Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute)

AMS Institute is a public-private institute founded in 2014 by Wageningen University & Research and Delft University of Technology, together with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We are a young and ambitious international institute at the forefront of innovation, situated at the nexus between industry, government and academia. Engaging and developing the latest technology and science with research, experiments and projects in the city of Amsterdam, we take on the challenges posed by our rapidly urbanizing world.

Our mission is to develop a deep understanding of the city – sense the city – to design solutions for its challenges and integrate these into the city of Amsterdam. Our research portfolio revolves around applied technology in themes such as water, energy, waste, food, data and mobility, and integrating these themes to create a prosperous society. AMS Institute is involved in over 100 projects that focus on securing a vital, circular and connected city. Now and in the future.

What makes AMS Institute unique is that we valorize our research in practice, using the city of Amsterdam as a living lab: a valuable context for experiments that helps develop and test advanced solutions for challenges in urbanized metropolitan areas around the globe. The three core pillars of the institute are Research & Valorization, an Educational Program and a Value platform. Our own Master’s program Metropolitan Analysis Design & Engineering (MSc MADE), is the latest addition to our educational activities.

Role in the project

In order to realize the ‘Positive Energy Districts’, the cities involved will establish ‘Innovation Ateliers’ with 29 European parties, among other things local authorities, industries, knowledge institutes, citizens and local initiatives. In these Innovation Ateliers, these stakeholders will co-create to remove any obstacles (legal, financial, social, etc.) in the implementation process of the energy solutions and fit them to citizens’ objectives and behavior.

In this process, our role is to provide our Living Lab expertise to these Ateliers. In short, Urban Living Labs provide a co-innovative setting, in which multiple stakeholders jointly test, develop and create metropolitan solutions. To illustrate, for the project, we’ll monitor the Innovation Ateliers in Bilbao and Amsterdam with the aim of distilling an “Innovation Atelier plan of approach”.

Based on these lessons learned, in the second half of the ATELIER project, the 6 fellow cities will each create their own Innovation workshops.


Aranka Dijkstra

ATELIER Project lead for AMS Institute – Monitoring Innovation Ateliers Amsterdam and Bilbao