Strategic alliance TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht

Challenging future generations

Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Utrecht University (UU) and the Utrecht University Medical Centre (UMC Utrecht) work together in a unique way. Unique because of the complementarity of available knowledge and talent. We believe that solutions to the major challenges facing our future can only be achieved if there is intensive collaboration across the boundaries of knowledge, institutions and programmes. As a result of this collaboration, our scientists and students are strongly pre-sorted for breakthroughs in research and to help solve a number of major issues for society.

Focus on impact

Together we realize the broadest combination of knowledge and within this we choose to focus on young top talent and those areas where we can have the most impact, namely the necessary system transitions on energy, nutrition, health and circular society, among others. We will make joint investments in this area. We work across the borders of the institutions, certainly also with partners outside our organisations, thus developing an ecosystem where talented people can find each other to solve the currently unimaginable problem.

Our priority areas

  • Preventive Health: Ground-breaking research into interventions that promote healthy living, taking into account the lifestyle, circumstances and characteristics of individuals.
  • Circular Society: Contribute to the transition to a climate-neutral society by creating concrete, inspiring, scientifically substantiated visions of what a circular future might look like.

Core concepts: space, creativity and impact

With this collaboration, we are even stronger in achieving mission-driven knowledge development based on science, which helps to solve social tasks. We challenge young scientists and students to push their boundaries together and to facilitate them optimally by giving them the space to develop new insights beyond the boundaries of their knowledge. The core of the approach is to let the curiosity of the scientists take the lead and not to limit them with publication objectives.

We bring together teams that are given room to develop cooperation on the themes mentioned above. These can be transdisciplinary research links, but also groups of students working on a graduation project through challenge-based education or teams of employees who improve support processes and facilities. Based on the priorities of the four partners, we choose the subjects for which groups are actually formed. How the teams work is not determined in advance; space, creativity and impact are core concepts of this collaboration.

The collaboration is daring. The results are uncertain and unpredictable. We see such an approach as necessary to contribute to the transitions that society is facing. 

Esther Stiekema is the Alliance coordinator as of 1 May 2020. She support the Boards of the four institutions in designing the strategic collaboration and carrying out the common agenda. Previously, Stiekema was the Director Of Academic Affairs and the Director of Research Policy and the Director of the Academic Affairs Office at Utrecht University.


The Student Mobility Project has the ambition of enabling students to exchange courses between institutions, without the usual administrative and organisational obstacles. In this project, the alliance of TU/e, WUR, UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University created a platform where these exchanges can take place. Students are able to attending courses at several universities with the press of a button via the platform

Annual event 19 april 2023

Crossing boundaries for a healthy and sustainable future

At our conference of our alliance TU/e, WUR, UU, UMC Utrecht (EWUU) Crossing boundaries for a healthy and sustainable future on 19 April 2023 at Wageningen University and Research, we shared our vision on how science can contribute to planetary health. We did this by bringing together our expertise on preventive health and circular society and by challenging younger generations to play a leading role in creating the future. TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht invite you to help shape our efforts to find solutions to these complex issues.

Our partners

For more information about the former Utrecht – Eindhoven alliance, read more here.