School:University of Twente

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Campus Overview


The University of Twente is located in Europe in the city Enschede, The Netherlands. Founded in 1961 it now holds an approximate of 11.000 students. Originating as a technical university its motto “High Tech, Human Touch” describes how the university connects cutting edge technologies with society.

The university is located in Twente, the most entrepreneurial region of the Netherlands, with approximately 140 new start-ups in the region every year. With a Science and Business park across the road and lots of I&E resources, the University of Twente has a lot to offer to those willing to create a business.

In the past couple of years the University of Twente already went through some educational changes in favor of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its new Twents Education Model (T.E.M.) revolves around a multidisciplinary, project-based approach. One of the big strengths of the university is its student-driven activism, where student-driven organizations organize and arrange all sorts of things for their fellow students.

The University of Twente is part of the University Innovations Fellows program since Fall 2016. It is the first university in the Netherlands and Europe participating in the program.

Here is our story:

Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

The University of Twente provides everything a student may desire to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship. Starting with their first step on campus, the students come into contact with the vibrant activities off and on campus.

  • Kick-In: Each year all freshman students kick off their academic career with a week full of activities to discover the university, the students and the city. 
  • Student-associations: Ordering books, excursions to companies, working on high-tech technologies and even the sport you love to play is organized and managed by fellow students. Over 100 different associations on and of campus are active in various different ways to make a more complete study life.
  • Start-up and entrepreneurship events: such as the three day StartupLaunch weekend, the International Start-up Challenge and the EntrepreneurialU organized each year at on the campus of the university.
  • DesignLabsience2design4society, the DesignLab provides a creative ecosystem for connecting the science to society. In this space students from all fields of study work together to create all the crazy ideas they have!
  • Internationalisation Department: Each year they organize two very interesting events, the CuriousU summer school, and the PreU promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among high school students. This makes students interested in the UT aware of the highly innovation-driven mindset of the current students.
  • Week of Inspiration:  As a yearly event, the Week of Inspiration is organized by students and is meant to broaden the knowledge areas of students. Many lectures relate to real-world problems that fuel the innovative mindset of UT students
  • The Bedrijvendagen: offers a vast variety of activities that give students the chance to come into contact with companies. Amongst workshops and an ambition week, they organise a yearly two day long Career Fair, that allows students to talk to company representatives about their interests, internships and job opportunities.

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship 

Research at the University of Twente is aimed to have a social and economic impact. With research institutes focused on nanotechnology, ICT, biomedical technology, technical medicine, governance & behavioral sciences, engineering, geo-information sciences, and earth observation the knowledge generation is not just at a high technical level but also impactful for society. All summarized in its motto:

  • High Tech-Human Touch: Connecting the research involving cutting edge high tech on campus with the (current) problems of society.

The UT has many research departments that represent faculty making strides in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. Details about research at the UT:

  • 1,500 researchers work on a daily base on relevant societal challenges in a variety of disciplines
  • deliver over 2,700 publications a year, providing valuable input for scientific excellence and laying the foundations for new knowledge-based spin-offs
  • NIKOS: This is a research group at the UT that focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. They try to bring I&E closer to the students through an entrepreneurial summer school, EntrepreneurialU, and they provide a minor for all students where they teach about innovation and entrepreneurship.

Actively supporting the university technology transfer function 

Currently, there is no technology transfer office at the University of Twente. However, the university works in close cooperation with their partners to share their knowledge and make sure that the knowledge is translated effectively into economic activity. The university has a Business Development Team that supports researchers who are involved in taking research results to market.

Facilitating university-industry collaboration

Located in the heart of the Dutch start-up scheme, the University of Twente is surrounded by organizations providing the knowledge and experience for beginning businesses to evolve.

  • Novel-T: Formerly known as Kennispark, "Kennis" is the Dutch word for knowledge. Novel-T is an incubator and center of mentoring and support for starting businesses. Additionally, the Kennispark is a business and science park located across from the university and is home to new and developing innovative businesses.
  • Hardstart: This is an association for entrepreneurial students by entrepreneurial students. Hardstart is about creating real value for all the people involved. It's doing this by offering workplaces, connecting people and giving attention to new ideas by hosting events.
  • Incubase: A soon to be opened location where UT students can build their ideas into startups

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts 

The region Twente and independent organizations are able to provide start-ups with the necessary economical support. All of the following are readily available for students:

  • Dutch Student Investment Fund: An organization run by students in the European Union  that helps to turn ideas into reality. The DSIF provides help with your idea, prototyping, financing and finding customers
  • Young Technology Awards: An event run by the Twente region to place start-ups in the national spotlight.
  • Fund the future: A funding event run by Kennispark and Powered by Twente organisations
  • University Fund: A fund organised by the University of Twente to fund ideas created on the campus.
  • Cottonwood Technology Fund: A venture capatalist fund that invests in disruptive ideas in the Twente region.
  • Innovation Industries: A venture capatalist fund that is planning on investing 75 million euro in 20 hightech companies at universities in The Netherlands

Related links

University Website

University of Twente

Wiki pages

University Of Twente

University of Twente Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Fall 2016

Arian Hohmann

David Goedicke

Jos van 't Hof

Marjanne Luinstra

Spring 2017

Elisabeth de Vijlder

Lennart van de Velde

Mélanie Droogleever Fortuyn

Sarah Roediger

Fall 2017

Rianne Hagen

Sevim Aktas

Titus Venverloo

Wim Kamerman

Spring 2018

Julian Sotscheck

Kaz Middelhoek

Marthe Oldenhof

Suhaib Aslam

Fall 2018

Anıl Özen

Anja Dömer

Hizirwan Salim

Fall 2019

Alejandro García Navarrete

Can Erel

Edo de Wolf

Gleb Podorozhnyy

Jessica Haak

Lena Marie Assink

Lisa Veldman

Rick Akkerman

Satwik Kritika Krishna

Simon de Schaetzen

Thyne Scholte

Tra My Nguyen