ASTRON's new Institute Advisory board ("instituutsadviesraad" or IAR) met for the first time on 17 December 2018. This Board, chaired by Jozias van Aartsen, is an important non-scientific panel able to guide ASTRON's relationships with key national stakeholders.

Published by the editorial team, 17 December 2018

Since 1 January 2018, ASTRON, together with eight other research institutes, has been part of the NWO-I Foundation (Institutes Organization of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Each institute now has an Institute Advisory Board (IAR); in ASTRON's case this replaces the ASTRON Stichtingsbestuur (Foundation Board). The IAR comprises representatives from science, society and business and is the route by which ASTRON can strengthen alignment with the national interest, government and society.  The IAR will meet at least once per year and will consider issues separate to the ASTRON international Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

The ASTRON Institute Advisory Board comprises of the following nine members:

  • J.J. (Jozias) van Aartsen (chairman, former positions: chairman of the VVD, mayor of The Hague, acting mayor of Amsterdam and acting commissioner of the King of Drenthe)
  • Prof.dr.ir. JAM. (Johan) Bleeker (Professor of Space Exploration, Utrecht University, Advisory and Board positions in global space research for ESA and NASA, member of the Royal Academy of Sciences)
  • P. (Peter) Zijlema (General Manager of IBM Benelux)
  • Prof.dr. I.F.A. (Iris) Vis (dean of Industry relations, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen)
  • Prof.dr.ir. A.B. (Bart) Smolders (Dean of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology)
  • Prof.dr. K.H. (Koen) Kuijken (Professor of Galactic Astronomy, Leiden University)
  • Prof.dr. J.M. (Thijs) van der Hulst (professor, Faculty of Science & Engineering, University of Groningen)
  • A.G. (Alfred) Welink (chairman VNO-NCW Noord, director of DGA Next)
  • Drs. W.J. (Wim) Kuijken (former Delta Commissioner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of De Nederlandse Bank and Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the Land Registry)

ASTRON looks forward to utilising the expertise of this expert group. "I am delighted that everyone we asked to join our IAR responded enthusiastically, citing ASTRON's great reputation as their reason to contribute their help. I am very much looking forward to probing their ideas and access their networks in the coming years", says Director General of ASTRON Prof. Carole Jackson.

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