7.2 Sustainable Research

Through its research, Tilburg University aims to contribute to a better understanding of international, regional, and local sustainability problems and associated solutions. Interdisciplinarity in research is extremely important for contributing to solving complex societal problems. For example, consider the collaboration of the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital within the We Care program. Interdisciplinary work was also encouraged within the four Academic Collaborative Centers/Innovation Hubs in 2021: Broad Prosperity in the Region, Climate and Energy Transition, Inclusive Labor Market, and Digital Mental Health Innovation. An important place has once again been assigned to interdisciplinarity in the new strategy.

We aim to use research to gain better insight into issues relating to sustainability and develop knowledge to contribute to solutions. One example is the Zero Hunger Lab, which is part of a consortium that was awarded funding from EU Horizon 2020. Within the lab, we collaborate for the benefit of sustainable food systems and food security. In the Academic Collaborative Centers, knowledge is actively opened to fellow researchers, policymakers, social organizations, and other parties. The Academic Collaborative Center for Broad Prosperity in the Region was established in 2021. Within this context, the lens of broad prosperity is used to consider the inclusive energy transition, sustainable logistics, and positive health. Scholars from Tilburg University are collaborating with municipalities, corporations, energy companies, and other partners in the region around these topics.

To gain additional insight into Tilburg University’s scientific and societal contributions to sustainability, we mapped the relationships between our publications and the SDGs. The visualization depicts Tilburg University’s contribution to the SDGs in the form of scientific publications over the past decade. The larger the SDG is shown, the more has been published on this topic. In all, 1,683 publications contributing to the SDGs were published within this 10-year period, 289 of which were published in 2021.