DTL Skjern to open officially on 6 September
The new digital innovation laboratory in Ringkøbing-Skjern has been completed, and the doors are ready to open for the official inauguration in early September. A milestone for local small and medium-sized enterprises, says the Mayor.
On Monday 6 September, the new Digital Transformation Lab (DTL) in the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern will be officially inaugurated.
The inauguration will start with speeches by the Mayor of Ringkøbing-Skjern, Hans Østergaard, and the vice-dean for research at AU’s Faculty for Technical Sciences, Brian Vinter, before the red ribbon is cut at 10:30 a.m. A large number of companies will also be represented, with examples of digital success stories and opportunities.
The laboratory has been built in a collaboration between the municipality Business Council, local businesses, and Aarhus University, and the aim is to provide the business community with easy access to digital innovation, highly sought-after engineering students, the latest research in digital technologies and much more.
"This physical department of the University in our own backyard is a milestone for local companies, and it will help them to harvest the positive benefits of digitalisation. This locally anchored department has brought technological opportunities even closer, and we are sure to notice the increased activity and derived synergy effects in the future. Personally, I'm looking forward to the opening. Our talented businesses are already leading the way, but this opportunity means that they can fully utilise the latest digital possibilities to secure even stronger competitiveness," says Mayor Hans Østergaard.
The opening of the laboratory is the culmination of several years of preparatory work in which the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern and the Business Council, in collaboration with local companies and Aarhus University, have worked to find precisely the right model for the DTL.
The head of the laboratory, Jakob Lemming, was employed in January, and since then he has worked hard to initiate activities, forge business contacts and start projects, while also building the physical laboratory and preparing for the inauguration of the new floor-space, built as an extension of the laboratory's premises at Innovest in Skjern.
"Now the building is ready, the researchers are ready, we’ve issued project applications, the local upper secondary schools are with us, and we are offering all AU engineering students the opportunity to work on a project for a local company in Ringkøbing-Skjern. The opening of the laboratory on 6 September is the icing on the cake, and it will give us the framework to start up even more activities," says Jakob Lemming, who, as a lab manager, is a liaison between the DTL, local companies and AU's research environments in Aarhus and Herning.
More specifically, DTL will act as a research and demonstration laboratory, where local companies can collaborate with university researchers or students to initiate or further develop the companies’ use of digital tools.
For example, the use of computer models in production chains, the use of robot technology in manufacturing, or general process optimisation and automation.
"It could also be about using digital twins in a company or finding entirely new digital possibilities to make existing products more intelligent or to open up for entirely new markets," adds Jakob Lemming.
Open for collaboration
The laboratory will also be open to upper secondary school classes, companies, partners and other stakeholders who can come and get an insight into ultra-modern digital technology. And a new concept will forge links directly between local business students and companies in the area.
In addition to the lab manager, two postdocs and two PhD students are affiliated with the laboratory. Heading the research part of activities is Professor Peter Gorm Larsen from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who is also head of AU’s DIGIT centre.
DTL Skjern is being funded by the Business and Growth Committee (Erhvervs- og Vækstudvalget) under the Municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern with DKK 5.03 million, the municipality’s Business Growth Forum with DKK 5.0 million, the municipality's Knowledge Committee with DKK 2.8 million, and with DKK 600,000 each from five local companies that have so far linked up with the project: Landia, Vestas, Velux, Millpart and HydraSpecma.
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