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Program Partner Amsterdam Smart City

AMS Institute is a young institute for applied technology and urban design, founded by TU Delft, Wageningen University & Research and MIT. In this Amsterdam based public-private institute, talent is educated and engineers, designers, digital engineers and natural/social scientists jointly develop and valorise interdisciplinary metropolitan solutions. Our aim is to find answers to the urban challenges of sustainability and quality of life, including resource and food security, mobility and logistics, water and waste management, and health and wellbeing.

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AMS Institute, Re-inventing the city (urban innovation) at AMS Institute, posted

Roboat introduces full-scale boat ready for autonomous tests on the Amsterdam canals

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What if autonomous boats could relieve Amsterdam's city center of heavy traffic over its vulnerable quays and bridges while making the canals a testbed for innovation?

Roboat – a research project by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) – will provide self-driving solutions on water for different use cases. After successfully implementing full autonomy on the 1:4 and 1:2 scale boats, Roboat now introduces the first full-scale prototype – ready to start piloting real-life use cases.

Can't wait to see what the full-scale design looks like? Check out the video here.

The new 1:1 scale model
Roboat has a unique modular design. The vessel consists of a hull, that forms the technical basis of the boat, designed with different top-decks that can be applied for multiple use cases: transportation of people and garbage collection, as well as stages and bridges when latched together. The full-scale boat measures 2 by 4 meters. “These relatively small dimensions make the boat well suited for the urban environment,” says Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT Senseable City Lab and Principal Investigator in the project.

With four thrusters, the boat can move in all directions, making it agile and responsive to other traffic on the water, but also facilitating precise maneuvering for docking and latching.

“When individual Roboat units are latched, different combinations of floating platforms can be created. In their new configuration they form floating pixels and respond as new autonomous organisms” - Carlo Ratti | Professor at MIT Senseable City Lab & AMS PI

The full-scale Roboat is equipped with an improved perception sensor kit that combines LIDAR (Laser Image Detection and Ranging), GPS, DVL (Doppler Velocity Log) and camera-based object detection which enables the vessel to observe and scan the canals for path-finding and obstacle avoidance. When Roboat encounters an object in the water, the boat determines whether it is stationary or moving and measures the proximity and directionality of the object. The vessel then calculates the best maneuver to avoid the obstacle. After passing the obstacle, Roboat resumes its optimal route.

Pilots and experiments to develop use cases
In the coming months, the full-scale boat will be tested in the waters of Marineterrein Amsterdam Living Lab – a testbed for innovations and AMS Institute’s home base... Continue the full article here >>

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AMS Institute, Re-inventing the city (urban innovation) at AMS Institute, posted

Responsible Sensing Lab

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The City of Amsterdam has many smart technologies in place: from smart devices that measure things (i.e. sensors) to smart devices that steer processes in the city (i.e. actuators) such as traffic lights, charging stations, adaptable street lights, barriers that go up and down, and adaptive digital signs.

To illustrate, throughout the city there are over 200 cameras, about 230 air quality sensors and almost 500 beacons in place. The latter being devices in physical spaces that emit a signal that can be picked up by mobile devices with a specific app.

Smart technologies like these help the municipality to efficiently measure, analyse and steer processes in the urban area. For example to optimize mobility flows in urban environments, to better use available capacity of energy infrastructures, to conduct condition management on the city’s assets, rationalise garbage removal and much more.

Responsible Urban Digitization
On the one hand, innovations like these can help improve the quality of life in the city and enhance safety and efficiency, but also sustainability and livability. Simultaneously, such novel technologies can impact society quite broadly. They could have consequences for matters that citizens value greatly, such as autonomy, privacy, transparency, inclusiveness and empowerment.

“The City does not want its inhabitants negatively impacted by potential privacy infringements, sense of loss of control and understandability, or reactions such as self-censorship.” - Sigrid Winkel | Urban Innovation Officer | City of Amsterdam CTO

“Our recent research has pointed out that ‘official’ actors primarily see transparency as a mean to ensure adoption, while citizens see transparency as a starting point for voicing their concerns and influencing the purpose and use of smart technology. This leads us to conclude that we - as designers of these systems - need to aim to design these systems for engagement as well as pushback by society.” - Gerd Kortuem | Professor & AMS PI

Launching a Responsible Sensing Lab
With our Responsible Urban Digitization program, we research, develop and integrate smart technologies like the aforementioned to help solve urban challenges. At the same time, we explore how to embed society’s public and democratic values in the design of these innovations.

As part of this program, we are launching a Responsible Sensing Lab. In essence this is a testbed for conducting rigorous, transparent, and replicable research how our smart technologies placed in public space can be designed in a way that makes the digital city ‘responsible’.

(Re)designing, prototype testing and implementing responsible sensing systems
In the Responsible Sensing Lab academics are invited to connect and work with practitioners who are responsible for digital systems in the city to (re)design, prototype and test (more) responsible ways of sensing in public space for and with the City of Amsterdam.

Hence, the Lab is a place where teams of multi-disciplinary stakeholders – such as computer scientists, policy makers, psychologists, designers and hardware experts – can address existing hardware, software and other city sensing systems.

“Responsible Sensing Lab is a place where experimentation and technologies come together to (re)design these innovations solutions that make public spaces cleaner, smarter and easier – while at the same time guaranteeing our social values.” - Thijs Turèl | Program Manager Responsible Urban Digitization | AMS Institute

Three cases: Human Scan Car, Transparant Charging Station, Camera Shutter
There are already a few examples of projects that will be further explored in the Responsible Sensing Lab. Namely, the Human Scan Car, Transparent Charging Station and Camera Shutter projects.

Firstly, scan cars – vehicles that are equipped with sensors to collect data on the urban environment – are becoming increasingly popular to help the municipality to carry out tasks efficiently. For example with parking policy enforcement, waste registration and advertisement taxation. Apart from making the city more efficient and clean, with this project we question and explore what public and democratic values should be embedded in the implementation of these scan cars.

Together with UNSense, we invited representatives from the City of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, TADA, and researchers from TU Delft to join us for a 3-day sprint to design “the scan car of the future”, that also looks at the human and fair values of the advances in technology. Get a full impression of this design sprint here.

“Design should play a role in guiding the perceptions of, and interactions with, automated sensing systems in the city. Going through this process with AMS Institute's researchers and public servants, we’ll be able to bend the design towards a more consciously chosen, collectively desirable future.” - Tessa Steenkamp | Sensorial Experience Designer | UNSense

Secondly, the transparent charging station is a design project meant to explain smart charging algorithm decisions to users. In the near future, when electric cars become more prevelant, the electicity grid will no longer be able to charge all electric cars at the same time. Smart charging algorithms will help coordinate which car will get to charge at what time. But how do these algorithms decide? The transparent charging station project produces the first user interface informing people about smart charging decisions.

"The transparent charging station promises to improve the democratic oversight of algorithms in EV charging. By explaining charging algorithm inputs, procedures and outputs in a user interface, EV drivers should be able to determine the system's fairness and see who the responsible parties are". - Kars Alfrink | Doctoral Researcher | TU Delft

Thirdly, the Camera Shutter project originated based on the notion that people do not know if and when cameras in public space are recording or not*.* We wondered: would people like to live in a city where all city cameras clearly show or state when they’re not in use? What if, just like laptop shutters many people have placed over their webcam, this could be a way to make clear to citizens when a camera is not recording them?

For this third project, a timelapse camera at the office of AMS Institute was outfitted with a shutter. Subsequently, the effects of this small-scale pilot will be examined by interviewing staff and visitors.

Core values for responsible urban digitization
At the Responsible Sensing Lab, and for Responsible Urban Digitization program as a whole, we use the City’s values (TADA, Digital City Agenda) as our starting point. We will explore what these values mean when applied to actual digital software and hardware.

Also, we are inspired by the methodology of value sensitive design. This approach allows us to focus on design choices inherent in the type of sensing hardware, the distribution of intelligence between cloud and back-end, the physical design and placement of sensors in public space, and interaction possibilities for citizens.

Recently, a three year collaboration has been signed between the City of Amsterdam and AMS Institute. In this Lab, we’ll work closely with experts at TU Delft Industrial Design Faculty.

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Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR), posted

Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR)

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De taskforce Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR) wil de circulaire economie in de Metropoolregio Amsterdam versnellen met praktische verhalen voor en over ondernemers en bedrijven. We nodigen iedereen uit mee te doen met de discussie op amsterdamsmartcity.com. De CACR bestaat uit: Hogeschool van Amsterdam | Gemeente Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic en AMS Institute.

Artikelen 'Circulaire economie en data'

Volop kansen in de nieuwe circulaire werkelijkheid: Data zijn de zuurstof van de circulaire economie: deel 1
Slim datagebruik in de circulaire economie: de drie belangrijkste redenen (CACR): Data zijn de zuurstof van de circulaire economie: deel 2

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The taskforce Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR) is working to accelerate the circular economy in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, sharing practical stories for and about entrepreneurs and businesses. The CACR is an initiative by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences | City of Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic | AMS Institute.

Articles 'Circular economy and data'

• A wealth of opportunities in the new circular reality: Data is the oxygen that the circular economy thrives on: part 1
• Smart data usage in the circular economy: 3 key reasons: Data is the oxygen that the circular economy thrives on: part 2

Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR)'s picture #CircularCity
Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR), posted

Slim datagebruik in de circulaire economie: de drie belangrijkste redenen (CACR)

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Scroll down for the English version

Data zijn de zuurstof van de circulaire economie: deel 2

De circulaire economie wordt het nieuwe normaal. In de Metropool Amsterdam werken tal van organisaties al hard aan circulaire initiatieven. Maar pas als we slimmer omgaan met data, kunnen we écht grote stappen zetten en deze initiatieven winstgevend maken. Met deze artikelenreeks helpen we bedrijven op weg. Aflevering 2: Drie redenen voor slimmer datagebruik in de circulaire economie.

1. Met data kunnen organisaties verduurzamen én zakelijk profiteren.
Bedrijven genereren grote hoeveelheden gegevens. Uit die data kunnen zij allerlei interessante inzichten halen. Bijvoorbeeld dat ze efficiënter met energie en materialen kunnen omgaan, of onderdelen kunnen hergebruiken. Dat geeft relevante aannames en input voor het ontwikkelen van nieuwe businessmodellen. Bedrijven kunnen ook actief meer data gaan verzamelen, bijvoorbeeld door in de producten die ze verkopen sensoren te monteren. De data die ze daaruit halen kunnen bedrijven bijvoorbeeld gebruiken om hun onderhoud te optimaliseren. Om bepaalde onderdelen uit hun product tijdig te vervangen of op te knappen, zodat het product als geheel langer meegaat. Of om te leren waar de zwakke plekken zitten van het product. Data uit sensoren kunnen ook interessant zijn voor andere partijen en zo weer een nieuw businessmodel opleveren.

2.  Op basis van data kunnen we vraag en aanbod samenbrengen.
Als we weten welke materialen beschikbaar zijn voor hergebruik en waar de materialen zijn en wat de kwaliteit ervan is, kunnen we materialen daadwerkelijk gaan aanbieden en hergebruiken.

Een mooi voorbeeld op grote schaal is het werk van de snelgroeiende start-up geoFluxus, een spin-off project van het Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute). GeoFluxus bracht in opdracht van Gemeente Amsterdam alle afvalstromen in de Metropoolregio Amsterdam online in kaart, met verbazingwekkende resultaten. 22 procent van al het afval in de regio heeft de potentie om direct door andere bedrijven in de regio hergebruikt  te worden. Dat is materiaal dat anders gewoonweg verdwijnt. Dit soort data, dus gegevens over soort, locatie en beschikbaarheid, geven het juiste inzicht om nieuwe, duurzame stappen te zetten. Geofluxus ontwikkelt op dit moment samen met Gemeente Amsterdam de eerste Monitor voor de Circulaire Economie ter wereld. Deze monitor volgt diverse materiaalstromen die de stad inkomen totdat ze deze als afval weer verlaten en elders verwerkt worden. Op deze manier ontstaat er structureel inzicht in de mate waarin materiaalstormen al dan niet circulair zijn en kan er gericht meer circulariteit worden nagestreefd.

Maar ook op kleinere schaal kan er profijt worden gehaald uit data. Als je als bedrijf precies weet welke afval- en reststromen en overschotten er zijn, weet je ook welke grondstoffen en producten interessant zijn voor hergebruik. En als bedrijven weten wat voor materialen en grondstoffen andere bedrijven nodig hebben, weten ze ook of hun afval of overschotten voor andere partijen misschien waardevol zijn.

Bedrijven betalen nu om afval te laten verwijderen. Het is dus interessant voor bedrijven om te onderzoeken of hun gebruikte grondstoffen en materialen kunnen worden toegepast door andere bedrijven. In dit kader is bijvoorbeeld Excess Materials Exchange (EME) interessant: dit is een digitale marktplaats waar bedrijven hun gebruikte materialen kunnen aanbieden aan andere bedrijven die dit weer als “grondstof” kunnen gebruiken voor nieuwe toepassingen. EME laat haar gebruikers de waarde van hun materialen en producten berekenen. Dat doet EME op basis van  een grondstoffenpaspoort dat is opgebouwd uit de digitale eigenschappen van een bepaald product: data dus.

3. Data kunnen de leveringszekerheid van herbruikbare materialen en grondstoffen vergroten.
Een veelgehoord bezwaar is dat de leveringszekerheid in het geding komt als organisaties afhankelijk zijn van de inkoop of verkoop van herbruikbare materialen of grondstoffen. Ook kunnen hergebruikte materialen steeds net verschillend zijn omdat ze verschillende herkomsten hebben. Continue datastromen over actuele details, specificaties en beschikbaarheid kunnen dit bezwaar wegnemen. Als deze informatie op een open en eerlijke markt beschikbaar is, kunnen ondernemers vooruit plannen. Zo komt hun productie niet in het geding en/of weten ze zich verzekerd van continue afname.

Madaster werkt in de Metropool Amsterdam al aan een dergelijk platform. Madaster wil de registratiedatabank worden voor de gebouwde omgeving. Beheerders en eigenaren van gebouwen kunnen hier een grondstoffenpaspoort voor hun pand creëren. Met de data in deze paspoorten ontstaat er een duidelijk beeld van waar welke grondstof en materiaal zich in het pand bevindt. Zo weet je precies waar je welk materiaal kunt onttrekken bij de renovatie of sloop van het gebouw en wordt ook het onderhoud makkelijker, doordat je weet wat er zich achter een muur of boven een plafond bevindt.

Zelf aan de slag

Redenen genoeg dus om slim met data om te gaan en zo een volwaardige speler op de circulaire markt te worden. In artikel #3 laten we zien hoe bedrijven onderdeel kunnen worden van de circulaire economie. Daarna delen we de ervaringen van ondernemers en bedrijven die al succes boeken met hun circulaire bedrijfsmodel.

Deze artikelenreeks is een initiatief van Hogeschool van Amsterdam | Gemeente Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic en AMS Institute. Samen willen zij de circulaire economie in de Metropoolregio Amsterdam versnellen met praktische verhalen voor en over ondernemers en bedrijven.

Lees verder

Volop kansen in de nieuwe circulaire werkelijkheid: Data zijn de zuurstof van de circulaire economie: deel 1

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Smart data usage in the circular economy: 3 key reasons

Data is the oxygen that the circular economy thrives on: part 2

We are on the way to the circular economy becoming the new normal. Numerous organisations in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area are already hard at work on circular initiatives. However, we can only take significant strides and make these initiatives profitable if we are smarter with data. With this series of articles, we hope to inspire companies to make that journey. In part 2, we look at the three most important reasons for the smarter use of data in the circular economy.

1. Organisations can use data to make themselves more sustainable and gain a business advantage.
Companies typically generate large amounts of data and they can already derive a wide variety of interesting insights from it. For example, it enables them to see where they can potentially use energy and resources more efficiently, or reuse components. This can provide relevant input for the development of new business models. What’s more, companies can actively collect more data, for example, by installing sensors in the products they sell. The company can then use the data to optimise their maintenance schedule, replacing or refurbishing parts of their product in time, so that the product as a whole is more durable. Or perhaps they can learn what the product’s weaknesses are and make improvements. Sensor data can also be of interest to third parties, potentially leading to new business models. An example might be a supplier of ventilation systems which can provide interior climate data to the building management in a transparent way.

2. Based on data, we can appropriately match supply and demand.
If we know which resources are available to be reused, where resources are, and also their quality level, then we can supply and reuse resources effectively.

An excellent example of a larger-scale case is the work of fast-growing start-up, geoFluxus, a spin-off project of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute). GeoFluxus was commissioned by the Municipality of Amsterdam to map all waste flows in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area to an online platform. The analysis concluded that 20% of all waste could potentially be reused by other businesses in the region. And this relates to materials and resources that would otherwise simply be lost.

This kind of data – about the type, location and availability of resources – offers parties the necessary insights and empowers them to take new, sustainable steps. geoFluxus is currently developing the world’s first Monitor for the Circular Economy, together with the Municipality of Amsterdam. This monitor tracks various material flows entering the city and leaving it as waste, to be processed elsewhere. In doing so, it generates structural insights on the extent to which material streams are circular (or not), and highlights targeted opportunities to increase circularity.

Benefits can also be gained from data on a smaller scale. If, as a company, you know what waste flows exist and what the current surpluses are, you also know which raw materials and products are most interesting for reuse. And if a company knows what resources and raw materials other companies need, they also know whether their own waste or surpluses may be valuable to other parties.

Companies currently pay to have their waste disposed of, so it is certainly worth investigating whether used raw materials and resources can be utilised by other companies. In this context, the Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is particularly promising. The EME is a digital marketplace where companies can offer their used resources to other companies, which will then use them as ‘raw materials’ for new purposes. EME helps users calculate the value of their materials and products using a digital materials passport that holds data on the characteristics of a particular product.

3. Data can enhance the supply chain reliability of reused materials and resources.
A common complaint is that supply chain reliability is put at risk when organisations are dependent on the purchase or sale of reusable resources and raw materials. On top of that, reusable resources can always be slightly different because of their varying origins. However, continuous data flows containing the latest details, specifications and availability can overcome this risk. If the information is available in an open and fair market, businesses can plan ahead as they always would. In this way, their production is never jeopardised and they are assured of a continuous supply chain.

Madaster is an example of a platform already being developed in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area that is capable of this. Madaster is working towards becoming the registration database for the built environment, by creating materials passports for managers and owners of buildings. These passports, consisting of digital data sets, provide a clear picture of where raw materials are located in a building. The advantage of this is that one knows exactly where valuable raw materials can be extracted again during renovation or demolition of the building, but it is also easier to carry out maintenance, because one knows what is behind a wall or above a ceiling.

Get started

It is clear that there are many good reasons to be smart with data and how it can help you become a fully-fledged player in the circular market. In article 3 we will show how companies can establish themselves as part of the circular economy. And we will share some experiences of businesses and entrepreneurs that have already made successful transitions with their circular business models.

This article is an initiative by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences | City of Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic | AMS Institute. Together we are working to accelerate the circular economy in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, sharing practical stories for and about entrepreneurs and businesses.

Read more

A wealth of opportunities in the new circular reality: Data is the oxygen that the circular economy thrives on: part 1

Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR)'s picture #CircularCity
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A wealth of opportunities in the new circular reality

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Data is the oxygen that the circular economy thrives on: part 1. This article is an initiative of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences | City of Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic | AMS Institute. Together we are working to accelerate the circular economy in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, sharing practical stories for and about entrepreneurs and businesses. As a Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR).

We are on the way to the circular economy becoming the new normal. Numerous organisations in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area are already hard at work on circular initiatives. However, we can only take significant strides and make these initiatives profitable if we are smarter with data. In the first part of this series we will explain what the circular economy really is and the opportunities that it affords us. Scroll down for Dutch!

Less waste, fewer raw materials and a reduction in CO2 emissions

The circular economy is a new economy. As part of it, we consume and produce responsibly, respecting the limits of our planet and keeping an eye on justice and social values. In a circular economy we do not produce waste, but rather re-use existing raw materials on a massive scale and to the highest possible quality. In doing so, we use fewer new raw materials and the value of products, resources and raw materials is preserved within our economic system for as long as possible.

In a circular economy we have moved away from the destructive ‘take-make-waste’ system. We protect the scarce raw materials that we depend upon, for example, for technology and the energy transition. And crucially, in doing so, we help to reduce global CO2 emissions. After all, more than half of global CO2 emissions are now the indirect result of our consumption habits and the associated production of resources and goods. On top of that, our traditional consumption habits have contributed to the exploitation of workers in far-off countries – be it in mining operations or the clothing industry. Another important consideration is that the circular economy can actually boost employment within the region, as more jobs will be created in the repair and processing sector.

Availability of materials

Contributing to the success of a circular economy is not only a socially responsible action and good for your reputation: your entire company can benefit from it. A key example is in securing the availability of resources in the long term and integrating this new, circular way of working into your new or existing business model. By operating in a circular way, your company becomes more future-proof.

For example, by reusing raw materials and products, you are less dependent on complex international logistics chains – a factor that has been of particular relevance during the coronavirus crisis. As a result of the crisis, a large number of production facilities around the world were forced to close, causing international trade to move – temporarily or otherwise – to local markets.

Another important reason to operate with circular principles is that customers – governments, businesses and consumers – will place increasingly higher demands on your company. For example, the City of Amsterdam’s goal is that 10% of its procurement must be circular by the end of 2022, and that all procurement conditions and contracts in the built environment should be circular by the end of 2023. The City is also working on a monitoring platform that uses many types of data to measure the extent to which Amsterdam is already circular, highlighting the areas in which things are going well or need to improve. More and more organisations are also signing up with Inkopen met Impact (‘Procurement with Impact’), an initiative launched by the Amsterdam Economic Board that stimulates circular and sustainable procurement and in which data also plays an important role. The market for circular products is going from strength to strength in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area: if you are already active in that market, you will find it easier to establish a strong foothold.

Circular chains and circular examples

Larger companies that have already made part of their chains circular have certainly found that they have a strong business case on their hands. Excellent examples include Auping, which gives used mattresses a second life, and Signify, which offers Circular Lighting as a service. In fact, more and more companies are following suit by also offering their products as a service. It is an ideal business model for the circular economy, as customers pay for the use of a product rather than the ownership of it. As a supplier of this service, you are incentivised to produce a sustainable product, parts of which are easily replaceable.

Additionally, there are already many successful companies selling products that consist entirely of recycled materials – consider bags that are upcycled from old fire hoses, or advertising banners or plant pots made from recycled plastic.

Data is essential to the success of the circular economy

Tempering these successes, in 2019 the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency noted that it is difficult for new circular initiatives to break through. Indeed, there is still room for improvement. What can help? We believe data is the key. Armed with data, we can monitor the effect of adjustments and connect supply and demand in the circular economy. It is for good reason that data is regarded as the circular economy’s oxygen. In the next article we will explore three reasons for approaching this in a smarter way. Then we will show you what you can do yourself, and share the experiences of other circular businesses.

This article is an initiative of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences | City of Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic | AMS Institute. Together we are working to accelerate the circular economy in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, sharing practical stories for and about entrepreneurs and businesses. We invite everybody to join the discussion on amsterdamsmartcity.com.


Dutch Version

Volop kansen in de nieuwe circulaire werkelijkheid

Data zijn de zuurstof van de circulaire economie: deel 1

De circulaire economie wordt het nieuwe normaal. In de Metropool Amsterdam werken tal van organisaties al hard aan circulaire initiatieven. Maar pas als we slimmer omgaan met data, kunnen we écht grote stappen zetten en deze initiatieven winstgevend maken. In deze eerste aflevering van een serie leggen we uit wat de circulaire economie eigenlijk is en welke kansen die met zich meebrengt.

Minder afval, minder grondstoffen, minder CO2

De circulaire economie is een nieuwe economie, waarin we op een verantwoorde wijze consumeren en produceren, met respect voor de grenzen die de aarde ons stelt en oog voor rechtvaardigheid en sociale waarden. In een circulaire economie produceren we geen afval en hergebruiken we op grote schaal bestaande grondstoffen op een hoogwaardige manier. Daardoor gebruiken we minder nieuwe grondstoffen en blijft de waarde van producten, materialen en grondstoffen zo lang mogelijk behouden voor ons economisch systeem.

In een circulaire economie hebben we afscheid genomen van het destructieve take-make-waste-principe. We beschermen schaarse grondstoffen die we bijvoorbeeld nodig hebben voor technologie en de energietransitie. En, ook niet onbelangrijk, we helpen de wereldwijde CO2-uitstoot te verminderen. Nu is namelijk meer dan de helft van de wereldwijde CO2-uitstoot indirect het gevolg van ons consumptiegedrag en de daarbij behorende productie van materialen en goederen. Daarnaast draagt ons huidige consumptiegedrag bij aan de uitbuiting van arbeiders in verre landen, zoals in de mijnbouw of de kledingindustrie. Tegelijkertijd kan de circulaire economie juist zorgen voor een nieuwe impuls van de werkgelegenheid in de regio, doordat er meer banen nodig zijn binnen de reparatie- en verwerkingssector.

Beschikbaarheid materialen

Werken aan een circulaire economie is niet alleen maatschappelijk verantwoord en fijn voor je reputatie: je hele bedrijf profiteert ervan. Je verzekert jezelf namelijk van de beschikbaarheid van materialen op de lange termijn en integreert die nieuwe, circulaire werkwijze in je bestaande of nieuwe businessmodel. Je bedrijf is dus toekomstbestendiger als je circulair gaat opereren.

Bijvoorbeeld omdat je door grondstoffen en producten her te gebruiken, minder afhankelijk wordt van complexe internationale logistieke ketens — wat door de huidige coronacrisis extra interessant is. Als gevolg hiervan lagen er wereldwijd immers flink wat productiefaciliteiten noodgedwongen stil en verplaatst de internationale handel zich (al dan niet tijdelijk) naar lokale afnemers.

Een andere belangrijke reden om circulair te gaan opereren is dat klanten, klanten — overheden, bedrijven én consumenten — steeds hogere eisen aan je stellen. Zo wil de gemeente Amsterdam dat in 2022 tien procent van de inkoop circulair is en dat in 2023 alle inkoopvoorwaarden en -contracten in de gebouwde omgeving circulair zijn. Ook werkt de gemeente aan een monitor die allerlei data gebruikt om te meten in hoeverre Amsterdam al circulair is en op welke vlakken het wel of juist niet goed gaat. Daarnaast sluiten steeds meer organisaties zich aan bij Inkopen met Impact, een initiatief van de Amsterdam Economic Board dat circulair en duurzaam inkopen stimuleert, ook daarbij speelt data een belangrijke rol. Binnen de Metropool Amsterdam groeit de markt voor circulaire producten dus rap: als je nu al actief bent op die markt is het makkelijker om daar een stevige positie te verwerven.

Circulaire ketens en circulaire voorbeelden

Grote bedrijven die een deel van hun ketens circulair hebben gemaakt hebben al een goede business case in handen. Neem Auping, dat matrassen een tweede leven geeft, en Signify, dat met Circular Lighting verlichting als dienst aanbiedt. Ook steeds meer andere bedrijven bieden hun producten ‘as-a-service’ aan. Het is een ideaal business model voor de circulaire economie. Klanten betalen dan voor het gebruik van het product, in plaats van voor het bezit ervan. Als leverancier van deze dienst heb je dus een extra prikkel om een duurzaam product te maken, waarvan onderdelen goed vervangbaar zijn.
Daarnaast zijn er al flink wat succesvolle bedrijven die producten verkopen die volledig uit hergebruikte materialen bestaan. Denk aan tassen gemaakt van oude brandweerslangen of reclamedoeken of plantenbakken van gerecycled plastic.

Data belangrijk voor succes circulaire economie

Het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving stelde vorig jaar echter vast dat nieuwe circulaire initiatieven maar moeilijk doorbreken. Het kan dus nog beter. Hoe? Met data. Met data kunnen we het effect van aanpassingen monitoren en vraag en aanbod in de circulaire economie aan elkaar verbinden. Niet voor niets worden data ook wel de zuurstof van de circulaire economie genoemd. In het volgende artikel geven we je drie redenen om hier slimmer mee om te gaan. Daarna laten we zien wat je zelf kunt doen en delen we de ervaringen van circulaire ondernemers.

Deze artikelenreeks is een initiatief van Hogeschool van Amsterdam | Gemeente Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic en AMS Institute. Samen willen zij de circulaire economie in de Metropoolregio Amsterdam versnellen met praktische verhalen voor en over ondernemers en bedrijven. We nodigen iedereen uit mee te doen met de discussie op amsterdamsmartcity.com

Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR)'s picture #CircularCity
marije wassenaar, program manager new business innovations at AMS Institute, posted

EIT Urban Mobility startup accelerator program open for applications

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Calling all mobility startups! The application phase for the EIT Urban Mobility Accelerator programme batch #2 is open now.

This is an EU-funded programme with five Innovation Hubs spread over Europe to take early-stage startups with a mobility-related business idea to the next level. Dutch startups are able to apply for the Innovation Hub West program. The Hub West program is executed by a consortium of AMS Institute, Gemeente Amsterdam, TU Eindhoven, Brainport.
Also visit: https://www.ams-institute.org/news/eit-urban-mobility-accelerator/

For the central information from EIT Urban Mobility and how to apply please go to:
https://www.eiturbanmobility.eu/the-application-phase-for-the-eit-urban-mobility-accelerator-programme-batch-2-is-open-now/

The benefits:
€ 15,000 in equity-free funding for your startup
6-month Accelerator program with mentoring, coaching and contacts to customers & investors
6-month office / co-working space (in select locations - depending on the COVID19 regulations)
Direct access to “living labs” and cities for the creation of new products and services

Who should apply?
The Hub West program is looking for early-stage startups from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, UK and the North of France with at least 2 FTE, a properly validated, clear, scalable and innovative business idea that solves a mobility-related customer problem.

marije wassenaar's picture #Mobility
marije wassenaar, program manager new business innovations at AMS Institute, posted

Citython

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Are you keen to work on Amsterdam's mobility challenges during a 10-day online hackathon that brings together an international group of creative and inquisitive minds? Than look no further and register at http://citython.eu/amsterdam/
After Barcelona and Lublin the citython is happening in Amsterdam from October 28 till November 6. Prizes are 1500€ and the chance to present your winning solution on the Smart City Expo.
Citython is an activity by EIT Urban Mobility. It is an European initiative in which AMS Institute and the City of Amsterdam are partners - that brings together cities, universities, research centres and industry, to work jointly on mobility innovations and make cities more liveable.

marije wassenaar's picture Online event on Oct 28th
AMS Institute, Re-inventing the city (urban innovation) at AMS Institute, posted

POSTPONED: Launch Responsible Sensing Lab & Opening Senses of Amsterdam Exhibit

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On Oct 27, we will officially launch the Responsible Sensing Lab during an interactive livestream event. This event also marks the opening of the interactive exhibit ‘Senses of Amsterdam’ at NEMO Studio: discover how sensors make Amsterdam a smarter city.
To celebrate this, we would like to invite you to join the interactive livestream of this event. Experts and guests will talk about what responsible sensing means to them, and we will present how the Responsible Sensing Lab wants to help design a better, more democratic, and more responsible digital future city.

Our keynote speaker Anthony Townsend will discuss the current state of Smart Cities through a livestream from the US. Deputy Mayor Touria Meliani will close the program with the official opening of the exhibit.

Program

16.00 Start live stream

16.05 - Welcome
| Thijs Turel | AMS Institute, Program Manager Responsible Digitization
| Coen Bergman | CTO, City of Amsterdam, Innovation Developer Public Tech

16.10 - Keynote: From parasite to symbiant: Redesigning our relationship with urban sensors
| Anthony Townsend, writer and researcher

16.30 - Talkshow: Introduction to Responsible Sensing Lab
| Coen Bergman | CTO Office, City of Amsterdam, Innovation Developer Public Tech
| Thijs Turel | AMS Institute, Program Manager Responsible Digitization

16.45 - Panel Discussion: Influence of Corona on surveillance in Amsterdam
| Beryl Dreijer | CTO Office, City of Amsterdam, Privacy Officer
| Judith Veenkamp | Waag, Head of Smart Citizens Lab
| Prof. dr. Gerd Kortuem | AMS Institute, Principal Investigator & TU Delft, Professor of Internet of Things
Moderator | Aik van Eemeren, CTO Office, City of Amsterdam, Head of Public Tech

17.00 - Interview: why do we need a Responsible Sensing Lab in Amsterdam?
| Deputy Mayor Meliani | responsible for Arts and Culture, and Digital City
Interviewer | Aik van Eemeren, CTO Office, City of Amsterdam, Head of Public Tech

17.10 - Official Opening 'Senses of Amsterdam'
| Deputy Mayor Meliani | responsible for Arts and Culture, and Digital City

17.15 - Closing

More information about the full program & registration here: <https://www.ams-institute.org/events/official-launch-responsible-sensing-lab-opening-exhibit-senses-amsterdam/>

AMS Institute's picture Online event on Oct 27th