Nieuwsbrief NWA route AI en Big Data

De NWA-route AI en Big Data is in volle gang en tijdens de op ICT.Open 2023 georganiseerde sessie is opgevallen hoeveel mensen betrokken zijn bij of geïnteresseerd zijn in de route, en dat dit een echte community aan het worden is. Daarom is begonnen met het verzamelen van namen en e-mailadressen, zodat iedereen op de hoogte van ontwikkelingen rondom deze NWA-route gehouden kan worden. De eerste nieuwsbrief is recent verstuurd.

De nieuwsbrief zal een paar keer per jaar worden verstuurd en relevante updates bevatten over de NWA-route AI en Big Data. Als u deze nieuwsbrieven wilt ontvangen kunt zich aanmelden door een e-mail te versturen naar Freek Bomhof (

Inhoud van de eerste nieuwsbrief (ENG)

1 – ICT.Open

The presentations can be downloaded via the Surf File Sender (expiry June 21st, so don’t wait too long). This includes

  1. Presentations on the background of the NWA Route AI & Big Data by Tibor Bosse
  2. Presentation on the NWA itself by Joep van Wijk (NWO)
  3. Presentations of the ‘small projects’ within the call

2 – Updated NWA

On April 21st, an updated version of the NWA was presented to the minister of Higher Education Robbert Dijkgraaf. The route AI & Big Data was one of the routes that was featured with a more in-depth presentation and interview with the route management. To present the route and its challenges, a very nice video was made.

3 – Focus ORC call: theme selection

As announced prior to the ICT.Open session, the Route will select a theme for the upcoming ORC call. One of the reasons is that the topic itself tends to be too wide, thus causing less focused proposals and also many project proposals, where only a few can be granted.

Together with Waag Futurelab, co creation sessions have been organized in 2022 to evaluate the current state of affairs in the route, and dive deeper into the societal impact of AI and Big Data and extract the core topics that should receive more attention. After all, the original questions of the NWA were collected some 7 years ago and both science and society have progressed. The outcome of these sessions already provided some good directions and these were presented to the ICT.Open audience by means of a survey: which of these themes would work best? The result was relevant, but we all felt that the voice of the citizen could (should) be heard more explicitly when it comes to the selection of themes for the route. Therefore, Waag Futurelab will organize ‘citizen panel’ meetings in June to collect additional insights. Based on all inputs, the route management will propose the definition of the theme focus and discuss it with the steering group.

Interaction with society on scientific questions is a core feature of the NWA, so it is no surprise that the NWA program committee really liked this approach when we informed them about this approach.

4 – What is the NWA Route AI & Big Data again?

There are quite some groups, platforms and communities around AI and Big Data, and the NWA Route is one of them. We can imagine that you may have forgotten a bit what this Route is about.

A very quick summary: This webpage summarizes the NWA quite nicely. A major component of the NWA is the ORC calls for multidisciplinary research proposals that fit into one of the routes. Apart from these ORC calls, regularly a call for ‘small projects’ (around 100k each) is put out, with the goal to explore new directions in the route. Every route is led by a figurehead (Tibor Bosse) and a route manager (Freek Bomhof). There is a steering group that is consulted for strategic decisions (the ICT.Open presentations, in item 2 above, give more details).