As a knowledge institute in a dynamic, changing environment, it goes without saying that RIVM embraces innovation. After all, new problems in society require new solutions. Increasingly, we find the answers together with others, in knowledge networks or in co-creation with citizens or other interested parties. Often innovation comes about at the boundary of different disciplines.
Innovation is a continuous process. This is exactly why it is gratifying when concrete results become visible. The Knowledge Centre on Healthy Urban Living, which came into being at the end of 2013, is such a concrete result. TNO, KNMI, Utrecht University, Deltares and RIVM cooperate towards a single goal: clean, sustainable and prosperous cities where people can live long, healthy, and independent lives.
Precisely at this time, when issues are becoming more complex, public entrepreneurship plays a greater role in knowledge networks. RIVM is part of an international think tank on an innovative, global development of a new DNA research technique. For example, in a few years’ time, it will be possible to determine the "fingerprint" of a virus or bacteria in a short period of time via a database with this so-called Next Generation Sequencing. Thus it will be possible to make diagnoses sooner anywhere in the world, and consequently treat patients better and faster. An example where innovation can result in fewer laboratory animals, is the use of human embryonic stem cells to determine the safety of a chemical substance. Ethically promising progress, with the advantage of being able to determine the safety of a substance quicker and at less cost.
Often innovation comes across the boundary of different
disciplines. Especially for RIVM,
as our strength lies in multidisciplinary collaboration. New
challenges arise in the field of public health and environment and
need answers of a trusted advisor. Technological innovations and
new connections between fields of knowledge offer
Strategic Programme (SPR), supports innovative
projects. With SPR we are now preparing for
emerging questions and future challenges with great social
relevance. This way RIVM
not only contributes to a healthy population in a healthy
environment today – but also tomorrow.