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Traffic and Logistics Data Science Lab opened

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At the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Science, University of Zagreb (FPZ), a new joint Traffic and Logistics Data Science Lab was officially opened. Through the Lab Ericsson Nikola Tesla and FPZ will continue their successful long-term cooperation in the field of science and research, development and education. The opening event at the Faculty, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia Davor Božinović, Professor Miljenko Šimpraga, PhD, Vice-rector for Innovations, Technology Transfer and Communications at the Universit of Zagreb, and a team of managers and leading experts in this field from Ericsson Nikola Tesla.

The establishing of the joint laboratory was initiated by an increasing importance of applying data science in modern-day traffic and logistics. Within the framework of cooperation, Ericsson Nikola Tesla will lead the processes related to data gathering, preprocessing, processing and visualization; FPZ students and employees will analyze obtained data from a traffic and logistics perspective and use them in teaching as well as for expert and science research. Since the European Commission predicts that the value of the European data economy will soon be 4 percent of the European Union GDP, data-based innovations will be a significant driver of the market growth and creation of new jobs. Modern mobile communication networks, Internet of Things and data science will significantly impact the transport industry as we know it today, especially in the intelligent transport systems and logistics domain. 

In his welcoming speech, Professor Tomislav Josip Mlinarić, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Science, referred briefly to the work and accomplishments of the leading Croatian science institution in the field of transport. He pointed out that data science is a relatively new area used in many domains with a special importance in traffic and logistics. The application area of data science spreads over transportation demand, traffic forecasts, traffic management, analysis of traffic safety, etc. The aim of the Faculty is to use this lab to improve the teaching process, research work, as well as for the purpose of cooperating with Ericsson Nikola Tesla on new expert and science and research programs and activities.

Professor Miljenko Šimpraga, Ph.D., Vice-rector for Innovations, Technology Transfer and Communications, highlighted that new economic value can be achieved by common research projects in which public universities and the economy cooperate. “The projects can open innovative schemes for co-financing doctoral programs for the strengthening of cooperation with the economy and social activities in dealing with current social challenges. This empowers the mechanisms related to transfer of knowledge, technology and intellectual property from public universities to the economy as well as the commercialization of research results.”

Minister Božinović put special emphasis on the importance of connecting science, economy and state institutions. He also spoke about successful cooperation between the Ministry of the Interior with FPZ in the segment of traffic safety and drafting of legal acts as well as with Ericsson Nikola Tesla whose innovative solutions, which attracted interest of the European Commission and other EU members when they were applied in Croatia for the first time.

Darko Huljenić, PhD, Director of Research at Ericsson Nikola Tesla, a company which has for the past 56 years been successfully cooperating with various scientific institutions, explained that the work in the joint lab – through the synergy of science and economy – will enable the students to gain practical knowledge, validate the applicability of theories they learn about and expand research about data science in traffic and logistics. “In addition to the labs we have at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, and Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Split, today we are becoming a part of another interesting area that has great development and economic potential.” 

The possibilities available in the lab in which tutorials for six courses will be held, were presented by Asst. Prof. Marko Šoštarić, PhD, Vice Dean for Science and External Cooperation, and Krešimir Vidović, PhD, project manager for the establishment of the lab at Ericsson Nikola Tesla. 

In her comment about the opening, Gordana Kovačević, MSc, president of Ericsson Nikola Tesla, expressed her satisfaction that the work in a joint lab will prepare students, future engineers, to actively participate as qualified experts in this cutting-edge domain to strengthen the Croatian economy and improve the quality of life of the Croatian citizens.

Ericsson Nikola Tesla Communications

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