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13 – 14 September 2021

DIREC seminar


The purpose is to give the participants in DIREC the opportunity to get to know each other, both professionally and personally / socially and thus create new networks across the universities and the Alexandra Institute.

We hope this will lead to the identification of new research issues, including grand challenges for digital technologies, collaboration across workstreams, and new projects with companies and the public sector.

Target group

Workstream managers, participants from other universities in DIREC workstreams, DIREC project participants including PhDs and postdocs, as well as others who are professionally interested in participating in a DIREC workstream.

Monday 13 September


Arrival, croissants and coffee


Parallel workshops with a lunch break from 12.00-13.00

WS2 – AI: Machine Learning, Computer Vision, NLP

Location: Sal G

20-minute-talks with 5 minutes Q&A of younger researchers from the participating universities


10.00 Introduction Mads Nielsen, KU


10.05 Mathias, SDU: Adaptive neural control for legged robots


10.30 Kasra Arnavaz, DTU: Topology-aware Segmentation of Pancreatic Tubes


10.55 Biobreak


11.05 Mostafa Ghazi:, KU Disease modelling via RNN


11.30 Laura Alessandretti, DTU: Modelling individual mobility behavior


11.55 Lunch


13.00 Alessandro Tibo, AAU: Learning and Interpreting Multi-Multi-Instance Learning Networks


13.25 Morten Hannemose, DTU: TBD


13.50 Biobreak


14.00 Nikolaj Theodor Thams, KU: Invariant Reinforcement Learning: Generalization through causality


14.25 Joakim Bruslund Haurum, AAU: Automated Sewer Defect Classification


Organiser: Mads Nielsen, University of Copenhagen

WS3 – Advanced and Efficient Big Data Management and Analysis

Location: Sal A


10.00 Introduction (brief round of introductions)


10.10 Overview of WS3-related research at RUC, Hua Lu


10.30 Overview of research in the DASYA lab at ITU, Pinar Tözün


10.55 Break


11.10 Overview of research at Daisy, AAU, Christian S. Jensen


11.40 TipTap: Approximate Mining of Frequent k-Subgraph Patterns in Evolving Graphs, Cigdem Aslay


12.00 Lunch


13.00 Time-Constrained Indoor Keyword-aware Routing, Harry Kai-Ho Chan


13.25 Data-intensive solutions for vehicular transportation, Kristian Torp


13.45 Break


14.00 Semantic (Big) Data Exploration, Matteo Lissandrini


14.20 Data management in event-based systems, Yongluan Zhou


14.40 Privacy-preserving analysis of web data streams, Daniele Dell’Aglio


Organiser: Christian S. Jensen, Aalborg University

WS4 – Algorithms

Location: Sal C


See program here


Organiser: Rasmus Pagh, University of Copenhagen

WS5 + WS10 – HCI, CSCW and InfoVis, Diversity, Ethics and Privacy

Location: Salon 20


10.00-10.30 Who is who and introduction to the day


10.30-11.30 Privacy and ethics (Louise Barkhuus)*


11.30-12.30 Participation and data (Henrik Korsgaard)*


13-00-14.00 CSCW and global software/remote collaboration (Pernille Bjørn)*


14.00-15.00 Group discussions


*= Presentation and discussion


Organisers: Susanne Bødker, Aarhus University and Louise Barkhuus, IT University of Copenhagen

WS6 – Cyber-physical Systems, IoT and Automous Systems

Location: Salon 21


This workshop aims to obtain a common understanding of the area of cyber-physical system among the DIREC partners – who we are, what we do and the challenges ahead. The outcome will be a joint profile and a plan for future collaboration.



10:00  Introduction to WS6, aim of the day 


10:15  Who is who?

  • Partner presentations covering; scientific focus, application domains, people, key projects

12:00  Presentation of current WS6 DIREC projects (inspiration for new projects)

  • Edge AI (SDU, DTU and ITU) 

12:30  Lunch

The CPS ecosystem — next step, meeting, event, etc. 

13:45  Identifying the Grand Challenges of CPS

14:45  Conclusions of the day

Organiser: Jan Madsen, Technical University of Denmark

WS7 – Verification and Software Engineering

Location: Salon 22




This workshop aims to obtain a common understanding of the area of Verification and Software Engineering (V&SE) among the DIREC partners – who we are, what we do and the challenges ahead. The outcome will be a joint profile and a plan for future collaboration.



10:00  Introduction to WS7 (V&SE), aim of the day 


10:15  Who is who?

  • Partner presentations covering; scientific focus, application domains, people, key projects.

12:00  Lunch


13:00  Presentation of current WS7 DIREC projects (inspiration for new projects)

  • Verifiable and Safe AI for Autonomous Systems (Bridge Project, ITU, AAU)
  • Verifiable and Safe AI (Explore Project) (all)

13:30  The VE&SE ecosystem — next step, meeting, event, etc. 


14:00  Identifying the Grand Challenges of V&SE and key interaction points with other WS


14:45  Conclusions of the day


Organiser: Kim Guldstrand Larsen, Aalborg University

WS8 – Cybersecurity and Blockchains

Location: Salon 23


See program


Organiser: Claudio Orlandi, Aarhus University

WS13 – Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Location: Salon 24


Generel drøftelse af mål (herunder DIRECs interne KPIer vedr. WS 13) og hvad er det vi skal samarbejde om.

  • Rammer, budget/økonomi og nye projektidéer
  • Drøftelse af konkret projektforslag om entrepreneurship i DIREC – hvordan sætter vi projektet i gang?
  • Digital Tech Summit og DIREC – hvordan udnytter vi eventet i en DIREC sammenhæng
  • Inspirationscases for entreprenuership  – faculty innovation (case fra Open Entrepreneurship) og student innovation (STIBO, tentativt)

Ansvarlig: Mark Riis


Coffee break


Workshops across workstreams

Overview of group assignment

The purpose of these workshops is to make the participants acquainted with each other, learn what people are interested in, and discuss possibilities for collaboration across workstreams.

The format is as follows:

  • People are divided into groups of 12-14 people
  • A chair is nominated for each workshop – the job of the chair is to facilitate the workshop.
  • The chair has free hands to decide on the format, but we recommend the following:

Workshop flow

  • Each group elects a secretary that takes notes in the form of PowerPoint slides summarizing ideas for collaboration.
  • The chair starts by welcoming people and shortly presenting the purpose and program for the workshop
  • Each participant gives a short presentation of him/herself with focus on what he/she is currently working on and possible ideas for collaboration
  • Ideas may include basic research issues/questions, proposals for projects: explore, SciTech and/or Bridge. The ideas do not have to be worked out in detail but can be on a quite early stage.
  • A proposal may also be for a BOF session on Tuesday where there will have more time to discuss the idea.
  • The chair shortly summarizes the workshop with the help of the secretary.

All PowerPoint slides will be uploaded and made available for all participants of the seminar using this link

WS11 – PhD Training Network

Location: Salon 24


  • Introduction to the aims of the PhD Training Network, Thomas T. Hildebrandt, DIKU
  • Plenum debate: Strengthening PhD education in digital technologies – what national initiatives do we need?

Responsible: Thomas Hildebrandt, University of Copenhagen


Drinks and get-together / walk to the beach


Conference dinner


  • Jens Christian Godskesen,
    Chairman of DIREC Board
  • Bjarne Stroustrup,
    Morgan Stanley & Columbia University

Tuesday 14 September




Welcome by Thomas Riisgaard Hansen


A brief look at research trajectory in computer vision and machine learning
– and the new Pioneer Centre

Serge Belongie, Head of the new Pioneer Centre for Artificial Intelligence

digitallead – Danmarks digitaliseringsklynge

Carolina Benjaminsen, CEO DigitalLead

Collaborating with researchers
– a perspective from industry

Esben Hallundbæk Østergaard, REInvest Robotics

From digital research to creating a successful startup

Jakob Bardram, Professor, Technical University of Denmark
Stephen Alstrup, Professor, Copenhagen University


Coffee break


Workshops and parallel Birds of a Feather sessions with a lunch break from 12.00-13.00

WS9 – Business Innovation, Processes and Models

Location: Salon 23


The WS9 workshop focuses on the role of social science and humanities (SSH) research in the context of the DIREC network. The ambition with the workshop is to address the interdependency of technological innovation and uptake of the technologies in relevant contexts. A central discussion is when to include SSH research perspectives in technology innovation research.



  • Why address the role of SSH in tech-research? Helle Zinner Henriksen
  • Who is who: presentations covering; scientific focus, application domains, people, key projects
  • How is WS9 involved in present DIREC projects, Helle Zinner Henriksen
  • The central business problem in R&I projects, Ole Lehrmann Madsen

12.00 Lunch


13.00 Discussion

  • Is there a problem – and how to address it by the community?
  • Identification of SSH perspectives in future DIREC collaboration

Organiser: Helle Zinner Henriksen, Copenhagen Business School

WS12 – Master Training Network

Location: Salon 25


11.00-12.00 – Welcome

by Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, SDU (5 min)


Increasing diversity via teaching

by Claus Brabrand, ITU (20 min)


Software infrastructures for teaching at scale

by Ulrik Nyman, AAU and Jakob Andersen, SDU (15 min)


Debate: Educating more software specialists – what should DIREC do on a national level?

  • Inspirational talk:
    The digital state of the nation in an educational viewpoint
    Kaj Grønbæk, AU (10 min)
  • Group discussions (10 min)

12.00-13.00 – Lunch break



Debate: Educating more software specialists – what should DIREC do on a national level?

  • Inspirational talk:
    Building better bridges to the high-schools,
    Martin Dybdal, KU (10 min)
  • Group discussions (10 min)

Debate: Educating more software specialists – what should DIREC do on a national level?

  • Inspirational talk:
    Diversifying computer science,
    Pernille Bjørn, KU (10 min)
  • Group discussions (10 min)

Summary in plenum and next steps (20 min)


Organiser: Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, University of Southern Denmark

Birds of a Feather sessions

One or more participants can invite to a session where you can discuss a given topic, which could be:

  • Proposal for a new research area
  • Discussion of a specific research issue
  • Proposal for a joint project
  • Discussion / work with a common paper.
  • Experiences / problems with collaboration with companies and public institutions
  • Things that may come up during the sessions on day

We encourage you to suggest topics before or during the seminar. Suggestions can be uploaded here

BoF 1 – Boost impact of your application-oriented research

Location: Salon 26


This BOF will gather researchers interested in increasing impact of their research in Danish society.


Based on a short presentation, we will discuss how it researchers can increase impact of their research, by focusing on collaboration with partners in the Danish innovation ecosystem.


The initial presentation will outline the Danish innovation ecosystem, and give examples of successful collaboration projects between university it researchers, the Alexandra Institute and private companies.

  • Introduction, Danish Innovations system, v. Martin Møller (7 min)
  • Examples of collaboration projects for inspiration:
    • How blockchains can get real world advantages using MPC, v. Tore Kasper Frederiksen (7 min)
    • Augmented Reality Innovation projects in industry 4.0, v. Allan Hansen  (7 min)
    • Collaboration with the Danish Industry Foundation, v. Gert Læssøe Mikkelsen (7 min)
  • Ideas and discussion among participants (15-30 min)
BoF 2 – Challenges in data privacy

Location: Salon 27


The idea of this BoF is to gather researchers interested in cryptographic protocols, differential privacy, information flow, social networks, privacy and ethics, to identify concrete challenges at the intersections of these areas.

BoF 3 – Computational Sustainability

Location: Salon 28


In this BoF we will be exploring different ways where computer science can contribute to some of the challenges related to climate change. Computer science plays a big role in most green technologies, but is often regarded as invisible infrastructure and not something that need separate attention.


We will share ideas and examples and discuss how we can frame computer science within the green agenda.

BoF 4 – Larger societal challenges - UN Sustainable Development Goals

Location: Salon 29


Not building biases into AI
Green challenges
(American) National Academy of Engineering (NAE) grand challenges.

BoF 5 – Route planning problems

Location: Salon 24

  • Online planning for a fleet of robots
  • Route planning for micro-droplets on a 2D grid
  • Planning for 6-legged robots
BoF 6 – Explainable and certifiable verification

Location: Sofa group next to auditorium


Human interaction with verification tools


Internal management meeting SAL D / end of seminar