Digitalisation and external engagement
Digitalisation is transforming the ways in which we live, work (together) and communicate. At SCIENCE, we work closely with public organisations and the private sector to discover what types of digital knowledge and development are needed by society. The Faculty of Science’s world class research and academic programmes leave a significant imprint on Danish society by creating solutions that harness the opportunities afforded by digitalisation – in an ethically defensible manner. This includes new opportunities for transferring knowledge to society, facilitating data sharing and increasing the availability of research results through digital tools and open platforms.
SCIENCE Digitalisation Council
The SCIENCE Digitalisation Council is an advisory body set up to help exploit the many opportunities afforded by digitalisation through visionary proposals and recommendations. This work applies to research, academic programmes, career preparedness, communications and administrative operations. The Council will also contribute to ensure that the faculty makes all necessary digital investments.
The primary aim of the Council/Board is to focus on the shaping of our academic programmes to ensure that we remain at the digital forefront without losing sight of the university’s core activities: research, research-based programmes and external collaboration. The Council is composed of individuals from the private and public sectors alongside SCIENCE representatives.
Signe Caspersen, Deputy Director-General
Morten Bo Christiansen, Head of Strategy, Transport and Logistics Division, Mærsk
Torben Dalgaard, CEO of the Centre for IT, Medical Technology and Telephony (CIMT), Capital Region of Denmark
Juan Farré, President at the Danish Technological Institute (from 1 October 2020)
Jette Fugl, Information Specialist, University of Copenhagen Library, Royal Danish Library
Christian Hannibal, Director of Digital Policy, Confederation of Danish Industry
Søren Bækgaard Hansen, Director of Enterprise Architecture & IT Strategy, Arla Foods
Ivar Ravn, Executive Director of Digital, SEGES - Danish Agriculture & Food Council F.m.b.A
Peter Scharff, Head of Digital Natives and Engagement, Google Denmark
Jørgen Wittenkamp, Chief Transformation Officer, Danske Bank
Mille Østerlund, Head of Advisory Branch, Danish Centre for Cybersecurity, Danish Defence Intelligence Service
Representatives from SCIENCE:
Katrine Krogh Andersen, Dean of SCIENCE (chairperson)
Henrik Zobbe, Faculty Director, SCIENCE
Grete Bertelsen, Associate Dean for Education, SCIENCE
Morten Pejrup, Associate Dean for Research, SCIENCE
Erik Bisgaard Madsen, Associate Dean for Private and Public Sector Services, SCIENCE
Peter C. Kjærgaard, Museum Director, Natural History Museum of Denmark, SCIENCE
Mads Nielsen, Head of Department, Department of Computer Science, SCIENCE
Morten Misfeldt, Professor, Department of Science Education, SCIENCE
Johanne Amalie Langager, student at SCIENCE
Amalie Risager, student at SCIENCE (alternate)
Five initiatives for digital transformation
The SCIENCE Digitalisation Council’s recommendations will be woven into strategic initiatives that lead to digitally competent graduates, innovative collaborations with organisations and world-class research that contributes to solving important societal challenges that make Denmark a digital frontrunner.
A comprehensive digital initiative has been underway at SCIENCE from 2017 through 2020. It is designed to contribute to the digital development of the Faculty's research and education programmes. As part of this initiative, more than 50 million DKR has been set aside to equip researchers, students and the current workforce for the digital transformation of the future. Specifically, SCIENCE is working with five digital initiatives, which you can read more about below.
The work of the future is digitally supported - more graduates with digital competencies
The work of tomorrow will overwhelmingly be digitally supported. Thus, future graduates must be able to produce results that incorporate digital technology.
They must be able to understand and work with raw data and digital business models and use digital technologies to deliver better results. Artificial intelligence, machine-learning and Big-Data management are among the digital competencies that ought to be enmeshed within all disciplines in the future.
This effort will help to launch new initiatives, as well as promote and support existing ones, and result in an increase in the number of graduates equipped with strong digital competencies. With respect for academic differences, the strengthening of digital competencies across SCIENCE’s academic programmes is sought so as to achieve the following:
- All students are equipped to use state-of-the-art digital methods and tools, e.g. for data analysis, that strengthen and complement their core academic focus
- All graduates are equipped for work in a digital and data-driven future
- All graduates have a mandatory minimum of professionally relevant digital competencies
- All graduates have the opportunity to further their digital competencies through professionally relevant electives
- SCIENCE educates more IT specialists
A database of the life on Earth - digitization of Denmark's Natural History Museum collections
The Natural History Museum of Denmark has 14 million specimens collected from around the world and is the largest repository of Denmark’s natural historic heritage.
For the sake of comparison, there are 1.8 million objects in the National Museum of Denmark and 252,000 pieces of art in Denmark’s National Gallery.
The collections are a key tool for the Museum's own research and also used for research by many other national and international institutions. While this has been the case since 1800, advances in digitalisation and gene technology over the past decade have revolutionized how our natural history collections are accessed and used.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark is working with major European and North American natural history museums on an ambitious plan to make their collections digitally accessible and thereby open the world's largest historical database of life on Earth, as collected over hundreds of years.
The objectives are as follows:
- Digitalisation will provide access to unique data about nature collected over the past 400 years
- Open resource for research, education, communications, citizen science and industry (basis for sustainable bio-/geoeconomics for the 21st century)
- Great potential for strengthening civil society and the democratisation of science through active co-ownership
A dedicated Big-Data platform - data management at SCIENCE
An ever-growing number of research areas will be driven by ever-increasing amounts of data. The SCIENCE High Performance Computing Centre is the central data-management facility and infrastructure for storing and managing data. The Centre is available to all SCIENCE researchers and students.
The objectives behind the SCIENCE HPC-Centre are to support SCIENCE’s strategic objective of being an attractive choice for researchers, students and partners, including the ability to offer the best opportunities for open and FAIR access to data and the provision of necessary digital tools.
The fundamental plan with this initiative is that as data is placed on ERDA* there ought to be improved access for data sharing and data processing.
The ultimate goal is to offer a dedicated ERDA-linked Big-Data platform where even very large datasets can be analysed.
The motivation behind the construction of a data facility rests upon the following:
- Guaranteeing data security
- Easing the ability to conduct Big Data analyses
- Reducing the need for individual sections to acquire dedicated computer hardware for large-scale data processing
- Facilitating data sharing with the University of Copenhagen’s external partners
- That data management becomes a simple and integral part of researchers' general workflows
- That SCIENCE researchers can include data management and data analysis in project descriptions
- Ensuring that FAIR data can be published with minimal time commitment by researchers
*ERDA: Electronic Research Data Archive; SCIENCE’s internal cloud-based storage system for scientific data: erda.ku.dk
Promote growth and innovation - digital hub in the field of artificial intelligence
The SCIENCE Digitalisation Council and Danish Government's Growth Panel have designated the field of artificial intelligence as an opportunity to put Copenhagen on the map as a digital hub that promotes growth through innovation in small, medium and large private enterprises and public organisations.
Within this context, artificial intelligence is broadly interpreted and encompasses all aspects of data capture, data analysis and the automatic generation of new knowledge and its applications within SCIENCE's academic disciplines.
The aim is to establish a project in collaboration with major players who can operationalize knowledge, skills and labour. The effort will coordinate existing initiatives and launch new ones to promote the use of artificial intelligence and thereby generate growth.
The desired intentions are that:
- students are academically equipped to contribute to development
- disciplines meet across technologies and sectors/industries
- an ecosystem is created whereby entire chains, from start-ups to large private companies and public organisations, can exchange experiences and resources
- financing and commercial understanding meet with problem solving
- SCIENCE contributes to creating growth and innovation in the private and public sectors.
Ai's ethical challenges - responsible artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence has the potential to contribute immense value to society, but also faces critical challenges. There is a real risk that cases such as the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal and cases of algorithmic discrimination against vulnerable groups will provoke major and widespread resistance, as occurred with genetic modification technology in the agricultural and food sector.
There is a growing appreciation that it can be quite difficult to explain how complex algorithms reach their recommendations and decisions. This precipitates a range of ethical and regulatory challenges for AI research and development.
The initiative must:
- develop measures to help AI researchers and developers tackle ethical issues in areas including privacy, autonomy and transparency as a part of their work
- facilitate the integration of AI ethics within the computer science programme
- establish an interdisciplinary perspective of AI that combines elements from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, that can be extended to other areas, such as the health sciences.