TRED conference 2023, Integrate Wednesday: How to Collaborate with Scientists

Organised by Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK)

Wed 14 June 2023 09:00 to 17:00

Venue Omnia
Room Podium

TRED2023 banner8.jpg

Have you always wanted to work with researchers on a challenge you face? Or are you already collaborating with researchers, but would like to learn more about how to improve the collaborative experience and make it more rewarding?

Then we welcome you to join us for an inspiring day in Wageningen! We would like to create a space for you to be part of our interactive conference. What's in it for you?

  • Learn about collaborative approaches and processes to work towards solutions
  • Network with others interested in collaborative research
  • Meet potential researchers to collaborate with in future projects
  • Experience collaborations during mini-hackathon sessions,
  • Try out different collaborative tools, discuss different ways of addressing the challenge, and learn from others

Our goal is to jumpstart cooperative action which can lead to more impactful, relevant, and innovative research that reflects the needs and perspectives of the communities. We offer an interactive programme, in which we can experience working together on potential solutions to real-world challenges.


9:00 Opening plenary by Katie Minderhoud: setting the scene and keynote society to science
10:00 BREAK
10:20 Plenary: Setting the foundation for integrating knowledge; Jillian Student (WIMEK, WUR) and Corinne Lamain (CUCo)
10:50 -- Time to get to activity
11:00 Mini Hackathon part I
12:30 LUNCH
13:30 Mini Hackathon part II (including break)
15:00 Output moment (presentations, etc.)
15:20 In-topic reflection
15:50 -- Time to get to final activity
16:00 Plenary reflection and closing
16:30 Borrel, drinks and light snacks

If you are interested in knowing more about collaborating with researchers and taking your projects further, join us as a participant. We offer an open space for rich interaction, and the chance to discuss challenges and opportunities. We would love to hear about your ideas and experiences. Through TRED, you can also develop your network and get to know future collaborators.

Biography Katie Minderhout (opening speaker)

Katie Minderhoud started this January as researcher at PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency on the topic of integrated landscape management and biodiversity. In this capacity Katie contributes to the knowledge partnership between PBL and DGIS (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to deliver policy relevant scientific insights for Dutch development cooperation and international climate and biodiversity commitments. Katie has a bachelor’s in history and an MSc in Social Geography from Utrecht University. For the past 12 years she worked as thematic expert and learning advisor at Solidaridad Network, an international NGO focused on sustainable agriculture and responsible trade, where she led the global innovation agenda for landscape programming to take a more integral and inclusive approach to “sustainability”.

Mini-hackathon cases

Case 1. AI - is it really a game changer for SMEs and how could it help them?

Although AI offers clear advantages, SMEs (small-medium enterprises) are risk-averse and hesitant to invest in new technologies, including AI. Fear of failure, uncertainty about ROI, and concerns about disrupting existing operations deter them from adopting AI solutions. Also, day-to-day issues and problems might seem much more urgent than investing in long-term solutions, especially when these solutions are not fully developed and understood yet.

To encourage broader adoption of AI among Dutch SMEs, initiatives focusing on education and awareness, providing accessible AI tools and resources, and offering financial support or incentives could be beneficial. Demonstrating successful case studies and showcasing the tangible benefits of AI adoption in similar SMEs can also help overcome barriers and encourage wider acceptance.

In our case, we would like to explore interventions that would help engage SMEs in the process of developing and testing solutions that would work for them without relying on subsidies for support for too long.

Output of the hackathon

We welcome ideas and recommendations for activities to establish co-creation sessions with relevant scientists, SME's and AI experts of all ages that go beyond a formal living lab but are more embedded in the day-to-day business of SME's to make AI more workable and practicable for them. Listening to SME needs and constraints first, then start co-creating solutions would be the ideal approach but is very costly and labor intensive. How can we balance efficiency with effectiveness?

What are clever ideas on how to engage SMEs in education and awareness activities, let them “spread the word” and make them more self-reliant on asking for what they need? What incentives can AI providers offer to these SME’s?

Case 2. Research participation fatigue: how to make involvement mutually meaningful

The demand for research outcomes that lead to societal impact is increasing. To achieve this, participation of stakeholders in research is crucial. However, research tiredness among stakeholders is increasing. This participation tiredness (or fatigue) is causing research delays, sample bias, and incomplete overviews of the problem, failing to engage different perspectives.

The desired outcomes are to discuss research participation fatigue and pursue multiple perspectives and strategies regarding the following:

  • Research approaches that can be used to prevent research participation fatigue;
  • Strategies to engage with a pool of participants who are research-tired, especially considering their perspective.

All examples are welcome, but we will provide a closer look at the context of working with Dutch farmers.

The intended output of this session is a list of methods and strategies to

  1. prevent or reduce the chance of research participation tiredness to take place,
  2. approach research participants (especially those from a research-tired pool) to be shared among the participants and possibly for a broader audience interested in this matter.

Case 3. Wie is er aan de tand te voelen over circulariteit? (Dutch speaking only)

Mondzorg Kudelstaart is een tandartspraktijk met 6 behandelkamers en 25 medewerkers waar naast de reguliere tandheelkundige zorg voor de directe omgeving ook veel complexere tandheelkundige behandelingen op verwijzing van tandartsen uit de regio worden uitgevoerd.

Onze wens is om de praktijk te verduurzamen op alle vlakken waar dat mogelijk is. Er wordt bijvoorbeeld al gekeken wat er mogelijk is met het energieverbruik, reisbewegingen van het personeel liggen onder de loep en we proberen steeds verder papierloos te werken.

Aan het einde van de werkdag hebben we toch wel gemengde gevoelens over de hoeveelheid afval die we op zo’n dag hebben geproduceerd. Vanwege de noodzakelijke hygiëne wordt er veel gebruik gemaakt van materialen voor eenmalig gebruik zoals handschoenen, mondmaskers, afzuigbuizen, meerfunctietips, polijstcups, microbrushes, sterilisatiezakjes en alcoholdoekjes. Niet bepaald de meest milieuvriendelijke materialen. De afvalverwerker ziet dit als restafval omdat het medisch afval betreft. In onze kleine setting is scheiden dus (nog) geen optie.

Hoe kunnen we blijven voldoen aan de richtlijnen infectiepreventie in de mondzorg en toch de materiaalstromen ombuigen naar circulaire stromen?

Welke veranderingen zijn er nodig op niveau van regelgeving (infectiepreventie), materialen (fabrikanten en leveranciers), verbruik (gedrag praktijk - patiënt) en hergebruik/afval (afvalverwerker) ?

Hoe kan de hele keten ervoor zorgen dat er nauw wordt samengewerkt en is er nog een manier om als klein onderdeel in deze keten zelf meer bij te dragen of extra druk uit te oefenen op de transformatie naar circulariteit?

Case 4. Swipe left or right? Matchmaking for Citizen Science

The WUR Citizen Science Hub and Stadslab, Wageningen’s citizen science facilitation initiatives, want to focus on enabling co-creative, bottom-up approaches to citizen science, where citizens are empowered to ideate, design, and perform research projects, in close collaboration or supported by researchers. A recurring burning question for citizen science practitioners arises: how can we make engagement as accessible as possible? how do we eliminate the (bureaucratic, physical, economic, and social) barriers that keep citizens from participating in co-creation processes?

What started out as a joke took shape in the form of a matchmaking platform to facilitate citizen science collaborations: an app inspired by matchmaking apps such as Tinder.

This society-science matchmaking platform, imitating a concept that is widely known to the general public, could become a highly accessible, decentralized, and equalizing way to connect with other stakeholders. A channel of human-to-human connection, bypassing the hurdles that attending a public forum, conference, or “kennisavond” (knowledge sharing evening) could suppose.


As a citizen with a cause, looking for support, ideas, advice, or like-minded people, people can turn to the app to get an overview of possible collaborators and to extend your network, all from the comfort of your home. This app provides citizens with a tool for direct communication with their municipality representatives, researchers on specific topics, and other citizens with similar concerns: it is not only a tool for multi-stakeholder collaboration but also for community building and empowerment, where people with the same vision can meet and create a common mission. Researchers from all fields of research could turn to this app to offer their expertise and advice to citizens’ initiatives. This direct contact with societal needs and challenges can inspire them to take up relevant research topics, diversifying and enriching their research agenda.

This app goes well beyond the citizen-researcher axis of collaboration. Policymakers and public servants could create profiles to interact with others and discover which issues citizens deem relevant. Students of all kinds of education (universities, HBO, MBO, high schools) could connect with civil society organizations to perform research that is more impact-focused, with direct consequences and tangible results. Non-profit organizations offer their expertise, and find volunteers or partners, joining the intricate network of possible collaborations that can ensue in such an informal, dynamic, and eclectic digital environment.

These new forms of participation require new ways of interacting, such as an accessible platform to connect people’s interests, for both citizens and professionals.

We believe a tool to link citizens to science in an informal and decentralized way would be useful and is worth exploring. However, it still needs more thought and tackling some hurdles before it can move forward In this hackathon session, we will discuss and further develop a matchmaking app to facilitate citizen science. We would like to make concrete steps forward on

  1. Identifying stakeholders and target groups
  2. Determining key features of the interface to make it user-friendly and relevant for user’s needs
  3. Considering what happens when a match is made and how to support matches

Costs and registration

The conference fee for participation on June 14th is €50.
Included are coffee breaks, lunch, and closing drinks and bites.


Registration is open until June 2nd , 2023.

We look forward to seeing you in Wageningen on June 14.