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Leiden University extends collaboration with Asian Development Bank

Leiden University will expand its activities with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). President of the Executive Board Annetje Ottow and Zweta Manggarani, Academic Director of the Leiden Jakarta Office, recently visited the regional development bank in Manila. They signed an initial memorandum of understanding last year.

The development bank invests some $24 billion a year in the region and focuses on climate and poverty reduction. The meeting between Annetje Ottow and ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa highlighted how the bank’s emphasis lies on an integrated approach to complex challenges. Leiden’s interdisciplinary approach, and the involvement of Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities (LDE), tie in well with this.

Annetje Ottow and Masatsugu Asakawa hold a plate with the Leiden University logo.
Annetje Ottow and Masatsugu Asakawa.

Indonesia's new capital

A striking example of this integrated approach that involves Leiden and the ADB is the development of Indonesia’s new capital, Nusantara. A consortium of the LDE and five Indonesian universities are working together on issues such as urban biodiversity. The ADB will be one of the investors in the new capital.

During her visit to Manila, Annetje Ottow also addressed the ADB Clean Energy Forum 2024 on the role of universities in energy transition.

International networks

For Leiden University, the ADB is a strategic and prestigious partner in Asia with which it can develop and apply knowledge and learning and expand its international networks in the region. The collaboration with the ADB, and ADB member countries, is a unique opportunity to work with ADB’s country experts on concrete problems and solutions. Leiden University is one of the few universities, and the only European one, with which ADB has institutional ties.

Leiden Scientist in Residence

The week before Annetje Ottow’s visit, Professor of Industrial Ecology Arnold Tukker was a guest at the ADB as Leiden Scientist in Residence. Tukker spoke to various sections of the development bank about circular economy, biodiversity and waste policy. The next Leiden Scientist in Residence is Bart Barendregt, Professor of Anthropology of Digital Diversity. He will speak to the ADB on urbanisation and digitalisation this October.

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