About INCAS³

Sensor Technology Research at the Interface of Science and Industry

Is it safe to drink this water? Why do elderly people fall? Can we prevent this from happening? Can potatoes grow on this land? Is this nuclear power reactor running safely? INCAS³ aims to answer these and other questions by performing multidisciplinary frontier research.


With the advent of micro and nanotechnology, sensor systems have become omnipresent in our daily living environments. The resulting permanent and massive data streams monitor environments and processes on an unprecedented scale, but also generate major challenges with respect to data transfer, processing, and interpretation.

With the introduction of sensor systems in our primary life, whether in health care, security, or environmental monitoring, the need for precision, reliability, and security is quite apparent. Furthermore, these are environments where typically laymen will interact with the systems, a fact which has to be taken into account when starting from first concepts.

Science meets industry

Within the international scientific community there is a tremendous amount of knowledge on sensor systems. However, this knowledge originates primarily from mono-disciplinary research focusing on specific applications in typical laboratory environments. Demands by society and industry commonly opt for broad applicability in living environments, requiring a wide range of disciplines and, thus, cannot be solved directly by an academic group. Within its multidisciplinary research programs, INCAS³ enhances the available scientific knowledge to solve societal and industrial challenges.


Building international academic and industrial partnerships is a key success factor in the INCAS³ approach. Scientists and engineers at INCAS³ are strongly encouraged to build international networks to truly excel in their research. By participating in international projects and research programs and by spending time at other leading international research institutes, INCAS³ researchers are actively building a knowledge base on par with top international standards.


INCAS³ has organized its research into four research lines. Within the Cognitive Systems and Systems & Controls lines, the knowledge basis for the sensor systems is formed. The Cognitive Systems line is all about turning data into information by learning from humans functioning in open environments. This means designing methods and systems that are capable of learning, that are aware of their situation, and that can be handled by experts as well as laymen. The Systems & Controls research line studies and enhances reliability, the reduction of energy usage, and the applicability of sensor systems in open environments.

The Industrial Research line and the Engineering Team make the connection to industry. The Industrial Research line is project-oriented. In these projects, the industrial challenges, scientific knowledge, and engineering capabilities are bundled to come up with the required concepts and prototypes. Application areas range from water quality and nuclear monitoring to advanced healthcare systems and smart robotics. The Engineering Team adds the capability to turn the ideas into actual prototype designs and realize the prototypes.


INCAS³ was formed in 2008 on the initiative of the Province of Drenthe, the Municipality of Assen and the Foundation Sensor Universe to create a bridge between basic knowledge and the practical applicability of sensor systems. INCAS³ is an independent, non-profit research institute capable of quickly and flexibly responding to sensor technology demands from science and industry. The research is carried out on its premises in Assen by doctoral students, postdocs, and senior scientists in combination with a team of excellent engineers.

Look at our website – – for more information on our research lines, projects, and job opportunities.

INCAS³ is co-financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Province of Drenthe, the European Fund for Regional Development, and the Municipality of Assen.


Dr. Nassaulaan 9, 9401 HJ, Assen

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