NUSDeltares: an open network

About cross-disciplinary integration and knowledge portfolios

Bridging science and society requires integration across at least two dimensions:

  • across disciplines, since societal challenges require holistic approaches
  • across knowledge stages, since results from fundamental research must be made applicable, disseminated, and applied in order to have societal impact

Therefore, the Alliance NUSDeltares operates as an integrator: a networked organization in which numerous (fundamental and applied) research groups  across our campuses in Singapore and the Netherlands cooperate. The Alliance connects the results of these groups, and facilitates and stimulates further developments towards integrated and innovative solutions, primarily for the societal challenges Adaptation to Climate Change, High Density Living and Urban Water Management (our primary topics).

For these topics, the Alliance develops ‘knowledge portfolios’, consisting of knowledge-intensive activities, covering fundamental and applied research, knowledge transfer and specialist consultancy. By interconnecting these activities they all contribute – be it on different time scales – to the innovations that society is looking for.

The knowledge cycle

Within the Alliance, NUS and Deltares cooperate on the basis of their complementary position in the knowledge cycle. In this cycle, mono-disciplinary research results are combined and integrated to generate cross-disciplinary innovative solutions for societal questions, and societal questions are differentiated back into mono-disciplinary fundamental research questions. NUS is mainly focused on fundamental research, whereas Deltares acts more on the applied side.

Jointly, we cover the complete cycle, and realize both scientific and societal impact.

knowledge cycle 3

 Primary topics and more

The cooperation within the Alliance is primarily focused on the three challenges mentioned above. The development of the portfolios for these primary topics is directed by our Knowledge Strategy.

But the Alliance also enables the cooperation between NUS and Deltares in other areas of expertise, ranging from port development to environmental issues. Some of these activities are shown in our total portfolio.

The structure of the Alliance

The participating research groups form the core of the Alliance. They cooperate in the open network structure that the Alliance offers, and work in flexible partnerships as needed for the issues at hand.

The Office of NUSDeltares facilitates the functioning of the Alliance. The Office helps in identifying stakeholder needs, acts as a knowledge broker, connects the research groups, and enables the knowledge cycle to work.

Our Governing Board warrants high-level support for the alliance ensuring a smooth cooperation between the parent organizations NUS and Deltares.

NUSDeltares Research Track Leaders

This research cluster currently comprises six distinguished faculty members and senior researchers from NUS. The expertise of the NUSDeltares Research Track Leaders spans across a diversity of disciplines under our primary topics. Through their knowledge and expertise, the research track leaders will help to strengthen NUSDeltares ‘s capacity of addressing the most pressing societal challenges with high impact cross-disciplinary research.

Advisory panel

Societal challenges are complex. There are many perspectives of societal needs: perspectives of multi-national companies, perspectives of people, perspectives of governments, and perspectives of NGOs. Our Advisory Panel provide all these different perspectives to make sure they are properly addressed by our Knowledge Strategy.

Legal status and modus operandi

NUS and Deltares, either alone or jointly, contribute with their activities to the development of the Alliance’ portfolios . In case of fundamental research, NUS is often the only party involved. Specialist consultancy will mostly be done by Deltares alone. Joint activities usually relate to applied research, development of innovations and knowledge transfer. In that case one of the parties will act as lead partner.

The Alliance NUSDeltares is not a legal entity by itself. This implies that for each assignment either NUS or Deltares will be the contracting party. The Alliance offers various ways to contract NUS and/or Deltares.  The choice will be based on the nature of the assignment, the distribution of work between NUS and Deltares, and the preference of the Client. The Office of NUSDeltares is available to identify the most effective contracting procedure and to facilitate its implementation.