Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft

JOANNEUM RESEARCH (JR, https://www.joanneum.at/) is a non-profit organisation concentrating on applied research with a highly qualified staff of more than 400 people. Services include specifically geared research tasks for small and medium-sized companies, complex interdisciplinary national and international assignments as well as tailored techno-economic consulting. JR participates in setting up and organizing national competence centres as well as in numerous large international projects.

DIGITAL – the Institute for Information and Communication Technologies – specialises in signal processing, human factors technologies, machine learning, web and internet technologies, image, video and acoustic signal processing together with remote sensing, communication and navigation technologies. Results of our research are implemented in hardware and software resulting in application-oriented solutions advancing the international scientific state of the art. The Institute has participated in more than 100 EC and ESA funded projects since the Third European Framework Programme.

The design and layout of the microfluidics and microneedles will be supported by FEM-based computer simulations. With the help of simulation tools like Comsol® the laminar flow in a microfluidic device can be simulated accurately. In computer simulations, parameters like channel width, liquid viscosity or sensor positioning can be easily varied and the impact of the respective parameter can be evaluated and compared in a quick way, saving considerable time and money compared to real-world experiments. Computer simulations generally also lead to a deeper insight of the physical processes taking place in the microfluidic device. 

For the proposed project the following topics are of special interest and can be simulated with the help of a respective simulation tool:

  • Full characterization of the laminar flow in microfluidics: comprising flow speed, pressure drop, shear forces, etc. as a function of microfluidic design like channel length, micro needle size, microneedle positioning, etc.
  • Simulation of possible deviations of the ideal layout like small misalignments, production inaccuracies, material deteriorations ad their impact on the microfluidic behaviour.
  • Transport of diluted species in a fluid like ions, glucose, lactate, etc., distribution of the analytes in the medium, mixing procedures and mixing chambers, transport to the sensing layers.
  • Adhesion phenomena on surfaces: Adhesion kinetics of the analytes on the sensing layers, adhesion/desorption equilibrium, surface reactions of the analytes, calculation of the sensing signal due to analyte adhesion, chemical crosstalk.
  • Optimization of the medium flow for increased signal intensity: simulation of the analyte-depletion zone over sensing layers, optimal flow for maximum sensor signal, sensing layer layout, signal of several consecutive sensing layers, possible structuring of sensing layers for increased signal.
  • Chemical reactions in the fluid or on surfaces.
  • Two-phase flow with a moving interface: calculation of capillary forces, evaluation of capillary-driven filling procedures and surface-chemistry channel modifications.
  • Implementation of electrostatic forces: ion movement, electrophoresis, charge transport, electrical resistance of electrolytes.

JR has extensive know how concerning computer assisted simulation tools. A full research group deals with computer simulations, focusing on optical issues. For microfluidic topics, JR uses the FEM simulation tool ComSol®. The simulation tool is heavily used as support in microfluidic design and delivered valuable contributions in numerous microfluidic projects.

JR staff has extensive experience in signal processing, human factors technologies, machine learning, computer vision, cloud computing, artificial intelligence using deep learning to build APIs and application solutions on cloud across multiple industries.

Activities in the human factors, signal processing and machine learning as well as decision support research have been conducted in numerous national R&D projects, such as, “Austrian Research Lab” FACTS (Human Factors Technologies and Services, wearable sensing & analysis, 2011-2015), “KIRAS” EVES (human factors in evacuation scenarios, 2011-2014), and “KIRAS” VR-Responder (Human factors measurement system for real-time simulation and recommendation in first responder scenarios in VR and AR, 2019-2021). In addition, the JR Human Factors Lab is developing real-time human factors analysis in ‘factories of the future’ projects (Collaborative Robotics, FLEXIFF, INCLUDE), as well as in health care AI-based analysis of human factors sensor technologies (national: AktivDaheim, AMIGO, multimodal, SenseCity, OpenSense, AR-Demenz; EU: AAL-JP ALICE and PLAYTIME). 

Activities in the field of security research have been conducted in numerous national projects within the Austrian Security Research Programme KIRAS e.g. 4C4FirstResponder (2015-2018), and 3FMS (2015-2018), Monitor (2014-2017) covering the topics communication technologies, geo-data processing, multi-sensor fusion, mobile solutions and geo-oriented management systems. In the field of multi-sensor data analysis extensive know-how for resource-constraint analysis solutions was developed in the projects UWB4Industry (2018 – 2019) and RailPrev (2019 – 2021).

Inside SIXTHSENSE JR will leverage previous experience related to:

  • Implementing artificial intelligence involving industry driven requirements, first responder platform implementations, and research directions relevant to achieve the goals of the project.
  • Full-life cycle management of predictive learning models using computational attention and executive function toolboxes on resourced constrained mobile systems.
  • Commercial and exploitation strategies including software licensing and open source community models.
  • Building and collecting large psycho-physical datasets needed for deep learning.

Role of JR in the project: JR will be the WP-leader of WP6 “Data Analysis and DSS” and will have major contributions in WP5 “Multimodal Sensor Fusion” as well as on the WPs dedicated to requirements and use case definition (WP2), integration (WP9) and dissemination (WP10).