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Joint project with Bayreuth University: Hof University receives funding for digitization college

With the creation of interdisciplinary digitalization colleges at universities throughout Bavaria, students are to be made fit for the digital transformation. As Science Minister Markus Blume announced on Thursday, the 13 new colleges at 17 universities will be funded for four years starting in September 2022 with a total of around 2.1 million euros per year on average. Hof University of Applied Sciences will also benefit from this funding as part of a joint application with Bayreuth University.

Responsible for the implementation of the Digitization College at Hof University of Applied Sciences: Prof. Dr. René Peinl and Prof. Dr. Christian Groth; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Depending on the focus of the applying university or universities, the collegia now being funded deal with topics such as “Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability,” “Digital Projects in Social Work,” or even psychological and ethical aspects of digitization. At Hof University of Applied Sciences, in collaboration with the chairs of Polymer Materials and Business Informatics at Bayreuth University, various courses are to be created within the digitalization college to teach digital skills, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (language comprehension, generative AI, intelligent robotics). Students from both institutions will also be able to apply what they have learned in practice in interdisciplinary hands-on projects and events. Data and problems from different fields are used for this purpose.

Cooperation between Hof and Bayreuth is strengthened

“The complexity of the modern world requires solutions that can best be worked out in interdisciplinary teams, and students should also learn and experience this in the joint courses. That is why I am very pleased that our application has been considered and look forward to interdisciplinary cooperation with colleagues from the materials sciences and business informatics departments at the University of Bayreuth and in-house colleagues,” says Prof. Dr. René Peinl, head of the Institute for Information Systems at Hof University of Applied Sciences (iisys). Prof. Dr. Christian Groth, head of the Intelligent and Learning Systems research group, agrees

We are strengthening the networking of the two universities and the digital skills of the students. In addition to strengthening the AI User Center at Hof University of Applied Sciences, the funding will be used primarily for so-called coaches, who will contribute to the development and design of the various courses.”

Prof. Dr. Christian Groth

The next steps, he said, will now be to design the courses and application projects in detail. “It is also a matter of pushing ahead with the further development of a hardware and software platform on which the students will later work. I am also pleased that our concept of the Competence Center for Applied AI, which aims to offer users without a computer science degree the lowest possible entry hurdle for their own experiments with machine learning, has been put to the test with this project and has also received initial confirmation through the successful application,” says Prof. Dr. René Peinl. And further

I hope that this will also be an initial spark for use by small and medium-sized enterprises in the region (SMEs)!”

Prof. Dr. René Peinl, Director of the Institute for Information Systems (iisys)

Colleges at all types of universities on a wide range of topics

The 13 successful applications from colleges at all types of higher education institutions (universities, universities of applied sciences or technical universities, and art colleges) had been recommended for funding by an independent, interdisciplinary commission of experts. These include seven individual applications and six collaborative applications. The funding is part of the new junior researcher support programs coordinated and supervised by the Bavarian Research Institute for Digital Transformation (bidt), an institute of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW).

Rainer Krauß

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