The City of Amsterdam launched the design contest at the beginning of April. By establishing a technical institute, the City wishes to improve the economic structure of the city and region. “We are continually looking for opportunities to attract and retain talent, knowledge and businesses for the city of Amsterdam and to ensure connections to other cities,” states Alderperson Gehrels. “This allows for economic growth and creates valuable jobs. In this respect, we believe the technology sector can play an important role.”

Verdict of the jury

An independent jury, consisting of Wim Kuijken (Government Commissioner for the Delta Programme), Wiebe Draijer (president of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands) and Doortje van Unen (deputy director Amsterdam Economic Board), anonymously reviewed the 13 proposals, selecting five to progress. 

Jury chairperson Wim Kuijken: “All five proposals show great potential. Each of these proposals involves world leading universities with strong partnerships in the business community. They all focus on diverse technical fields, from healthcare to ICT.”

“These proposals all have the potential to play a leading international role in their area," says Wiebe Draijer. "All five of them would connect Amsterdam and the Netherlands to interesting and promising developments in the rest of the world."

The main parties from the five selected proposals are (in alphabetical order): 

  • Amsterdam City Technology: institute for ‘city-directed’ technology, offering education and research (University of Amsterdam (UvA), VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) and Columbia University).

  • The Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Metropolitan Solutions: institute for the development of urban solutions (TU Delft, Wageningen University (WUR) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)).

  • The Amsterdam School of Health and Technology: focusing on education and research towards healthy living in an urban environment (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and Duke University).

  • The Center for Urban Tech Acceleration: supporting businesses and researchers by expanding their ventures in the field of urban technology (THNK).

  • Nexuslabs Amsterdam: a network organisation working towards sustainable urban solutions by uniting multinationals, businesses, researchers, venture capitalists and government (Stichting NexusLabs).

Other proposals

Following the jury’s recommendation, the City of Amsterdam will also enter into discussions with the other eight parties that submitted proposals. The jury believes that these other proposals also contained ambitions and activities that would prove to be extremely valuable to the city.

Second round of the competition

For the second phase, the five selected parties have been invited to submit a more detailed proposal by the end of September. A second independent jury will then assess these proposals. In the autumn of 2013, the city government will make a definitive decision about the institute.

Based on rankings provided by the jury, the City of Amsterdam will enter into negotiations with the various parties. Depending on the overall quality of the proposals, it is feasible that Amsterdam will support the realisation of more than one project. 

Applied technology institute

Several international cities have already launched similar initiatives or are in the process of doing so. For example, Cornell NYC Tech in New York City is a new university focusing on applied sciences, while Barcelona is launching the Barcelona Institute of Technology for the Habitat this year. Likewise, Singapore has established a new campus where renowned international universities and research institutes can collaborate closely.

Read more about the Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions design competition.