Halleh Ghorashi (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Jeroen Kluck (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Hergen Spits (University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC) will receive the Impact Award 2021 this year. Every year the Impact Award is presented to renowned researchers or research groups who make a meaningful contribution to society.
Halleh Ghorashi (VU) conducts research on refugees and diversity. Her research focuses mainly on the stories of refugees and migrants. “Policy is often based on numbers, but that doesn’t get you close to the world of the people you make policy for. Over the past twenty years, much has been said and done about diversity without much result. This was because existing structures and standards were not called into question. Diversity was mainly about the other having to adapt. While space for polyphony is necessary to make diverse talents feel at home. For organizations, disruption by new perspectives is essential from time to time to allow for innovation. Moreover, this is the only structural way to connect with diversity in society.”
Bart Klijsen (director of IXA VU-VUmc): “For the Impact Awards we focused on the impact that a scientist or a research group has had on Dutch society. This was done on the basis of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These themes have been reduced to three domains: Society, Health and Environment & Climate. It is nice to see that Dutch science is very widely represented within these themes. We want to recognize and appreciate that. Appreciation of people who distinguish themselves in terms of knowledge transfer, impact and entrepreneurship still doesn’t happen often enough. These good examples are very important for young scientists with ideas to improve society.”
Honoring researchers creating impact
The Impact Award is annually awarded to distinguished researchers or research groups who made meaningful contributions to society with their research and innovations. The award is an achievement award, that celebrates and acknowledges the importance of creating impact outside universities and in society.
The Impact Award is part of the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award (AmSIA). The Impact Award is an initiative of IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam), the Knowledge Transfer Office of HvA, UvA, VU and Amsterdam UMC). IXA identifies and nominates researchers for the Impact Award with help of it’s extensive network in the universities.