About the project
Information center, cooperation partner, teaching and research laboratory for prospective students, students and companies on the topic of digital transformation.
The “User Innovation Center”, funded by Fachhochschule Dortmund - University of Applied Sciences, has been created as a link between teaching, research and business. It offers space for information, innovation and co-productions around the topic of digital transformation.
The digital penetration in almost all areas of work and life makes it necessary to establish a central and flexible facility, which can quickly adapt to the evolving technologies. This is particularly noticeable in teaching, since it is based on current technical and methodological status. Due to the high level of transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary connections in digital transformation, this is difficult to realize for the various departments with their decentralized special laboratories and teaching formats. Here, the UIC offers the space to promote digital transformation across the disciplines.
Renovation work for the UIC was completed in mid-2020 and the center now has beta status. The furnishing process has begun and will continue until the beginning of 2021. First workshops and events have already taken place, in line with the coronavirus-related hygiene measures and distancing regulations. The UIC is located on the ground level of Otto-Hahn-Strasse 23. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, up to 24 persons are allowed in the UIC at any one time and can spread out over various rooms. The UIC is based on 4 pillars in all areas: informing, innovating, coproducing and evaluating. The information column disseminates the results of research projects and student work by preferably executable prototypes or by video films and flyers. Thus, this serves as the first point of contact for students, research-oriented and companies alike. A large network enables an exchange between the disciplines and unites all areas. The innovation pillar offers the opportunity to develop tailor-made solutions and to promote them in creative transdisciplinary teams.
Agile methods are used to realize the shortest possible development cycles and to leave a lot of room for new ideas. The column of coproduction unites research and business. Here, hardware and software solutions are brought together and developed using visual methods. This close integration with the innovation column brings the idea directly to a prototype, which can be tested and evaluated immediately. The evaluation column addresses the challenge of examining and validating the prototypes for their usability and user acceptance. Furthermore, an existing workshop framework is tightly interlinked with the four pillars, to support companies in digital transformation, to advise or work on a respective strategy together. As digital transformation opens up many new business areas and these are usually left untouched, coproductions with companies will search for additional application areas and identify them using scientific methods and securing the results.
The UIC’s beta status means that feedback is being collected continuously from internal and external stakeholders in order to improve the center and further equip and adjust it. For 2021, additional training courses in the field of manufacturing IT and executive resource management are planned for spring with the NIRO network as well as lectures and workshops in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, along with additional events involving companies. The official opening of the UIC will also take place in spring 2021.
Fachhochschule Dortmund - University of Applied Sciences and Arts