‘For the University of Passau, this is a huge step. Our share of the Bavaria-wide high-tech agenda ties in particularly well with the strategic measures of the University’, said University President, Professor Carola Jungwirth. ‘We would like to express our sincere thanks to Minister-President Markus Söder for the trust he has placed in us and to Minister of State Bernd Sibler for his commitment to the University of Passau. For the University Executive, this is a great responsibility: we will need to interlink medical training with training in computer science and the digital natural sciences to shape the future of medical education. At the same time, the expansion of Passau’s computer science faculty requires our utmost attention and care to ensure we achieve our ambitious goals in research and teaching.’
‘Medical Campus Passau’ project group
The University of Passau is pursuing the idea of establishing the ‘medical education of the future’. Hightech Agenda Bayern takes up this idea and opens up the possibility of establishing a project group that is concerned with instituting a medical campus in Passau. The medicine of the year 2035 will use digital technology to an extent not yet imaginable today. Therefore, the medical education of the future must be closely intertwined with computer science and the digital natural sciences. ‘The result will be a concept of networked—or digitalised—medicine. It is the starting point for new business ideas and expands the potential of medical diagnostics’, said Professor Carola Jungwirth. ‘Such a development is of great interest to the whole of Bavaria and needs good governance by the University Executive.’ The preliminary work, involving a feasibility study conducted jointly by the Centre for Market Research and a pan-faculty expert commission under the leadership of the University President, will be completed in March 2020. This will serve as the basis for deliberations and discussions within the project group.
More study places in computer science
Hightech Agenda Bayern will strengthen the field of computer science by creating an additional 5,000 study places throughout Bavaria. Passau will account for several hundred of these places. ‘International rankings regularly confirm the research strength of Passau’s Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics’, the President said. ‘With currently about 1,200 students, we are making a significant contribution in terms of training IT specialists for the Bavarian economy. The University of Passau co-operates closely with a network of regional companies and partner organisations, such as the chamber of commerce and industry and the federal employment agency. It is therefore only logical and a great recognition of the research strength and performance of Passau’s computer science departments to continue to invest in this area in particular’.
The topic of computer science and artificial intelligence involves various interdisciplinary research and teaching activities across all faculties. For this reason, the University of Passau will participate in the competition for additional professorships in the field of artificial intelligence within the framework of Hightech Agenda Bayern and actively contribute to the development of the Bavarian AI competence network.
Passau International Centre for Scholarship and Science at the Spitzberg site
One part of Bavaria’s high-tech initiative is concerned with the construction of the new International Centre for Scholarship and Science on the Spitzberg site in Passau. The Free State of Bavaria has already acquired a plot for the university extension in proximity to the University of Passau from Löwenbrauerei Passau AG. The Europe-wide tendering procedure for the architectural competition is to start in autumn 2019. ‘The University of Passau has grown by one-third in recent years and continues to grow. However, it hasn’t grown in terms of physical infrastructure, which it must do now if we are to continue discharging our duties in research and teaching in the future. We are extremely grateful to the State of Bavaria for its great support’, said University President, Professor Carola Jungwirth.
‘With Bavaria’s high-tech agenda, we are looking at great challenges ahead of us: the development of Passau’s medical campus, the establishment of the International Centre for Scholarship and Science and the expansion of the field of computer science. Here in Passau, we will tackle them with our combined expertise and experience and take an active approach to them.