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Two UiA research groups apply for SFI-status

Two research groups at the University of Agder have applied to become Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI), a prestigious programme of the Research Council of Norway. These research groups are based within the Centre for eHealth and the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research. 

Two research groups at the University of Agder have applied to become Centres for Research-based Innovation.
Two research groups at the University of Agder have applied to become Centres for Research-based Innovation.

These two SFI applications were initiated by the research group for eHealth and the research group for artificial intelligence. Both are acknowledged as priority research centres at the university. Even though two separate applications are prepared, the already existing collaboration between the groups is planned to continue should SFI-status be awarded.  

FACTS/Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI)

  • The Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI) develops knowledge that impacts innovation which is of value to society.
  • Long-term research in close collaboration between R&D-intensive companies and leading research groups will promote the transfer of technology, internationalization and research education.
  • The quality of scientific research must be of a high international level.
  • The Centres are established for a maximum period of eight years.

For more information on Centres of Research-based Innovation (in Norwegian), go to the website of the Research Council of Norway.

Enabling technologies

Professor Christian Walter Peter Omlin from the Department of Information and Communication Technology.

“We would like to help a wide spectrum of companies with the implementation of the use of artificial intelligence. By combining algorithms and big data we can create new opportunities for innovation in supply chain management”, says Christian Walter Peter Omlin, professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technology.

Omlin is the front man for the SFI application to AI and Big Data for Disruptive Valve Chain Innovation.  He points out that artificial intelligence is an enabling technology. This terminology is used for technologies that prove to be of such a radical influence that they cause great changes in society.

A total of 32 parties collaborate towards the application for SFI status, which originates from within the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR).

“We collaborate with excellent partners who represent a variety of different types of industry. Our international network is strong, and we have good in-house experts.  On top of that, UiA has a computational power unlike many other places in Europe”, says Omlin.

Collaboration on health

The proposed centre “Innovations for Lifelong Health” (InLIGHT) has its basis at the Centre for eHealth at UiA.

“UiA has worked with eHealth for a long time. The interactive environment I4Helse is a result of this. Most importantly, it is not only UiA, but the whole Agder region that have joined forces towards this application. We are a reference site within active and healthy ageing and we have already established several partnerships in this field”, says Andreas Prinz.

Professor Andreas Prinz at the Department of Information and Communication Technology, and Academic Director at the Centre for e-Health .

He is a professor and Academic Director for the Centre for e-Health. InLIGHT will enable the collaboration between public institutions, private companies, academic circles, and end users.

“One aspect with regards to our work is how we can facilitate for chronic patients to live at home longer. Another aspect is how we can integrate the user’s own health technology with municipal systems”, says Prinz.

An example of the latter is that you have bought, for instance, a sensor that measures your blood sugar. How can that information be linked to the system that the municipality uses.

“A third aspect is the user’s own data. Health widgets can measure all from steps to blood pressure, sleep and heart rate. How can we forward this data to health professionals when we get sick? This is not always as easy”, says Prinz.

Possibly several research centres

The applications are now being processed by the Research Council of Norway. If both applications are successful, UiA will have three research groups with SFI status 

The university already has a centre for research-based innovation within offshore mechatronics, the Centre for Offshore Mechatronics, that received SFI-status i 2015. After a successful mid-period evaluation, which highly complimented the close collaboration between regional industry and innovative research, the centre received a prolongation period of three years.

Moreover, UiA is a partner in three other SFI applications this autumn 2019.