Together with IBM Salzburg, we are organising a series of events on the theme of making “Salzburg a smarter city”. The first circle took place on Friday, May 13, 2011, and it focused on innovations in traffic. We had around 35 senior experts from industry, research and the public sector. Here is the homepage of smart(er) Salzburg: http://www.smarter-salzburg.at/.
There is a strong cluster of companies in the region, we had many of them as contributors. For instance Salzburg AG, IBM, Audio Mobil, Skidata or Hale electronic. Additionally, the County of Salzburg and obviously we as Salzburg Research are committed to a smarter Salzburg as well.
May 15th, 2011
Viviane Reading presented “Investing in a digital recovery: ICT and innovation driving growth“. A well written statement!
What I take from that
- Based on an OECD analysis, two sectors merit investment (for future prospects): “green, low carbon economy” and the “networked economy”
- Why is ICT important for recovery? Because there is a direct link between investment in IT and economic performance; because IT is a key driver for efficiency (and effectiveness)
- The PP Partnerships will be cross-thematic involving five FP7 themes (energy, environment, nmp, transport and ICT)
- Three PPPs will be directly supported by ICT: factories of the future; energy-efficient buildings; and green cars
- Finally: there is a definition of “Future Internet”: the Future Internet will feature almost unlimited bandwidth capacity, wireless access everywhere, potentially trillions of devices interconnected, integrated security and trust for all parties, and adaptive and personalised services and tools. It will open the door to a wide range of new business opportunities and will help us address even better our key societal challenges.
Overall: good to see that Europe (and its politicians) are investing heavily in ICT!
August 18th, 2009
This summer we are hosting a total of 9 students doing internships. The programme is supported by the ministries bmvit and bmukk and is called “generation innovation“.
The themes the students covered includes
- Tag Clouds
- Flash Overlays
- geotaging on the iPhone
- Open Street Map Clients
We got some very good feedback by the students. Firstly, the got a completely different view of research and IT; they were exposed to a way of working with a high degree of self-responsibility (which was appreciated very much); and finally, they had fun.
Personally, I believe that the way of opening up research labs to young people means that they get to know what research in practise is; and the researchers themselves are confronted with new (and fresh) ideas and this is of benefit to both sides.
There is a German video available at Salzburg.com.
August 5th, 2009
It is often important to distinguish between the various types of research. These are defined in the Frascati (and also Oslo) Manuals of the OECD and the European Commission takes them for their definitions in their legal frameworks for RTD and Innovation concerning funding options (especially maximum funding rates):
The following is defined there:
|fundamental research/ Grundlagenforschung
||‘fundamental research’ means experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any direct practical application or use in view;
||„Grundlagenforschung“ bezeichnet experimentelle oder theoretische Arbeiten, die in erster Linie dem Erwerb neuen Grundlagenwissens ohne erkennbare direkte praktische Anwendungsmöglichkeiten dienen.
|industrial research/ Industrielle Entwicklung
||industrial research’ means the planned research or critical investigation aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services or for bringing about a significant improvement in existing products, processes or services. It comprises the creation of components of complex systems, which is necessary for the industrial research, notably for generic technology validation, to the exclusion of prototypes as covered by point(g);
||„Industrielle Forschung“ bezeichnet planmäßiges Forschen oder kritisches Erforschen zur Gewinnung neuer Kenntnisse und Fertigkeiten mit dem Ziel, neue Produkte, Verfahren oder Dienstleistungen zu entwickeln oder zur Verwirklichung erheblicher Verbesserungen bei bestehenden Produkten, Verfahren oder Dienstleistungen nutzen zu können. Hierzu zählt auch die Schöpfung von Teilen komplexer Systeme, die für die industrielle Forschung und insbesondere die Validierung von technologischen Grundlagen notwendig sind, mit Ausnahme von Prototypen, die unter den Buchstaben g fallen.
|experimental development/Experimentelle Entwicklung
||‘experimental development’ means the acquiring, combining, shaping and using of existing scientific, technological, business and other relevant knowledge and skills for the purpose of producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. These may also include, for example, other activities aiming at the conceptual definition, planning and documentation of new products, processes and services. The activities may comprise producing drafts, drawings, plans and other documentation, provided that they are not intended for commercial use.
The development of commercially usable prototypes and pilot projects is also included where the prototype is necessarily the final commercial product and where it is too expensive to produce for it to be used only for demonstration and validation purposes. In case of a subsequent commercial use of demonstration or pilot projects, any revenue generated from such use must be deducted from the eligible costs.
The experimental production and testing of products, processes and services are also eligible, provided that these cannot be used or transformed to be used in industrial applications or commercially. Experimental development does not include the routine or periodic changes made to products, production lines, manufacturing processes, existing services and other operations in progress, even if such changes may represent improvements;
|„Experimentelle Entwicklung“ bezeichnet den Erwerb,
die Kombination, die Formung und die Verwendung vorhandener wissenschaftlicher, technischer, wirtschaftlicher und sonstiger einschlägiger Kenntnisse und Fertigkeiten zur Erarbeitung von Plänen und Vorkehrungen oder Konzepten für neue, veränderte oder verbesserte Produkte, Verfahren oder Dienstleistungen. Dazu zählen zum Beispiel auch andere Tätigkeiten zur Definition, Planung und Dokumentation neuer Produkte, Verfahren und Dienstleistungen sowie auch die Erstellung von Entwürfen, Zeichnungen, Plänen und anderem Dokumentationsmaterial, soweit dieses nicht für gewerbliche Zwecke bestimmt
Die Entwicklung von kommerziell nutzbaren Prototypen und Pilotprojekten ist ebenfalls eingeschlossen, wenn es sich bei dem Prototyp notwendigerweise um das kommerzielle Endprodukt handelt und seine Herstellung allein für Demonstrations- und Auswertungszwecke zu teuer wäre. Bei einer anschließenden kommerziellen Nutzung von Demonstrations- oder Pilotprojekten sind die daraus erzielten Einnahmen von den förderbaren Kosten abzuziehen.
Die experimentelle Produktion und Erprobung von Produkten, Verfahren und Dienstleistungen ist ebenfalls beihilfefähig, soweit sie nicht in industriellen Anwendungen oder kommerziell genutzt oder für solche Zwecke umgewandelt werden können. Experimentelle Entwicklung umfasst keine routinemäßigen oder regelmäßigen Änderungen an Produkten, Produktionslinien, Produktionsverfahren, bestehenden Dienstleistungen oder anderen laufenden betrieblichen Prozessen, selbst wenn diese Änderungen Verbesserungen darstellen sollten.
Other definitions include “process innovation”, “organisational innovation”, “highly qualified personnel”, etc.
In the Frascati Manual (on page 30) the following quite similar definition can be found (applied research can be compared to “industrial research”):
The term R&D covers three activities: basic research, applied research and experimental development; these are described in detail in Chapter 4. Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundation of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view. Applied research is also original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products or devices, to installing new processes, systems and services, or to improving substantially those already produced or installed. R&D covers both formal R&D in R&D units and informal or occasional R&D in other units.
March 20th, 2009
ISO 9001:2000 is an international standard that has its origins in assessing suppliers for technical systems. Salzburg Research today successfully passed the audit (by TÜV Österreich).
I believe that the following three main points argue for a quality management system:
- With a QM-System you define rules about processes and interactions; also, these rules are the same throughout the organisation
- Knowledge is embedded within an organisation (we all know that this is only possible to a limited degree, but anyway)
- Finally, it is a documentation to the outside world (both customers as well as owner) that Salzburg Research is standing for quality
On the negative side there is – obviously – some overhead in necessary documentation and also, you may loose some degrees of freedom/individuality.
December 2nd, 2008
… is IMHO a pretty cool initiative by IBM.
Here we go:
- Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows
- You will have a crystal ball for your health
- You will talk to the Web . . . and the Web will talk back
- You will have your own digital shopping assistants
- Forgetting will become a distant memory
November 27th, 2008
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT is taking shape. The constitutive meeting took place in Budapest, September 15th. The first research themes to be worked on in KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) are climate change, renewable energies and the next generation of information and communication technologies.
Basically, any funding in research (fundamental as well as applied) will help in achieving the Lisbon objective and will make Europe more competive. Hower, I am not convinced whether EIT will have impact (in a broad sense on the community) and/or how it will be sustainable.
September 16th, 2008
Today, the closing event of Minister Hahn’s dialogue on science and research took place.
There are two points that I take from that event
- In order to reach the “3% target” (as outlined in the Lisbon and Barcelona objectives), governmental and public institutions can further stimulate research by rethinking procurement processes. The volume of these processes in Austria is estimated at 40 Billion EUR, about 10% of that could be earmarked with innovation. I.e., the idea is that public agencies and the government foster innovation by asking tenderers to develop new/innovative solutions that require some amount of research and have a good leverage (for all of us). Examples mentioned (mainly with respect to environmental themes) include the British government that has recently advertised a call for low carbon vehicles in the U.K. (volume: 50 Mio. Pounds).
My estimation: this is an excellent idea. Mainly because it will support a shift in mindset, i.e., everyone will be thinking in terms of innovation and research. It needs however, IMHO, a substantial critical mass and adds extra complexity.
- Promotion of people in fundamental research. The idea here is to develop a programm following the COMET-schema (K2-K1-K-Projekt) in terms of excellence targeted at supporting people’s careers. Details are still missing, typically one would have a look at the science funds existing funding schemes (which could simply be “boosted” rather than developing new programmes). Press article at http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=3397370.
June 30th, 2008
I happened to be member of the jury of the ITS project award. The idea of the award is to motivate high-school students to engage in science and technical development and secondly, to demonstrate the high quality of these kind of projects. The jury was composed of R. Hittmair (BCCS), U. Hofmann (FH Urstein), R. Meisl (Land Salzburg), M. Wallinger (Siemens Salzburg), B. Wieder (Palfinger) and S. Reich (Salzburg Research).
- BHAK Grazerbach: Archment – Archeology Management
- BHAK Wien 10: xpense Haushaltsbudget-Rechner
- HTL Braunau: Universal Web Control
- HTL Hallein: CAE – Computer Aided Education
- HTL Ottakring: MPZ MusicBuddy
- HTL Rennweg: “MMORPG”
- HTL Saalfelden: Motorisierte Knieschiene
- HTL Salzburg: VTTG – Voith Tension & Thickness Gauge
- HTL Wels: Modernisierung eines Kernspintomographen
- Karlsgymnasium Bad Reichenhall: Pathfinding
The winner is HTL Saalfelden, motorisierte Knieschniene. This is a device that is low(er) cost and lower weight for rehabilitation of knee injuries.
All presentations were top class!!! Many had videos to demonstrate usage scenarios (some of them even with a fancy storyboard – “Archeology Management”), all presenters were truly professional. Some of the projects had web-sites (“xpense“), some folders (“MPZ – MusicBody”), … the software demonstrated (live!) was of high quality; some even made it into products (such as “Universal Web Control”).
June 3rd, 2008