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Illustration digitalisation

2019-11-14 15:16

New Digitalisation Centre in Sjuhärad


One of the biggest issues of our time is digitalisation–it has enormous potential but also many challenges. A new centre at the University of Borås will now link together industry, research, and education to address this issue.

Digitalisation yields both opportunities and challenges for society. It is not just about new digital technologies, but also about new work methods and services, which in turn yield new societal issues. The goal is to take advantage of the good aspects of digitalisation, yet it is not always obvious how these should be realised.

In order to facilitate such work, digitalisation knowledge needs to be collaboratively developed and gathered, either through research or practice. In addition, such knowledge needs to find its way to students on their way out into the work world. This is one of the reasons for the University of Borås’s establishment of a centre for digitalisation in the Sjuhärad region.

This autumn, Hannes Göbel and Jonas Waidringer have initiated the establishment of the centre at which both are to serve as Director. Some of the goals they aim to strive for are to promote research, to create structured collaborations between academia and external organisations, and to create new and improved educational programmes with a focus on digitalisation.

"The world is changing fundamentally and at an accelerating pace through digitalisation, and becoming automated by, among other things, artificial intelligence (AI). This means a radical transformation of the most important dimensions of society--growth and sustainability, welfare, equality, security and democracy--and thus we at the University of Borås want to be contribute through the Centre for Digitalisation,” explains Jonas Waidringer.

Node in a contact network

Much of the digital transformation of society is driven by information’s being made available and useful in new ways. In this context, researchers study, among other things, changes in behaviour and business models with a focus on the industrial value chain with a basis in known and newly developed technology and processes.

A new research project is "digital hybrid systems for innovation" that will develop systems for innovation in trade in which both AI and human abilities are a factor.

“The centre becomes, then, a node in a larger network consisting of different types of organisations, both in the private and public sectors. Our hope is that the organisations will be able to have contact with researchers and students through the centre. Conversely, students and researchers will be able to reach out to companies through the network. For example, students who want to speak with industry contacts when writing a paper,” explains Hannes Göbel.

He believes that the challenges and opportunities of society's digitalisation are relevant to all research and education areas at the university. The Centre for Digitalisation will also have a role in linking the different perspectives and specialisations.

"There is no similar collaborative arena in the Sjuhärad region," he says.

Read more

About the Centre for Digitalisation (Only in Swedish)

Article ”New research to combine AI with people's competencies”

Hannes Göbel

Jonas Waidringer

Text: Anna Kjellsson

Illustration: Suss Wilén

Translation: Eva Medin