Smart Campuses as a Test Bed for Innovative Smart City Solutions
Universities have always been a hub for new ideas and innovation, with the rise of smart technologies over the course of the past 10 years they are now transforming themselves into living labs with the aim of becoming smart campuses.
They have the perfect environment in which to create innovative new technologies and then to directly test them out in a real life environment. In the latest of our exclusive pre Nordic Smart Cities interviews I had the opportunity to discuss with Tessa Anderson how the smart campus is being implemented at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Copenhagen. Tessa is an Associate Professor at DTU and has been heavily involved in a number of different smart campus projects, she will also be presenting at Nordic Smart Cities in Stockholm on 24-25 October.
Good to speak to you today, Tessa. You are speaking at Nordic Smart Cities in Stockholm next month about Smart Campuses, what is a Smart Campus?
A smart campus is a campus which aims to improve learning facilities and create better and smarter people in a stimulating environment. It encourages the students and staff to be in a ‘living lab’ where they can test technology and experiment without the normal barriers of a city.
How are you implementing smart campus technologies at DTU? Can you give me some background on a couple of different projects and outcomes?
The campus acts as a ‘living lab’ which means the students and staff can use the built environment, both inside and outside to test new technologies. Some of the projects include our ‘Smart Avenue’, which is the main street on campus and has Wi-Fi tracking which work with positioning technologies for uses such as traffic control and monitoring. At DTU, the development of the ‘Smart Library’ as been a key priority and has censored lighting and heating, areas for students to test new technologies and dynamic workspaces. There is also an innovation hub at DTU called ‘Skylab’, where students can get support and information and facilities for innovation and collaboration.
When it comes to smart cities there is a lot of talk about citizen engagement, but I guess in your case it is about student engagement. Is it easy to get them involved in smart campus projects?
At DTU, the Smart Campus is for everyone, not just students but staff and the surrounding communities and private companies and local municipalities. It has proved very easy to get students involved, we have some financial incentives and many staff who promote and use the Smart Campus for their own research. We are currently expanding to welcome local businesses, government and communities to be involved in projects.
As a research institute cities are looking to organisations like DTU for the next big ideas in smart city development, how do you see the research that is happening now at DTU being moved into cities in the coming years?
We have very close connections with Lyngby Municipality and the city of Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a very dynamic and inclusive city and open to test new technologies and ideas. DTU is currently developing its Smart Campus and Smart City profile, so watch this space!
Wow, there are some really exciting ideas here and I have to say that it sounds like university campuses will be changing for the better over the years to come. Thank you for your time today, Tessa, I am looking forward to hearing more about smart campuses at Nordic Smart Cities later this month.