High-tech Safaris popular with science students

News | March 22, 2022

One on 3 March at the faculty of Applied Physics and the second on 11 March at the faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, both at the University of Groningen.

A number of lecturers from ICD companies gave 45-minute presentations and facilitated workshops on open innovation, sustainability, intellectual property, robotics, national defence and security. The participating companies were Photonis, ZiuZ, Philips, BD, Sparck, SRON, Beenen, Variass, De Wulf, Astron and Resato. Around 180 students attended each safari, spread over five lecture halls. The attendance was high, because it was mandatory for the students. 

Joost Krebbekx of ICD opened the safari for all the participants and gave a general explanation about the activities of ICD, their goals and how they fit in with the aforementioned studies. During the lectures and workshops, the main focus was on the practical aspects. The ICD companies participate in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. In addition, they contribute to the goals: Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. All are highly topical subjects that appeal to the students and are in line with their studies. At the end of their term, they are to hand in a paper on the topics discussed during this safari.

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One of the workshops was about Technology and Ethics, which had already been covered during several safaris and was attended by approximately 450 students from RuG, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and NHL Stenden in 2021. Another workshop dealt with Ethics and Collaboration. It discussed, among other things, the fact that nowadays there is no competition between companies, but rather between companies' supply chains. Collaboration is therefore a strategic competence for companies. In this way, they can make use of each other's knowledge and strengths to achieve maximum benefit for both companies. A third workshop was about Ethics and Sustainability, in which various factors were addressed, such as CO2 emissions, energy and use of materials. And how can you, as a company, meet the increasing demand and social drivers for sustainable products. The fourth workshop dealt with Ethics and Intellectual Property. The latter mainly applies to companies that want to protect their innovative products against copying. This often happens with multiple patent applications for one product.

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There was also a workshop on Ethics and Security. This workshop discussed the various decisions governments and companies have to make in order to find the right balance.

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The last workshop to be mentioned was on Ethics and Robotics. Robots are becoming a lesser threat to human labour. They often take over repetitive and heavy or dangerous work and are controlled by people in the process. This promotes the sustainable employability of employees and contributes to the possibility of a shorter working week.

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