Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences Knowledge and Technology Centre (KTC) offers multiple interconnected services for SMEs and promotes cooperation between students, entrepreneurs and organizations. Usage of laboratories in synergy with the ViA Smart Labs process allows companies to utilize RII resources and involve students in the process.
The core objective is the provision of accessibility of ViA infrastructure via cooperation services to partners for carrying out training, applied research or testing. This approach allows companies to use the available RII and encourages companies to attract students to the co-creation and testing process via the Smart Labs system.
• Virtual and augmented reality laboratory;
• Mechatronics laboratory;
• Mobile network laboratory;
• ViA Smart Labs:
o I-LAB (innovation laboratory), S-LAB (Student Practice Laboratory), B-LAB (Business Trial laboratory) - service based approach for usage of RII for companies together with multidisciplinary student teams and business ideas testing in labs.
The Virtual and augmented reality lab allows companies to use university equipment for industrial training, urban planning and architecture, their interactive study tools and equipment for medicine and anatomy, visualization solutions for logistics, the integration of RFID technologies and real-time object traceability. They provides entertaining educational environments for libraries, schools and pre-schools, marketing and product demonstration, virtual 3D objects in real space.
Mechatronics lab provides possibility to use equipment necessary for development of controlled electromechanical systems, electrical and software prototyping, that can be especially valuable for new emerging start-up companies for creating new products.
Mobile network laboratory offers companies to investigate issues in wireline and wireless networks and find solutions for different technical problems, that can benefit companies for testing its network systems.
Evidence of achievement
• Usage of available RII by stakeholders from several fields has proved itself as a viable model. High intensity augmented, and virtual reality hackathon was organized, during new products, services and start-up ideas were produced. Participants had the opportunity to work with respected and experienced moderators/mentors from US and other mentors from many different areas of business.
• I-LAB program has facilitated 5 interdisciplinary student teams together with partners from industry and public sector that worked on development and testing of partners’ tasks in their premises and in a lab environment.
• ViA Smart Lab student teams have found work and internship opportunities within the industry and developed own project and product ideas.
• Multidisciplinary mandatory study course has been developed integrating Project based learning approach using similar concept as in I-LAB.
For student participants ViA Smart labs provide steep learning process and it must be taken into account, that some motivational measures should be implemented to encourage participation to follow through all the project activates. Companies and other partners involved in such activities look forward to results, as resources are invested, so management of stakeholder’s expectations and mechanisms of motivation are necessary.
Potential for learning & transfer :
- Specific technologies and use cases
This practice may be interesting from the technical point of view – available RII focused on virtual and augmented reality and the use cases of this RII for industry needs.
- Smart Labs approach
The involvement of multi-disciplinary student teams for problem solving for companies, using university RIIs is a win-win model for SME’s and university, since companies can attract students for solving their problems as a very cost-efficient solution, and students receive an opportunity to work on a real industry defined needs, can develop practical skills and acquire contacts from potential future employers.
Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences
Knowledge and Technology Centre
Terbatas street 10, Valmiera
Room no. T210
E-mail: [email protected]