VU University Amsterdam (coordinator)

The VU University is a large, state funded university with over 20,000 students and 2000 academic staff. The university has 13 faculties, at which research in a wide variety of technical, natural and humanitarian disciplines is conducted. The high quality of research at VUA has been repeatedly recognized by visiting evaluation commissions.

Within the VU University Amsterdam, two institutes participate within the ICT4Depression project, namely the EMGO institute and the Faculty of Sciences.

Faculty of Sciences

Within the Faculty of Sciences, the Agent Systems research group participates. Which is one of leading groups in the Computer and Information Science in NL. The group investigates dedicated dynamic modelling methods, techniques and tools for modelling and analysis of (large-scale) agent systems.

Within the project, the Agent Systems group is responsible for development of abstraction techniques for progress information and reasoning techniques; development of techniques to generate feedback; development of a prototype. Furthermore, it is the coordinator of the project.

The group has experience in dynamic modelling and analysis of agent systems of different types and applied in different contexts. Among the application areas of the projects are the following: logistics, incident and disaster management, naval missions, security, air traffic control, depression therapy, and crime investigation. The Agent Systems group has ample experience with the development of both analytical dynamical modelling methods (e.g., based on calculus, mathematical logic, for example differential equations) and simulation-based methods, e.g., dynamical systems and their integration and unification. The current research focus of the group is on Ambient Intelligence applications, where the ambient software has knowledge about human behaviours and states and (re)act on these accordingly. For this class of applications agent-based and dynamical systems methods have been and are being developed.


The EMGO Institute is one of the research institutes of the VU University Amsterdam, with an annual budget of € 17.3 million and 160 full time staff. In 2004 an International Evaluation Committee rated the EMGO Institute as ‘excellent’. Within the EMGO Institute, mental health is one of the four major research topics.

Within the project, the EMGO institute is responsible for the development of therapeutic modules (treatment and medication use in depression), and the design and conductance of a multi-site pre-test-post-test study

Much of the research of the mental health programme of the EMGO Institute focuses on the etiology and treatment of depressive disorders, and includes research groups in psychiatry, primary care, biological and clinical psychology. GGZ inGeest, a large institute of specialized mental health care in Amsterdam, is closely connected to the EMGO Institute and is an “academic workplace” for the mental health programme. At the Department of Clinical Psychology (part of the EMGO institute and the main participant within the ICT4Depression project), a group of 15 researchers and PhD students is currently working on the development of new internet-based psychological treatments of depression and anxiety disorders, including trials in adults, adolescents, older adults, general medical patients, and target groups with low socio-economic status.