The Center for Innovation and Cooperative Technology

University of Amsterdam

Pieter Jacobszstraat 8-D
1012 HL Amsterdam
The Netherlands
E-mail: zeeuw@ phys.uva.nl

Last updated: 12 March 2002


The Center for Innovation and Co-operative Technology was established on January 1, 1990, when the Board of the University of Amsterdam needed a special research unit 'to explore and initiate innovations in the area of social science research, in particular research on action and the use of knowledge when dealing with complex social systems'. This initiative was stimulated by new developments in ICT that appeared to influence, shape and advance social developments, for example in the area of education and health care.

Initially the Center's main task was to provide support for the research programme Support, Survival and Culture I (SSC), subsidized by the Dutch Minister for Education and Science, and later by the University of Amsterdam. The Centre initiated or participated in world-wide ICT projects some of which still exist, such as the European School Project, the HIV-net and Mathesis. Later on its contributions centred on research on sustainable support to the physically and socially disabled, to the organisation of education ­ on the secondary and university level ­ and to development in third world countries.

The Center responds mainly to three types of development. Firstly, an increase in the number of people who need access to organised support ­ due to changes in population, in culture, in education and in the need for generalists' competences. Secondly, growing demands for high levels of speed and complex forms of codification in communication. Thirdly, a change in what is considered knowledge ­ in response to new needs to create support to action. The major design concept the Center uses in its response is that of complete collectives, i.e. self-organising groups establishing environments for their members in which they become able to turn their biological and social history into competent and innovative action.

The Centre frequently participates in national and international research programmes as super- or advisor. It also is active as a consultant-to research institutes, but also to business and other organisations. When evaluated by an international committee, it was stated that "The innovative character of the CICT-programme resides in having been able to weld together standard activities such as research and the application of research results based on an advanced understanding of the nature of competent scientific observation and the role of negotiation in designing activities."


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