Half of the RFID chips developed worldwide originated in Styria. For this reason, Styria is the world leader in innovation in the promising field of contactless identification and security technology. To benefit from this competitive advantage, TU Graz Life Long Learning 2012 has launched the ‘RFID Qualification Network Austria’ with a host of partners. The project that was tackled was a study conducted by the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG), which revealed the significant need for training within the sector. The aim of the project was to jointly generate a ‘Market Pull’ and increase the value-added share of the systems and solutions areas of RFID technology.
As part of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency’s (FFG) support program ‘R&D Competences for Industry’, the RFID Qualification Network 1 (from 2012-2014) and the RFID Qualification Network 2 (from 2014-2016) made many successful achievements in cooperation with academic and corporate partners. Around 500 participants in both networks could deepen their knowledge in the field of RFID technology and use the qualification network for extensive professional communication.
The customised course programme offered by the RFID
Qualification Networks has been designed to the needs of the corporate partners. In addition to technologically-relevant topics, the programme covers
- applications, particularly in the areas of payment, Industry 4.0, logistics and people with disabilities,
- networking and cooperation and
- new innovative formats such as ‘Expert Exchange Circles’ and ‘Experimenting’ as well as ‘The Learning Factory’ or ‘Factory in the Classroom’.
Success of the Qualification Networks
- expertise of more than 500 participants from respective companies strengthened
- knowledge gained in over 800 teaching units per network (there are over 1,600 teaching units in total)
- extensive communication among members of the field
- product ideas, product enhancements and new projects for the companies involved
- more rapid market access, increased competitiveness and R & D effectiveness for the companies involved
- follow-up research projects on RFID
The structure of the qualification network allows it to be used as an excellent tool to form educational partnerships between universities and businesses. The projects provide examples of the positive impact of regional knowledge transfer for the benefit of all stakeholders.