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Connecting Research

Research is a connecting element. It connects questions and solutions. It also connects people: researchers of various disciplines, young talents with senior experts, developers with users, and experts with citizen scientists. Research connects across borders.

The 16th FH Forschungsforum der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen (research forum of Austrian universities of applied sciences) is dedicated to what can be connected by research, and how this can be achieved.

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Thematic threads

In six thematic threads, the forum’s participants will present current research questions but also discuss the role of research per se. In addition to lectures and poster presentations, interactive formats will encourage participatory exchange.

In order to enable exploring solutions to complex current and future questions, research connects people. Interdisciplinary projects bring together researchers of various disciplines. Thanks to concepts such as citizen science, however, the research and development process is no longer restricted to researchers only. Creative minds among society as well as applicants are integrated into the research process at different stages. To raise citizens’ awareness for science and reduce the existing scepticism towards science, we also need continuous knowledge transfer activities and science communication.

On the other hand, the individual person and society as a whole are at the centre of research projects as well.

In this thematic thread, we address the following aspects:

  • Which challenges do people and society face? And what are possible solution approaches from a social and health science perspective?

  • How can citizen scientists be integrated into the research process?

  • Which concepts have been successfully – or unsuccessfully – developed and implemented?

Research addresses both regional and supra-regional questions. Due to globalisation, worldwide networks and migration, and other effects, regional challenges are likely to have trans-regional effects and possible solutions. Research connects research institutes across regional borders. It thus connects regions. Research makes it possible to look at regional questions from a supra-regional and even international angle.

As a consequence of current developments, Europe and the European Union as an alliance of nation states and a network of regions are more than ever the centre of scientific attention.

This thematic thread is dedicated to the following aspects:

  • How can successful international collaborations be implemented?

  • Quo vadis Europe? Where is the European Union headed? European values as a research question.

In this thematic thread, we particularly invite researchers and stakeholders of the European University Initiative, the EIT HEI Innovation Initiative, and the Horizon Europe projects to share their experiences.

Climate change, energy crisis, a lack of resources, problems in the supply chains, and a shortage of skilled labour are some of the driving forces that put sustainability in its various dimensions at the centre of research. Moreover, sustainability is a factor worth considering in almost all questions. Research connects sustainability to the various types of questions.

In this thematic thread, we ask the following questions:

  • Which current questions in the context of sustainability, SDGs, Green Transition, and Green Deal are addressed by research?

  • How can research itself become more sustainable from an ecological and economic perspective, and especially in terms of education and research policy?

Technological development permeates all areas of people’s lives and society: health technologies, educational technologies, security technologies, agricultural technologies, communication technologies, etc. In this context, research connects not only the questions and the technologies relevant for their solution. Rather, it connects technologies and people.

In this thematic thread, we address the following aspects:

  • Which current topics in the areas of digitalisation and technology development are presently being processed in research projects?

  • How do technologies support/inhibit the research process itself?

  • Which challenges does research face in the context of questions related to digitalisation and technology?

Society is confronted with economic challenges: climate and energy crisis, New Work, a shortage of labour, the maintenance of global supply chains, digitalisation and ecologisation, green & digital strategies, data management and security are having an impact on economic actions. How can the research conducted at the UAS level help to provide applicable solutions? And how can these innovations be exploited as innovations? Research connects sciences to the market and makes sure that innovations are put to the best possible use.

This thematic thread is committed to the following aspects:

  • Which current economic issues are the research projects working on?

  • What are the implications of research activities for the economic and innovation capacities of regions?

  • How can research results be successfully exploited and put into practice?

  • Which effects does opening the innovation process (keyword: Open Innovation) have on universities and society?

  • How can Open Innovation be translated into applied research projects?

The digital transformation is becoming more and more prominent in our everyday lives, and not just in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). Researchers and innovators increasingly work on digital topics and data. The application areas are numerous and include self-driving cars, smart assistants, the hosting of social media sites, and video games. The people working on this issue are just as diverse as the topic itself. In this thread, the young scientists have the opportunity to present their ideas and research.

Specifically, we will address questions such as:

  • How can artificial intelligence help us find solutions to the problems of the future?

  • Which challenges do we face in processing large data volumes? How sustainable and resource-friendly are these approaches?

  • How can digitalisation assist people? And which barriers have to be overcome?