Erasmus Data Collaboratory: where AI and data come to life


Fostering collective creativity to create social impact. That’s in a nutshell what the Erasmus Data Collaboratory (EDC) is all about. This open and inclusive learning environment is a place where people can think, work, learn together, and invent using data, AI and immersive tech. The EDC is located at the Erasmus University campus and was opened in October 2021.

The Erasmus Data Collaboratory, created by Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA) together with leading tech companies and start-ups, brings together students, academics, public and private partners, start-ups and scale-ups to work on complex social challenges, such as the energy transition, resilient deltas, our health system, creating smart and inclusive cities. These issues, all related to contributing to the United Nations SDGs are usually complex and hard to resolve, demanding creative, systemic and divergent design challenge approaches. Partners in the ecosystem of ECDA such as the City of Rotterdam, the Province of South Holland, the Port of Rotterdam and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) bring societal challenges to work on. Challenges are linked with pre and post experience programs of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), to provide students a hand-on learning experience.

Smart Campus Project

In the Smart Campus Project, real-life data will be used to make Erasmus University Rotterdam’s campus Woudestein more livable and sustainable. Sensors at various locations on the campus will collect data on air pollution, indoor climate, people flow, and heat distribution. Through this “living lab” issues related to the use of buildings, energy consumption, travel behavior, signposting, and health will be addressed and tackled. Layering data on a 3D model of the EUR campus allows the insights to be communicated to the users of the campus and the real estate team to make simulations of possible changes and facilitates evidence-based decision-making. The 3D model is housed in the Erasmus Data Collaboratory in Polak Building.

Urban Digital Innovation Executive Leadership Programme

In March 2023 a new exclusive European programme around smart cities will take place in Rotterdam in the Erasmus Data Collaboratory space. The Urban Digital Innovation Executive Leadership Programme provides an in-depth multidisciplinary orientation on building digital innovation within Smart & Resilient Cities and Communities.

It frames the future of our cities within the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution and introduces the building blocks for successful digitalization and innovation strategies for communities, cities and regions, such as: agile governance, innovation for scale, citizen engagement, digital inclusion, agile regulations, ethical frameworks – and a touch of technology. It is powered by learnings and results from the EU funded Ruggedised smart city project.

This special programme will bring together an international community of leaders and practitioners from 1. municipalities and regional authorities, including those working in areas of sustainability, energy, digital and data, innovation 2. semi-governmental organizations (e.g., utilities, transport operators) 3. companies that stand to contribute to urban innovation agendas or expect to make their inroads into this arena in the foreseeable future.

Facilities at the EDC

As physical hub the EDC provides space and facilities for hands-on action learning, action research, experimentation, and valorization, including:

  • a data lab, equipped with high-quality workstations with high-resolution displays, connected to a cloud infrastructure through fast connections;
  • an immersive tech space, with advanced digital projection facilities (using AR/VR/XR);
  • a multimedia-equipped boardroom;
  • a well-equipped project and meeting rooms, with creative and stimulating tools to support research and education

The Convergence

The Erasmus Data Collaboratory is one of the important physical hubs of the Convergence in AI, data & digitalization. The Convergence is a collaboration of Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU Delft and Erasmus MC, aiming to create new perspectives and solutions for urgent and complex societal challenges by crossing of boundaries between institutes and disciplines. Cooperation between experts in AI, data and digitalization, and experts who apply AI in another scientific domain, is central.

To find out more about the Erasmus Data Collaboratory, please check the EDC website.


** This is an updated text based on an original press release from November 2021 **

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