The road less travelled

9 Jul 2021 - 4 min

Exciting and igniting: With our new strategy and identity, we bring to life our passion for digital in academic research.

The world has undergone a process of collective transformation in the past year, and as the national centre for academic research software in the Netherlands, we are no different. Unlike COVID-19, however, our change journey was entirely planned, welcome and foreseen. 

Since my arrival at the Netherlands eScience Center we’ve been undergoing steady change, collectively preparing for a new future. In 2018 we began a process of diving deep into our ‘why’ and our ‘how,’ including a thorough analysis of our work by an external evaluation committee. You can find the full assessment here (and our intervening 2019 and 2020 Annual Reports too).

Overall we were pleased with the results, but we did see opportunities to improve. Out of that process, we developed a comprehensive, new 5 year strategy, which I am pleased to share with you today. Last month, one of the first tangible changes as a result of this work came in the form of an internal restructure.   

We made a significant decision to organize now around four research domains:  

  • Environment and Sustainability 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Social Sciences and Humanities 
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering 

We chose this model because these sections now become our window to the outside world. Through them we can better assess external developments, and organize our efforts internally too. 

Overall these changes allow us to create a futureproof organization that’s optimally organized and resourced. And one better able to support our new 5 year strategy as it comes to life. 

“…these changes allow us to create a futureproof organization that’s optimally organized and resourced”

As part of this transformation, we also saw fit to create a new face to the outside world, with a new branding and identity to reset and refresh our vision and strategic ambitions. More than just colours and fonts, which you’re seeing right now, our new brand is a more accurate celebration of our spirit. In my short time here, I’ve experienced our team at the eScience Center as passionate, playful and pioneering. 

We’re an experimental bunch! We’re also curious, and we’re very fond of taking ‘the road less travelled’ – and these are great qualities to have and hold. And I believe our new our identity captures this very well. 

But COVID or not; assessment or not, change is a continuous process. After all, what is one’s purpose if not to evolve and grow? We are thrilled to have you as part of our community of eScience enthusiasts, and trust that you, too, have found the seeds of a new beginning in what has otherwise been a challenging period for us all. I look forward to new horizons with you, and thank you for your continued support. 

Joris van Eijnatten
CEO Netherlands eScience Center