Driving ICT innovation on education and research together
In 2019, 110 Dutch research and educational institutions worked together in the SURF cooperative to make full of the opportunities offered by digitisation. Together, we organised over 150 events and acted as a meeting point for exchanging and building on knowledge about ICT innovation in education and research. We also took a number of initiatives in 2019 to reduce our carbon footprint. For our members, this was the year in which digitisation of education and research became a reality.
Meeting our members' ICT needs
We provide for our members' ICT needs with our cooperative facilities. A number of studies were also carried out in 2019 using our computing, data and network facilities. Many services reached important milestones. For example, our data archive has grown by 10 petabytes and, at the end of 2019, SURFdrive had 50,000 users and the number of publications on the HBO Kennisbank had grown by 12%.
Modernising education with ICT
For education, flexibility - personalised education - is crucial to being able to respond to the changing demands of society, the labour market, teachers and students. 2019 saw the start of the Acceleration Plan Educational Innovation with IT, a four-year programme of The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (VH) and the Association of Universities in The Netherlands (VSNU), and SURF. We coordinate this programme and actively contribute to the acceleration zones in the programme. Also, in 2019, working alongside institutions we experimented with issuing digital badges. We put the protection of public values at the heart of the 2019 Education Days.
SURF achieved some great outcomes for science in 2019. We offered researchers easy access to our state-of-the-art facilities, for example, for DNA research and the analysis and storage of the huge quantities of resulting data. We tackled national data management issues by collaborating with institutions. In terms of early innovation, we carried out ground-breaking research into machine learning, quantum applications and more.
Looking back on 2019 - CEO, Erik Fledderus
We have had an eventful year at SURF. For the outside world, it looked like business as usual, including the significant results that are outlined in this Annual Overview. It was, though, also a year of reorganisation at SURF. This is still ongoing in 2020. General manager, Erik Fledderus, takes a look back at 2019 and also looks forward to 2020.