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Organizing Committee

Current executive committee:

The organization of the International Research Project 2020 is in hands of the following executive committee:

f.l.t.r.: Maud Vorstenbosch, Minouche Deelen, Steffi Neefs, Jasper Ebus, Suzanne Ostlender.

Former executive committees:

IRP 2019

f.l.t.r.: Ward de Kleijn, Harm van Duijnhoven, Thijs Canjels, Niek Segers, Mick Berkhout.

IRP 2018

f.l.t.r.: Jorg van Heesch, Saskia Keet, Frank Hoepel, Renate Maresch and Thomas Relou.

Frank Hoepel, Chairman 
Saskia Keet, Financial Manager
Jorg van Heesch, Coordinator Contract Research
Renate Maresch, Coordinator External Relations
Thomas Relou, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2017

f.l.t.r.: Niels Hovens, Tim d’Hondt, Koen Pijnappels, Jef van den Buijs and Sebastiaan Keijsers.

Tim d’Hondt, Chairman
Sebastiaan Keijsers, Financial Manager
Koen Pijnappels, Coordinator Contract Research
Niels Hovens, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Jef van den Buijs, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2016

f.l.t.r.: Brian Beckers, Gabrielle van Nes, Kasper Bossink, Vivian Verhaert and Wouter Boersma.

Kasper Bossink, Chairman
Brian Beckers, Financial Manager
Gabrielle van Nes, Coordinator Contract Research
Wouter Boersma, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Vivian Verhaert, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2015

f.l.t.r.: Lorenzo Engelen, Isabelle van Wely, Jolan Hulscher, Annicky Reijers and Guy Ariens

Lorenzo Engelen, Chairman
Isabelle van Wely, Financial Manager
Annicky Reijers, Coordinator Contract Research
Guy Ariens, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Jolan Hulscher, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2014

f.l.t.r.: Gillis van de Zande, Mirjam Peters, Henk Snepvangers, Pascal Mertens and Bas Zwartelé

Henk Snepvangers, Chairman
Pascal Mertens, Financial Manager
Mirjam Peters, Coordinator Contract Research
Bas Zwartelé, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Gillis van de Zande, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation


Data-Driven Business
Build the future

Data-Driven Business

Data   and   analytics   capabilities   have   gained  a  lot  of  attention  in  recent  years.  The amount of available data has grown exponentially, more advanced algorithms have been developed and computational power   and   storage   have   consistently   improved.   The   convergence   of   these   trends  has  caused  the  rapid  technology  advances  and  business  disruptions  that  are continuously taking place.

Industries   are   already   shaken   up   by   data  and  analytics,  and  the  effects will   only   become   more   apparent   as   adoption  reaches  critical  mass.  An  even  bigger  wave  of  change  is  impending  on  the  horizon  as  deep  learning  reaches  maturity,  giving  machines  extraordinary capabilities  to  think,  problem-solve,  and understand     language.     Organizations     that  are  able  to  utilize  these  capabilities  effectively will be able to create significant value and differentiate themselves, while others will find themselves increasingly at a disadvantage.

Data has become a critical corporate asset. It comes from the web, phones, sensors, payment systems, cameras, and a huge array  of  other  sources  –  and  its  value  is  tied  to  its  ultimate  use.  While  data  itself  will become increasingly commoditized, value is likely to accrue to the owners of scarce  data,  to  players  that  aggregate data  in  unique  ways,  and  especially  to providers of valuable analytics.

Many questions arise in this era of doing business in a new kind of way. What to do with all this available data? How to create organizational value from it? How can this data enable us to make faster and more evidence-based  decisions?  And  how  to  attract  and  retain  the  right  talent,  since not only data scientists but also business translators are needed to combine savvy data with functional expertise?

It  can  thus  be  easily  seen  that  turning  a  business  full  of  data  into  a  data-driven  business  is  an  idea  that  appears  to  be  very difficult to pull off in practice. There are  multiple  ways  in  which  organizations  can be driven by data. More specifically, there are companies that are completely data-driven, others that use data to drive a more conventional business, and thirdly companies  that  use  data  to  optimize  or  increase their business. These businesses can  be  classified  into  3  different  data-driven businesses, namely:

  • Fully Data-Driven Business
  • Data-Infused Business
  • Data-Informed Business

Fully Data-Driven Business

A fully data-driven business is a business that is completely based on transforming information    into    monetizable    assets.    Out  of  this  data,  they  create  their revenue.    Perfect    examples    of    such    successful  companies  are Airbnb,  eBay, and  Facebook.  However,  being  a  fully data-driven  business  also  brings  along  challenges. An example of such challenge may be which data to collect, from which questions could arise such as ‘Could and should we use all the collected data?’ and ‘What  tools  or  methods  should  we  use  to  support  the  wide  range  of  analytical  needs  to  transform  this  data  into  useful  information?’.   Furthermore,   dilemmas concerning  privacy  policies  may  arise  in  these kinds of companies.

Data-Infused Business

The  second  data-driven  business  is  the  data-infused business. This is a business that  can  manage  and  sell  an  inventory  of  products.  Furthermore,  it  manages the  end-to-end  sales  process,  but  uses information to push marketing to increase sales. Good examples of companies with a  data-infused  business  are  Netflix  and Amazon.  Amazon,  just  like  Uber,  relies on  outsourcing  delivery  to  independent  drivers  who  use  a  similar  marketplace  application. A data-infused business uses data  to  improve  efficiency  and  gain  an advantage over their competitors. But how should data then be used to outperform these  competitors?  What  are  the  needs  of  the  customers  and  how  can  this  data  be used to find a forecasting technique that is most suitable to the needs? These are  important  questions  for  companies  with a data-infused business.

“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories – tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.” — Chip & Dan Heath – New York Times Bestselling Authors

Data Informed Business

The far most major part of the world’s companies are data-informed businesses.   These   businesses   are   the   more  conventional  businesses  that  are  still   trying   to   adapt   new   information   and  data  management  technologies  to  fit  their  existing  business models,  with which  they  want  to  improve  their  overall  competitiveness.      These      companies      recognize   that   there   is   a   need   for   improved  data  management,  but  they often do not know where to start. What is the ultimate goal of collecting data? What data to collect to reach this goal and how to  collect  it?  These  are  questions  many  of  these  companies  are  struggling  with  nowadays. In  a  data-driven  business,  actionable information for all critical decisions should be  accessible  when  and  where  needed.  The  opportunities  for  better  and  smarter  businesses  through  optimal  use  of  data  are  as  clear  as  are  the  challenges.  The  time to build the future is now.

Research Projects

The participants of the IRP conduct research projects for firms. This research will take place in the Netherlands from December 2019 to June 2020. The IRP allows your company to benefit from the expertise of the students of Industrial Engineering. Research projects regarding the theme of this year’s IRP, Data-Driven Business, can provide the students with more insights into the theme. However, if a company faces any unfulfilled research need in the field of Industrial Engineering, the IRP provides an opportunity to get this need fulfilled. You can download our company brochure here.

For any questions, please send an e-mail to


The International Research Project (IRP) cannot be financially independent. For this reason, we would appeal to companies to support our project in all possible ways. Companies can support the IRP financially, or in kind.

The IRP is an excellent opportunity for companies to get attention from students in the final phase of their study Industrial Engineering. In addition, the members of the IRP and their presence at various workshops, lectures and activities create a wide spread awareness of your company to all students and other companies.

For the above reasons, we would like you to support the IRP and therefore we have different opportunities that we would like to bring to your attention. If you are interested and you would like to support us: please contact or have a look at our company brochure here.

Of course, you can always contact us for further questions or comments.

Study Trip

This year the International Research Project will head to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. During the study trip, several visits to companies that have a connection to the theme Data-Driven Business will take place. Also several universities will be visited, and a visit to the Dutch Embassy.

The goal of the study trip is to explore and document the applications and possibilities of Data-Driven Business in a corporate and academic environment. By discussing the topic with employees of manufacturing plants, company headquarters, universities, and official country representation offices, we want to gain extensive knowledge on Data-Driven Business.

We are looking for several companies to visit during our study trip. We are looking for companies that have affinity and experience with the theme and are interesting from an industrial engineering perspective. A company visit also gives a good opportunity for sharing knowledge and promoting your company a group of high educated Dutch students. For more information regarding a company visit (including several examples of company visits), please have a look at our company brochure here.

If you are interested in participating in the IRP by facilitating a company visit, please contact us.


For more information, please contact us:

Regarding research projects, please contact Maud Vorstenbosch
Regarding financial support, please contact Steffi Neefs
Regarding company visits, please contact Minouche Deelen

Regarding other matters, please contact us at


Welcome at the website of the International Research Project 2020!

The International Research Project (IRP) is a study trip combined with internationally oriented research projects for industrial engineering master students at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

The IRP is a research project in which 22 Industrial Engineering students conduct research in the Netherlands, based on a predetermined theme. Afterwards the students will go on a study trip, organized around that same theme. On this study trip, the IRP will visit several companies, universities and a Dutch embassy.

This year’s theme is “Data-Driven Business: Build the future”. The destinations will be Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore!

The IRP is organized each year; each year has a different theme and destination. Last year (2019) Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco have been visited and the theme was “Digital Business Era: Stretch your boundaries”.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.