The most important points from the SURF Members' Council of 8 December
With the National Growth Fund, the government is setting aside €20 billion for projects for the next 5 years. It concerns targeted investments in 3 areas with the greatest potential for structural and sustainable economic growth: 1) knowledge development, 2) research, development and innovation, and 3) infrastructure.
At the end of October, SURF, together with the universities of applied sciences, universities of applied sciences and intermediate vocational education (in coordination with UNL, VH and MBO Raad), submitted an application to the Minister of Education, Culture and Science for the Growth Fund. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science passed on this application, along with its own strategic memorandum and several other applications, to the Growth Fund. In January 2022, it will be known which of the submitted proposals will be screened for content. The Cabinet is expected to announce in April 2022 which proposals will receive a contribution from the Growth Fund. This is the first time that universities of applied sciences, research universities and universities of applied sciences have submitted a joint application on the basis of a shared vision. The goals set out in this vision provide direction for our activities, with or without Growth Fund resources.
Approval annual plan and budget 2022
The Members' Council has approved SURF's Annual Plan for 2022. The annual plan gives further substance to the 2022-2027 Strategy that was approved in October. The 2022 budget was also approved; agreements were made about the steps that SURF still needs to take to achieve cost-effectiveness. Commitment was thus expressed to the ambitions that the members will be taking on together in the coming year.
Financial framework 2022-2027
During the meeting, the financial framework 2022-2027 was also formally approved. In recent weeks, there have been consultations with a delegation of the members' council and the chairmen of the CSC sector consultations about the intended new activities. The transparency offered was experienced as pleasant. The members have given their approval for additional contributions to fulfil the new ambition in the Strategy 2022-2027, especially for strengthening cooperation and innovation.
The subject of cyber security is high on the agenda of both institutions and politicians. Although institutions are responsible for their own cyber security, there is much to be gained by tackling the subject together. The Members' Council has therefore approved the launch of SURF's 'State-of-the-Art (Cyber)Security' innovation zone. The ambition of the innovation zone is for the sector to be and remain resilient, so that everyone in Dutch education and research can do their work openly, safely and without worry. In the coming months, the first two roadmaps within the innovation zone will take shape, in collaboration with the CSCs and security experts of the institutions. This will build on the good cooperation that already exists around cyber security and in IV-HO. In 2022, a security expertise centre will be set up at SURF to assist members.
SURF was to take care of the distribution of self-tests until 1 November 2021. Given recent developments, this has been extended. We are still discussing with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science whether we will continue to facilitate this after 1 January 2022. This will depend on national measures and the extent to which students and staff continue to use the service.
Changes in the Council of Members
Karl Dittrich's interim period at the Open University has ended. As of 1 November 2021, Frank van der Duijn Schouten will be interim chair at the Open University.
Reappointments for the Scientific Technical Council
Two members have been reappointed for the WTR by the Members' Council:
- Anja Oskamp for a second term*
- Edwin Valentijn for a third term
* The WTR elects a chairperson from among its members, which is not an appointment by the Council of Members. The WTR unanimously voted to entrust Anja Oskamp with the chairmanship for a second term.
SURF's availability during the holidays
From 27 to 31 December 2021 the general telephone number of SURF will not be accessible. The Utrecht office will be closed from Friday 24 December until Friday 31 December. The Amsterdam office will only be closed on Friday 24 December and Friday 31 December.
Services will of course continue as members are accustomed to at SURF. The regular contact points for emergencies will also be manned. More information will soon be available on the contact page.
Council of Members meetings in 2022
The Members' Council meetings in 2022 will be held on 6 April, 22 June, 12 October and 7 December.