Cooperation

Simplity Cooperates with Faculty of Transportation Sciences at CTU in Prague

Dana Toušová
January 18, 2022 | 8.5 min read
Our Head of Product Development, Tereza Mlynářová, and our Head of Professional Services, Stefan Markus, recently gave a lecture at the Faculty of Transportation Sciences (Czech Technical University in Prague – Tereza’s alma mater). We also used this opportunity to interview Dean Pavel Hrubeš, Associate Professor of Engineering, Ph.D., about his view on cooperation with technological companies and the mutual benefits such cooperation can bring.

Tereza Mlynářová, Accurity's Head of Development, is cooperating with the university since her student years. She also proved her knowledge by gaining her Ph.D. in applied mathematics in the field of Engineering Informatics in Transport and Communications at the Faculty of Transportation Sciences. It is no wonder that Tereza is always eager to return to the faculty to give lectures and have open discussions with students. This time around she was presenting with Simplity's Head of Professional Services, Stefan Markus, about data governance and use cases for our data intelligence platform Accurity (see our LinkedIn post).

The topic of the lecture was focused on the benefits of data governance in real situations, especially in transportation. The significant added value of business glossaries, data catalogs and especially of data quality was explained to students. Firstly, from the theoretical perspective and then the practical use cases were shown directly in Accurity applications. This was very beneficial, as data governance is a relatively new area, and it is not really covered in any current academic subjects.

What does cooperation with a tech vendor like Simplity/Accurity mean for the university? What benefits do you perceive from such cooperation between the university and a tech vendor?

PH: There are certainly situations where we value the cooperation with companies:

  1. As a university, we are naturally interested in what is happening on the market, what organizations are on the market, what exactly they are doing, and what are their visions and goals. This serves then to enrich our education. This way we are in touch with the market trends and latest technologies and can incorporate these into our educational programs. We welcome to have experts, such as Tereza, lecturing at our university, having discussions, and getting feedback from (the emerging talents among) the students.

  2. Another level of cooperation is in the science and research between university and the companies. Despite our primary focus being pedagogical, it is always important for us to have scientific cooperation. Behind the commercial efforts of the companies there are often real scientific efforts where universities are assisting with the funding for such scientific work. On the other hand, we simply do not have the means or funds to fully commercialize the science ourselves, so that is when cooperation with commercial companies plays a vital role in getting the science into practice and verify the findings in real-life use cases.

  3. And the third level is marketing, where we offer the companies the opportunity to participate in the activities and involve both professional and the general public. From the side of the companies there seems to be a hunger for student cooperation to raise new talents and potentially offer future employment.

How has the cooperation between university and companies been impacted by the pandemic situation during the last two years?

PH: Yes, for sure, the COVID outbreak had an impact on the cooperation with commercial subjects, as we can see there is less time for such activities, as there is simply more time needed to be dedicated to standard operations. There are less chances to meet in person due to restrictions.

On the other hand, the lockdowns, and the need to stay in touch fast forwarded the digitalization (of services and communications). However, online communication can sometimes compromise the engagement during discussions.

TM: Last year the presentation was done online and there were hardly any questions from the audience. This year when doing the lecture, onsite at the faculty, we had a lively discussion and needed to extend the session by an additional thirty minutes. Data governance was not part of the informatics/telematics educational program in the past, so we can see demand for this topic, and I consider data governance to be a vital part of the work with data. I’m glad that the topic was of interest to both students and teachers.

Based on what criteria do you select the companies to cooperate with?

PH: It’s a nice question as it’s the other way round actually. The companies are approaching us. Of course, the cooperation with former students is helpful.

TM: When I was a student, I missed the interaction with the real world and with the companies. So now I’m glad that I can give back and cooperate with the university, give lectures, and work together to find new use cases.

PH: I really appreciate our cooperation, especially finding the new use cases. Therefore, I’m glad there was an engaging discussion with the students after your presentation. One of the outcomes can be that there will be a couple of students doing bachelor thesis on a data governance topic.

What is the feedback from the student on such sessions with an external vendor?

PH: We usually collect the feedback from students for the entire year, not particular sessions. But we can see the interest in students to participate in such session. We could see it with the latest presentation of Tereza. There was a lively discussion about the topics.

TH: We would like to extend the cooperation with the university in the future with not just the presentations, but also working on bachelor thesis with students, and we can also offer our Accurity data intelligence platform for educational purposes, if it would be relevant within the educational program.

What topics are trending among the students?

PH: We have been witnessing a decrease in interest in technical education among young people in recent years, where there was a preference for non-technical subjects. We can also see less interest in studying math, physics, and programming. It will be crucial to change this trend for the future to meet the demand for technical roles on the market. At the Faculty of Transportation Sciences, we strive not to lower the threshold and keep the standards high for our students. There are naturally fields of study at our faculty that attracts students more, like air traffic control or transportation construction, but of course we have students of informatics and other. I believe that working with companies like Simplity can make the educational programs more attractive for students.

At Simplity we will continue our cooperation with universities such as Czech Technical University in Prague and St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria. Meanwhile, both professionals and students can experience and use our Accurity data intelligence platform SaaS, for free, by signing up here.

Dana Toušová
VP Marketing