Projects on Digital Business Development

At the Interdisciplinary Centre for Digital Business Development (DBD), Aarhus University, we are continuously working on various projects that promote active learning and research in the fields of digital business development and digital transformation.

In our labs, we collaborate with public and private organisations, lecturers, researchers and students to demonstrate real-life cases on digital business models and state-of-the-art technologies. On this page, we present a number of our ongoing and completed projects.

Featured projects 



In the current transition phase from Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe, the EU IoT project will provide a well-founded strategy and a cohesive plan of action for growing a sustainable and comprehensive ecosystem, which embraces several initiatives across the European IoT landscape in line with the Next Generation Internet (NGI) vision.

This project is funded by the EU, and the partner consortium consists of Aarhus University (DBD), Martel Innovate, INFRASOFT International, fortiss and BluSpecs. Read more about the EU IoT project and the need for IoT consolidation here

DBD contact: Emilie Mathilde Jakobsen    



NGI POINTER is an open support programme aimed at reinventing the internet for the third millennium and beyond by cascading funding for promising bottom-up projects capable of building scalable protocols and tools to assist in the practical transition or migration to new or updated technologies.

The project is dedicated to supporting top internet researchers and innovators in addressing emerging technological opportunities. The project is funded by the EU, and the partner consortium consists of Aarhus University (DBD), FundingBox, Digital Worx and Linknovate. Read more about the NGI POINTER project here

DBD contact: Mirko Presser



The IIP is part of the Industry 4.0 enablement programme and aims to boost digital maturity in industrial environments and propel manufacturing firms in the right direction to benefit from IoT technologies. The project deploys a radically new co-development concept for the introduction of digital technologies and digital processes in existing operations within various manufacturing industries to improve product quality, operations and machinery.

The IIP is also part of the EU-funded DIATOMIC initiative with the aim to establish a sustainable ecosystem for advanced microelectronics components and smart system integration innovations. This first IIP project, ‘Industry 4.0 – Living Lab for Acoustic Panel Production’, was led by the Belgian IoT startup PulseLabs, the Danish manufacturer of the acoustic panels Troldtekt and DBD as supporting knowledge centre. Read more about the IIP here.

DBD contact: Mirko Presser



The IoTCrawler project focuses on developing a search engine for the Internet of Things (IoT) with the aim of making real-world data from devices accessible and actionable, thus creating a smarter use across domains of data generated by IoT devices.

The project addresses dynamic search, discovery of IoT resources as well as security and privacy through the development of prototypes to demonstrate key IoT concepts in urban environments. The IoTCrawler results are used to develop new and advance existing intelligent services that will benefit citizens and decision makers.

This project is funded by the EU, and the partner consortium consists of Universidad de Murcia, University of Surrey, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Aarhus University (DBD), Siemens AG Österreich, NEC Corporation, AGT Group, Digital Worx, Odin Solutions S.L and Aarhus Municipality. Find more information about the IoTCrawler project here

DBD contact: Mirko Presser  



Digital Business Models for the Future is a project aiming to develop and disseminate new knowledge and methods that will strengthen Danish manufacturing companies for a digital future.

Concrete tools and methods for developing and implementing digital business models are made freely accessible on the learning platform The project thus offers the industry to leverage the platform as a guide to becoming more competitive, adaptable and equipped for the future.

The project is funded by the Danish Industry Foundation, and the partner consortium consists of the Danish Technological Institute, Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering as well as Aarhus University (DBD). Find more information about the project here

DBD contact: Anita Krogsøe Skou

Collaborative projects 


BIOT is a newly born hyper-collaborative, social robot developed at the Department of Business Development and Technology (BTECH), Aarhus University. BIOT has been developed in collaboration between 1) BTECH students and staff, 2) the labs at BTECH and 3) BTECH and the outside world. BIOT is built on iRobot Create, which is also known for its Roomba vacuum cleaners.

The BIOT project addresses topics such as the Anthropocene, Greta Thunberg’s concerns, gender disparity and economic inequality. In addition, the BIOT project reflects on and raises issues of collective intelligence (CI) using an IoT approach. The project is funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) and supported by the EngTech labs, the IoT Club, ‘Mind the Gap’, ‘Connect to Campus Herning’ and ‘Technomania’.

Developer: Matteo Campinoti

DBD contact: Karthikeya Acharya


IoT Gateways is a project run by BTECH students aiming to develop a device that collects environmental data via various sensors connected to an IoT gateway, through which data is sent to a cloud platform for storage, analysis and evaluation purposes.

In 2019, more than 120 IoT gateway devices were built. Around 50 devices were installed at BTECH as part of an IoT testbed, and approximately 70 devices were installed at a local textile manufacturing company. The project is affiliated with the Prototyping Lab at DBD, and the devices have become part of larger EU-funded project.

Developers: Matteo Campinoti and Wahid Daniel Shahidinejad


The Heat Map project aimed to develop an application that could track changes in temperature, gas concertation and other environmental factors over time. The Heat Map device has practical application in manufacturing operations, where it can provide a quick overview of night shift development. The project was developed by BTECH students in collaboration with DBD.

Developer: Matteo Campinoti


The IoT-Enabled Robotic Arm is a project concept developed for teaching purposes with the aim of helping students experience a cyber-physical system (CPS) and an offline model simulation. The project provides an opportunity for students to learn about information technology and digital manufacturing. The project occurs annually, and ends each year with a student demonstration of a CPS made with digital twin of IoT-enabled robotic arms and conveyor belts. The project is affiliated with the Digi Lab at DBD and is part of the IoTCrawler project.

The project is important for business development students, because digital twins and CPS have proven to be a great way to optimise existing and new manufacturing lines, minimising operational costs and improving shop floor productivity, while contributing to sustainability and green manufacturing.
See the IoT-Enabled Robotic Arm on video here

Industrial partner: ROBODK
DBD contact:
Michail Beliatis   


Autonomous-Guided Mobile Vehicles (AGV) is a project concept developed for teaching purposes with the aim to teach students about digital manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), programming, machine learning, information technology and artificial intelligence. The project was initiated to advance mass production capabilities as well as to bring Industrial Edge and IoT-enabled technologies into digital manufacturing courses.

The highlight of the project is a RoboCar race, where the students have an opportunity to showcase their autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs). 

The AGVs are developed with the supervision and support from associate professors Mirko Presser and Michail Beliatis. The project is affiliated with the Digi Lab at DBD and is part of the Smart Campus Herning Prize.

DBD contacts: Michail Beliatis and Mirko Presser


Thready is an add-on IoT solution that detects, processes and visualises thread breaks on legacy textile weaving machines. Without Thready, machine operators have to manually search for the thread break on a weaving device; with Thready, the IoT solution autonomously detects the thread break. It provides machine operators with a direct visual indication of where the thread is broken. In addition, Thready sends thread break data to the cloud for further visualisation to gain actionable insights into the machine’s optimal settings. The beneficiaries of these features are not only the machine operators and shop floor managers, but also the customers who can enjoy higher quality products through well-adjusted machines.

Thready can be applied to several pre-digital textile weaving machines. Upgrading legacy equipment allows customers to enjoy the advantages of digital technologies without having to invest heavily in new production equipment.

Developer: Wahid Daniel Shahidinejad


Tracking defects is essential to providing customers with high-quality products and minimising production losses in manufacturing. This project is under development and will be installed in the production facility of an acoustic panel manufacturer. The visual overlay defect detection system aims to support quality inspectors with automated defect detection and visual defect augmentation. The system consists of three main components: a camera, an Up Squared AI Vision Development Kit and a projector. The camera and the projector are mounted above a conveyor belt that moves the acoustic panels.

The Up Squared AI Vision Development Kit analyses images from the camera using a machine learning model trained with images of defective panels. When a defect is detected, the projector marks the critical area with a red square to help the quality inspector identify the defect. In addition, the Up Squared AI Vision Development Kit transmits defect data to the cloud for further analysis of the amount and types of defects to promote insights into the performance of production operations.

Developer: Wahid Daniel Shahidinejad


Visual inspection defect tracking buttons (VIFTB) is a device development project, which was developed as part of the IIP project. The VIFTB is an industrial defect tracking kit that collects data through manual logs, helping operators track defect rates at different periods, shifts and work orders in real time. The device aims to collect defect statistics and uncover root-cause issues to improve quality control on the manufacturing floor.

Developer: PulseLabs in collaboration with Troldtekt and Aarhus University (DBD).


LineWatcher is a smart watch app device, which was developed as part of the IIP project. The app is used to record and tracks events in production, which are manually logged by operators. The device allows for better collaboration between shifts and provides a real-time overview of the production line. The device aims to help support the root-caused analysis efforts by digitising paper logbooks.

Developer: PulseLabs in collaboration with Troldtekt and Aarhus University (DBD).


The Pulse Checkmate is a wireless sensor in a ‘plug and play’ format, which is compatible with most types of production machinery. The sensor monitors a number of factors that can influence machine performance, such as vibration, temperature, humidity, etc. It was designed using a wireless microcontroller with integrated sensors, GSM connectivity, dynamic data protocols and a range of apps that can be installed in the same way as on a smartphone. The Pulse Checkmate sensor is used to improve shift performance in lace making.

Developer: PulseLabs in collaboration with Aarhus University (DBD).

For further information on any of the presented cases on digital business models and state-of-the-art technologies, feel free to reach out to the DBD contact person listed for the project concerned.   

PhD students, researchers and industry partners are welcome to propose potential projects. Please contact Deputy Centre Director and Associate Professor, Mirko Presser or contact Associate Professor, Michail Beliatis for further information on the opportunities for joint projects.