Article by: Craig Wilson, ICICS
On September 17 and 18, the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) hosted a networking event for research alumni from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg who now work in the USA or Canada. Under the theme of “The Future of Digital Innovation,” the event allowed these FAU Research Alumni members to meet each other, exchange ideas, and strengthen their affiliation with FAU, while learning more about parallel work being done at UBC.
On day one, FAU-affiliated researchers and senior administrators presented a series of talks in ICICS paired with their UBC counterparts. For example, Robert Schober, Head of the Institute for Digital Communications at FAU and a former UBC Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) professor, gave a talk entitled “How to Communicate Inside a Human Body”. This was immediately followed by a presentation from UBC ECE Professor Karen Cheung on “Innovation in Biotechnology,” offering illuminating perspectives on this fascinating area of research.
The introduction of “Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster” by UBC Vice President Research & Innovation Professor Gail Murphy and the presentation “Making Digital Innovation Happen: The FAU Ecosystem” by FAU Vice President Outreach Professor Kathrin Möslein highlighted the ongoing activities at both institutions to remain on the forefront of digital innovation.
The following day, ICICS director Robert Rohling and AMPEL director John Madden organized lab tours for the visitors that included the Robotics and Control Laboratory, the Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL) and HATCH, UBC’s incubator for tech-based startups, located in ICICS. Discussions are underway for a follow-up visit by HATCH staff to FAU’s startup incubator in the near future.
“The Future of Digital Innovation” was sponsored by Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and spearheaded at UBC by ECE Professor Vijay Bhargava. Dr. Bhargava received a Humboldt Research Prize in 2015 to work with collaborators at FAU, and was appointed FAU Honorary Ambassador in 2016, in which capacity he helped organize this event. FAU alumni and UBC ECE Professor Lutz Lampe opened the event with a talk entitled “A Bottom-Up Approach to Smart Grid Monitoring.”