Postgraduate Internet of Things helps industry find correct profiles

University of Antwerp, Ghent University and VUB will start a unique training program on Internet of Things (IoT) in the fall of 2017. The stars are aligned for this course: the industry is dying for profiles with the right expertise. A number of leading organisations pull their weight too, while the universities have a lot of experience on the matter.

A recent study found that approximately 70% of Flemish technology corporations are in need of innovative IoT solutions to remain competitive. But keeping up to date with the latest developments is not always easy. The corporate world needs profiles with a combined expertise: young potentials that possess both the technical skills (hardware & software design, wireless communication, embedded programming, data processing) as well as the socio-economical skills (legal aspects, process optimising...).

The new course plays into that need of the industry. "The unique interuniversitary postgraduate Internet of Things comes to form in a partnership between the University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University," Herman Van Goethem, rector of the University of Antwerp explains. "Everything happens in close synergy with the corporate world. At first we aim for recent graduates of industrial and civil engineering as well as IT-profiles. Eventually the course has to grow into a true master-after-master course."

Tracking cows

"This is a true smart cooperation, not just between universities, but also between Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, cities in actual need of Internet of Things and smart solutions", posits Caroline Pauwels, rector of VUB. "Our university deems it incredibly important that the advanced technological knowledge of IoT can be applied in a social and economical context."

The three universities have been active in innovative research regarding IoT solutions for a considerable time. Under the heading of ICON projects (Interdisciplinary Cooperative Research) a number of interdisciplinary projects were already carried out. "They varied from the wireless tracking of cows and containers, to automating buildings and industrial processes", adds professor Piet Demeester (Imec/Ghent University).

Support from leading companies

The postgraduate will count for 66 credits, amounting to a full year course. During the first semester students take classes, in the second semester an internship follows. The tuition fee is 4500 euro. Rombit, developer of industrial Internet of Things applications will provide a scholarship of 2500 euro for twenty students.

The general course will be taught in Antwerp, for specific courses and practical lab work students will come to Brussels and Ghent.

The postgraduate Internet of Things is part of the Capital of Things project by the city of Antwerp. The course is supported among others by leading companies such as Orange, Atlas Copco, Proximus, Telenet, Agfa-Gevaert, Nokia and Cronos. The former will support the program with 50.000 euro for each of the coming three years.

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