Digital Sciences for Society

Digital Sciences for Society

Digitalization is here to stay. It is a driver of innovation and creates challenges as well as opportunities for society and science. As a university with unique expertise on the interface of technology and socially relevant research, Tilburg University gives impetus to further developing and integrating the digital sciences with its Digital Sciences for Society program.

Focus areas

The Digital Sciences for Society program has three focus areas: Impactful research, Education, and Organizing collaboration.

Over a period of five years, the university will invest in excess of € 7 million in initiating and facilitating initiatives contributing to:

  • university-wide basic and in-depth knowledge on the digital sciences among both instructors and students;
  • innovation in the digital sciences: the further development, application, evaluation, and integration of methods and techniques in the field of data science, computer science, and artificial intelligence;
  • innovation through digital sciences: enhancing society with applied research on the interface of the digital and social sciences and humanities;
  • reflection on the ethical, legal, and social aspects of digital technology and making the insights obtained available to society.
Logo Digital Sciences for Society

Contributing to science and society inspired by connection

‘Connection’ is the unifying thread of this program: connecting the digital sciences with the humanities and social sciences, connection through collaborating across School boundaries, connection in the form of co-creation with social partners. The Digital Sciences for Society program uses that connection to conduct research, provide education, and build a community, meeting a need for knowledge, tools, and solutions created by both science and society.

Boudewijn Haverkort

Studying people and society is no longer possible without thorough knowledge of the interaction between digital technology and society

- Boudewijn Haverkort

First Icon and Growth Projects launched

In 2023, the Digital Sciences for Society program kicked off with a Call for Proposals for Icon Projects and a Call for Proposals for Growth Projects for multi-disciplinary research

  • on the interface of digital and social sciences and the humanities;
  • involving researchers from the various Schools;
  • in collaboration with social partners;
  • with the ambition and potential to generate social impact.

In June 2023, funding was awarded to 14 Growth Projects. In addition, four Icon Projects received funding in July 2023.

To the overview of Icon and Growth Projects

A new Call for Growth Projects will be published in January 2024. See our news overview for that. A new funding round for Icon Projects will follow in 2025.

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Also interesting

Are you interested in digital sciences, research at the intersection of digital sciences and human and social sciences and/or research in collaboration with community partners? Then also check out these initiatives:

Tilburg AI Special Interest Group (TAISIG)

TAISIG connects researchers from different Departments and research groups at Tilburg University with a view to maximizing their contribution to the development of human-centered AI for the benefit of society. TAISIG shares knowledge via the TAISIG Talks, that are also available as podcasts. TAISIG website

AI Forward Forum

Julia Vaitonytė and Judita Rudokaitė, PhD researchers at the Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University, initiated this forum based on the thought that designing and thinking about technology should not be the exclusive domain of technically-minded people, because it is a ‘fundamentally human issue’. With their AI Forward Forum and Talk Series, they offer a platform to various experts from across the world to participate in discussions on AI. AI Forward Forum website


MindLabs is a partnership in which Tilburg University participates, together with two other regional knowledge institutions, authorities and a growing number of business partners, social institutions, and startups. By connecting knowledge and the application of human-centered AI with entrepreneurship, MindLabs wants to enhance people and society, focusing on the interaction between technology and human behavior. MindLabs website

University-wide Academic Collaborative Centers on Broad Prosperity

Within these academic collaborative centers, long-term, interdisciplinary research is conducted in which, based on a shared ambition, businesses, authorities, and other knowledge institutions work together in co-creation. The focus is on research on the sustainability transition, inequality, and health & wellbeing, whereby broad prosperity is the guiding theme. Broad Prosperity website