Seed Fund Projects

The research team of Sustainable UM 2030 have initiated a seed fund for Sustainable Research Spearheads. The aim of this seed fund is to unlock a large unexploited sustainable research potential by increasing cross-faculty cooperation. More importantly, this will also build on a more active community that connects cross-faculty sustainability research and facilitates interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary sustainable research that contributes to societal challenges and the SDGs.

The first call to apply for this fund went out mid 2021. In December 2021 two research projects were granted with seed fund to start their sustainability research.

Sustainable Cities

The aim of this project is to co-create a UM-wide research spearhead ‘Sustainable Cities’ contributing to sustainable urban development. The project sets important first steps by creating an interface platform with and for collaboration between urban researchers from different UM faculties, urban policymakers and practitioners from various disciplines and domains: the SDG11 platform ‘Duurzaam Maastricht’. This platform will stimulate the co-creation of transdisciplinary research and experimental urban development projects to implement SDG11 (‘Sustainable cities and communities’) in the city of Maastricht, and will be set up in a participatory and inclusive way through a facilitated co-design process.

The project will implemented by a consortium of UM researchers from SBE (Christian Scholl, Marc Dijk, Joop de Kraker), FASoS (Anique Hommels, Jens Lachmund) and LAW (Carlo Colombo) and FHML (Dorus Gevers), in collaboration with the municipality of Maastricht, the non-profit organization ‘Mondiaal Maastricht/SDG House Maastricht’ and other relevant local stakeholders. Contact person for this project is Christian Scholl.

SDG 11


Do you follow a healthy diet? Even in a country like the Netherlands, around 85% of adults do not meet the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. After World War II, steps to prevent hunger resulted in the production of too much meat, butter, and other unhealthy products with a high impact on the environment. This food chain is neither healthy nor sustainable.

The interdisciplinary team FOODSY (for ‘Food Systems’) brings together UM researchers from disciplines including artificial intelligence, data science, toxicology, biobased materials and sustainable development. Together, they will develop sustainable food systems that have low environmental impact and result in food with high nutritional value. Their approach includes efficient use of waste from the production process, for instance to create bio-based plastics, and artificial intelligence as a tool to support decision-making and measure the impact on the food, climate and environment.

The FOODSY team will use the Sustainability UM2030 grant to develop their research agenda. By demonstrating the strength of their collaboration, the FOODSY team is determined to establish a long-term collaboration that continues well past the scope of this seed fund. Their ultimate goal is to contribute to solving malnutrition – first in the Netherlands, then worldwide.

foodsy research

The FOODSY team consists of prof. Anna Wilbik (DKE), prof. Theo de Kok (TGX), prof. Pim Martens (UCV), prof. Ralf Peeters (DKE), prof. Frank Thuijsman (DKE) and prof. Yvonne van der Meer (AMIBM).

foodsy visual