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German-Czech IT Project Successfully Completes First Phase

International and EFRE-supported project IKON expands network and offers transfer services for science and economy

The international project “IKON-IT Competence Network for Strengthening the Border Region Saxony-Czech Republic” (German and Czech version available) started its first phase in November 2019. That phase has now been successfully completed. The core of this first phase was the closer networking, processing and transfer of results from various IT projects by the participants from Germany and the Czech Republic within the framework of project days. Among the participants were students as well as professors, scientific employees and specialists from the IT industry. Above all, students became acquainted with current trends in the technology-oriented practical module and were prepared for practice through industrial applications. Due to Corona, some of the joint sessions, including the final presentations, took place in the form of online meetings. Personal conversations were possible mainly during the presentation sections and in private chats during the meetings.

The participants devoted themselves to concrete projects in the areas of autonomous driving, especially pedestrian detection using Haar Cascade Classifiers, lane keeping assistants, or traffic sign recognition using deep learning techniques. A further project was the optimization of the OPAL learning platform, specifically the integration of artificial intelligence for the creation of assessments and feedback. Other focal points were automotive software engineering, digital processes, and industrial automation.

For testing purposes, the participants were able to make use of so-called mobile laboratories. These work on the basis of mobile and fast Raspberry-Pi hardware and Jetson Development Kits. A part of the hardware will remain in the Czech Republic after the end of the project and will be part of additional networking activities such as programming competitions.

"There will be significant impulses for the German-Czech economy, as needs-oriented educational opportunities for lifelong learning in the IT sector will be created. The processing of knowledge and the passing on of research results by the teaching staff promotes the formation of interdisciplinary networks. This strengthens the transfer of knowledge," explains Dr. Ariane Heller from the Professorship of Computer Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology, who is in charge of the project.

The results will be published in October 2020 in the scientific series "IBS Scientific Workshop Proceedings." After the first project phase has been successfully completed, the second phase will start in October 2020.

Background: IKON Project

The kick-off of the international project "IKON-IT Competence Network for Strengthening the Border Region Saxony-Czech Republic" took place in the rooms of the Foundation International Informatic and Convention Center Saxony (IBS) in Laubusch, Saxony on 4 November 2019 with about 65 participants. The aim of the project is to familiarize computer science students with the practice in economy and companies as well as future-oriented technologies. Additionally, the project serves to intensify the international dialogue of the German-Czech border region. The project partners are Chemnitz University of Technology and the Czech Jan Evangelista Purkyně University (UJEP) in Ústí nad Labem.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfram Hardt, Head of the Professorship of Computer Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology, is in charge of the project. The project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). IKON has grown out of the two predecessor projects – InWest and InWest 2.0. These projects already showed that the concept of international knowledge transfer works and will now be successfully continued with IKON.

Additional information is available from Dr. Ariane Heller from the Professorship of Computer Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology, Tel. +49 (0)371/531-35023, E-Mail ariane.heller@informatik.tu-chemnitz.de.

(Author: Matthias Fejes/Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes
28.09.2020

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