The NeurotechEU Technology and Society Innovation Event in Bodrum brought together university researchers as well as representatives of institutions and companies in order to discuss the profound impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on our world. The event was hosted by Boğaziçi University.
The presentations also revealed the results of cooperation between NeurotechEU partner universities, various industrial institutions and companies, emphasizing the importance of bridging the gap between science and industry in the field of neurotechnology and discussing how to overcome obstacles that block the transfer of scientific knowledge from universities. The speakers highlighted areas where the findings of research in wearable and (rehabilitative) robotics can change the lives of people suffering from neurological diseases.
Much more than just neuroscience or neurotechnology, the association of NeurotechEU approaches the inter-disciplinarity of its field by defining eight disciplinary dimensions. NeurotechEU aims to work along and within these eight dimensions. The roundtable discussions were determined by bibliometric data related to these dimensions. The moderator and participants in the discussions shared their thoughts and identified possible synergies and areas of cooperation. Additional topics discussed included the importance of joint accredited programs and the NeurotechEU Diploma, teacher and student mobility, and the need to equip students with multidisciplinary skills.
This event pointed out that, in the future, these technologies may affect a wide range of our society, which is why cooperation, ethical considerations and education will also prove to be key factors in our efforts of getting them accepted.
Just like the representatives of our partner universities, the delegates of the University of Debrecen also prepared exciting papers and presentations.
On behalf of Enjoy Robotics, Emil Novák elaborated on the cooperation between his company and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Debrecen's (DE MK). Their goal is to develop, test and manufacture so-called “social” robots that fulfil various roles that are relatively easy for society to accept. These include performing tasks normally carried out by waiters, nurses or receptionists but can also cover marketing and scientific communication.
He noted the research of Professor Péter Korondi from DE MK on ethorobotics, which investigates the relationship that can develop between robots and human beings. For this, observations and research findings on human-dog interaction are also used to develop robots’ behavior models.
“We live in an era of artificial intelligence and intelligent robots, which, while freeing up time and resources, can be a mental burden for many. We tend to resist change and distrust systems that we do not really understand. However, it is inevitable that thinking machines will surpass human capabilities in a variety of areas of our life, and it is the responsibility of researchers and developers to create a safe and secure future where people can trust and rely on their robot companions," he said.
A staff member of DE Kutatáshasznosítási és Technológiatranszfer Központ [UD’s Technology Transfer Center] explained that, as a result of the investments in the Science and Innovation Park of UD located off the street called Vezér utca, this facility would soon become a dynamic centre for research, development and innovation in the future. In addition to the recently inaugurated Innovációs Központ [Innovation Centre], further facilities under construction include the following: Pilot Kutatólaboratórium [Pilot Research Laboratory], Nemzeti Oltóanyaggyár [National Vaccine Factory], a new building for the Faculty of Pharmacy, Nemzeti Gyártó-Kutató-Oktató Középüzem [National Manufacturing-Research-Investigation Central Plant] and a Járműipari Laboratórium [Automotive Laboratory] together with a Test Track.
“The research and development activities implemented at the University of Debrecen focus primarily on health industry in the broader sense. For example, the Faculty of Informatics is currently developing health-related data mining solutions based on artificial intelligence, the Faculty of Science and Technology is doing research on new MRI contrast agents, and almost all of the other disciplines have projects on health-related research topics," said Tamás Bene.
As regards the Innovation Fund established by UD in 2017, he explained that its basic aim is to develop the university innovation ecosystem by funding research and student programs.
According to Tamás Bene, the University of Debrecen continues to be committed to making a lasting impact on its immediate region and beyond by participating in cutting-edge research and promoting innovation.
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