Nine new labs to deliver solutions for modern business problems

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Department of Business Development and Technology began upgrading its laboratories. Now, nine new labs have been inaugurated at a major opening event in Herning. In these labs, researchers and students can experiment with new technological solutions for the challenges facing modern business and industry.

Equipment in digital lab at AU in Herning
Photo: Lise Balsby

When the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down campus in spring 2020, it presented a chance to launch a dormant project in Herning. For some time, the Department of Business Development and Technology had wished to upgrade its laboratories with better equipment.

The improvement of department lab facilities was to offer researchers and students better conditions for taking an innovative approach in their daily efforts to apply knowledge and technology to tackle the challenges of modern companies.

And on Wednesday 23 February 2022, the new labs were inaugurated at Grand Lab Opening – a major opening event at the department, in which both Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and Mayor of Herning Dorte West participated.

You will find photos from the opening event at the bottom of this news article.

Changing the world in practice

In addition to speeches from rector and the mayor, the event was guested by a number of business people and former entrepreneurs from the Business Factory at the department. The head of Department of Business Development and Technology Anders Frederiksen hopes that the refurbished labs – in addition to supporting daily research and teaching activities – will provide more graduates with the tools to venture out and change the world in practice.

Anders Frederiksen says:

“In the new labs, our researchers and students can treat specific problems faced by modern companies. The aim is to analyse and support current processes of change, digitalisation and green transition in business and industry, and as such in society as a whole. The new facilities will make it easier for all the interesting thoughts and ideas that exist in the intersection between technology and business to gain an impact on the world.”

Between the drawing board and technical components

In total, the Department for Business Development and Technology has opened nine new labs. They all aim at utilising new and existing technologies to support business development.

Several of the labs follow the typical journey from idea to market for a product. For instance, there is Concept Lab, where you can develop your idea and outline a proposal for a product, Proto Lab and VR Lab, where you can add specific technologies and electronic components to your solution, and production and material labs, where you can give further shape to your product and make it ready for sale on the market.

The entire setup is best imagined as an iterative process, in which the user is able to return to the drawing board on a continuous basis and further develop his/her main concept before revisiting the other labs and adjusting the specific product.

Vice-dean for research and talent development Niels Mejlgaard is pleased with the new laboratories:

"The facilities that we have now inaugurated at the department are indeed very nice. It will be exciting to observe the development of new solutions in these rooms in the future. I wish all researchers and students good luck with their work in the new labs."

Photos from the inauguration

All photos are taken by Lise Balsby.