As part of the Places Festival, the VR Science & Business Day took place on 23.05.2019 in the Science Park Gelsenkirchen.

The BMBF joint project GRÆDUCATION and the model project CoWin, funded by the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, presented a varied programme on the subject of VR and invited participants to take part in various practical workshops on the development of application scenarios for virtual reality technologies in international vocational education and training. Subsequently, the DIVR Award was presented for the second time and the most innovative university projects on the subject of virtual reality were honoured in three categories.

Markus Rall of Viality and member of the DIVR jury gave a first keynote speech to give an insight into the development steps of Virtual Reality and defined the potentials of digitization.

In the second keynote, Thorsten Fell from the Institute for Immersive Learning addressed the possibilities in the field of learning with virtual technologies. After both keynotes had provided the participants with the necessary impetus, they were invited to take part in the workshops. Dr. Rüdiger Klatt from FIAP e.V. and Felix Magdeburg from WeAre jointly moderated the workshop entitled “Networked Teaching and Learning – VR in International Vocational Training Cooperation” and discussed open questions with the participants regarding the use of Virtual Reality in teaching and especially in International Vocational Training Cooperation.

Felix Magdeburg von WeAre liefert Impulse zum Thema VR

Felix Magdeburg from WeAre provides impulses on the subject of VR

The workshop “Experience new job profiles: VR in vocational school teaching – development scenarios using the example of sustainable “green” skills” was accompanied by Silke Steinberg, FIAP e.V. and representative of the GRÆDUCATION project group together with Thorsten Fell.

At the same time, the third partial workshop “VR as an instrument of vocational orientation and securing skilled workers” took place under the direction of Wolfgang Jung (Science Park Gelsenkirchen) with the support of Markus Rall (viality).

The tenor of all three workshops was above all that the application possibilities of Virtual Reality in vocational training had to be defined more concretely. There are many examples in which VR can create added value in teaching, but these do not apply to all training formats and professions.

Following an exciting afternoon with great discussions, the DIVR Award was presented. A list with the participants and the corresponding projects can be found here. The prize in the category best concept went to the representatives of the University of Hamburg for their project Space Walk. This is a playful VR application with a new locomotion approach. The research groups of the University of Würzburg and Bielefeld won in the best impact category. Their project enables virtual reality therapy through stimulation of modulated body perception and should help to achieve long-term treatment success in obese patients. The HIPS project of the Chemnitz University of Technology also came from the medical field. By using a specially developed robot arm, hip operations can be simulated in a VR room. Accordingly, the research project was awarded in the category best tech.

Afterwards, everyone gathered for an exuberant network party and enjoyed chilled drinks in very summery temperatures.

We thank all organizers for the informative and exciting afternoon, especially the host Wissenschaftspark and Mediennetzwerk.NRW, as well as the DIVR!