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National cooperation

We also work at a national level with various partners, and further strengthened our cooperations in 2021.

Ministry of Defense

At country level, we further intensified our cooperation with the Dutch Defense Health Organization (DGO) by signing an agreement with the Institute for Defense and Relational Hospitals (IDR) . Specialized healthcare professionals from UMC Utrecht can thus become Defense reservists to join training and missions and support Defense in medical affairs. On the other hand, UMC Utrecht facilitates practical deployment, internships and training for defense staff at UMC Utrecht.

Employees of the Ministry of Defense also supported us in 2021 to create cross-regional capacity for COVID-19 patients. UMC Utrecht could therefore take over COVID patients from hospitals all over the Netherlands that had reached the limits of their capacity. We also renewed the cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Defense. It makes provision for the maximal exchange of people and resources if necessary. For example in the event of a pandemic such as COVID-19, or if medical support from UMC Utrecht is needed at the Central Military Hospital (CMH) in Utrecht. Together with the Ministry of Defense, we set up the following steps in the scope of our Complex Acute Care accelerator, and are further giving shape to our strategic cooperation for disaster response. We are on standby to receive medical evacuees from Ukraine by order of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Princess Máxima Center

UMC Utrecht cooperates intensively with the Princess Máxima Center, the national center for pediatric oncology, in the field of care, research and education. We are next-door neighbors at Utrecht Science Park and share facilities with each other. In 2021, Bachelor students in Biomedical Sciences at UMC Utrecht for example worked with the Princess Máxima Center and discovered a way in which immunotherapy might possibly be used in the future against a certain type of aggressive brain tumor that occurs mostly in children (medulloblastoma). UMC Utrecht and the Princess Máxima Center have furthermore co-developed activities for talent development and staff recruitment. They have also started on the joint building of an ultra-modern operating room to operate brain tumors in children.

Apotheek A15

In September 2021 UMC Utrecht became a shareholder in Apotheek A15 . Apotheek A15 is a pharmacy that operates at national level and that specializes in the development and preparation of drugs that are not commercially available, yet are essential. For example, drugs for patients with rare conditions. Or medicines for children who need a lower dosage or different method of administering than the standard available on the market. By participating in Apotheek A15 we ensure that we can supply our patients with the drugs they need. Other shareholders in Apotheek 15 are: ErasmusMC, UMC Groningen, and Radboudumc. All four shareholders have an equal amount of shares (25%).

Knowledge alliance between TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht

Together with the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), Wageningen University (WUR) and Utrecht University (UU), we form a Knowledge Alliance. By building bridges between institutions, we make a joint contribution to solving major social challenges pertaining to health and circularity. The alliance combines complementary expertise particularly in the fields of: artificial intelligence, a circular society, prevention of health problems, and molecular life sciences.

In 2021 students were presented with two challenges where they learned to work together with other disciplines. In the COVID-19 challenge of the city of Utrecht, students from all the organizations in the Knowledge Alliance busied themselves with the question of how to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the daily lives of the inhabitants of Utrecht. In the Food 4 Health and Safety challenge , students looked for a new food concept for Defense in cooperation with this ministry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. 18 Utrecht scientists from the Knowledge Alliance also received a ‘Unusual Collaborations Grant’ to solve social issues within four projects: The Power of One, Defeating Chronic Pain, Structures of Strength, and Data Driven Dashboard.

AnDREa: collaborating in research

Together with Erasmus MC and Radboudumc, UMC Utrecht developed the digital research environment Azure DRE. In 2021, UMC Utrecht implemented Azure DRE and helped researchers to make optimal use of it. This digital research environment contributes to Open Science. It enables researchers to store and analyze data safely across institutions. Researchers from various institutes can thus easily work together on data and thereby co-build results with an impact for society. Data is also traceable and complies with legislation on data-protection (General Data Protection Regulation). Diligence in dealing with patent information is thereby guaranteed. Azure DRE supports the ambitions of UMC Utrecht to accelerate on content. The consortium of Erasmus MC, Radboudumc and UMC Utrecht has switched to a BV (AnDREa BV), of which UMC Utrecht became a shareholder.