In order to promote the interaction of science with society and industry in the Jade-Oldenburg innovation ecosystem and thus strengthen the innovative power of the region, the IHJO project engaged in networking, provided impetus in terms of content, and created transfer structures - physical infrastructure such as the Innovation(s)Campus and the Innovation(s)Mobil as well as digital platforms such as the BürgerLabor and the ScienceBlog "Forschungsnotizen".
Sebastian Lehnhoff, CEO of OFFIS, was suitably enthusiastic about the project at the IHJO's closing event in September 2022: "Science transfer to society, but also to industry, is a bridge that must be built and maintained. The IHJO has succeeded remarkably well in this. Sustainable structures have been created that will be continued by the project partners in the future. I am convinced that the IHJO has set the style for transfer formats in the Northwest and will continue to do so."
OFFIS supported in particular the establishment and operation of the Innovation(s)Campus, which established itself in the course of the project as a regional contact point for idea development and prototyping as well as for networking and exchange of experience. The Innovation(s)Campus comprises a creative workshop for methodically supported idea development, a plastics and metal workshop for physical prototyping, and a digital lab for digital prototyping. True to the campus claim "Create What's Next", ideas for new research projects and start-up projects as well as for technology applications in business, administration and culture were generated here.
The core of the OFFIS work was the construction and operation of the Innovation(s)Lab digital, a laboratory for digital prototyping. Equipped with state-of-the-art hardware, it offers a creative environment to implement digital prototypes and test use cases. Whether data science, virtual reality or 3D printing - new technologies can be tried out and used in the digital lab. Here, representatives of regional companies and institutions can exchange ideas with researchers and students about the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation and work together on solutions.
Under the professional leadership of Prof. Jorge Marx Gómez, the digital lab was established in cooperation with the Chair of Wirtschaftsinformatik VLBA and the central transfer office of the University of Oldenburg. Beyond the project, the operation of the lab and the Innovation(s)Campus will be continued by the transfer office of the University of Oldenburg and will thus continue to be available to interested stakeholders.
With more than 500 events and over 18,000 participants, the IHJO also provided countless impulses for networking, exchange of experience and cooperation. The topics were just as diverse as the formats and target groups. From bar camps and hackathons to workshops and meetups, the IHJO reached stakeholders from business, government, and culture as well as researchers, students, teachers, and citizens - classically in person, online, or hybrid, depending on what the Corona pandemic allowed. In the field of digitization, OFFIS contributed to the first Oldenburg Healthcare Hackathon on Girls' Day and to a number of other events, and also played a leading role in the development of the formats "Auf Achse" and "Data meets Science".
Auf Achse is a discussion format that takes an interdisciplinary look at complex social issues and developments. Impulses from science, administration, business and society stimulate discussions and offer points of contact for further activities beyond the events. The format was developed in cooperation with the City of Oldenburg and the Smart House and has been held several times, including on the topics of culture in the digital space, climate protection and mobility.
Data meets Science serves as a platform for networking, knowledge and idea transfer for the regional data science community. The focus is on topics from research and practice on artificial intelligence and data. The format was developed in cooperation with CORE and the peak lab. and has been held several times, including on the topics of AI in SMEs, chatbots and AI change management.
At the project's conclusion, Björn Thümler, former Minister of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, praised the IHJO's achievements on its path to sustainably intensify the exchange between civil society and universities as an "innovative milestone with an impact on the entire northwest of Lower Saxony and beyond" in front of more than 120 guests at Oldenburg Castle on September 1, 2022. "The thrust in the area of 'Third Mission' will have an impact far beyond the project," Thümler said.
The interactive program of panel discussion, science slam and booths with various prototypes, live demonstrations and hands-on activities successfully reflected the diversity and success of the IHJO. At OFFIS, the experiences and findings from IHJO will be taken up in the future, especially in the Digitopias project, in order to support the development and expansion of the laboratories and to continuously develop the organization of knowledge transfer.