At the board level, the changes in our governance have already been set in motion. The portfolio allocation within the Executive Board has also been determined.

Collegial governance

At the beginning of May 2020, Jet de Ranitz started as Chairperson of the Executive Board (CEO), Hans Louwhoff joined the Executive Board as Chief Operations Officer (COO) with effect from 1 June, followed by Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) Ron Augustus with effect from 1 September.

The portfolio allocation within the Executive Board has been determined. The CEO is responsible for strategy and relationship management, business operations and finance, the COO is in charge of the services portfolio and the CINO is in charge of innovation. They work together in accordance with the principle of collegial governance and monitor the integrity of 1SURF, both for the work organisation and for SURF's stakeholders.

Vision and guidance

SURF is a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions in which its members join forces. The members are the owners of SURF. It goes without saying that, in our changing organisation, the form and degree of management of the cooperative are explicitly evaluated and, where necessary, redefined.

From this perspective, SURF will always make sure that it:

  • provides vision and guidance by its members at administrative and tactical levels within the cooperative.
  • ensures the ownership of the cooperative by its members, while making sure the members are interconnected.
  • does justice to - and gives scope for - the differences between the sectors within the cooperative, without losing the added value of collaboration.
  • makes its mission a core value in the cooperation with its members: to allow research and education in the Netherlands to make full use of the opportunities offered by digitisation.
Vergaderlocatie bij SURF

How do we work together?

The Executive Board formulates SURF's policy and strategy and translates this into tactical and operational goals. It is responsible for drawing up the strategy and for organising coherence and collaboration between sectors. In doing so, the Executive Board works closely with a number of existing and new bodies that are or will be responsible for decision-making, steering, and advising at various levels within the organisation:

  • The Members' Council represents the members (owners of the cooperative) and is the highest body of the cooperative. The Members’ Council meets at least twice a year.
  • The Supervisory Board supervises the policy of the Executive Board, the general course of affairs in the cooperative and the associated enterprise(s). The Supervisory Board acts as the employer of and as a sounding board for the Executive Board.
  • Steering groups steer innovation programmes or innovation labs financed by the cooperative, external financiers or by a number of collaborating members.
  • SURF Portfolio Advisory Committee (SPA) determines the influence of the members (through the CSCs) on the composition and development of the SURF services portfolio. The SPA provides written advice to the CSC chairpersons, who validate the advice to the Executive Board.
  • The Coordinating SURF Contacts (CSCs) advise the Executive Board on collaboration between sectors and on the match between supply and demand within the cooperative. They do this via the SPA representatives, CSC chairpersons, and their own management. The CSC meetings also play an important role in the exchange of information between SURF and the affiliated institutions.
  • The Scientific Technical Council (WTR) acts as an independent explorer and adviser to the Members' Council, the Supervisory Board, and the Executive Board on issues concerning disruptive technological innovation and the digitisation of research and education.
  • Within the new SURF governance, we are working with expert groups to ensure that users and experts have an unambiguous input into the development of services and innovation projects. Expert groups are temporary and advise those responsible for related content within the SURF organisation. The Executive Board will also set up committees with substantive experts to deal with broad, overarching issues related to SURF policy. Committees are permanent in nature and advise the Executive Board.