Head start in Aarhus

The Centre for Digitalisation, Big Data and Data Analytics (DIGIT) attracted great attention at its inauguration at the Peter Bøgh Lecture Theatre in Katrinebjerg, northern Aarhus. The new strategic research centre was highly praised by the speakers for fitting in perfectly with the spirit of technological development.

2017.10.02 | Rasmus Rørbæk

Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen welcomed the good turnout. (Photo: Aarhus University)

Mayor of Aarhus Jacob Bundsgaard praised the university for its visionary establishment of the research centre at a time when the government is about to launch an action plan for digital growth. (Photo: Peter Hoffmann)

Marianne Kjeldgaard Knudsen, Grundfos Holding A/S, stretched out her arms as a gesture for more collaboration with the skilled researchers at DIGIT. (Photo: AU Communication)

There was considerable interest in getting face-to-face (and on your face) with research as the event provided insight into the work already taking place in connection with digitalisation. (Photo: AU Communication)

Progress in electronic technologies during the last five decades has fundamentally changed society on a global scale, and has been of radical importance for industry and business. In establishing a strategic research centre, Aarhus University brings together a number of internationally leading groups of researchers from several departments in interdisciplinary collaboration. Wednesday 27 September marked the official opening of the latest research centre at Aarhus University – DIGIT.

“No matter where you look, you see how digitalisation is clearly making it mark on the development of business and society in general. Science and Technology has an ambition to be a world-leading faculty regarding a number of the global challenges faced by humanity. It’s important for us, for the students, for our partners, for Denmark – and if we get it right, for the whole world. DIGIT brings together excellent basic and applied research that inspires high hopes and related expectations that I look forward to seeing fulfilled by the centre’s many talented employees. Let me be the first to congratulate Centre Director Peter Gorm Larsen and the rest of the staff at the centre,” said Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen. He initiated the setting up of a number of interdisciplinary research centres at Aarhus University in socially important areas.

DIGIT is the fourth of a total of seven strategic research centres being set up at Science and Technology in 2017 to ensure interdisciplinary research collaboration and collaboration with the business sector, the municipalities, and the regions. The ambition is that the faculty-wide collaborations can significantly strengthen and highlight research where there is not only significant societal potential, but also an opportunity to build up internationally leading activity with a large volume of research and great societal impact.

This ambition was by no means lost on the Mayor of Aarhus, Jacob Bundsgaard (Social Democrats), at the opening of DIGIT.

“It’s the perfect time to open a research centre like DIGIT. The Danish government is on the verge of announcing a new action plan for growth through digitalisation, where a number of the proposals for action are covered by the establishment of this centre. In doing so, Aarhus University – and thereby the city – has ensured that we’re at the forefront of digital development. At any rate, there are several good arguments for establishing more research and talent development, as well as making large investments in the work here at Aarhus University now that DIGIT exists. Thank you for your foresight and congratulations to everyone connected with the centre,” he said.

Digitalisation is a key element in all global challenges. With its opportunities and threats, the digitalisation trend has been the focal point of research and development for a number of years. This applies particularly to the business sector, where companies have to navigate through new markets and meet a number of needs and requests.

Senior Director Marianne Kjeldgaard Knudsen, who is Head of Commercial Digital Offerings at Grundfos Holding A/S, used the occasion to describe the development facing a global group wading through new services and functionalities that have to be taken into account in a reality where software must be incorporated in a hardware company.

“Grundfos is seventy-one years old. This means that we’re extremely ready for a round of disruption. We hope that you can and will help us with this. Thanks to digital development, we can now design new services and products today. This means that we have great ambitions – for our collaboration with you. We’re aware that we need your excellent help with initiatives such as research projects and a number of other opportunities. Welcome. Congratulations on the centre. We’re looking forward to a good working relationship,” she said.

Following the speeches, there was a reception and presentation of twenty-two different projects, where the large turnout was able to come face to face with the latest research.

Read more about DIGIT here.

DIGIT has a website where you can read much more.

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