The Open Research Challenge 2017

Image: K. Sommer

The Open Research Challenge (ORC) is a global competition organized bi-annually by FAU with an open innovation platform: https://openresearchchallenge.org. The competition is designed to enhance the international visibility of FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and highlight the cutting-edge research that is being completed. Young academics are given a challenge to solve; they are supposed to find innovative solutions in teams that can facilitate international collaboration among young researchers around the globe and FAU.

This year’s ORC focused on Innovative Medical Application on Gait Visualization using Intelligent Engineering (IMAGINE). The participants were asked to submit a visualization of a gait sequences based on inertial sensor data. The teams had to give a visual impression of the gait impairment experienced by the patients that a clinician would find helpful.

The winning teams of 2017

The winning team from the Imperial College in London consisted of senior lecturer Dr. Benny Lo and his PhD student Yingnan Sun, who collaborated on this challenge. The two doctoral candidates, Vinicius Facco Rodrigues and Malte Ollenschläger from the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos) in Brazil joined forces and submitted another excellent solution. The third winning team from Gait Up in Switzerland is a spin-off of the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) and the Swiss Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL), which was founded in 2013.

Visit to Erlangen and Nuremberg

The three winning teams from Great Britain, Brazil and Switzerland were invited to Erlangen to meet the IMAGINE challengers Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier from the Machine Learning and Data Analytics Lab and Prof. Dr. Jochen Klucken from the University Hospital’s Department of Molecular Neurology. The weeklong visit consisted of many discussions of medical engineering and authentic insights into Franconia as well as a cultural program.

In the university‘s Botanical Garden the participants learnt how the UK and Brazil are represented in Erlangen. The winning teams from the Great Britain and Brazil were greeted by Prof. Dr. Günter Leugering, FAU’s Vice-President for International Affairs. The participants visited the towns of Erlangen and Nuremberg within an interesting cultural program. Masterpieces of Technology in the Deutsches Museum in Munich were showcased during the trip to Bavaria’s capital. The participants discussed the future of innovation and interactively supported product improvement during a visit to Joseph’s – the joint initiative of FAU and the Fraunhofer ISS. During the “Long Night of Sciences”, the three winning teams presented their solutions to the interested public in a round of talks in the Medical Valley Center.

Below you will find some impression of the teams’ stays in Franconia – a week full of science, culture as well as new contacts and memories: