Aalborg University Opens American Branch in Princeton
To be close to the latest knowledge in wireless communications and mobile technology, Aalborg University is opening yet another branch beyond Denmark’s borders. Close collaboration with companies and researchers in Princeton, USA, will ensure international knowledge sharing.
If Danish researchers are to help define the technologies of the future, it is no longer enough to conduct research in Denmark. This is one of the arguments for Aalborg University’s expansion into the USA. The Danish university already has permanent research departments in other countries including Italy, Greece, India, Ghana and Japan, and on April 26th the ribbon will be cut on the newest addition in Princeton, USA.
- If we are to continue to be a world leader in wireless technologies then we have to expand. We cannot attract enough money in the ICT area in Denmark, so if we are to keep the area going, we have to find partners around the world. The research has spread out, so we have to be where the development is, explains Finn Kjærsdam, Rector.
He points out that just 15 years ago, 20 percent of all research in wireless communications took place in Northern Jutland, whereas the figure today is around 2 percent because the area has developed so rapidly. To keep abreast of and influence that development, Aalborg University has partnered with a number of universities and science parks in recent years in order to establish permanent departments abroad. The new branch in the USA was established on the initiative of Princeton University who was interested in closer ties with AAU’s research groups in mobile technology. AAU's Center for TeleInfrastructure (CTIF) and the center’s director, Ramjee Prasad, perhaps the world's most renowned professor of wireless communications, then worked to establish a branch in Princeton that will be housed at the company Niksun. The company, a world leader in IT security already working with AAU in Denmark, is making offices and laboratories available to AAU rent free.
- We work from the same model as with our other international branches. We have the opportunity to provide Ph.D. programs for young researchers so we come into contact with some of the greatest talents in a field where it can be difficult to recruit people in Denmark. Some of them maintain their connection to AAU and will still be of benefit to Denmark; at the same time, we are considered for research funding by other countries’ foundations and research councils. This innovative form of research department thus yields more research projects, more money, more knowledge and more talent, without it costing Danish tax money, emphasizes Finn Kjærsdam, Rector.
In the long term, the collaboration could also include other American universities and companies that already have shown an interest in the project; there also appear to be possibilities for initiating collaboration in renewable energy and green tech. In most studies, Princeton University is ranked as being among the 5-10 best universities in the world and their doctoral program in Electrical Engineering was recently ranked by the National Research Council as the best in the USA (sharing first place with Stanford).
AAU has a total of seven international branches primarily focused on wireless communication and mobile technology:
- Italy: At the University of Rome Tor Vergata, opened in Rome in 2006
- India: At Calcutta University, opened in Calcutta in 2008
- Japan: At Yokosuka Research Park (YRP), opened near Tokyo in 2008
- Ghana: At Ghana Telecom University, opened in Accra in 2008
- India: At Sinhgad Institute of Technology, opened near Mumbai in 2010
- Greece: At Athens Information Technology, opened in Athens in 2010
- USA: At Niksun near Princeton University, opened in 2011
- Finn Kjærsdam, Rector, AAU, tel. +45 99 40 95 01, mobile +45 40 55 85 22
- Børge Lindberg, Head of Dept., Dept of Electronic Systems, AAU, tel. +45 99 40 86 38, mobile +45 20 72 64 80
- Ramjee Prasad, Professor and CTIF Director, tel. +45 99 40 86 71
- CTIF Global, administration: Hanne Skovby, tel. +45 99 40 98 85
- General press contact: Tor Bagger, AAU Communication, tel. +45 99 40 96 44