In this special 5th anniversary magazine, you will find examples of what JADS is proud of. An overview of where we are now, highlights from our history and many, many personal stories from founding fathers but also from students and employees. We look back, but more importantly, we look ahead.
Think of this magazine as a (renewed) introduction to JADS, and above all as an invitation to visit the Mariënburg. You are invited to become part of the JADS community and apply data science to the many challenges that call for smart data-driven solutions.
Representatives of the municipality Den Bosch, the Province of North Brabant and the two local universities, the Technical University Eindhoven and Tilburg University, launched this unique collaboration, aimed at the education of talent in the field of data science.
At the time of its launch, five years ago, the JADS initiative was a unique innovation experiment that was strongly rooted in the vision that society would have a growing need for academically skilled professionals in the rapidly developing field called data Science.
This visions still holds true. Since its early beginning JADS has been living up to its promise to deliver highly educated professionals and build bridges between technology and business. During its five years of existence JADS has become a well-established and recognized player in this growing field of societal and industrial innovation.
The coming 6 months, we will celebrate the 5th anniversary of JADS with events and publications. On this page, you can explore the highlights of the past 5 years at JADS!
On December 1, 2016, her Majesty Queen Maxima officially opened the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science, accompanied by then mayor of the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Ton Rombouts. In his own words. “Met de vestiging van de Academy of Data Science hoopte ik dat dit de stad van Jheronimus jonger en Internationaler zou maken.” (“By establishing the Academy of Data Science, Ton Rombouts hoped that this would make the city of Jheronimus Bosch younger and more international.”).
As of the early days, the internationally operating and leading marketing company BrandLoyalty has been a strong supporter and strategic partner of JADS. In July 2016 Robert van der Walle, the then CEO of the Den Bosch located data driven company, announced that they would start a flagship project on data analytics in marketing upon the launch of JADS later that year. BrandLoyalty was the first company that subscribed to the JADS vision of bridging the gap between academic research in data science and the need of applying this knowledge and skills base in practice. Later many more business partners followed this example by signing up to one of the partnerships that were setup at JADS.
Already back in 2012, Harvard Business Review coined in one of its leading feature articles that “Data Science would become the Sexiest Job of the 21 Century”. JADS has always been a strong believer of this career forecast, which is reflected by its educational programs at all levels, including the master, post-doctoral engineering, and professional education training. To provide information about the various options data science professionals have in their bright future, JADS has been organizing its so-called Career Perspective Days. The first edition was successfully launched on May 19, 2017 and ever since several thousands of talented aspiring data scientists have visited these information days to collect the information needed to shape their professional future in data science.
In 2018, we celebrated the first graduates of the Master Data Science and Entrepreneurship. Omroep Brabant made an item about on of these first students, Diederik Pondman, and found out demand for our students is very high. “My LinkedIn is flooded with job offers. Data Science is booming!” according to Diederik.
JADS is housed in Mariënburg , a premises with a rich history. The current building, which served as a monastery until 2016, was built on the foundations of the Huys van Boxtel whose roots date back for more than eight centuries.
Early 2015, the last 24 nuns of the Jezus, Maria en Jozef (JMJ) congregation, moved to their new homes in Heeswijk-Dinther and Boxtel after a long period of inhabitation that started in 1899. The reconstruction of Mariënburg started in 2015 and was carried out by the real-estate developing company Kadans under the skilled leadership of the CEO Wim Boers. IN 2018, the nuns revisited Mariënburg to see the result and to celebrate the 195 anniversary of their congregation. At that occasion mother superior Leatitia Aarning expressed her gratitude with the new future direction JADS had given to the building as it continued the long lasting tradition of educating young gifted persons to prepare them for a prosperous future career.
In 2019, a scholarship fund for JADS students was established thanks to a generous gift of the Sisters of JMJ.
JADS has been often referred to as the university of Den Bosch. One of the traditional happenings that take place at a university are the so-called academic ceremonies at which the academic leadership, i.e., the professors get together to celebrate an important event. They typically form a row called the cortège wearing their gowns and caps. On January 12, 2018 it was for the first time that an official cortège sat foot in the chapel of Mariënburg to celebrate to inaugural speech of prof. Maurits Kaptein. With this speech, prof. Kaptein marked the start of his chair as a professor of Data Science and Health.
As part of the grand design around JADS, the municipality of Den Bosch together with the province of North Brabant have been exploring possibilities to stimulate the creation of a regional business eco-system. The aim was to stimulate the uptake of data science as a driving force behind business innovation in the area. The annual Data Week, which was first launched on October 29, 2018, was one of the many successful initiatives that the data science partners in and around Den Bosch launched to stimulate and facilitate the build-up of such an innovation eco-system. Together with many different stakeholders, JADS organized and hosted a broad range of activities that were aimed at creating awareness for the potential of data science as a novel driver behind business innovation.
The JADS Playground is the data science startup incubator at JADS, supporting startups from idea to launch and everything in between.
Bluetick, one of the 25+ Playground startup alumni, makes it faster and more intuitive to find and search through legal documents. The company was founded by four master students from JADS and then supported and nurtured in the Playground. In 2020 Bluetick raised a pre-seed funding round from henQ Capital and ASIF Ventures, making it one of the most successful Playground startups to date.
Ladies of Data is an annual JADS event that aims to bring diversity into the Data Science and AI community by providing female role models and discuss cool topics relevant for the broader data science community. It launched successfully in February 2020 and continued with an online edition in 2021.
“We aim to paint a complete and diverse picture, in terms of relevance but also in terms of presenters. The JADS philosophy is to do research that matters to business and society. We hope that researchers and companies can learn from and inspire each other,” says Ksenia Podoynitsyna, associate Professor of Data-Driven Entrepreneurship at JADS and one of the initiators of the event.
On 11 September 2021, 109 JADS graduates finally were able to celebrate their graduation with their fellow students and loved ones. Due to covid, the graduation ceremonies were postponed multiple times, but now, the young talent finally received the celebration they deserved.
An EngD (formerly PDEng) program is a more industry-oriented alternative to a PhD trajectory. The EngD program Data Science at JADS qualifies its students to become top-level professionals, who are able to help industry and business with their innovative data science solutions.
The Data Challenge Week (DCW), the selection week for EngD Data Science Trainees, is usually a pressure cooker week full of hard work, intensive projects and new friendships. During this week, participants work and live together 24/7. How do you move an event like this online due to a global pandemic?
Set up in 2018, MKB Datalab’s mission is to bridge the gap between developments in data science and the needs and wishes of the MKB, by connecting data science students to businesses
During the three years of its existence, MKB Datalab has assisted a huge range of businesses, for whom it has performed a wide variety of projects, from simple to complex. While the number of partners now stands at 100, the actual number of projects performed is almost twice that number, given that many past partners have come back for more. For the master’s students at MKB Datalab, this is proof that every business can get more mileage out of data science.
In addition to educating junior talent through MSc, EngD, and PhD programs, JADS has a mission in training senior or professional talent. This is referred to as Professional Education (PE). Over the past five years JADS has built up an extensive portfolio of programs for professionals in both the private and the public sector. Several hundreds PE graduates have formed an active community of alumni who profile themselves as data science ambassadors and multipliers. On November 5, 2021 several new cohorts of trainees in a variety of professional domains started their educational programs at JADS. More than 150 freshmen and women assembled in the Mariënburg chapel for a lively kick-off their individual educational programs, well-motivated but at Corona distance.