Mission, vision, key values CWI
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the national research institute for mathematics and computer science and part of NWO, the Dutch Science Council. The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade and industry and society at large.
Results of mathematics and computer science are the invisible driving forces behind our economic growth and welfare, and are instrumental to developments in other scientific disciplines. They provide new insights and powerful tools for societal problems in energy, health care, climate, communication, mobility, security and many other domains. CWI serves as national knowledge platform for mathematics and computer science and aims to expand its position in safeguarding the interests of these research fields and playing a leadership role in science policy. To achieve this, CWI is in the forefront of developing new lines of long term research in high risk areas and serves as a breeding ground for academic staff and young talented researchers. Knowledge transfer has a high priority. This is not only achieved by scientific publications and public lectures, but also through educating PhD students, bringing high-potential researchers to the workforce, collaboration with private and public partners and the foundation of spin-off companies. CWI is also committed to the development of innovative software tools, and makes these available to the research community and industry.
The identity of CWI is based on three key values that serve as guiding principles for our institute and researchers. These key values are:
• Talent - CWI is a breeding ground for (inter)national talent. Combining talents creates excellence.
• Invention - Pioneering research is often a starting point of true innovation and is of the highest importance.
• Involvement - Research at CWI is inspired by practical questions and leads to groundbreaking solutions for industry and society.
CWI has a unique talent pool of researchers. Since its foundation in 1946, 180 of its researchers have become full professor. CWI has a Spinoza Prize winner, 22 researchers that were awarded an NWO Innovational Research Grant and an ERC-SG recipient. CWI has a long-standing tradition of excellence in research that is both fundamental and societally relevant. CWI’s track record includes building the first computer in the Netherlands, computing the dike heights for the Dutch Delta Works, connecting Europe to the internet, developing the Python programming language used by Google, computing the train timetables for the Dutch Railways, breaking factorization records of RSA encryption codes, and developing the open source database system MonetDB. More recent highlights include cracking the MD5 hash function, the use of domain specific languages for digital forensics, and research on smart grids for our future energy distribution. CWI plays a central role in various programs and organizations, including the housing of the W3C Benelux Office, the IMO Foundation (the office of the International Mathematics Olympiad) and COMMIT, an extensive programme from universities, research institutions and the industry bringing together leading researchers in computer science in The Netherlands. Since its foundation CWI has commercialized its research in the foundation of 21 spin-off companies that have generated millions of turnover to date.
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