Research institutes

Brightlands Institute for Smart Society

The Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS) is a collaboration between all six UM faculties. BISS carries out excellent, fundamental and applied research in the field of 'Responsible and effective data-driven decision-making for the digital society'. BISS further facilitates co-creation between professionals, researchers and students and conducts talent development for both students and professionals. BISS provides translational research and education in the field of the digitalising society, focusing on the following themes: Health, Industry 4.0, Public Policy & Citizenship, and Smart Services.


A Brightlands institute

Brightlands logo

Brightlands is an open innovation community in a global context, connecting four campuses in the province of Limburg: in Maastricht, Heerlen, Sittard-Geleen and Venlo. The campuses provide entrepreneurs, scientists and students state-of-the-art facilities to support development, education, innovation and growth. Naturally, there are close links between all four Brightlands campuses, and together they enable Limburg to serve as an innovation region where researchers and entrepreneurs take on the major challenges in the areas of materials, health, food and smart services.


It is the vision of BISS to use data to add social value to society. Research at BISS revolves around three inextricably linked research lines: data ecosystem, data analytics, and decisions & impact. These three fields offer inspiration and guidelines for this in the many BISS activities. The four sectors that BISS research focuses on are: the financial sector, healthcare, education, and citizenship. Specific problems and topics in these sectors provide inspiration for the theoretical and applied research that is carried out at BISS institute. The results are yielded in different forms and contribute to further research or solutions to these socially relevant issues.


BISS contributes to associate, bachelor’s and master’s programmes related to data science, business intelligence, and smart services, which are offered by several Brightlands partners. BISS has also developed several training and educational programmes and modules on data science and smart services for industry professionals. We also invite students to help complete projects dealing with big data, data analytics, customer experience, decision-making, and service design in multidisciplinary teams with business strategists and academic researchers.

Research lines

  • data ecosystem
  • data analytics
  • decisions & impact


  • BISS solutions to poverty and debt

    Old taboos around poverty and money stress may now disappear

    Monday, September 26, 2022

    Old taboos around poverty and money stress may now disappear

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  • sustainable education

    UM is taking steps to integrate sustainability into core course curricula

    Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    Sustainable UM 2030 has awarded three projects with a sustainability grant for education to further integrate sustainability into the course curricula. 

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  • Hildegard Schneider

    Tansmedal for Hildegard Schneider

    Monday, June 13, 2022

    Hildegard Schneider, Professor emeritus of International and European Law receives the prestigious Tansmedal during her farewell lecture.

    Read more


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Brightlands Smart Services Campus