Transfer of Knowledge and Technology
Mittweida University of Applied Sciences attaches great importance to the transfer of knowledge and technology, in particular due to its ambition to establish national and international cooperations and at the same time to take responsibility for regional development. In consultation with the Senate, the Rectorate of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences adopted a transfer strategy in June 2018 and an AI strategy in December 2021.
The following four strategic fields of action have been defined for knowledge and technology transfer:
Application-oriented research and development (R&D) projects with enterprises are the most important transfer channel of research. At Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, more than 200 third-party funded projects have been running each year for several years. In 2022, the third-party funding income amounted to 17.3 million euros from 218 projects. The largest share, 9.4 million euros, came from federal funding (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and others). 2.2 million euros were raised from the Free State of Saxony and 1.1 million euros from other organisations. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences recorded a high increase in projects funded by the European Union: 3 million euros were acquired from the EU Structural Funds (ESF) and other EU programmes. The ESF projects are primarily aimed at young scientists and technology projects at the university and thus at securing the future of Saxony as a science and business location. Cooperation between the university and the business community is particularly important. More than 49 projects with a volume of 1.6 million euros were processed here in 2022.
Approximately a quarter of the projects at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences can be assigned to the economic area of contract research and research services. For this purpose, companies and institutions can use laboratories and equipment at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences has three central scientific facilities, 8 in-institutes and many cooperation partners in research and teaching. The university-related institutes are an ideal platform for cooperation between the university and industry.
In addition to the application-oriented R&D projects, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences is currently conducting a transfer project to sustainably promote the university's transfer activities:
Innovative University – Saxony5 2.0
The network of the five Saxon universities of applied sciences "Saxony5 2.0" pursues six key objectives to achieve this overall goal. Each key objective contains innovative approaches to achieve the overall objective. Under the objective "Professionalisation", a transfer tool library is being built up, which can be used by the scientists after the end of the project, regardless of the topic. With "profiling", the universities will initially concentrate on topics with strong transfer potential. Based on best practice, other researchers with other specialist topics are activated for transfer. Within the framework of "mobilisation", the network opens new ways to create previously unused transfer potential regarding target group, region and demand. The key objective "Effectiveness" pursues the development of innovative, Kl-supported data models. They will help to design and apply the transfer instruments effectively and with few resources. By orienting the transfer topics to societal challenges in the key objective "Motivation", the association creates a motivating objective.
Industry-funded associated professorships are a sophisticated approach to achieving transfer through persons. In 2011, one industry-funded associated professorship was successfully funded in the field of laser technology, followed in 2018 by a second in the field of laser technologies. Other associated professorships have been created at the Faculty of Computer and Life Sciences and the Faculty of Social Work. Further efforts to establish associated professorships are to be intensified against the background of knowledge and practice transfer as well as the comparatively low staffing levels at the university.
Cooperative doctoral programmes are also very important for the transfer of knowledge and practice. These are supervised, for example, with institutions such as the TU Dresden, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, TU Chemnitz, TU Ilmenau and the University of Leipzig.
As a university of applied sciences (UAS), internships and practical semesters play an important role in the degree programmes (87% of students at Saxon UAS complete one, source: Studium und Berufseinstieg - Ergebnisse der zweiten sächsischen Absolventenstudie 2014, Dresden). Thus, an intensive science/practice transfer already takes place during the study phase.
At Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, start-ups are seen as the most effective way of transferring knowledge and technology, which is why it sees itself as a start-up-friendly university. This aspect is also anchored in Mittweida University's target agreement. Start-ups are promoted by many committed lecturers with an affinity for start-ups and, since 2002, by integrating the services of the start-up network SAXEED. At the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management there is a start-up team which maintains more than 100 contacts per year.
The patenting of inventions is a characteristic of high R&D competence and promotes the reputation of the university and scientists at the same time. Since 2007, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences has registered more than 87 inventions for patent or utility model. In research cooperation with companies, the registration of intellectual property rights is integrated into all phases of project work from the very beginning. The university finances promising patent applications – mainly through projects – and holds them for a maximum of 5 years. After 5 years of holding, except for basic patents, an annual examination is carried out to determine whether there is a positive prospect of exploitation. As a start-up-friendly university, the use of patents as a basis for spin-offs is made possible.
The promotion of scientific life includes measures that also promote the transfer of knowledge and technology via the transfer channel of communication and enable the dissemination of scientific findings and research communication. At Mittweida University of Applied Sciences this takes place through:
- Scientific conferences, meetings and workshops
- Business-oriented events such as workshops, dialogues and forums
- Research fairs
- The awarding of research prizes
- The committee work of the Senate Commission for Research
- Activities of scientists of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences at specialist conferences, participation in colloquia, seminars and scientific events
- University publications, e.g. Scientific Reports
- Research reports
- Research marketing, e.g. via social media
- Our research information system VIVO
Mittweida University of Applied Sciences has a special role to play in the context of AI within the scope of its teaching and research offerings. It trains the next generation to solve the problems of the future and works on technological solutions to achieve work facilitation or efficient realisations. Due to the potential of AI algorithms and AI applications as well as the rapid technological, economic and social development, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences intends to use this strategy to promote a faster and more effective exchange with the economy and society within the scope of its teaching and research activities. The goals of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences' AI strategy reflect the scientific discourse and research process, academic teaching and the university's internal development process in university management. They are regarded as the cornerstones of development at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences.
Mittweida University of Applied Sciences sets itself the following goals within the framework of the AI strategy:
1. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences shall be an authoritative location in the Free State of Saxony for the development of AI applications and AI research. The HSMW strengthens the Chemnitz/Middle and West Saxony region with its own AI expertise and research.
2. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences establishes itself as an AI partner for regional and supra-regional companies in the economy as well as for public institutions and authorities.
3. The AI-related research, teaching and further education concept is embedded in the university development planning.
4. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences will use the potential of AI to improve teaching, research and transfer as well as university management at the university.
5. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences creates the conditions for all students, teachers and staff to experience AI. AI topics should be an integral part of student education and include the further education of teachers and staff. In this way, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences creates a climate of AI acceptance through targeted education and further training.
6. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences will create an IT infrastructure that enables the use of AI in education, research and application.
7. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences combines complementary competences for effective AI-related knowledge and technology transfer.
8. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences strives for an ethically and socially responsible approach to AI and its development for the common good and will address issues resulting from the use of AI.
9. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences encourages young academics in the field of AI.
10. Mittweida University of Applied Sciences wants to strengthen and expand its personnel AI competence.