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Fraunhofer IIS to set up a research group at the University

For Passau, it's an old dream come true – a non-university research institution setting up a branch at the University. Now, a first step on this path has been made. Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, headquartered in Erlangen, is currently establishing a research group on knowledge-based image processing at the University of Passau.

From left to right: Walter Taubeneder (Member of the Bavarian Parliament), Gerlinde Kaupa (Deputy District Administrator), Professor Tomas Sauer, Professor Carola Jungwirth (President of the University), Professor Gerhard Waschler (Member of the Bavarian Parliament), Professor Randolf Hanke, (Head of Fraunhofer Development Center X-Ray Technology) and Jürgen Dupper (Head Mayor of the City of Passau), with a cardboard cutout of Joseph von Fraunhofer, after whom the Fraunhofer Society is named. Photo: University of Passau
From left to right: Walter Taubeneder (Member of the Bavarian Parliament), Gerlinde Kaupa (Deputy District Administrator), Professor Tomas Sauer, Professor Carola Jungwirth (President of the University), Professor Gerhard Waschler (Member of the Bavarian Parliament), Professor Randolf Hanke, (Head of Fraunhofer Development Center X-Ray Technology) and Jürgen Dupper (Head Mayor of the City of Passau), with a cardboard cutout of Joseph von Fraunhofer, after whom the Fraunhofer Society is named. Photo: University of Passau

This has resulted in new links, both in terms of staff contacts and research carried out on knowledge-based image processing, between the FORWISS Institute and Fraunhofer's Fürth-based Development Center X-Ray Technology (EZRT).

The project is aimed at extracting process control-relevant digital information from a wide variety of sensor sources used for non-destructive examination. This results in increasingly vast and highly complex volumes of data, which it is no longer possible to process using conventional digital image processing methods. Therefore, image processing strategies and operators with new, intelligent approaches, such as machine learning and deep learning, will be explored and developed.

The two research organisations will, furthermore, co-operate in teaching and research, carry out joint projects and events, and share research devices and infrastructure.

Starting out with a staff of four, it is envisaged that the research group will co-operate with other professors working in related disciplines. Professor Tomas Sauer, who holds the Chair of Digital Image Processing and heads the FORWISS Institute, will lead the research group. The initial project term of the group is three years; this will be extended following a positive evaluation.

The Fraunhofer Society generates 70% of its income from industrial contract research and project subsidies; only 30% of its income comes from direct funding by the state. Therefore, the group's ability to gain research contracts and write successful funding proposals will be essential for its success and future growth potential.

 

Quotes from the opening ceremony:

University President Carola Jungwirth: 'The University of Passau is committed to basic research, but it also has a duty to transfer its knowledge to the region. I am very pleased and grateful that by establishing a Fraunhofer research group at the university we are able to enhance our capacity for basic research and at the same time to make the results of our scientists' work available to society and businesses in bespoke research projects.'

Professor Gerhard Waschler, Member of the Bavarian Parliament 'I am truly delighted that a long-standing wish is at last realised – a Fraunhofer research group at the University of Passau. And I do believe that this seedling will grow and flourish. For the businesses in the region this is both a challenge and an opportunity to get involved as much as possible and make use of these competencies in Passau.'

Professor Randolf Hanke, Head of the Fraunhofer Development Center X-Ray Technology (EZRT): 'The existing know-how at the University of Passau is a perfect fit for Fraunhofer EZRT's portfolio. With our pooled competencies we can provide businesses in Lower Bavaria with solutions that are scientifically advanced and application-oriented.'

Professor Tomas Sauer, Chair of Digital Image Processing: 'I am delighted that our research group can now engage in basic research in an important and extremely fascinating field of applications which dovetails with the activities of the FORWISS Institute. This certainly gives us the potential to make a profound impact – and have plenty of fun in the process.

| 08.12.2017