The Netherlands

CBB and University of Twente Partnership to Accelerate Research in Data Driven Persuasive Health Technology

Photo: Victor van der Chijs, president of the University of Twente’s Executive Board and Catherine Burns, Director of the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) and professor in systems design engineering.

The University of Waterloo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Twente to establish an international, transatlantic data research network rooted in the combination of engineering and sciences with social and health sciences.

Combining Waterloo strengths in health, engineering, and computer science, with University of Twente’s expertise in social sciences, this will be one of the largest international teams assembled to work together in data-driven persuasive technology. Both institutions have a strong track record in applying research in persuasive technology, cognitive ergonomics, sensors and automation, and data science technology including big data, data analytics and the Internet-of-things, within healthcare. To date, over 20 researchers have committed to be part of this collaboration.

The partnership builds upon an existing foundation of strong and productive interactions between Waterloo and Twente. Professor Lisette van Gemert-Pijnen, head of the Centre for eHealth & Wellbeing Research also holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Waterloo to collaborate on usability of interface design. Along with Olga Kulyk, assistant professor in Persuasive Health Technology at Twente, they have worked closely with Waterloo systems design engineering Professor Catherine Burns, Director of the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB).

An International Research Partnership - EU Grant (IRPG) was awarded between Waterloo’s CBB and the University of Twente in November 2015 to further strengthen this international collaboration and pursue data-driven persuasive technology.

As part of this MOU, two joint workshops will be held in 2016-2017, beginning with the June 6-9, 2016 "Data-driven Persuasive Technology for Smart & Healthy Society workshop" at the University of Twente. The focus of these workshops will be to further strengthen the international research collaboration to develop research proposals and build strategic activities.

[Daily Bulletin] [UTwente News]


2019 June - CBB-Symposium: Smart Aging and Rehabilitation Technologies (Netherlands and Canada) [Program]

Group photo of visitors from the Netherlands and UW symposium speakers

Areas of focus:

Smart Aging & Personalized EHealth Technologies; Rehab & Human Enhancement Technologies; Digital Society and High Tech Innovations; Value-based Healthcare.


  • Establishing collaboration between partners (Universities, Rehab Institutes) by introducing research priorities in each side
  • Apply for international funding opportunities
  • Student/Staff Exchange, internship, workshops in both countries
  • Understand the logistics and process of international partnerships

The Netherlands Speakers: Geke Ludden, Associate professor Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET), University of Twente, Thomas van Rompay, Associate Professor, University Of Twente, Fac Behavioural, Management and Society, Somaya Ben Allouch, Associate Professor, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Anne Kuiper, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University, scientific researcher at InteraktContour, Hans Rietman, Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine and Technology; Faculty of Engineering Technology / MIRA institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, Ruud Verdaasdonk, Professor of Health Technology Implementation at University of Twente, Albert van den Berg, Professor Miniaturized Systems for (Bio)Chemical Analysis in the faculty of Electrical Engineering and part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology; University of Twente, Bart Nieuwenhuis, Professor QoS of Telematics Services, Department Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS).

University of Waterloo Speakers: Plinio Morita, Assistant Professor - School of Public Health and Health Systems, Ehsan Kamrani, Research Associate, ECE, CIARS Lab, Jen Boger, Assistant Professor, SYDE, Schlegel Research Chair in Technology for Independent Living, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Professor, Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering/Systems Design Engineering, Canada 150 Research Chair in Intelligent Robotics, Arash Arami, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Shirley Tang, ADR Science, Professor of Chemistry & WIN, Tejal Patel, Assistant Clinical Professor, Faculty of Science/ School of Pharmacy, Jesse St. Jean, PhD Candidate, School of Pharmacy, Helen Chen, Professor of Practice, Associate Director, Professional Practice Centre for Health Systems.

2017 March - Proposal "Ageing and Place in a digitising world" through the Joint Programming Initiative - More Years, Better Lives" (JPI-MYBL) and CIHR.  
UW PI Participants: Catherine Burns and Jennifer Boger, Systems Design Engineering, Plinio Morita, School of Public Health and Health Systems, Edith Law, Computer Science.

Other advancements:

  • Chapter development for an e-Health book: E-health Technology: Theory, Development and Evaluation. Centre for eHealth & Wellbeing Research. University of Twente. Editors L. van Gemert-Pijnen, R. Sanderman.  
  • UW researchers Catherine Burns and Leila Sadat Rezai, Systems Design Engineering, Rita Orji, Computer Science attend the Persuasive Health Technology Conference in Amsterdam on April 5-7.


Date (Newest to oldest) Event
  • (November) Workshop at the University of Waterloo.
    UW PI Participants: Catherine Burns, Ning Jiang and Jen Boger, Systems Design Engineering, James Tung, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Kelly Grindrod, School of Pharmacy, Helen Chen, School of Public Health and Health Systems.
    Proposals and shared lab space discussions.
  • (August) 2 University of Waterloo students sponsored by the University of Twente to attend "CuriousU" a transdisciplinary summer camp with students from around the world.
  • (June) MOU signed between both universities.
  • (June) Workshop at University of Twente, The Netherlands.
    UW PI Participants: Catherine Burns and Ning Jiang, Systems Design Engineering, James Tung, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Kelly Grindrod, School of Pharmacy, Helen Chen, School of Public Health and Health Systems.
    Proposal "Data-driven Persuasive Technology for Smart & Healthy Society workshop" and "Digging into Data" on how to support care of older people through technology and, how to fight antimicrobial resistance by analyzing traffic patterns and in hospital data.  Marie Curie student exchange program discussions.