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One of five specific pilot regions in Bavaria and Austria, Braunau-Simbach is a partner in the "INTERREG Project AB291". As part of the project, the region held a workshop with the aim of developing ideas and approaches for the health tourism use of forests in Braunau-Simbach. The lead partner is the European Campus Rottal-Inn (ECRI) in Pfarrkirchen.

As part of a joint workshop, the five-member project team together with Georg Bachleitner from the Braunau-Simbach city, tourism and location marketing invited several stakeholders and experts from the fields of "forest, health and tourism" to the Simbacher LOKschuppen on Wednesday, 21 July. In addition to some local guests from Braunau-Simbach, workshop participants from supra-regional project partners and institutions were also welcomed, such as the Bavarian State Ministry in Munich, the State Forests Wasserburg or the Office for Food, Agriculture and Forestry in Pfarrkirchen.

With their local know-how as well as their many years of competence and expertise, the participants make an indispensable contribution to the joint development of ideas and approaches on how forest spaces can be used for health tourism in the specific context of the Braunau-Simbach pilot region. The premise of all joint considerations and efforts is always to be able to create added value for local providers and stakeholders as well as visitors and guests without damaging natural resources.

In joint presentation and discussion rounds as well as in targeted group work on various project topics, the 17 workshop participants gathered important insights and assessments on possible target groups, forest-related offer possibilities or necessary structures and partnerships that are fundamental for a sustainable use of forests in the future. The workshop was hosted by Prof. Dr. Christian Steckenbauer, Dean of ECRI and experienced tourism expert.

The results of the workshop will be used to take a further step towards deriving specific offers for the Braunau-Simbach pilot region, but also to make them transferable and applicable to corresponding destinations together with findings from the other four pilot regions. Georg Bachleitner also sees this as an important step for the future: "The sustainable, health tourism use of forests, especially in regions for which forest use seems commonplace anyway, will be a future-oriented challenge for destinations".

In this ambitious project, an interdisciplinary, cross-border project consortium consisting of a total of 14 renowned partners is approaching the topic of "forest, health and tourism" from different angles and is jointly developing sustainable approaches in five selected pilot regions (in addition to Braunau-Simbach, also Tennengau, Bad Birnbach, Neureichenau, Traunsee-Almtal) as to how local forest areas can be used for health tourism and to create added value.


The Deggendorf Institute of Technology is building a new technology transfer centre in Vilshofen: Today, the groundbreaking ceremony for the "Bavarian Centre for Digital Security" (BayZDS) took place with Minister of Science Bernd Sibler. The BayZDS sees itself as a point of contact for companies from all over Bavaria on issues of digital security in the fields of automotive technology, manufacturing technology and mechanical engineering, energy production and distribution, the process engineering industry, intelligent transport systems and medical technology. The focus of the work is on applied research, technology transfer and basic research. Science Minister Bernd Sibler emphasised: "With its focus on digital security, the BayZDS will deal with a highly topical and at the same time timeless subject. Because if we want to use digital technologies reliably, they absolutely have to be secure. With its tenth technology campus, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology is proving that it can not only develop cutting-edge technology, but is also very aware of the responsibility that comes with its use."

The Free State is funding the forward-looking project together with the town of Vilshofen: for example, the Free State is providing the start-up financing of just under 7.3 million euros via the Hightech Agenda Bayern, while the premises will be provided by the town of Vilshofen for the first five years. "We are investing in Vilshofen in one of the focal points for Bavaria as a business location," said Sibler. The technology campus in Vilshofen - and thus the tenth technology transfer centre of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology - is scheduled to go into operation in 2022. To date, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology operates the Technology Campus (TC) Freyung for applied computer science and bionics, the TC Teisnach for optoelectronics and optical manufacturing technology, as well as another TC for industrial sensor technology, the Technology User Centre Spiegelau for processing hot glass, the TC Cham for mechatronics, the Logistics Campus Grafenau, the TC Weissenburg for plastics technology, as well as the TC Parsberg for digital manufacturing together with the OTH Regensburg and the "Modern Mobility" research centre in Plattling. In addition, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology has set up another location in Hutthurm as a branch of the TC Weißenburg. Technology transfer centres of the Bavarian universities of applied sciences are an essential pillar of the successful Bavarian regionalisation strategy. Their research focus is aligned with the regional economic structure. Science and industry work closely together to develop technologies in an application-oriented manner, to facilitate access to them for regional companies and to facilitate contacts with students and thus future, highly qualified specialists.


On 29 July, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) will once again come to town. On the bench at the Oberer Stadtplatz between the town hall and Pustet this time: the DIT expert for artificial intelligence (AI), Prof Dr Patrick Glauner. From 10.30 am to noon, he would like to talk to citizens about how data and its analysis are already changing our health care and will change it even more in the near future.

The complete mapping of an individual’s genetic make-up is no longer a big deal. You can already get the date for a few hundred euros. In a few years, experts say, they may be as normal as a complete blood count. So the door to individualised medicine is open. “The crucial thing, however, will be how we can use the data, for example from a personal genetic make-up, in an ethically sensible way,” says DIT professor Patrick Glauner. This requires the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence to be able to evaluate and interpret the enormous amounts of data. In addition, blockchain technologies to ensure the necessary data security and quantum computers to realise the necessary computing power. The market for the analysis of genetic data alone is expected to be worth $40 billion by 2030. Accordingly, research and work on this is being carried out at full speed worldwide. The first successes are already emerging in cancer therapy. Not only has the connection between certain genetic constellations and the development of cancer been proven, but also that with individually achieved treatment successes. In radiology and dermatology, AI has long provided valuable diagnostic support thanks to pattern recognition. "The concern that this technology will eventually replace real doctors is unfounded," says Glauner. Rather, the technology is an additional, data-based expertise. The analysis result of an AI, which can incorporate a virtually infinite amount of data into the evaluation, combined with the personal medical experience delivers the best possible treatment suggestion. "But in the end, it is always the human being, the doctor, who decides together with her patient," assures Glauner. Nothing will change in that regard. Of course, the topic of data processing in medicine also has a great ethical dimension. Citizens are welcome to talk to Glauner about this, too. An ethical dimension on two levels, by the way. On the individual level, it must be ensured that everyone can decide for themselves who gets access to personal data. Interesting at this point: In the US, there is already a business model of lending your data to universities or pharmaceutical companies. For a fee, of course. On the societal level, the question arises whether we shouldn't all make our data available to research in anonymised form - or even have to. Because it's clear: only when really large amounts of data, keyword Big Data, come together, does a picture emerge, an interpretation with a high degree of reliability. For the benefit of all those who suffer from incurable diseases today and cannot be cured due to a lack of understanding of these diseases. Many questions, then. Questions that move people. Not only computer scientists and doctors. "Some of them can certainly be answered at the DIT Science Bench," Patrick Glauner is sure.

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