Three innovative Team Science projects granted in Team Science Call 2022

The Digital Society (‘DiSa’) programme and COMMIT/, a public-private ICT research community, have awarded grants to three innovative Team Science research projects. Each of the projects was awarded Euro 40,000 to be spent on the project and an additional Euro 5,000 towards their dissemination plans.

Projects awarded funding

Co-Designing an Inclusive Collaborative Mapping Tool with People with Disabilities

Main applicants: dr Johannes Flacke, Prof. dr Karin Pfeffer, Prof. dr. Alice Schippers and Ieder(in).

The basis of fair digital societies is the participation of ALL societal stakeholders. This includes explicitly people with disabilities, who are often forgotten when digital tools are designed for standardized users. With regard to the inclusive design of public spaces, neither digital collaborative mapping tools exist nor the knowledge of what people with disabilities can contribute to making public space accessible for all. This research aims to engage with two groups of people with disabilities in a co-design process to develop a prototype of an inclusive digital mapping tool for the collaborative design of public spaces. Goals of the project are to understand how people with disabilities can contribute to the design of inclusive public spaces and to learn about design requirements of people with disabilities for inclusive digital mapping tools. Outputs of the project are a prototype of an open-source tool transferable to other contexts, a set of generalized design requirements of inclusive digital mapping tools, and insights into the needs and contributions of people with disabilities to public spaces accessible for all.


Responsible Digital Twins for Local & Regional Governance

Main applicants: Prof. dr. Catholijn Jonker, Prof. dr. Bram Klievink, Prof. dr. Albert Meijer, and Dr. Mirko Tobias Schäfer

The development and implementation of digital twin technologies constitute challenges for representation, data literacy and accountability. It also challenges issues such as data ownership, accessibility, and interoperability of software applications, user interfaces, and data repositories. In short, these are challenges related to the digital twin itself but also related to the public management and policy context in which they are implemented and used. This project will provide a transdisciplinary effort to identify issues related to the identified challenges and sketch approaches to addressing them. As such, this project provides a very much needed starting point for developing a socially responsible, and accountable implementation of digital twin practices in the Netherlands. The project also includes an effective dissemination of the developed responses to scholars, practitioners, and civil advocacy organizations, connecting relevant stakeholders for enabling the contestability of urban AI projects. A tangible result is the development of an applicable framework for development, procurement, and implementation of digital twins in local and regional governance.


Co-designing a fair digital asylum procedure

Main applicants: Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem, Dr. Rianne,  Dr. Djamila Schans,  Dr. Sanne Claessens, Lotte Houwing, Ghadeer Udwan, Prof. dr. Albert Salah, Prof. dr. Nishant Shah,  Dr. Karin van Es, Dr. Stefania Milan, Dominique Roest, Merel Koning, Kinan Ananjak, Koen Leurs, Ena Omerovic, and Hemmo Bruinenberg.

Migration management is increasingly digitised and datafied. In the Netherlands, digital opportunities have been embraced for identity screening of applicants. However, the Athene pilot project – which aimed to automate digital assessment of copies of mobile devices to improve identification of asylum seekers, as well as to detect indicators of terrorism and human smuggling – has been put to a stop in November 2021. Athene was scrutinized by the Dutch Council of State and prematurely shut down when it was found to be in breach with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), generating extensive media attention, and prompting parliamentary questions by D66 and BIJ1 that have so far remained unanswered. This timely application takes the pilot, led by the ‘Aliens, Identification and Human Trafficking Unit’ (AVIM) of the police, as a starting point to reconstruct and improve digital identification of asylum seekers in the Netherlands. To address the current void, we will evaluate the Athene pilot from the ground up. It will empirically reconstruct understandings of fairness underpinning the institutions, the affected community of asylum seekers and digital technologies involved. Additionally, we will co-  design a new prototype of the digital Dutch asylum procedure, with a focus on identification. Through participatory design, we develop a prototype which is fair, accountable and transparent (FAT) to both asylum seekers and institutions involved.