The Digital Society Hub (DSH) is an inspiring environment where people from the educational and research field ideate and create solutions with the work field.
The DSH contributes to the social and economic development of Groningen and the Northern Netherlands region by identifying, denoting and applying relevant innovations in information and communication technology in the most important social issues in the field of care, energy, mobility, liveability and agriculture. For companies and social institutions, the DSH is the facility to realize innovations that they do not achieve on their own and with their own facilities. At the same time, the DSH is the innovative learning community that offers education (and research) for students, teachers and lecturers innovative projects, activities, methods and technologies. The DSH features unique ICT data communication facilities, acquisition and processing, networks, smart components (devices, products and sensors), creative design and development methods and a mixed population of students and professionals from different disciplines in an inviting, inspiring (inter)national environment. The DSH develops relevant useful digital solutions. Among other things, it supports innovation in the bio based economy, building, health, energy, agriculture and mobility fields. The DSH operates on the basis of its own innovation programme and innovation programmes that are being implemented in collaboration with other hubs.

Resources needed

Staff team of 3 professionals and collaboration with education, research partners and strategic work field partners from the region. The aim is to finance together with these partners the total exploitation needs.

Evidence of success

Facts & figures 2018-2019:
• 546 students participating in multidisciplinair innovation projects with companies and research groups
• 4 affiliated research groups with together 29 lecturers and researchers
• 9 strategic partners
• 22 events organised
• 4168 unique visitors

Difficulties encountered

Internal: bring education and research together with the work field in a setting of different curricula, timelines, research goals & companies wishes
External: how to connect to the region based on the agenda of education, research and regional challenges.

Potential for learning or transfer

Bringing the three helices together generates a win-win-win situation:
Learner agency: students come into contact with socially relevant projects and work with professionals from the field of work and research: interdisciplinary learning.
Teachers/researchers: learns to apply knowledge directly with the field of work and strengthens professionalization
Work field: long-term cooperation with a university of applied sciences where they can innovate with students and researchers in socially relevant regions

Main institution
Hanze University of Applied Sciences (HUAS)
Start Date
June 2017
End Date


Madelon van Oostrom Please login to contact the author.