“The Fraunhofer Innovation Platform for Applied Artificial Intelligence for Materials & Manufacturing at VSB - Technical University of Ostrava (FIP-AI@VSB-TUO) is a strategic activity for us. In addition to the development of science and research, we also hope to be more successful in international projects such as Horizon. We were able to successfully launch the FIP Academy, a series of professional seminars, which is an intellectual platform that aims to connect the scientific and research staff of all the partner institutions involved. Personally, I very much appreciate the linking of FIP-AI@VSB-TUO with our other key activity, which is the PhD Academy. Both through the participation of PhD students in the FIP Academy seminars and through study stays and internships of PhD students at the partner institutions,” said Jana Kukutschová, Director of FIP-AI@VSB-TUO and Vice-Rector for Science and Research at VSB – Technical University of Ostrava.
Dieter Weise, Deputy Director of FIP-AI@VSB-TUO from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU), also appreciates the cooperation in the form of exchange internships and the preparation of joint projects. “Due to the pandemic, it was not easy for us and it affected our work, especially when it came to cross-border travel. Nevertheless, we were able to initiate a number of international funding applications, organise workshops and support student exchanges,” confirmed Weise.
However, many opportunities are yet to be implemented. “The most important thing for FIP-AI@VSB-TUO is to gradually increase the number of joint research projects. Innovative, interesting and applicable topics, commercial and scientific success, the interest of companies and students, and long-term establishment in the market are the keys to all our goals. In the coming months, several funding instruments will be launched to enable Czech-German cooperation. We must take advantage of them. We can cooperate without competing. On the contrary, we complement each other and become more attractive for cooperation,” Weise pointed out.
According to Kukutschová, there is also a need to continue joint professional workshops and to further connect the university's units and their workplaces with partners from both participating institutions, i.e. the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU.
Among the already planned activities are the Summer School in Ostrava organised within the international GeoUS project or the Energy Days in Chemnitz. The partners would also like to present themselves together at the autumn MSV International Engineering Fair in Brno. “In parallel, we will prepare several research proposals and continue our cooperation with local companies. My personal goal is to organise a user-oriented conference on Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence in manufacturing in Ostrava next year’s autumn,” concluded Weise.
The opening ceremony of FIP-AI@VSB-TUO took place on 8 June last year. Within the ambitious initiative, all partners contribute their own expertise: VSB-TUO in the field of artificial intelligence and next generation computing, Fraunhofer ICT in materials research and energy systems, and Fraunhofer IWU in manufacturing technology and production.