Societal challenges

From agriculture and healthcare to education, logistics and science: no sector can do without ICT. Each (top)sector has its own ICT challenges, but there are also many cross connections. A successful application of an ICT solution in one sector, for example, could also be applied in another sector. The ICT challenges, ánd opportunities, affect society as a whole.

Energy transition & sustainability

The energy transition towards a sustainable society requires a significant effort to which ICT can offer a fundamental contribution. ICT provides among others for innovations in the field of digitalisation that support the energy transition and could give The Netherlands a leading position in the field of sustainability.

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Agriculture, water & food

For many of the missions in these sectors, data-based technology is available. However, there is no 'master plan', which means that the sharing of critical data and chain optimization does not get going well. The High-Tech-to-Feed-the-World Cross-Sectoral Innovation Programme can catalyze this. Missions also focus on understanding the total agricultural water and food system so that the right interventions can achieve a sustainable, climate-neutral and healthy balance. Advanced monitoring systems and simulation models will need to be further developed for this purpose.

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Health & Care

From a digitisation point of view, data sharing is an important prerequisite for innovation. Regardless of technology, it is essential to record 'informed consent', with blockchain being a possible solution in the highly fragmented healthcare system. Blockchain can be the link between data providers and data consumers, as it ensures data traceability, transparency and trust. Furthermore, contributions in the form of data analysis, AI algorithms and architectures in this sector are characterised by the requirement that transparency and explanations should be ensured, in addition to privacy and security.

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The Netherlands must remain a safe country for its citizens to live and work. A safe society is not self-evident. In the uocoming decades, the Netherlands faces complex challenges. This calls for a proactive attitude and an innovative approach to counter potential threats. There is a need for using the latest scientific insights, (key) technologies and applications and attention should be paid to ethical and social questions, and fundamental and structural aspects of safety issues. In the security domain, a combination of new technical, digital, social, social, legal, behavioural, organisational, social psychological and (geo)political research will always be needed.

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