Innovation zones: using IT innovation to improve the quality of education and research

In the coming years, the SURF organisation will work with its members to improve the quality of education and research with the aid of IT innovation. We will do this in nine innovation zones. On this page you can read which ones they are and what the current state of affairs or ambition is.

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Innovation zone Enable flexible and efficiently arranged education

This innovation zone focuses on the realisation of a basic infrastructure in 2027 that will allow students to follow a flexible and efficient education.


By 2027, Dutch education will have a basic infrastructure that makes it easy to exchange educational information. Because research universities, universities of applied sciences and senior secondary vocational education (MBO) institutions record their educational data according to the same standards, they can shape their curriculum’s flexibility and easily facilitate student mobility. The components of the basic infrastructure and consequently the roadmaps consist of agreements about standards (OOAPI or ‘open education application programming interface’) and architecture, and the development of information exchange services such as an OOAPI gateway, an eduID for student identification and the creation of an infrastructure for microcredentials.

The ambitions of this innovation zone overlap considerably with those of the Digitalisation Impulse transformation hubs. SURF and the Digitalisation Impulse Steering Committee will decide how best to combine forces.