in de NWA. Het grootste deel hiervan, 20 miljoen euro, gaat naar de Startimpuls en is bestemd voor thematisch onderzoek binnen bepaalde thema’s. Daaronder vallen acht routes van de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda. Minister Bussemaker en staatssecretaris Dekker laten weten verheugd te zijn dat de toekenningen rond zijn. Minister Bussemaker geeft aan dat er nieuwe inzichten ontstaan door samenwerking die disciplines overstijgt, door nieuwe kenniscentra op te richten en broedplaatsen voor talent te ontwikkelen. ‘Met het thema veerkrachtige samenleving bijvoorbeeld, investeren we in nieuwe samenwerking tussen wetenschappers, bedrijfsleven én maatschappelijke organisaties. Samenwerking is cruciaal voor gelijke kansen voor iedereen, wat ik heel belangrijk vind,’ aldus minister Bussemaker. Staatssecretaris Dekker benadrukt de economische kansen: ‘De onderzoeken moeten leiden tot antwoorden op de maatschappelijke en economische vragen van vandaag en de nabije toekomst, tot nieuwe oplossingen en innovaties die zorgen voor economische groei en meer banen.’

ANDI project receives award for Amsterdam’s most innovative scientific idea

July 7th, 2017

The award for Amsterdam’s most innovative scientific idea

Nathalie de Vent and Joost Agelink van Rentergem of the University of Amsterdam are the winners of the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award 2017, the annual award for the most innovative scientific idea of all Amsterdam knowledge and research institutes.

They received the award for the Advanced Neuropsychological Diagnostics Infrastructure (ANDI), a new online infrastructure for the improvement of neuropsychological diagnostics. The eScience Center participated in this project, developing an interactive web application.

ANDI – a new online infrastructure for the improvement of neuropsychological diagnostics

Advanced Neuropsychological Diagnostics Infrastructure (ANDI) is a website for the analysis of neuropsychological test results to improve the diagnosis of brain trauma or brain disease. ANDI has a large database of representative standard data of healthy controls, which makes the comparison of a patient with the standard group more precise than when the traditional standard tables are used. Also, demographic background variables are taken into account in this equation. Nathalie: “This way, ANDI facilitates and improves neuropsychological diagnostics, which can also improve care for patients with brain diseases.”

Nathalie de Vent and Joost Agelink van Rentergem received the prize of € 10,000 from Mirjam van Praag, chairman of the jury. “ANDI can make the difference for thousands of people. The jury was initially surprised that such a platform did not already exist: it sounds like something that is practically possible and that serves a clear question. ANDI takes this up and uses big data and networks in an innovative way, “said Mirjam van Praag.

Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award

The Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award is the annual award for the most innovative idea with a social and/or commercial application, derived from scientific research. This year is the twelfth edition of this award. The Award is organized by IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam). Partners of the Award are the City of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Science Park, Sanquin, NKI-AVL, Rabobank, Port of Amsterdam, Equinix, Surfsara and De Vries & Metman.

News item IXA:

DIVE+ receives the grand prize at the LODLAM Summit in Venice

July 4th, 2017

DIVE+ is a collaborative effort of the VU University Amsterdam (Victor de Boer, Oana Inel, Lora Aroyo, Chiel van den Akker, Susane Legene), Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Jaap Blom, Liliana Melgar, Johan Oomen), Frontwise (Werner Helmich), University of Groningen (Berber Hagendoorn, Sabrina Sauer) and the Netherlands eScience Center (Carlos Martinez). It is supported by CLARIAH and NWO.

Beeld en Geluid is excited to announce that DIVE+ has been awarded the Grand Prize at the LODLAM Summit, held at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini this week. The summit brought together ~100 experts in the vibrant and global community of Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums. It is organised bi-annually since 2011. Earlier editions were held in the US, Canada and Australia, making the 2017 edition the first in Europe.

The Grand Prize (USD$2,000) was awarded by the LODLAM community. It's a recognition of how DIVE+ demonstrates social, cultural and technical impact of linked data. The Open Data Prize (of USD$1,000) was awarded to WarSampo for its groundbreaking approach to publish open data.

Five finalists were invited to present their work, selected from a total of 21 submissions after an open call published earlier this year. Johan Oomen, head of research at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision presented DIVE+ on day one of the summit. The slides of his pitch have been published, as well as the demo video that was submitted to the open call. Next to DIVE+ (Netherlands) and WarSampo (Finland) the finalists were Oslo public library (Norway), Fishing in the Data Ocean (Taiwan) and Genealogy Project (China). The diversity of the finalists is a clear indication that the use of linked data technology is gaining momentum. Throughout the summit, delegates have been capturing the outcomes of various breakout sessions. Please look at the overview of session notes and follow @lodlam on Twitter to keep track.

DIVE+ is an event-centric linked data digital collection browser aimed to provide an integrated and interactive access to multimedia objects from various heterogeneous online collections. It enriches the structured metadata of online collections with linked open data vocabularies with focus on events, people, locations and concepts that are depicted or associated with particular collection objects. DIVE+ is the result of a true interdisciplinary collaboration between computer scientists, humanities scholars, cultural heritage professionals and interaction designers. DIVE+ is integrated in the national CLARIAH (Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) research infrastructure.

The LODLAM Challenge was generously sponsored by Synaptica. We would also like to thank the organisers, especially Valentine Charles and Antoine Isaac of Europeana and Ingrid Mason of Aarnet for all of their efforts. LODLAM 2017 has been a truly unforgettable experience for the DIVE+ team.

Photo credit: Enno Meijers

Are you our new Director Operations (Directeur Bedrijfsvoering)?

June 28th, 2017

eScience Center and CLARIAH grant four projects in the Arts and Humanities

June 26th, 2017

The eScience Center and CLARIAH are pleased to announce the initiation of four new projects in the Arts and Humanities. The four projects will pursue new scientific domain challenges and enhance and accelerate the process of scientific discovery within the Arts and Humanities using computer science, data science, and eScience technologies.

Scheduled to start in the second half of 2017, the projects are collaborations with research teams from multiple Dutch academic groups. The granted projects will use, adapt, and integrate existing methods and tools, as made available through the CLARIAH and eScience Center software infrastructures. Newly developed tools will be made available through the eScience Technology Platform of the Netherlands eScience Center and the CLARIAH Infrastructure for potential use in other studies.

The granted projects are:

Bridging the gap: Digital Humanities and the Arabic-Islamic corpus
Prof. dr. Christian Lange, Utrecht University

Despite some pioneering efforts in recent times, the longue durée analysis of conceptual history in the Islamic world remains a largely unexplored field of research. Researchers of Islamic intellectual history still tend to study a certain canon of texts, made available by previous Western researchers of the Islamic world largely based on considerations of the relevance of these texts for Western theories, concepts and ideas. Indigenous conceptual developments and innovations are therefore insufficiently understood, particularly as concerns the transition from premodern to modern thought in Islam.

This project seeks to harness state-of-the art Digital Humanities approaches and technologies to make pioneering forays into the vast corpus of digitised Arabic texts that has become available in the last decade. This is done along the lines of four case studies, each of which examines a separate genre of Arabic and Islamic literary history (jurisprudence, inter-faith literature, early modern and modern journalism, and Arabic poetry).

This project seeks to develop a web-based application that will (a) enable easy access to existing Arabic corpora on GitHub and other online repositories and offer the opportunity for researchers to upload their own corpus (b) offer a set of tools for Arabic text mining and computational analysis, and (c) provide opportunities to link search results to the datasets in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies of Brill Publishers, Europe’s leading publisher in this area.

The project will be inserted into two ongoing ERC projects on Islamic intellectual history housed at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University, and collaborate closely with international initiatives in the field of Arabic Digital Humanities.

TICCLAT: Text-Induced Corpus Correction and Lexical Assessment Tool
Dr. Martin Reynaert, Tilburg University

The Text-Induced Corpus Clean-up tool TICCL, integral part of the CLARIN infrastructure, is globally unique in utilizing the corpus-derived word form statistics to attempt to fully-automatically post-correct texts digitized by means of Optical Character Recognition.

The NWO 'Groot' project Nederlab will deliver by the end of 2017 a uniformly processed and linguistically enriched diachronic corpus of Dutch containing an estimated 5-6 billion word tokens. We aim to extend TICCL's correction capabilities with classification facilities based on specific data collected from the full Nederlab corpus: word statistics, document and time references and linguistic annotations, i.e. Part-of-Speech and Named-Entity labels. These data will complement a solid, renewed basis composed of the available validated lexicons and name lists for Dutch.

In this, TICCL as a post-correction tool will be transformed into TICCLAT, a lexical assessment tool capable of delivering not only correction candidates, but also e.g. more accurately dated diachronic Dutch word forms, more securely classified person and place names. To achieve this on scale, the TICCLAT project will seek a successful merger of TICCL's anagram hashing with bit-vectorization techniques. TICCLAT's capabilities will also be evaluated in comparison to human performance by an expert psycholinguist.

The data collected will be exportable for storage in a data repository, as RDF triples, for broad reuse. The project will greatly contribute to a more comprehensive overview of the lexicon of Dutch since its earliest days and of the person and place names that share its history. Its partners are the Dutch experts in Lexicology, Person Names and Toponyms.

News Genres: Advancing Media History by Transparent Automatic Genre Classification (NEWSGAC)
Prof. dr. Marcel J. Broersma, University of Groningen

This project studies how genres in newspapers and television news can be detected automatically using machine learning in a transparent manner. This will enable us to capture the often hypothesized but, due to the highly time consuming nature of manual content analysis, largely understudied shift from opinion-based to fact-centred reporting. Moreover, we will open the black box of machine learning by comparing, predicting and visualizing the effects of applying various algorithms on heterogeneous data with varying quality and genre features that shift over time. This will enable scholars to do large-scale analyses of historic texts and other media types as well as critically evaluate the methodological effects of various machine learning approaches.

This project brings together expertise of journalism history scholars (RUG), specialists in data modelling, integration and analysis (CWI), digital collection experts (KB & NISV) and e-science engineers (eScience Center). It will first use a big manually annotated dataset (VIDI-project PI) to develop a transparent and reproducible approach to train an automatic classifier. Building upon this, the project will generate three outcomes:

1. A study that revises our current understanding of the interrelated development of genre conventions in print and television journalism based upon large-scale automated content analysis via machine learning;

2. Metrics and guidelines for evaluating the bias and error of the different preprocessing and machine learning approaches and of-the-shelf software packages;

3. A dashboard that integrates, compares and visualises different algorithms and underlying machine learning approaches which can be integrated in the CLARIAH media suite.

EviDENce: Ego Documents Events modelliNg. How individuals recall mass violence
Dr. Susan Hogervorst, Open Universiteit Nederland

Much of our historical knowledge is based on oral or written accounts of eyewitnesses, particularly in cases of war and mass violence, when regular ways of documentation and record keeping are often absent. Although oral history and the study of ego documents both value these individual perspectives on history and its meaning, these research fields tend to operate separately. However, the digital revolution has shaken up the balance between spoken and written text. The paradigm emerging in the application of search technology to digitised oral history is characterised by a post-documentary sensibility: away from text and sensitive to other dimensions of human expression than language. Nonetheless, ‘mining’ of oral history accounts remains valuable in humanities research, especially considering the re-use of digital interview collections throughout the humanities.

EviDENce explores new ways of analysing and contextualising historical sources by applying event modelling and semantic web technologies. Our project suggests a systematic and integral content analysis of ‘ego-sources’ by applying state-of-the-art entity and event modelling methods and tools, in order to explore the nature and value of ego-sources and to disclose existing collections. We focus on representations of mass-violence in two case studies to generate and explore different kinds of events: 1) a synchronic analysis of WW2 events, centered around the oral history collection ‘Getuigenverhalen’ [1] and using the WW2 thesaurus [2], and 2) a diachronic analysis of ego-documents (1573-2012) from Nederlab [3]. In both cases, we use content-related contextual sources from Nederlab [4].

About the ADAH Call

The four projects result from the recent ADAH call (Accelerating Scientific Discovery in the Arts and Humanities). The purpose of the 2016 ADAH call is to enable researchers working in the Arts and Humanities to address compute-intensive and/or data-driven problems within their research and to contribute to a generic and sustainable research software infrastructure.

About the Netherlands eScience Center

The eScience Center is the national hub for the development and application of domain overarching software and methods for the scientific community. The eScience Center develops crucial bridges between increasingly complex modern e-infrastructures and the growing demands and ambitions of scientists from across all scientific disciplines.


CLARIAH is a national project that is designing, constructing and exploiting the Dutch parts of the European CLARIN and DARIAH infrastructures. CLARIAH covers the humanities as a whole but has three core discipline areas: linguistics, media studies, and socio-economic history.

Contact information

Prof. dr. Jan Odijk, Program Director CLARIAH
+31 (0)30 253 5745

Dr. Frank Seinstra, Director eScience Program, Netherlands eScience Center
+31 (0)20 4604770

What is the impact of visualization on science?

June 21st, 2017

Call for proposals NWA-route Big Data

May 15th, 2017

De Nationale Wetenschapsagenda-route Big Data heeft een call for (verkorte) proposals uitgezet. Teams van onderzoekers worden uitgenodigd om een verkort voorstel in te dienen voor het uitvoeren van één van de vijf inhoudelijke werkpakketten binnen het voorgestelde programma Verantwoorde Waardecreatie met Big Data (VWData), dat vanaf januari 2018 van start moet gaan binnen als onderdeel van de NWA Startimpuls.

De Programmabeschrijving, de call-tekst en het template voor indiening vindt u hier.

De deadline is zaterdag 3 juni 2017.

DATA2PERSON - Big Data & Health

April 20th, 2017

Consortiums of academics and public/private parties can apply for funding for the development of effective, efficient, and responsible personal empowerment methods that promote a healthy society in the future.


With this call for the COMMIT2DATA programme, NWO, ZonMW, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs stimulate big data Research (Data Science) to contribute to the development of effective, efficient, and responsible personal empowerment methods for a future healthy society in partnership with other scientific disciplines. The focus of this programme is on the way in which Data Science can make a contribution to a personalized offer and possibilities for the self/joint management of the individual health situation. Important questions relating to this call are: What works and what doesn't? Why? Or why not? For who does it work, and for who doesn't it?

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted on behalf of consortiums consisting of at least two academic departments from a research institute or institutes and one public or private partner that alone, or together with multiple private and public partners, meets the private/public matching criteria.

The principal applicant is an experienced researcher with a PhD who has a tenured or temporary appointment at a Dutch university or a research institute recognized by the NWO for the duration of the application process and the project.
The same standards apply to academic co-applicants. 

Private and public partners may be co-applicants and are not eligible to receive NWO funding, but contribute in cash and/or in kind to the research.

Researchers from universities of applied sciences, TO2 federation organizations, national institutes, and the non-university part of Wageningen University & Research may act as co-applicants as knowledge institutes but are not eligible to receive NWO funding.

More information can be found here.

How can network analysis lead to a new way of studying court decisions?

April 3rd, 2017

The eScience Center and NWO-Shell join forces for future energy

March 22nd, 2017

Future energy requires innovative solutions. Current energy developments are advanced by scientific research on geoscience, wind and solar energy, multiphase flows, computational chemistry and material sciences. The eScience Center and NWO-Shell’s Computational Sciences for Energy Research programme (CSER) are joining forces to support this research by opening a joint call for PhD project proposals with eScience support. This new joint call addresses research challenges in the computational sciences for future energy and develops sustainable software tools.

The CSER programme started in 2012 with the aim to strengthen the computational sciences in the Netherlands and to contribute to societal issues such as the Energy Challenge, as described by the Topsector Energy. The programme has not yet addressed the sustainability of the software tools and results of its research projects. The joint call with the eScience Center concentrates on both the scientific challenges and the sustainability of the software tools. The eScience Center is tasked to enhance science by working collaboratively in data and compute intensive research projects. It contributes to projects by providing eScience Research Engineer support to effectively use and develop modern digital tools and methodologies. The eScience Center also provides an online platform, the eScience Technology Platform, to sustain the developed tools and methodologies beyond the life time of the project.

About CSER

The Computational Sciences for Energy Research (CSER) programme is a joint large-scale public-private partnership in fundamental research in the energy domain between Shell and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The goal of the programme is to strengthen the computational sciences in the Netherlands and to contribute to societal issues such as the Energy Challenge, as described by the Topsector Energy.

The programme has started in 2012 and a strong relationship between the partners is now established. The programme consists of 75 PhD projects spread over a range of computational sciences disciplines such as computational geoscience, wind and solar energy, multiphase flows, computational chemistry and material sciences for energy research. Besides developing top talented PhD students in the field of computational sciences, the programme also focuses on strengthening the knowledge infrastructure within the Netherlands through tenure track positions at various universities and research institutes.

About the Netherlands eScience Center

The eScience Center is the national hub for the development and application of domain overarching software and methods for the scientific community. The eScience Center develops crucial bridges between increasingly complex modern e-infrastructures and the growing demands and ambitions of scientists from across all scientific disciplines. The application of digitally enhanced scientific practices is nowadays fundamental toolbox for all researchers and is a prerequisite to ensure that the Dutch knowledge sector remains competitive and the greatest return can be achieved from scientific investments. In support of this goal, the eScience Center funds and participates in multidisciplinary projects with optimal data-handling, efficient computing and big-data analytics at their core.

3D-e-Chem team develops Virtual Machine for Computer-Aided Drug Discovery

February 24th, 2017

A team of cheminformatics and bioinformatics researchers from Netherlands eScience Center, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Radboudumc Nijmegen, and BioAxis Research have developed a freely available virtual machine to enable computer-aided drug design.

The 3D-e-Chem consortium, including Stefan Verhoeven (Netherlands eScience Center), Ross McGuire (Radboudumc, BioAxis Research), and Chris de Graaf (PI, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), develop new cheminformatics technologies to improve the integration of chemical and biological data for the prediction of structural interactions between drug molecules and therapeutic protein targets. The computational drug discovery platform is currently applied to identify and optimize molecules that act on several proteins simultaneously (polypharmacology), while avoiding undesired side effects via interactions with off-target proteins.

The 3D-e-Chem software tools and virtual machine are described in a recent publication in the Journal of Chemical Modeling and Information and the computational building blocks (nodes) that enable researchers to design their own drug discovery workflows will soon be incorporated in KNIME, the leading open data analytics platform.

Lorentz-eScience competition 2018

February 20th, 2017

    Lorentz-eScience competition 2018

The Netherlands eScience Center and the Lorentz Center are looking for researchers who want to join the Lorentz-eScience competition and organize a workshop at the Lorentz Center@Snellius, Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Lorentz-eScience competition aims to host a leading-edge workshop on digitally enhanced research (efficient utilization of data, software and e-infrastructure). The workshop topic should bring together researchers from the academic scientific community and the public/private sector.

What we seek
• an innovative scientific programme, that takes us beyond our current boundaries
• an open and interactive format, with few lectures
• at least one scientific organizer based within and one outside the Netherlands
• at least one scientific organizer from the academic sector and one from the public/private sector

What we offer
• a 5-day workshop for up to 25 people in the first half of 2018
• travel and accommodation reimbursements
• no registration fees or other organizational costs
• a professional support organization

• a 1-page expression of interest by 15 April 2017
• a full application by 6 June 2017
• final decision end of June 2017
• submit applications to:

• Wilco Hazeleger, director Netherlands eScience Center;
• Arjen Doelman, director Lorentz Center;
• Henriette Jensenius, scientific manager Lorentz Center;

Ambities op terrein open science in stroomversnelling

February 9th, 2017

Vandaag overhandigt NWO, samen met 9 andere partijen, het Nationaal Plan Open Science aan staatssecretaris Sander Dekker van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap. Het plan is een volgende stap in het realiseren van vrije toegang tot alle wetenschappelijke artikelen en optimaal hergebruik van onderzoeksdata.

NWO is al zeer actief op terrein van open access en datamanagement. Sinds 1 december 2015 moeten onderzoekers publicaties die voortkomen uit door NWO gefinancierd onderzoek direct openbaar toegankelijk – open access – maken. Ook onderzoeksdata die voortkomen uit NWO-onderzoek moeten optimaal vindbaar, toegankelijk, en herbruikbaar zijn voor andere onderzoekers. Daartoe heeft NWO vorig jaar in de gehele organisatie een datamanagementbeleid geïmplementeerd. NWO-voorzitter Stan Gielen: 'Open science leidt tot een duurzamer onderzoeksproces en uiteindelijk tot snellere kennisontwikkeling. NWO gaat nu onderzoeken hoe open science ook breder een plaats kan krijgen in de beoordeling van onderzoeksaanvragen. Daarbij zoeken we nadrukkelijk de aansluiting bij internationale ontwikkelingen.'

Tegelijkertijd met de presentatie van het plan door de tien partijen NWO, VSNU, KNAW, Vereniging Hogescholen, KB, SURF, NFU, ZonMw, Promovendi Netwerk Nederland en GO FAIR, wordt het Nationaal Platform Open Science gelanceerd. Dit platform moet de komende jaren zorgen voor een gecoördineerde inzet voor open science in dialoog met de gehele onderzoeksgemeenschap. Met deelname aan het platform kan NWO haar ambities op het gebied van open science versneld en in samenhang met de activiteiten van andere organisaties realiseren. 'Indien we open science echt mogelijk willen maken, dan vergt dat forse investeringen in infrastructuur om dit te kunnen realiseren. NWO wil graag een bijdrage leveren aan de strategische discussie hierover om daarmee haar missie waar te maken: het bevorderen van excellente wetenschap en het beschikbaar stellen van de resultaten hiervan aan de samenleving', aldus Stan Gielen.

Meer informatie

Bron: NWO

Download Nationaal Plan Open Science

Credits: Tom Bakker

We have 3 new job opportunities

February 7th, 2017

We have 3 new job opportunities, if you are interested please click on the link.

Breaking jargon barriers at Talking eScience 2017

February 1st, 2017

Annual Report: Enabling digitally enhanced science in 2016

January 18th, 2017

Four new alliances and two new Path-Finding projects

December 21st, 2016

We are pleased to announce the initiation of four new alliances and two new Path-Finding projects.

The projects are collaborations with research teams from University of Twente, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Delft University of Technology, University of Groningen and Wageningen University.

New alliances

High spatial resolution phenological modelling at continental scales
Dr. Raul Zurita-Milla
University of Twente
View project

IMPACT: Software Analytics for the monitoring and assessment of the global impact of eScience Software on eStep
Prof. dr. J. J. Vinju
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
View project

City Cloud: From the Things to the Cloud and back – Bridging the interoperability problem across IoT application segments
Dr. ir. Nirvana Meratnia
University of Twente
View project

AutoGraph: Automated multi-scale Graph manipulation with topological and flow-based methods J.W.C. van Lint
Delft University of Technology
View project

New Path-Finding projects

Automated Analysis of Online Behaviour on Social Media
Prof.dr. Marcel J. Broersma
University of Groningen
View project

Data-mining tools for abrupt climate change
Sebastian Bathiany
Wageningen University
View project

Scientists take ‘blue-action’ to help society cope with the impacts of Arctic climate changes

December 6th, 2016

While the Arctic faces rapid warming and less sea ice currently covers the Arctic Ocean than ever before at this time of the year, an international partnership launches a major project to improve our detailed understanding of the processes and impacts of this changing climate and to construct better long-term forecast systems for the increasingly extreme weather of the Arctic and the wider northern hemisphere.

The Netherlands eScience Center will join Blue-Action - a four-year research and innovations project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme with €7.5 million investment. It brings together 116 experts from 40 organisations in 17 countries on three continents working in academia, local authorities and maritime industries.

Pooling their expertise, skills, approaches and networks, the partners aim to improve how we describe, model and predict the weather and climate on seasonal to decadal time scales in the Arctic and over the northern hemisphere. This information will allow communities and businesses in Eurasia and North America to develop and plan their activities better.

“We will deliver this by synthesizing observations, assessing model performance, conducting coordinated multi-model sensitivity experiments, reducing and evaluating the uncertainty in prediction systems and developing new initialization techniques” explains Dr Daniela Matei from the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, one of two coordinators of the project.

“Working directly with local communities, businesses operating in the Arctic and industrial organisations, Blue-Action will demonstrate new opportunities for growth through tailored climate services. These will give users the information they need to live and work safely and successfully in the rapidly changing regions in and surrounding the Arctic” says project coordinator Dr Steffen M Olsen from the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.

“We are starting today to reach out to the many communities and businesses in the far north to work with us to guide our research direction and to co-develop adaptation mechanisms that will allow them to not only sustain but to boost their performance,” says Steffen Olsen.

“We will collaborate with other modelling and observational climate projects funded within the JPI-Climate Belmont-Forum, EU-H2020 frameworks to maximise the synergy and efficiency of our research efforts,” adds Dr Matei.

While the project began its work on 1st December 2016, the Blue-Action kick-off meeting will be held 18-20 January 2017 at the Max Planck Society’s Harnack-Haus in Berlin.

Image: To thrive in the rapidly changing Arctic environment people - like polar bears - have to adapt swiftly. The new Blue-Action project will help empower Arctic communities and businesses to make informed choices through better forecast systems. (Photo copyright: Dirk Notz, Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology).

Eight new eScience projects to start in 2017

December 5th, 2016

We are pleased to announce the initiation of eight new projects in the areas of Environment & Sustainability, Life Sciences & eHealth, Humanities & Social Sciences, Physics & Beyond and Disruptive Computer & Data Science.

The projects are the result of the 2016 ASDI ( Accelerating Scientific Discovery) and DTEC (Disruptive Technologies) Calls. The 2016 DTEC call was organized in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Physical Sciences (NWO) and Commit2Data.

Scheduled to start in 2017, the projects are collaborations with research teams from multiple Dutch academic groups and represent the latest step in the continued development of the eScience Center's project portfolio.

2016 ASDI project call (Accelerating Scientific Discovery):

1. eEcoLiDAR: eScience infrastructure for Ecological applications of LiDAR point clouds
Dr. rer. nat. W. Daniel Kissling
University of Amsterdam

2. Emotion Recognition in Dementia: Advancing technology for multimodal analysis of emotion expression in everyday life
Prof. dr. Gerben Westerhof
University of Twente, Enschede

3. DIRAC: DIstributed Radio Astronomical Computing
Dr. Sarod B. Yatawatta
ASTRON, Dwingeloo

4. Googling the cancer genome: Identification and prioritization of relevant structural variations in whole genome sequencing data of cancer patients
Dr. ir. Jeroen de Ridder
University Medical Center Utrecht

5. DeepRank: Scoring 3D protein-protein interaction models using deep learning
Prof. Dr. Alexandre M.J.J. Bonvin
Utrecht University

2016 DTEC project call (Disruptive Technologies):

6. A methodology and ecosystem for many-core programming
Prof. dr. ir. Henri E. Bal
VU University Amsterdam

7. Visual Storytelling of Big Imaging Data
Prof. dr. Jos Roerdink
University of Groningen (RUG)

8. Accelerating Astronomical Applications 2 (Triple-A 2)
Dr. John W. Romein
ASTRON, Dwingeloo

About our project calls

The Netherlands eScience Center receives an annual budget from NWO and SURF, the majority of which is provided to Dutch academics as subsidy in the form of cash and the in kind provision of eScience Research Engineers.

Cash & expertise

The awarding of both cash and expertise makes the eScience Center unique, balancing the role of both funder and collaborator. Large Projects are supported to the value of €500K (combined cash and in kind provision of eScience Research Engineers) and result from annual peer-reviewed project calls.


The eight projects result from two recent calls (ASDI & DTEC).

The purpose of the 2016 ASDI call is to enable domain scientists, working in application fields of Environment & Sustainability, Humanities & Social Sciences, Life Sciences & eHealth, or Physics & Beyond, to address compute-intensive and/or data-driven problems within their research.

The purpose of the DTEC call is to support computer and data scientists in the research and development of novel eScience technologies and software.

Image: Sagar - Colony of Collared Sand Martins. The eEcoLiDAR project will reconstruct 3D ecosystem structures and apply these in species distribution models for breeding birds in forests and marshlands, for insect pollinators in agricultural landscapes, and songbirds at stopover sites during migration. This will allow novel insights into the hierarchical structure of animal-habitat associations, into why animal populations decline, and how they respond to habitat fragmentation and ongoing land use change.

C3S-MAGIC: Developing software for data from climate models

November 22nd, 2016

Om de gevolgen van klimaatverandering in kaart te brengen worden klimaatmodellen gebruikt. Dit zijn uitgebreide weermodellen die voor elke plek op de aarde, van hoog in de atmosfeer tot diep in de oceaan, onder andere de temperatuur, luchtvochtigheid en windsnelheid uitrekenen. In opdracht van het Europese milieuprogramma Copernicus zullen zeven Europese instituten onder leiding van het KNMI software ontwikkelen om de data uit verschillende klimaatmodellen op een gestandaardiseerde manier te ontsluiten.

Klimaatmodellen leveren gigantische hoeveelheden data op, wel honderden terabytes. Binnen de Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) wordt deze data beschikbaar gesteld en wordt er informatie uitgehaald voor schattingen van de stijging van de zeespiegel, veranderingen van windsnelheden en het aantal hittegolven.

Onder leiding van het KNMI wordt software ontwikkeld om de data uit verschillende klimaatmodellen op een gestandaardiseerde manier te ontsluiten.

Het project gaat voor Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) in een consortium software ontwikkelen, genaamd C3S-MAGIC. Een geïnteresseerde hoeft niet meer alle data op zijn eigen computer te hebben staan, maar kan alle berekeningen die nodig zijn laten uitvoeren op de plek waar de data gegenereerd en opgeslagen zijn. Via een webinterface wordt aangegeven welke berekeningen uitgevoerd moet worden en welke data er voor nodig zijn.

Verschillende modules

Omdat verschillende sectoren verschillende informatie nodig hebben, een waterbouwer is in andere dingen geïnteresseerd dan de ontwikkelaar van een windpark, ontwikkelt C3S-MAGIC modules die toegesneden zijn op de wensen van vier specifieke sectoren: kusten, hydrologie, energie en verzekeringen.

De betrokken partners hebben in de afgelopen jaren al veel voorbereidend werk gedaan, veelal in door de Europese Commissie betaalde samenwerkingsverbanden. Een voorbeeld is Deze grotendeels door het KNMI ontwikkelde website gaat de basis vormen van de C3S-MAGIC software. maakt het al mogelijk om informatie van verschillende klimaatmodellen met elkaar te combineren en te visualiseren, maar een verdere bewerking is nog niet mogelijk. Dit wordt ondervangen door de nieuwe software C3S-MAGIC.


In dit project werkt het KNMI samen met Netherlands eScience Center, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute en University of Reading.

Visualisatie van software met luchttemperatuur ©KNMI

400 participants at 4th National eScience Symposium

October 17th, 2016

The day-long event featured over 30 speakers and the announcement of the Young eScientist Award winner 2016.

All talks were recorded on video and will be published online soon, stay tuned!

Photography: Elodie Burrillon / HUCOPIX

Young scientist wins award for using Artificial Intelligence in 3D printing body parts

October 13th, 2016

New Call for Proposals

October 12th, 2016

Rob van Nieuwpoort, professor by special appointment of Efficient Computing for eScience

September 22nd, 2016

Our director of eScience Technology, Rob van Nieuwpoort (1975) has been named professor by special appointment of Efficient Computing for eScience at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science. This chair has been established with the support of the Netherlands eScience Center. Van Nieuwpoort is combining his post as professor by special appointment with his position as director of eScience Technology at the Netherlands eScience Center.

As professor by special appointment, Rob van Nieuwpoort will form a link between the research being undertaken at the University of Amsterdam and at the eScience Center. The eScience Center promotes the use of digital technology in science. It brings together IT, data science, e-infrastructure and data- and computation-intensive research across all domains of research, from physics to the humanities. The applications in the eScience Center's research portfolio offer a unique opportunity for researchers and students to apply their expertise in scientific issues beyond the domain of IT.

More efficient use of large-scale computing power

Van Nieuwpoort will be researching ways in which large-scale computing power can be used more efficiently in achieving scientific breakthroughs in various scientific fields. Over the past few decades, computers have changed fundamentally, and a shift has taken place in the balance between computing power and data transport. Computer processing speeds are increasing, but computers can’t feed the relevant data into the processors quickly enough. In addition, computers have become highly parallel in their operation: they carry out a lot of calculations simultaneously. Many scientific applications have been unable to keep up with these developments. As a result, much scientific software remains sub-optimal. Improving this software will result in faster large-scale data processing and enhanced scientific tools such as telescopes, climate simulations, particle accelerators, etc.

Van Nieuwpoort will be developing new programming models and studies that will make the use of large-scale systems (so-called exascale computers) simpler and more efficient. In addition, energy efficiency also plays a crucial part. For large-scale scientific experiments such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope, energy use is a limiting factor and a major expense. In these cases, software that uses energy more efficiently will have the immediate effect of increasing the sensitivity of the instruments.

Bachelor’s and Master’s education

In addition to undertaking research, Van Nieuwpoort will be teaching on the Systems and Network Engineering and Software Engineering Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. The GPU Computing Center which Van Nieuwpoort established at VU University Amsterdam has come to play a vital role in the Master’s programme in Computer Science taught jointly by VU and UvA, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

Van Nieuwpoort has been director of eScience Technology at the Netherlands eScience Center since 2012. He previously worked as assistant professor at VU University Amsterdam’s Computer Systems research group, and as a researcher at ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Van Nieuwpoort has published widely in renowned scientific journals includingAstronomy and Astrophysics,Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems and IEEE Computer.

1 Miljard extra voor onderzoek en innovatie

September 15th, 2016

Ondernemers en wetenschappers, verenigd in de Kenniscoalitie, slaan de handen ineen in een oproep aan de politiek. Op donderdag 15 september heeft de Kenniscoalitie een Investeringsagenda en een Portfolio voor onderzoek en innovatie gelanceerd samen met een aanbiedingsbrief voor de bewindspersonen van OCW en EZ. De Kenniscoalitie pleit voor een jaarlijkse investering van 1 miljard euro, waarmee Nederland het onderzoek- en innovatiebestel kan dynamiseren en het palet van kansen – geïdentificeerd en gebundeld in de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda – kan verzilveren om de grote maatschappelijke uitdagingen van deze tijd aan te gaan. Deze extra impuls om samenleving, economie en wetenschap duurzaam te versterken is dringend nodig nu de budgetten voor onderzoek en innovatie in een volgende kabinetsperiode ernstig dreigen te dalen. Van het miljard extra moet de helft naar gebieden gaan waar grote transities op ons afkomen. De andere helft zal voor brede versterking van onderzoek, innovatie en samenwerking worden benut.

Nieuwe oplossingen nodig

We staan voor enorme, complexe en urgente uitdagingen die om nieuwe oplossingen vragen. Van de uitwerking van het energieakkoord, de integratie van vluchtelingen, tot de aanpassing aan de klimaatverandering en toekomstbestendige zorginnovaties. Maar in deze uitdagingen liggen ook kansen verscholen die – dankzij deze investering in onze kenniseconomie – gegrepen kunnen worden. Onderzoek, innovatie en intensievere samenwerking tussen bedrijven en kennisinstellingen zijn hierbij onmisbaar. Nederland verkeert in een unieke uitgangspositie, benadrukken onderzoekers en ondernemers. Het opleidingsniveau is hoog en samenwerken zit in ons DNA. Doorbraken voor wetenschap, samenleving en economie liggen binnen handbereik. De internationale positie van het Nederlandse onderzoek- en innovatiebestel staat echter al enige jaren onder druk. Bij ongewijzigd beleid zal Nederland een achterstand oplopen die niet meer in te halen valt. De Kenniscoalitie roept op omnueen forse impuls te geven over de volle breedte van het bestel.

De plannen liggen klaar – nu het geld nog!

De investeringsagenda van de Kenniscoalitie biedt een concreet plan voor investeringen in vernieuwend thematisch onderzoek. Duizenden onderzoekers en ondernemers uit alle sectoren en disciplines hebben samengewerkt om op basis van de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda een portfolio met voorstellen voor baanbrekend onderzoek op de stellen. Daarnaast zijn ook investeringen in talent en infrastructuur dringend noodzakelijk om de brede basis van het bestel te versterken. De afgelopen maanden hebben verschillende leden van de Kenniscoalitie hun afzonderlijke agenda’s al op de vandaag gepresenteerde Investeringsagenda afgestemd. Voorbeelden hiervan zijn NWO Strategie 2015-2018,Wetenschap verbindt 2016-2020 van de KNAW, Nationaal plan Academische geneeskunde, Biomedische wetenschap en gezondheidsonderzoek van de NFU,NL Next Level van VNO-NCW, Strategische onderzoeksagenda hbo 2016-2020 van de Vereniging Hogescholen en De digitale samenleving van de VSNU.

Are you our new colleague?

August 23rd, 2016

Digital Humanities and Urban Climate proposals win NLeSC-Lorentz Workshop competition

July 20th, 2016

This year the Netherlands eScience Center and the Lorentz Center initiated a new competition in which researchers could win a leading-edge workshop on the application of digitally enhanced research. The workshop topic should bring together researchers from the academic scientific community with those from the public/private sector.

Because of the high quality of proposals received, we have decided to have a grand opening of this new program and start out with two winners. We are very pleased that we can begin this program with such high quality and interesting workshops!

The workshops will take place at Lorentz Center@Snellius, Leiden, The Netherlands. The funding of these workshops is made possible by the Netherlands eScience Center, Leiden University and several Dutch funding agencies (NWO-divisions, FOM and STW), anticipating the benefit of the workshops to the Dutch research community.

For more information, please contact Arjen Doelman, Director Lorentz Center or Wilco Hazeleger, Director Netherlands eScience Center.

Winners of the first competition

Visualizing Digital Humanities
Titia van der Werf (Senior Program Officer OCLC), Prof. dr. Bettina Speckmann (Eindhoven University of Technology), Prof. dr. Arianna Betti (University of Amsterdam)

Libraries provide online access to millions and millions of bibliographic records and digitized texts. Scholars in the field of Digital Humanities analyze these records and texts using computational tools. The field of Visual Analytics provides cutting-edge, interactive visual representations, allowing users to extract meaning from large datasets.

This workshop brings together experts from the fields of Geometric Algorithms, Visual Analytics, the Library Sector, and the field of Digital Humanities, in order to develop state-of-the-art visual techniques for librarians and scholars in the humanities. We will identify and describe new areas of application for researchers working in Visual Analytics and formulate objectives and use cases that will result in visualizations satisfying the needs of librarians and humanities scholars.

eWUDAPT: Bringing eScience to Urban Climate Mapping and Modelling
Prof. Dr. Bert Holtslag, Dr. Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Dr. Natalie Theeuwes (Wageningen University)

The world is rapidly urbanizing, requiring dedicated management to keep cities and their surroundings livable, healthy and productive. Urban morphology alters the local environment, and therefore impacts urban weather and climate. Both for long term planning of sustainable cities to be prepared for future climate change and short term urban energy demand planning, representation of the urban morphology in numerical atmospheric models is essential and critical. However, we are still hampered by data of sufficient quality.

This workshop will aims to enhance the WUDAPT (World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools) by eScience methods and stakeholder participation in finding innovative ways of digitizing and analyzing relevant information for urban weather and climate. In addition, results of the eWUDAPT effort are explored to improve urban energy demand planning in the private energy sector (like ENECO) as well as management of environmental quality.

Three new Path-Finding Projects initiated

July 12th, 2016

We are pleased to announce the initiation of three new Path-Finding Projects. The projects are intended to provide the opportunity to rapidly meet short-term scientific challenges, serve as a pilot for future research projects, address immediate technological goals, or investigate the potential to initiate larger projects.

The three projects result from the July Open Call for Path-Finding Projects. Path-Finding Project proposals can be submitted at any time. The eScience Center funds projects by the direct provision of cash and the in kind provision of expertise from  our eScience Research Engineers.

For more information on oru funding opportunities visit our project calls page.

Case Law Analytics
Dr. Gijs van Dijck
Tilburg University

This project aims to develop a technology that assists the legal community in analyzing case law. Legal scholars commonly and understandably study a limited number of court decisions when conducting legal research.

With tens of thousands court decisions (in the Netherlands) that are published yearly, numerous decisions remain unstudied. In this project, a technology will be built that allows analyses of which court decisions are central in a network of decisions. This will be done by focusing on citations: the number of references to a certain court decision in other court decisions (in-degree centrality). The in-degree centrality of court decisions is likely reveal new patterns among decisions on various topics. Moreover, it will shed more light on which decisions are the most important within a certain network. The automated process that will be developed enhances the analysis of relationships among a large number of decisions.

Future projects may expand the application (1) by processing additional information in the decisions and coding it into researchable variables and (2) by expanding the technology to other countries than the Netherlands. This project (and future projects) can fundamentally transform the way the law is studied (researchers, students) and used (practitioners).

Parallelisation of multi point-cloud registration via multi-core and GPU for localization microscopy
Dr. Bernd Rieger
Delft University of Technology

We aim to develop an image processing infrastructure to facilitate image processing and in particular to enable multi point-set registration for super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. The next step in this field after the Nobel prize 2014, will be nanometer resolution by higher (virtual) labelling densities of emitters via computational means.

Image processing infrastructure has been developed by our group over the last 20 years and is packaged into DIPlib, a C-library, and DIPimage, a Matlab front-end ( These libraries have been downloaded about 1000 times every year since 2000 (of which about 20 loyal academic groups). In order to reach our aim we need to develop a new, accessible open source image processing package supported by our usebase that is suitable for multi-core and GPU parallelization.

To provide for multi-dimensional data with flexible object-types we need e.g. run-time type information. For our application in super-resolution microscopy, efficient algorithm design and parallelization are a must. Here 104 point-clouds must be registered, where each cloud contains 103-104 points, and the computation of the cost-function itself scales quadratic in the number of points. We would like an all-to-all template-free registration, but that is currently not feasible.

Data quality in a distributed learning environment
Prof. Andre Dekker
MAASTRO Clinic, Maastricht University

Rapid learning healthcare (RLHC) based upon routine clinical care data is a rising novel approach for providing an evidence base to support optimized clinical decisions and therefore individualize cancer treatment. However, data quality in RLHC is critical to the amount of confidence that can be placed in the acquired knowledge and therefore the decisions to be taken. This issue of data quality in RLHC must be met in order for its full potential as an evidence base upon which to make decisions to be realized.

At MAASTRO we have been working towards this goal over the past number of years by developing a distributed learning platform. In this platform SPARQL endpoints are created for routine clinical care data stored in networked hospitals. Applications are distributed to these endpoints to learn predictive models. In such an approach data quality is a critical issue as researchers can no longer directly access and quality assure the data.

A number of necessary data quality tools have been identified such as the ability to detect, report, and impute missing/implausible/contradicting data. The state-of-the-art is to apply reasoning at the data store, our proposed solution is to expand the SPARQL query using reasoning centrally and apply it locally.

Are you the Young eScientist 2016?

July 1st, 2016

eScience team participates in MS Hackathon

June 2nd, 2016

On 21 & 22 May a team of eScience Research Engineers participated in the MS hackathon, which intended to show that collaborations between various disciplines and perspectives lead to concrete solutions improving healthcare. With this hackathon the main focus was the chronic, yet unpredictable, disease of Multiple Sclerosis.

Annual Report 2015

May 13th, 2016

eScience Center hosts Mozilla Science Lab Global Sprint

May 11th, 2016

Publieke consultatie routeworkshop Big Data

May 2nd, 2016

European Cloud Initiative to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy

April 19th, 2016

The Commission today presented its blueprint for cloud-based services and world-class data infrastructure to ensure science, business and public services reap the benefits of the big data revolution.

Europe is the largest producer of scientific data in the world, but insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' is not being exploited to its full potential. By bolstering and interconnecting existing research infrastructure, the Commission plans to create a new European Open Science Cloud that will offer Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders. This will be underpinned by the European Data Infrastructure, deploying the high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud. This world-class infrastructure will ensure Europe participates in the global race for high performance computing in line with its economic and knowledge potential.

Focusing initially on the scientific community - in Europe and among its global partners -, the user base will over time be enlarged to the public sector and to industry. This initiative is part of a package of measures to strengthen Europe's position in data-driven innovation, to improve competitiveness and cohesion and to help create a Digital Single Market in Europe (press release).

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Our goal is to create a European Open Science Cloud to make science more efficient and productive and let millions of researchers share and analyse research data in a trusted environment across technologies, disciplines and borders. We listened to the scientific community's plea for an infrastructure for Open Science and with this comprehensive plan we can get down to work. The benefits of open data for Europe's science, economy and society will be enormous."

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said:"TheEuropean Cloud Initiative will unlock the value of big data by providing world-class supercomputing capability, high-speed connectivity and leading-edge data and software services for science, industry and the public sector. With this initiative, our ambition is to be in the global top-three in high performance computing by 2020. We will also be looking into the potential of quantum technologies which hold the promise to solve computational problems beyond current supercomputers."

The European Cloud Initiative will make it easier for researchers and innovators to access and re-use data, and will reduce the cost of data storage and high-performance analysis. Making research data openly available can help boost Europe's competitiveness by benefitting start-ups, SMEs and data-driven innovation, including in the fields of medicine and public health. It can even spur new industries, as demonstrated by the Human Genome Project.

The Commission will progressively put in place the European Cloud Initiative through a series of actions, including:

  • As of 2016: creating a European Open Science Cloud for European researchers and their global scientific collaborators by integrating and consolidating e-infrastructure platforms, federating existing scientific clouds and research infrastructures, and supporting the development of cloud-based services.
  • 2017: opening up by default all scientific data produced by future projects under the €77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, to ensure that the scientific community can re-use the enormous amount of data they generate.
  • 2018: launching a flagship-type initiative to accelerate the nascent development of quantum technology, which is the basis for the next generation of supercomputers.
  • By 2020: developing and deploying a large scale European high performance computing, data storage and network infrastructure, including by acquiring two prototype next-generation supercomputers of which one would rank among the top three in the world, establishing a European big data centre, and upgrading the backbone network for research and innovation (GEANT).

In addition to the European research community, the European Open Science Cloud and the European Data Infrastructure will be accessible and bring benefits for a host of other users:

  • Businesses will have cost-effective and easy access to top level data and computing infrastructure, as well as a wealth of scientific data enabling data-driven innovation. This will particularly benefit SMEs, which typically lack access to such resources.
  • Industry will benefit from the creation of a large-scale cloud eco-system, supporting the development of new European technologies such as low-power chips for high performance computing.
  • Public services will benefit from reliable access to powerful computing resources and the creation of a platform to open their data and services, which can lead to cheaper, better and faster interconnected public services. Researchers will also benefit from online access to the wealth of data created by public services.

The public and private investment needed to implement the European Cloud Initiative is estimated at€6.7 billion. The Commission estimates that, overall,€2 billionin Horizon 2020 funding will be allocated to the European Cloud initiative. The estimation of the required additional public and private investment is€4.7 billionin the period of 5 years.

Press release from:

NWA routeworkshop levert input voor de Big Data agenda voor Nederland

April 7th, 2016

Drie jaar geleden noemde Harvard Business Review data scientists de “sexiest job of the 21st century”. De revolutie die het meten, opslaan en analyseren van data teweeg brengt, raakt alle sectoren van onze maatschappij, van bedrijven tot overheid en wetenschap. Nederland staat voor de uitdaging vaart te maken met het toepassen van, en het ontwikkelen van kennis en opleidingen op dit gebied.

Big Data: urgent en verbindend

Terecht stelt de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda Big Data dan ook voor als één van de centrale thema’s, een zogenaamde ‘route’: ‘Big Data verantwoord gebruiken: Zoeken naar patronen in grote gegevens bestanden’. Een route die bij uitstek urgent en cross-cutting is en die veel verschillende disciplines en sectoren met elkaar verbindt.

Ruim 150 deelnemers uit de wetenschap, overheid en industrie gingen daarom op 5 april in het Trippenhuis van de KNAW aan de slag om de Big Data vragen uit de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda uit te werken, te verdiepen en aan te vullen.

Game changing voor wetenschap, maatschappij en economie

De workshop begon met een kick-off door José van Dijck (President KNAW), Inald Lagendijk (Topteam ICT), Wilco Hazeleger (Netherlands eScience Center) en Louise Gunning (voorzitter stuurgroep NWA). Vervolgens werd in tien deelsessies gekeken naar game changing Big Data vraagstukken, die een grote verandering of versnelling teweeg kunnen brengen in de Big Data-uitdagingen van de verschillende workshopdeelnemers. Ook werd gekeken hoe de game changers waarde creëeren voor wetenschap, maatschappij en economie, en hoe maatschappelijke organisaties, overheden en/of bedrijven samen moeten werken om dit te realiseren.

Openbare consultatie

De input van de deelnemers zal worden samengevat in een document dat rond 15 april beschikbaar zal zijn voor openbare consultatie, met de mogelijkheid te reageren via een web survey. Dit document zal beschikbaar worden gesteld op de website van de Nationale Wetenschapsagenda, Het eindresultaat wordt op 1 juni bij de NWA stuurgroep ingediend.

Fotografie: Martijn van Dam

Blog: Software update: Software upgrade

March 31st, 2016

Do you want to organize the first annual NLeSC-Lorentz Workshop?

March 25th, 2016

FAIR guiding principles published in journal of the Nature Publishing Group family

March 15th, 2016

On March 15 2016, the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship were formally published in the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Data. The problem the FAIR Principles address is the lack of widely shared, clearly articulated, and broadly applicable best practices around the publication of scientific data. While the history of scholarly publication in journals is long and well established, the same cannot be said of formal data publication. Yet, data could be considered the primary output of scientific research, and its publication and reuse is necessary to ensure validity, reproducibility, and to drive further discoveries. The FAIR Principles address these needs by providing a precise and measurable set of qualities a good data publication should exhibit - qualities that ensure that the data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).

The principles were formulated after a Lorentz Center workshop in January 2014 where a diverse group of stakeholders, sharing an interest in scientific data publication and reuse, met to discuss the features required of contemporary scientific data publishing environments. The first-draft FAIR Principles were published on the Force11 website for evaluation and comment by the wider community - a process that lasted almost two years. This resulted in the clear, concise, broadly supported principles that were published today. The principles support a wide range of new international initiatives, such as the European Open Science Cloud and the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K), by providing clear guidelines that help ensure all data and associated services in the emergent ‘Internet of Data’ will be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, not only by people, but notably also by machines.

The recognition that computers must be capable of accessing a data publication autonomously, unaided by their human operators, is core to the FAIR Principles. Computers are now an inseparable companion in every research endeavor. Contemporary scientific datasets are large, complex, and globally distributed, making it almost impossible for humans to manually discover, integrate, inspect and interpret them. This (re)usability barrier has, until now, prevented us from maximizing the return-on-investment from the massive global financial support of big data research and development projects, especially in the life and health sciences. This wasteful barrier has not gone unnoticed by key agencies and regulatory bodies. As a result, rigorous data management stewardship - applicable to both human and computational “users” - will soon become a funded, core activity within modern research projects. In fact, FAIR-oriented data management activities will increasingly be made mandatory by public funding bodies.

The high level of abstraction of the FAIR Principles, sidestepping controversial issues such as the technology or approach used in the implementation, has already made them acceptable to a variety of research funding bodies and policymakers. Examples include FAIR Data workshops from EU-ELIXIR, inclusion of FAIR in the future plans of Horizon 2020, and advocacy from the American National Institutes for Health. As such, it seems assured that these principles will rapidly become a key basis for innovation in the global move towards Open Science environments. Therefore, the timing of the Principles publication is aligned with the Open Science Conference under the Netherlands EU Presidency in April 2016.

With respect to Open Science, the FAIR Principles advocate being “intelligently open”, rather than “religiously open”. The Principles do not propose that all data should be freely available - in particular with respect to privacy-sensitive data. Rather, they propose that all data should be made available for reuse under clearly defined conditions and licenses, available through a well-defined process, and with proper and complete acknowledgement and citation. This will allow much wider participation of players from, for instance, the biomedical domain and industry where rigorous and transparent data usage conditions are a core requirement for data reuse.

“I am very proud that the FAIR Principles were published, just over two years after the Lorentz meeting where we came up with the early principles. They play such an important role in many forward looking policy documents around the world and the authors on this paper are also in positions that allow them to follow these Principles. I sincerely hope that FAIR data will become a 'given' in the future of Open Science, in the Netherlands and globally”, says Barend Mons, Professor in Biosemantics at the Leiden University Medical Center, Head of Node ELIXIR-NL at the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences, Integrator Life Sciences at the Netherlands eScience Center, and board member of the Leiden Centre of Data Science.

Please contact Prof. Barend Mons ( for more information. 

PLAN-E meets DG Research&Innovation

March 11th, 2016

On March 10th 2016, adjacent to the ESFRI Roadmap Update meeting in Amsterdam, the Director General of EC’s DG Research&Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits granted an hours time for PLAN-E to present itself. Here you can find the agenda of the meeting.

Firstly, Wilco Hazeleger, director of the Netherlands eScience Center, went into the details of what eScience encompasses, how it works and how it contributes to science and society.

Secondly, Patrick Aerts, chairing PLAN-E, explained the goals of PLAN -E, proliferating eScience across Europe and the prerequisites for that to become successful (education, taking care of data and software, advanced e-infrastructures, cross co-operations etc.). Also the document a Conceptual Approach to Data Stewardship and Software Sustainability was presented (based on the last PLAN-E workshop contribution).

Thirdly, Sverker Holmgren, chairing e-IRG and the Nordic eScience Centre, explained the different domains PLAN-E and e-IRG are primarily concerned with and spoke his support for PLAN-E in its endeavours from both points of view.

Next, Robert-Jan Smits expressed his gratitude for taking the initiative and bring eScience forward as a new concept for doing science. He was particularly interested in the presented routes towards Data Stewardship and Software Sustainability and presented opportunities for establishing links between EC’s research support and the eScience domain. He is looking forward for keeping contact and further exploring options for bilateral support.

NWA Routeworkshop

March 8th, 2016

Analyse van de vraag naar ICT-infrastructuur en services in Nederland

February 29th, 2016

Download 'Infrastructuur duurzaam op maat'

Nederland beschikt sinds de tweede helft van de jaren tachtig over een nationale ICTinfrastructuur (ook wel e-infrastructuur genoemd). Gedragen door een internationaal vermaard netwerk, SURFnet, is deze infrastructuur in de loop van de tijd voorzien van tal van resources, waaronder één of meer supercomputers, een groot rekencluster, dataopslagvoorzieningen op diverse locaties, een grid-infrastructuur, met clouddiensten, ondersteuning, eScience support met personele inzet, voorlichting, soms visualisatietools en meer. 

Big Data wereld

We leven momenteel in een Big Data maatschappij. De Big Data wereld is bijzonder actief en velen voelen zich aangetrokken tot dit nieuwe domein, zowel in het bedrijfsleven als in het onderzoek, zoals uit de enquête zal blijken. Nieuwe instituten worden opgericht met data science als bindend element en Big Data neemt een steeds belangrijkere plaats in in industrie en het bedrijfsleven, meestal in de vorm van Business Intelligence. Ook sterk in opkomst is het concept van het Internet of Things: witgoed (wasmachines, koelkasten, etc.), bruingoed (radio, TV, DVD/Blue Ray spelers, ect.), installaties (CV, denk aan “Toon”, electriciteitsnet, “smart grid”) worden voorzien van internetconnectiviteit en wisselen data uit met eigenaren op afstand, fabrikanten voor services, etc. Daar komen bij de talloze andere apparaten in fabrieken, in het veld, bij transport en logistiek en andere sensoren die data uitwisselen over hun toestand of hun taken. Dit geeft het belang aan van een goede e-Infrastructuur ter ondersteuning van deze ontwikkelingen, met een sterke maatschappelijke component en van ondersteunende diensten op het gebied van analyse en decision support. 

Ook onderzoek waar traditionele geschriften, boeken of handschriften nog essentieel zijn, of waar de ontwikkeling van een theorie vooral berust op denkwerk en niet op digitale data, heeft belang bij een nationale e-infrastructuur, al is het met een andere intensiteit, voor de bevordering en versnelling van de communicatie over het onderzoek of voor het delen van resultaten of de ontwikkeling van nieuwe onderzoeksmethoden. De nationale e-Infrastructuur voor het publieke onderzoek is er dan ook voor alle onderzoekers, ongeacht discipline of belangstelling. 


De Nederlandse Data Science centra en onderzoekers, groepen en instituten die eScience centraal stellen in hun onderzoek, hebben hun krachten gebundeld in een (sociaal) platform, ePLAN ( ePLAN heeft zich een aantal taken gesteld, waaronder het in kaart brengen van white spots (blinde vlekken) in de nationale e-infrastructuur en het analyseren van de verwachte gevolgen voor de benodigde e-infrastructuur door de ontwikkelingen die de verschillende disciplines in hun onderzoek doormaken. De partners in ePLAN hebben door hun werkdomein tussen onderzoek en e-infrastructuur een meer dan gemiddeld goed zicht op deze ontwikkelingen, maar vele onderzoeksrichtingen staan ver af van de wereld van ICT, informatica en infrastructuur. Daarom is gekozen voor een enquête onder -in beginsel- alle disciplines en niet slechts die welke toch al van nature een nauwe betrokkenheid bij ICT en infrastructuur hebben of voelen. 

Viertal workshops

Met de uitkomsten van de enquête bij de hand is vervolgens een viertal workshops georganiseerd rond het thema “de toekomstige behoefte vanuit de wetenschap aan nationale ICT-voorzieningen en diensten”. Die vier workshops hadden elk één van de vier hoofdthema’s die het Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) hanteert om het totale palet aan onderzoekdomeinen in op te delen: 

Environment & Sustainability; 

Life Sciences & eHealth; 

Humanities & Social Sciences; 

Physics & Beyond

Deze workshops maakten het mogelijk de concept conclusies uit de enquête aan te scherpen of te verduidelijken, de mate van herkenbaarheid binnen de vier domeinen van de hoofdconclusies uit de enquête vast te stellen, omissies in de uitkomsten van de enquête (bv. door de gehanteerde vraagstelling) helder te krijgen en om de prioriteringen per domein boven te krijgen. In het document wordt nader ingegaan op de workshops en wordt per domein een verslag gegeven over het proces en de belangrijkste bevindingen. 


Het resultaat van het uitzetten van de enquête bij het hele onderzoeksveld is boven verwachting: veel respondenten, ook uit de geestes- en maatschappij- en gedragswetenschappen, alsmede onderzoekers uit de medische wereld hebben de moeite genomen de aanzienlijke lijst vragen te beantwoorden. Een spontane opmerking over de enquête als geheel, van een respondent die kennelijk maar op een beperkt aantal vragen kon antwoorden, was niettemin: “mooi dat deze enquête ook de geesteswetenschappen aanspreekt”. Een andere opmerking was: “het is eigenlijk fantastisch dat hier nationaal over nagedacht wordt”. Wij zijn alle respondenten, zowel de genaamde als de anonieme, dan ook bijzonder erkentelijk voor de genomen moeite. Resteert ons als dank een nuttig verslag te presenteren waaruit duidelijk wordt wat de publieke researchsector van een nationale ICT-infrastructuur en zijn brede omgeving van diensten verwacht

Software Sustainability at the Heart of Discovery

February 22nd, 2016

Behoud en toekomstgerichte (her-)bruikbaarheid van software neemt snel in belang toe nu, mede wegens het toenemende belang van accountability in de wetenschap, data-transparantie belangrijker wordt en zonder software geen data gelezen, begrepen of gebruikt kunnen worden.

DANS werkt momenteel aan een algemeen kader, met afgeleide protocollen, voor data stewardship en software sustainability. Het Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) werkt aan het versterken van wetenschappelijk onderzoek door efficiënt gebruik te maken van data, software en e-infrastructuur. Gezamenlijk hebben NLeSC en DANS met steun van NLeSC’s eScience Integrators dit visiedocument gerealiseerd. 

Wij hopen dat dit visiedocument een passend uitgangspunt kan vormen voor verdere beleidsvorming en praktische implementaties daarvan met als doel de verhoging van de productiviteit van het onderzoek, want Research Software ligt “at the Heart of Scientific Discovery”.

eScience Center joins OpenDA Assocation

February 13th, 2016

One of our goals is to actively contribute to and promote re-use of scientific software. For this reason we have joined the OpenDA association.

OpenDA is an open interface standard for (and free implementation of) a set of tools to quickly implement data-assimilation and calibration for arbitrary numerical models. OpenDA wants to stimulate the use of data-assimilation and calibration by lowering the implementation costs and enhancing the exchange of software among researchers and end-users.

With participants from universities, research institutes and companies, working with the same tools, new developments can quickly be transferred from research to operation. Some of the applications of OpenDA are tracking of clouds from volcano outbursts, improving the accuracy of flood warnings for rivers and coasts and improve ground-water forecasts. At the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) we use OpenDA as part of the eWaterCycle project, where we created a global Hydrological forecasting system (see it in beta at

NLeSC joins founding members VORTechDeltares, and TU Delft, as well as other new members DHI and TNO. With these new members the association quickly grows to 6 members, which makes this a very significant impuls for widening the scope of OpenDA. We hope to actively contribute to the success of OpenDA, and use OpenDA in new domains and projects in the near future.

3D-Archeology in Rome

February 8th, 2016

Producing better drugs

February 4th, 2016

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