Close collaboration between the academic world and companies is the key to any industry community to growing and flourishing. Tampere Imaging Ecosystem, fueled by Business Tampere, is a fine example of what great minds can achieve together. With all the imaging and signal processing talent within Tampere, there’s a unique opportunity to work collaboratively in order to create new products and solutions that will have wide ranging practical applications for a better future.
Business Tampere organizes various events and workshops for the Tampere Imaging Ecosystem to stimulate conversations amongst the researchers and practitioners to make fresh ideas come to fruition. Latest such event, TechBites: Future Imaging, was co-hosted with Tampere University of Technology (TUT) at took place at Kampusareena in March.
A keynote speaker in the event was Professor Atanas Gotchev, Head of 3D Media Group and CIVIT, the Centre for Immersive Technologies. CIVIT is currently working on practical applications for immersive technology using new lightfield capturing and display techniques, and augmented reality. Such applications include heads up displays for drivers - a system that improves safety through placing the information the driver needs directly in their field of vision.
Professor Gotchev sees Business Tampere is playing a vital “connector” role within the ecosystem:
"[I see] Business Tampere is an enabler, establishing various relationships and connections within the [ecosystem]. For example, we have been using Business Tampere connections to invite Imaging Ecosystem companies to the Tech Days organized by CIVIT. The last such day was on the topic of VR Walkthrough and was very successful. We got more than 100 participants", says Professor Gotchev.
Better trained students means a better workforce
"The close collaboration with companies makes Tampere University of Technology a unique and very attractive place for students. Students have the great opportunity in Tampere to gain some really good practical experience in real industrial projects through summer jobs and make important contacts within the industry. This works out well for the companies too with more experienced graduates entering the job market; 70 to 80% of whom return to their host companies after graduating", sees professor Egiazarian.
Professor Egiazarian is also the CEO of Noiseless Imaging Ltd, a TUT spin-off company. The smooth flow from research labs to real life products and services is something Tampere Imaging Ecosystem seeks to promote, and Noiseless Imaging is one such example. The company offers the very best in image and video denoising through innovative algorithms, software, and consultancy services based on research undertaken at TUT.
Professor Egiazarian sees the future of the Tampere Imaging Ecosystem as being centered on the university:
"Ideally the ecosystem centers around the university with companies funding the operations. This would mean the companies would have access to research, and the university would not need to apply for research funding from Europe. Developing our own local ecosystem like this would mean less time traveling to liaise with funding bodies, and more time to focus on research and development", says professor Egiazarian.
The future of imaging in Tampere
With the current R&D in Tampere, there are several exciting things that are set to change the way we do things in the future. Associate Professor of Signal Processing, Joni Kämäräinen Head of research group Vision at TUT, believes that artificial intelligence offers opportunities to solve problems that have previously been considered too difficult to tackle. He explains this with concrete examples:
"For example with face recognition, using deep neural networks, we are able to take very small images and add detail so that machines are able to accurately identify a real face from an image that would be too small for humans to accurately identify", explains associate professor Kämäräinen.
Another practical example of advancements in imaging technology comes from autonomous vehicles. With improved lighfield capture cars can ‘see’ the road better. With advancements in image denoising and artificial intelligence in signal processing that information can be better used to ‘read’ and understand the car’s environment.
With all the imaging and signal processing talent in the Tampere region, there is a unique opportunity to work collaboratively in creating new products and solutions. Such solutions have wide ranging practical applications and benefits. Associate professor Kämäräinen calls for bold ideas from the business sector:
"The real difficulty we face at the moment is that we’re running out of big, ambitious enough ideas. We need fresh problems to solve and apply these techniques to. Perhaps now is the time to take another look at problems that traditional engineering has had difficulty in solving", concludes associate professor Kämäräinen.
Read the article about TechBites Future Imaging event and Tampere Imaging Ecosystem here.
TechBites event series, arranged by Tampere University of Technology, praises and fosters cooperation, collaboration and partnering between companies and TUT. The next event takes place on 31 October, 2018 with topic 5G and Beyond. Check details and sign up at techbites.com.
Tampere University of Technology
Professor Karen Egiazarian
Professor Atanas Gotchev
Associate Professor Joni Kämäräinen
Oliver Hussey, Senior Business Advisor
Article by Ashley D. Penn, Jolma Architects Ltd.