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Endowed professorship for digital transformation

The University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg (FHV – Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences) is establishing a new research group for Digital Business Transformation supported by Blum as part of a cooperation. This is to be successively expanded over the next few years. Gerhard Humpeler, Managing Director of Julius Blum GmbH, and Stefan Fitz-Rankl, FHV Managing Director, signed a cooperation agreement in the presence of State Councilor Marco Tittler and FHV Head of Research Markus Preißinger, which includes the establishment of a Blum Endowed Professorship at the FHV. The Blum Endowed Professorship is a high-caliber impulse generator and will in the future fulfill an important interface function between students, researchers, companies and the general public. The common goal is to further strengthen and expand the business and research location in the state. Plans call for the establishment of a separate endowed professorship as well as the appointment of several scientific staff members for the area.

“The closer connection between research and teaching brings direct benefits to the economy in the state. In Vorarlberg, there is a need not only for applied research in cooperation with local industry, but also for needs-based, industry-oriented and forward-looking training of skilled workers,” explains Gerhard Humpeler. “We take a holistic, interdisciplinary approach that covers business, technology, design and social issues.” Future skilled workers will be able to use the new knowledge specifically in the development of digitization strategies for Vorarlberg’s companies. In parallel, the development of expertise in digitization will also promote an understanding of STEM in the state and relevant studies on current topics will be developed. The endowed professorship will be firmly anchored in the Bachelor’s degree program in Computer Science – Digital Innovation as well as the Master’s degree program in Business Informatics – Digital Transformation.

“We need specialists at all levels, today and in the future. By establishing the interdisciplinary endowed professorship, we are supporting the relevant training of bachelor’s and master’s students. Through intensive research activity on digitization in the four UAS departments, we are also creating an attractive environment for doctoral students. This forward-looking institution will also lead to more students and researchers coming to the state and taking an interest in the companies in our region,” Klaus Wendel, Head of Information Services and Organization at Blum, is convinced.

FHV Managing Director Fitz-Rankl emphasizes: “The research of our University of Applied Sciences is the strongest driver of inter-company research in Vorarlberg. The cooperation with Blum helps us to further expand inter-company research for the companies in the state and also to further increase the R&D quota in the state. In this way, we are creating fertile ground for innovations in digitization and providing impetus for the region.”



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