Saxion helps companies in Smart World

More and more companies want to use data. Relevant questions are: how to collect this data, how to get it in one platform, and how to then utilise it? “Many companies feel the need to do something with data, but that is a very broad statement. It all starts with thinking about what goals companies want to achieve using data. Our students can help formulate and achieve those goals clearly and, in this way, help companies to move towards the smart world,” says Wouter Teeuw, professor at Saxion’s Ambient Intelligence research group.

In short

  • More and more companies use data, but how should it be collected, and what can you then do with it?
  • Students from Saxion help companies to utilise data and thus develop a Smart World.

Global Goal

global goal icon

Data can provide a wealth of useful information. For example, Scania wants to use data from the past to accurately predict when a truck needs maintenance, instead of periodically replacing parts that may not even have to. “If there is much historical data, it is possible to accurately predict when something will break, using machine learning. This information can even be linked with an automatic ordering system so that the right parts are ordered at the right time. In this way, data improves efficient business operations,” Teeuw explains. Data from the past can also help to predict when peak times will occur so that it can be responded to properly.


Data, when properly interpreted and combined, is not only useful to businesses, but also to other sectors. For example, in the sports industry, sensors can continuously compare heart rhythms and gaits with the regular data of players. In that way, players can be taken off the field before getting injured. Teeuw: “Doctors used to record heart rhythms, and a trainer used to check gaits. Based on instinct and gut feeling, a decision would then be made. When combining measurements in the right way, this process is much more accurate.”

Digital challenges

According to program manager HBO-ICT at Saxion, Hesther Hemssems - van Leeuwen, many companies are interested in using data. Among other things, they aim to improve structured overview within their company and to optimise processes. “The problem is that the data that companies collect are stored in many ways. For example, in Excel sheets or using different names for the same product. If you then want to combine all this data, let’s say to properly manage the inventory, the data must first be saved in the first same format and made accessible. Our students can help with the cleansing of data and making it all accessible in a unified way.”


To use data smartly, it must be correctly measured and then effectively combined and analysed. Companies can submit such digital challenges to the lectorate. “For businesses, Saxion is an up-to-date knowledge centre. Students gain experience with specific, well-defined assignments. The solutions that are developed as a result of those assignments can then be used in our education. Due to our close relationship with the business community, we also know exactly what is going on in companies, and we can ensure that our education fits in well with practice. This creates benefits for all parties involved,” Hemssems explains.

Rhinos and data

To use data smartly, also means carefully thinking about needs to be measured. For example, Saxion is involved in a project with the University of Twente and Wageningen University of Applied sciences to prevent rhino poaching. “We could decide to monitor rhinos directly using a collar, but if that information becomes known to poachers, exactly the opposite of our goal is achieved. We rather want to detect poachers. That is why we now develop software to monitor abnormal behaviour of the herds that live around rhinos. If wildebeest that live around rhinos suddenly become restless, we know that something troublesome is up.”

Sensor technology at the fire brigade

Another example, a bit closer to home: Saxion developed sensor technology for the fire department that can always track the location of firefighters in a burning building. 


Another example, closer to home: Saxion has developed sensor technology for the fire brigade that can always track the location of firefighters in a burning building. “It is a sensor in the shoe that registers the exact location of firemen and how fast they are moving. It can then be visualised how far persons are from each other and the fire truck. When combining this data with building schematics, including the details of where doors are and how they open, firemen can always be reached in the quickest possible way in the event of danger.”

Solutions to future challenges

Saxion prepares students for their future role in the dynamic society and labour market. This environment is becoming increasingly smart. New products, services and solutions are developed every day. Saxion prepares students with distinctive education and research, with an international perspective. Study programs are constantly adapted to match the latest developments. Do you, as a company or organisation, want to contribute to solving a digital challenge? Then contact Saxion Business Point (088-0193700 or

Date: 4 July 2019 |

Source of tekst: INN'twente |

Author: Frederike Krommendijk