“Digital technologies must be developed based on users’ day-to-day needs,” says Ben Cahill, who heads DTU Skylab Digital.
Ben Cahill, Innovation Officer and Head of DTU Skylab Digital
Users’ access to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) or to exploit other types of digital technology is the starting point for projects in a new digital laboratory—DTU Skylab Digital. The first project of the laboratory has been created in collaboration with the Capital Region of Denmark, which challenges DTU students to present their ideas on how AI can benefit the day-to-day clinical work in hospitals.
“DTU has many competent developers among its students. Our task is to involve them in specific collaborations with businesses where they can develop digital solutions. This creates innovation in the businesses, provides guidance for the students, and may even pave the way for employment in the corporate sector in continuation of the projects,” says Ben Cahill, Innovation Officer and Head of DTU Skylab Digital.
DTU Skylab Digital is moving into new premises and is part of DTU’s ramping up of Skylab to become a world-class hub for technology-based innovation. And while the cables are being laid in the new lab, Ben Cahill is engaged in creating collaborations based on strong academic environments at DTU. This applies to the use of computing power to process large data volumes using AI, the use of computers in technical solutions, embedded computing, and mobile development apps.
“We’ve chosen these areas because they are well supported at DTU’s departments. For example, we know that there are currently 600 students on the new AI course, which provides a solid foundation for inviting businesses to participate in hardtech entrepreneurship projects—or competitions for students—where the businesses can have proposals developed for digital solutions to specific problems,” says Ben Cahill.
Blockchain against food fraud
Most recently, DTU Skylab Digital has developed an innovation project—Digi DiveX—in which students delve into data and develop digital solutions to everyday problems. In the innovation project, students present their ideas on how artificial intelligence can process data and be used to perform tasks for which clinicians in the healthcare sector lack digital solutions.
The project is part of the AI entrepreneurship initiative—funded by the Danish Business Authority and created in collaboration with DTU Compute, Nordic AI, DTU Science Park, and the Capital Region of Denmark—which provides problems and data.
Ben Cahill is working to conclude agreements with other partners in the public sector. This may—for example—be the City of Copenhagen, which can supply traffic data for use in digitization projects if DTU Skylab Digital is given access to install hardware in data-driven processes and develop new methods for utilizing data digitally.
In another current project, students are to work with blockchain technology in the food processing industry. The project has been developed in collaboration with DTU Food and will explore the possibilities of using blockchain against food fraud, which is a major global problem.
DTU Skylab Digital
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“It’s no use closing your eyes to the changes. We need to constantly keep up and try to influence the process.”
Professor Jan Madsen, DTU Compute