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HAN in Nijmegen is the most innovative institution

17 December 2009, 22:39

HAN University of Applied Sciences was named "most innovative institution in 2009”. Why was they selected for this award?

At the meeting of Friends of Science, an initiative of the innovation platform in the Netherlands, the ‘Hogeschool Arnhem and Nijmegen’(HAN University of Applied Sciences) was named "most innovative institution in 2009”.

In the categories of vocational, college and university education, HAN received the prize from former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer who has been chair of the Platform Beta Technology since October 2009.


Criteria for receiving the award are among others:

  • Quantitative and qualitative results.
  • Good practices.
  • Relationships between colleges.
  • Business and durability/sustanability.

Why HAN?

HAN University  offers tertiary education to 28,000 students. HAN was declared winner because of its success in the its persistence to attract science (beta-tech) students, many of whom won prizes with sustainable and innovative projects.


Examples include

  • Civil Engineering graduates who won second prize in the Student Steel Award 2009 (October)
  • Automotive Engineering students who won the TukTuk Automotive Engineering Competition in India. This resulted in the development of a cleaner and more energy efficient TukTuk (July 2009)
  • The HAN Eco marathon for self-built lightweight vehicles with the lowest fuel consumption (June 2009)
  • Looking ahead to 2010, HAN Engineering students participate in the 'Frisian Solar Challenge’ for ships sailing on solar energy.
  • In addition, Automotive Engineering has started the SMILE course recently. This is aims at students interested in sustainable mobility and who would like to work on this from their first years of education.

"Friends of Science" Event

The "Friends of Science" event aims at firmly placing science on the social and political agenda. At the annual event, workshops were held where visitors could actively work in science. In addition, 2 prizes are awarded:

  • The Herman Wijffels Innovation Award 2009.
  • The award for Most Innovative Institution.

Speakers and guests

The chairman of the Innovation Platform, Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende, opened the event. In addition, Robbert Dijkgraaf (Dutch Science Academy President), Rene Smit, Education Minister Van der Hoeven and Jeroen van der Veer (former Shell CEO) addressed the audience. Invited were entrepreneurs, economists, leading scientists, young talent coming scientific and political advisors.

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