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Knowledge theme

Enabling technologies

Numerous societal challenges require the application of new technologies. Examples include the use of robots and other tools to relieve care staff, the development of printable solar cells or new materials to reduce the energy consumption of buildings, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse complex problems and data.

Enabling technologies are innovative technologies that have the potential to bring about radical changes in society, in a variety of areas. Fontys is strong in a range of key technologies -key enabling technologies- that are essential for these kinds of necessary transitions in the fields of healthcare, education, emission-free mobility, circular economy and sustainability.

Developing simpler medical ventilators together

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Developing simpler medical ventilators together

Focus of Fontys

Within the knowledge theme Enabling Technologies, the Centre of Expertise High Tech Systems & Materials (HTSM) and the AI knowledge centre conduct research into the (continued) development of these key technologies. The key technologies in which Fontys excels are:

  • Digital twins
    A digital twin is an exact virtual representation of a physical product or system, which changes along with reality through real-time data. Fontys has expertise in digital twinning of (components of) vehicles.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
    In AI, tasks are performed on the basis of self-learning algorithms and statistical models. Fontys has expertise in data visualisation and AI, and machine learning.
  • Autonomous/adaptive robots
    An autonomous robot is a robot that performs behaviours or tasks independently, under different circumstances, such as a robot hoover. Adaptive robots are autonomous robots that can adapt to the environment and thus 'learn', such as a healthcare robot. In this context, Fontys also has expertise in automated guided vehicle development.
  • Sensors and sensor networks
    Sensor networks are networks consisting of various autonomous devices that use sensors to jointly monitor physical or environmental factors, such as temperature, light, sound, vibration and pollution. In this context, Fontys also has expertise in computing software.
  • Production of new materials
    The development of new materials can provide important breakthroughs, for example when it comes to energy transition and sustainability. Fontys has expertise in thin layers and functional materials, and metal and composite printing.
  • Natural sciences
    The natural sciences produce a variety of key technologies. Fontys has expertise in solar fuels, photonics, quantum technology and Life Sciences: Diagnostics & Test Development.

    Connection with other knowledge themes

    Enabling Technologies is a broad and supporting knowledge theme. We work closely with the centres within the five other knowledge themes on the deployment and application of technology to societal challenges within these themes.

    Involved lectorates and research lines

    Several professorships and research lines operate within the knowledge theme Enabling technologies. Professorships conduct practice-oriented research, provide education and help innovate professional practice. A lectorate is led by the lector, who is an expert in a particular field. The lector works together with a research group, lecturers and (external) experts.
    A research line may be separate from a professorship or may belong to a professorship if the professorship is subdivided, for example into themes or topics. Research lines consist of a research team led by a research leader or coordinator.

    Please note: unfortunatly, all hyperlinks refer to our Dutch website at the moment:


    Research lines


    Leading lector Centre of expertise HTSM:

    Leading lector Kenniscentrum Applied AI for Society:

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