"Valorisatie" at FASoS

At the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), we conceptualize “valorisatie” as creating and demonstrating the societal value and relevance of our academic work. As such, “valorisatie” is not only concerned with knowledge utilization, but covers many forms of societal engagement, on different levels (local, regional, national and international) and with diverse partners and communities. Our activities for example include staging exhibitions, writing policy reports, and organizing science festivals. Next to this, we aim to co-create knowledge with societal partners and to contribute to public debates. We are committed to developing tools for the demonstration and assessment of our research’ societal relevance. At FASoS “valorisatie” is a sub-dimension of research that builds on the faculty’s tradition of engaging with societal challenges both in research and teaching.

For general information about this topic:

 VSNU online magazine 'Valorisatie in beeld 
 Maastricht Valorisation Centre


FASoS 'Valorisatie' Prize

Award Valorisatie prize at FASoS

On Wednesday 27 September 2017, we awarded the first FASoS ‘Valorisatie’ Prize to Aagje Swinnen, Pieternel Fleskens, Ruud Hendriks, Annette Hendrikx and Ike Kamphof for their research strand ‘An Arts and Culture Perspective on Dementia’. 

The procedure was based on an open call. The jury consisted of Marjolein van Asselt, Hylke Dijkstra, Kiran Klaus Patel (chair) and Klaartje Peters.

Summary: The research strand “An Arts and Culture Perspective on Dementia,” hosted by the Arts, Media, and Culture research program, examines the cultural representation of dementia and identifies and implements innovative practices in dementia care that support the personhood and wellbeing of people living with dementia. These practices include technological approaches and the participatory arts, i.e., arts interventions in which people with dementia are offered a creative role as an escape from their role of patient. We aim to illustrate the breadth and depth of our engagement with people living with dementia and their caregivers as well as how transgressions of the boundaries of academic research can result in new academic insights while stimulating a more dementia-friendly community. Co-creation with societal partners including people with dementia characterizes the impact of this interdisciplinary research strand.

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Showcase research "valorisatie" projects

This section shows several FASoS research "valorisatie" projects, accessible via the menu at the right side. In case you would like to return to our main section, click here.

Logo NWO Kiem project
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History of sound: a Smart Audiobook for the Car

This project (by Karin Bijsterveld and her project partners) aims to develop a new type of audio book which focuses in both its form and content on the motorist. By making the audiobook—an audio CD plus downloadable files—partially GPS-based, the audio stories can match the scenery experienced by the motorist at a particular location on the road. In terms of content, the audiobook is about the history of sound in and around the car.

Its three stories are intended to raise the environmental awareness of motorists. The first narrative traces the rise of the noise abatement movement in The Netherlands, and unravels how its campaigners paradoxically contributed to set the road free for the rather noisy car. The second story concerns the history of car radio, and explains how its role shifted with increasing traffic density and authorities starting to promote the use of radio traffic information. The third story is the one actually intended for the GPS-based part of the audiobook. It is a guided tour along the noise screens at both sides of the Dutch highway A2, with historical, acoustical and architectural information. In addition, the three stories function as case studies for a theory on the role of coalitions around campaign texts, media formats and built artefacts in innovation. In the project, Maastricht University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will collaborate with the Dutch Institute for Image and Sound (Hilversum) and publishing-firm Rubinstein (Amsterdam).

Maastricht University has knowledge of and will do additional research into the history of sound. Image and Sound provides relevant historical audio materials. Rubinstein, market leader in Dutch-language audio books, will take care of the production and marketing of the audio book. Together, these partners will organize three workshops to prepare for a consortium that aims to submit an additional grant proposal about technically developing GPS-based audio books. In doing so, they hope to make use of the innovation-theoretical insights that draw on the case studies.

Wordcloud regarding study 'Soft impacts of Cyber-Physical Systems'
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Scenario study for Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel

At the request of the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) of the EU, and in collaboration with Technopolis, Tsjalling Swierstra, Ike Kamphof and Tamar Sharon conducted a scenario study highlighting the ”soft impacts” of cyber-physical systems: systems of networked computers, robots and artificial intelligence that interact with the physical world. Soft impact is a concept introduced by Swierstra, and refers to all those impacts of technologies that are often discarded by (technology and) policy actors, as being too “soft” to merit serious public attention. Whereas ”hard” impacts are quantitative, clearly linked to non-controversial conceptions of harm, and causally linked to the technology, soft impacts, in contrast, are qualitative, morally ambiguous, and coproduced by the users of the technology, so that it is difficult to hold a specific party accountable.

In this interactive foresight exercise the involved researchers developed four scenarios highlighting plausible soft impacts of the introduction of cyber-physical systems into the areas of manufacturing, (health/disability)care, agriculture, safety, and transportation. For example, they explored how established (normative) meanings of being human, agriculture, disease, vulnerability, or solidarity might plausibly be affected by the spread of cyber-physical systems, and how identities and (power)relations might plausibly be affected. These concerns were worked into a video for a larger audience, but also provided input for a ‘legal back casting’ procedure that served as link between the scenarios and the policy makers, in particular the parliamentary group preparing legislation with regard to robots.

No author. (2016) Scientific Foresight Study. Ethical Aspects of Cyber-Physical Systems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2861/68949

Cover beleidsrapport Provincie
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Vision document 'Sjiek is mich dat!'

The vision document “Sjiek is mich dat!”, named after a song by the locally well-known singer Fabrizio from Maastricht, has served as important input for the language cultures section of the (im)material Heritage Policy developed by the Province of Limburg (2016-2019). This policy is important for those dialects in Limburg which were extended minor recognition in 1997 under the label ‘Limburgish’ by The Netherlands, a signatory of the 1992 European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. Since then, public funds have been made available for promoting the use of Limburgish, as well as protecting the language rights of its speakers.

The initiative to write the vision document was taken by the chair “Language culture in Limburg” and MACCH with full support of het Huis voor de Kunsten and major regional language and cultural organisations in Limburg like the Road veur het Limburgs and the dialect organization Veldeke. The document is a plea for professionalizing language and cultural organisations in Limburg, notably by (i) developing a digital infrastructure crucial for maintaining and vitalizing regional language and culture, (ii) creating a knowledge network and conducting research and (iii) involving youth in policy-making, talent-development, and education.

The actual policy document can be downloaded here.

Wordcloud Regional Authority Index
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Development of Regional Authority Index

Dr. Arjan Schakel has developed the Regional Authority Index (RAI), which is a measurement to trace decentralization of authority to regional government in 81 countries since 1950. The RAI was introduced in a special issue of Regional and Federal Studies in 2008, and was further developed in books published in 2010 (Routledge) and 2016 (Oxford University Press). Over the past eight years, the RAI has gained broad scholarly recognition (more than 900 citations in Google Scholar) but it is also widely used by practitioners interested in multilevel governance (OECD 2013, 2014, 2016a, 2016b).

Practitioner’s interest in the RAI stems from the fact that regional governance structures may have important impacts on economic and social development. The Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission commissioned an update of the RAI in 2012. These revised scores featured in the sixth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion (European Commission 2014, pp.169-173). The European Commission has assigned Dr. Arjan Schakel again to update the Regional Authority Index for 43 democracies to 2016. The EC intends to use the revised scores for its seventh report on economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union. This €50k project will run for 12 months starting on 1 February 2017 and will involve two student assistants.

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Participatory Storytelling and Poetry Workshops

The project “Poëzie- en verhalenkabinet”, a collaboration between Van Eyck Academy (Pieternel Fleskens), SoAP, and FASoS (Aagje Swinnen), supported by Cultural Participation Fund, enabled the organization of 20 participatory storytelling and poetry workshops for people living with dementia in the psychogeriatric wards of De Beyart and Scharwyerveld between October and December 2015.

These workshops were modeled on the American best practices TimeSlips and Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, which build on story improvisation on the basis of an image and joint poetry recitation and improvisation. In spring 2016, Stéphanie Lagarde, artist in residence at the Van Eyck Academy, developed an art tour through Scharwyerveld based on the processes behind and output resulting from these storytelling and poetry workshops. Lagarde started from photographs that she made of the art created in the Jezuïetenberg, one of Maastricht’s National Monuments. She then adapted the text used by the official guide of the Jezuïetenberg to create an alternative version, taking into account the stories and poetry generated by the people living with dementia during the workshops.

The new tour paired with the images from the Jezuïtenberg was staged in Scharwyerveld May 20–21, 2016. Actress and dramaturgist José Schuringa served as fictional tour guide and walked through the nursing home with some of the original participants, their family members, and caregivers. The idea was to allow especially people who consider themselves cognitively strong to experience what it means to appeal to one’s imagination, and how this type of imaginative play can enhance communication with vulnerable people. An impression of the art tour can be viewed here (minutes 16:37–19:37).

  • Showcase research "valorisatie" projects

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  • History of sound: a Smart Audiobook for the Car

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  • Scenario study for Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel

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  • Vision document 'Sjiek is mich dat!'

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  • Development of Regional Authority Index

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  • Participatory Storytelling and Poetry Workshops

    Dit is er niet
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Showcase teaching "valorisatie"

This section shows several FASoS teaching "valorisatie" projects, accessible via the menu at the right side. In case you would like to return to our main section, click here.


Gender and Religion
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International summer school ‘Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives’

The international summer school ‘Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives’ took place from 17-21 May and was organised by the Centre for Gender and Diversity (CGD) and the International Association for the study of Religion and Gender (IARG).

In contemporary multicultural societies, religious subjectivities, conflicts and contestations often focus on the themes of sexual difference, gender and sexuality. It is evident that in our postcolonial world and in (post)secular ‘Western’ as well as in ‘Non-Western’ societies, the confrontations, profiling and ‘identity’ politics of, and over and against religion[s] are often shaped by issues directly related to gender and sexuality (e.g. the recurrent heated debates over women’s veiling, abortion, or homosexuality). The expanding academic field of religion and gender provides critical tools to analyse these issues, and we wish to continue developing critical approaches to the study of religion and gender in the IARG advanced summer school.

This summer school provided an advanced programme consisting of keynote lectures and intensive masterclasses guided by scholars in the field of religion, gender and sexuality. Leading scholars from internationally renowned research institutions interacted with junior researchers from a variety of global and national contexts. This set-up enriched the understanding of the participants of new critical developments in the field of religion and gender, and enables an in-depth theoretical exploration of their individual research projects. In addition, the summer school offered workshops on writing, on integrating theory and data, as well as peer-sessions on the process of a PhD-project or publishing. Furthermore, it provided opportunities for future collaborations and building up an international network.

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Premium students present findings from initial research on the introduction of a tri/four-national museum pass

At the beginning of 2016, three highly motivated students from Maastricht’s honours programme ‘Premium’ embarked on the mission to research the feasibility of introducing a tri- or even four-national museum pass in the Dutch, German, Belgium and eventually Luxembourgian areas in a radius of 120km around Maastricht. The idea of such a cross border international museum pass stems from existing collaboration with the Association of Museums-PASS-Musées in the Upper Rhine Region at the frontiers of Germany, Switzerland and France. The Association was founded in December 1998. At present, more than 120 organisations participate in the single access card, including museums, galleries, castles and gardens.

The interdisciplinary and international research team, consisting of Jane Catterall (FASoS), Anna de Jong (Law) and Camila Gutierrez López (FHS), focused on three areas: first, the analysis of the structure of the existing museum card (legal, financial and organisational structure). Secondly, the possible overlap and differences with regard to existing initiatives such as the Museumkaart in the Netherlands. Thirdly, the most interesting partners to be included when setting up a Maastricht-based international museum card were mapped. The students conclude from the mapping and contact with directors and conservators that there is a large pool of potential cultural partners in the area that could benefit from the implementation of a museum pass. They recommend starting with organisations within a radius of 70 km around Maastricht as initial partners for the museum pass. From discussions with museum directors, there is positive initial interest in the project.

General picture of Vogelsang
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Vogelsang – the past and future of a former Nazi training site

Building on his research about camps during the Third Reich, Kiran Klaus Patel has contributed to the public debate about what to do with the “Ordensburg Vogelsang”, a Nazi estate built during the 1930s to train future party leaders. During the early stages of the debate about what to do with the estate after decades of use as a Belgian military training area. Patel advised the North Rhine-Westfalian Ministry of the Economy and Labour/Landeszentrale für politische Bildung. Between 2009 and 2016, he was part of the advisory board (2009-2016) for the new permanent exhibition on the Nazi past of the estate; this exhibition opened its doors in fall 2016. Moreover, Patel  authored an article for the exhibition catalogue (on everyday life at Vogelsang) and participated in public debates about Vogelsang, for instance in November 2016 in an event with the North Rhine-Westfalian Minister of the Environment Johannes Remmel.

  • Showcase teaching "valorisatie"

    Dit is er niet
  • International summer school ‘Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives’

    Dit is er niet
  • Premium students present findings from initial research on the introduction of a tri/four-national museum pass

    Dit is er niet
  • Vogelsang – the past and future of a former Nazi training site

    Dit is er niet

"Valorisatie" events

You can find an actual overview of our current  "valorisatie" events in our Faculty newsletter  .

"Valorisatie" media

Our research institute focusses on topical issues that are important to stake holders in society. We make sure that this knowledge is available to the general public through a variety of ways. Our researchers actively engage in the public debate by giving interviews to and writing articles for international, national and regional newspapers and magazines and by appearing in television and radio programmes. In our Faculty newsletter you can find the most recent media appearances of our researchers.