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ZHAW digital funds 13 innovative projects with CHF 250’000

This year, ZHAW digital is once again supporting outstanding projects as part of the "Digital Futures Fund". 13 projects were selected in the latest Call and will receive up to CHF 20’000 in funds.

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With the “Digital Futures Fund”, the strategic initiative ZHAW digital supports innovative ideas in the area of digital transformation that have an overarching use for the ZHAW or beyond. In total, 68 applications were submitted. “We are always happy when we get applications from all departments and the President’s Office. It shows that the digital transformation is an topic at the entire ZHAW and that programmes such as the DFF are necessary,” says Julian Keuzenkamp, Research Associate at ZHAW digital.

A more sustainable university cafeteria

Elena Gavagnin from the ZHAW School of Management and Law, for example, can look forward to receiving funding. At the Institute of Business Information Technology, she explores how dynamic pricing can reduce food waste in the ZHAW’s catering facilities. For example, those menus of which there are still many left at the end of the day could be offered at a lower price. “This project will contribute to reduce the amount of meals wasted by redirecting the demand to less popular menu options. The benefit is represented by a more sustainable and environmentally ethical use of available food resources,” says Gavagnin.

Will Siri soon understand Swiss German?

Manuela Hürlimann and her team from the ZHAW School of Engineering address one problem that many Swiss companies are facing. The transcription of spoken Swiss German is important for automated customer support, voice assistants like Siri and TV subtitling, for example. But so far there are not enough audio files to train these speech-to-text solutions. “In this project, we are collecting such data for all dialects by recording and transcribing audio examples on a large scale with the help of the Swiss population. We have already developed a crowdsourcing app together with FHNW and ETH, which we want to publicise with a large campaign,” says Hürlimann from the Institute for Applied Information Technology.

Applications for the call can still be submitted

Anyone working at the ZHAW who would like to develop or test an innovative idea in the field of digital transformation can submit their application in the ongoing Call for Projects via this link. Three times per year, the Digital Futures Lab will co-decide which projects will be funded. For the second round, applications submitted by 23:59 on 26 March 2021 will be considered. Successful applications will be communicated by May and thus have about 8 months until the end of 2021 for project implementation.

More information on the Call. (PDF 187,5 KB)