“Zukunftsheuriger” Supported SMEs on the Topic of Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence
This week, The House of Digitalization (ecoplus – The Business Agency of Lower Austria) and the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences hosted a “Zukunftsheurigen” event on the topic of “Digitalisation & AI – Artificial Intelligence for Businesses at First Hand”. The focus of the networking event was on three innovative project presentations, which provided important inspiration for small and medium-sized enterprises and others interested in the topic.
Peter Brandstetter, digitisation manager at ecoplus Digital GmbH, gave an update on digital projects and developments around the “House of Digitalization” programme. Activities focus on offers for SMEs on the topic of IT security and low-threshold offers on “digi” topics for small and medium-sized enterprises. The focus is on the upcoming opening of the physical centre in Tulln at the beginning of 2023, including a showroom that will bring digitalisation to life.
“The House of Digitalization is a lighthouse project of Lower Austria, which is intended to provide support and inspiration to businesses and an insight into this technology with a ‘wow effect’ for the entire population,” explains Brandstetter.
“Events such as the ‘Zukunftsheurige’ are important opportunities for us to transfer technology and knowledge between our UAS and businesses. In this way, we support the companies, receive important information on their needs and strengthen the research and business location”, says Hannes Raffaseder, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at the St. Pölten UAS.
Centre for Artificial Intelligence at the St. Pölten UAS
Torsten Priebe, head of the research group Data Intelligence at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, presented the Center for Artificial Intelligence of the UAS. It combines the expertise available at the UAS stemming from several disciplines and develops AI solutions from the start to their practical application.
Staff of the centre have applied artificial intelligence methods to several practical issues in recent years: a fake news detector that automatically detects fake news on social media; faster and short-term forecasting of severe weather by analysing interference data from mobile networks; a method that automatically detects sexism on social media; and a method that allows companies to automatically clarify license violations in software products.
Examples of Successful Cooperations
After the opening lectures, scientists from the St. Pölten UAS – together with the company QuickSpeech GmbH – presented examples of successful research cooperations between the UAS and businesses.
Armin Kirchknopf, Junior Researcher in the Media Computing research group, showed how an AI, which can independently generate questions and answers from texts, was developed together with the start-up QuickSpeech and presented innovative, cooperative research from the field of autonomous driving.
Andreas Jakl, UAS lecturer at the Department of Media and Digital Technologies, presented the Smart Companion project which is developing a vacuum cleaner robot that is intended to assist elderly people in the household after falls.
The event took place both on site at the St. Pölten UAS and online via YouTube. Following the presentations, there was a guided tour of the new Campus St. Pölten and its laboratories for all visitors on site. The event was hosted by Irene Auffret, hub manager for the House of Digitalization at the St. Pölten UAS. Johann Haag represented the Executive Board of the St. Pölten UAS and welcomed the guests.
The “Zukunftsheurige” takes place in cooperation with the Digital Makers Hub, the start-up initiative SMARTUP, and the university network E3UDRES2 and is funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Digital Makers Hub is funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs within the framework of the programme “Digital Innovation Hubs in Austria”.