The Production Technology of Tomorrow
Production technology is changing fast. Even complex work processes can be automatized: In tomorrow’s factories, a wide variety of different machines will be coordinated to work together efficiently. A seamless chain of automation, control, and documentation processes will run from project commission all the way through to delivery to the end consumer. Each step will be documented, planned, and optimized using a network of computer systems. Smart factories like this will be able to produce even small batches with a high level of efficiency, making it easier to be flexible in responding to customers’ individual demands.
The Center for Digital Production (CDP) investigates how to best achieve this goal. The CDP is part of the Vienna University of Technology’s pilot factory, located in Vienna’s new Seestadt Aspern neighborhood. WU is on board as a project partner. Under the direction of Gerald Reiner from WU’s Institute for Production Management, WU researchers focus on the economic, social, and legal questions that result from the application of these new technologies.
Sustainable and Innovative Products
Knowledge alliances are special cooperations between universities and companies. The universities develop training and teaching formats on selected topics that help companies be more successful in their fields. The European Commission approved 30 knowledge alliances in 2018, and one of them is coordinated by WU.
WU’s Knowledge Alliance will help companies in the agricultural and food sectors to develop new sustainable and innovative products and services, taking the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into account.
Analyzing Big Data
With the Young Independent Researcher Groups, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have launched a program offering post-docs the opportunity to work in teams across disciplines and universities.
58 projects were submitted. Based on international reviews and the criteria of scientific originality and innovation as well as interdisciplinarity, seven Young Independent Researcher Groups were funded in 2018. One of these is coordinated by Gregor Kastner (Institute for Statistics and Mathematics) at WU. Under the title “High-dimensional statistical learning: new methods for economic and sustainability policy,” researchers from WU, TU Vienna, the University of Salzburg, and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research are developing innovative and forward-looking methods for the analysis of large amounts of data.