Director PhD R. Vitkūnas: technological innovation and artificial intelligence will help Europe stay on the Green Path

Vilnius College of Technologies and Design – where creativity meets innovation!

Last week, Vilnius College of Technologies and Design (VTCD) organised an international practical-scientific conference “Technological Innovation 2023: Towards a European Green Deal”. Participants from 11 European and Asian countries presented nearly 50 presentations, which were available for all to watch live and online.

“The idea of organising this conference came from seeing and hearing how many different new solutions are being discovered by scientists. It was a unique opportunity for participants to hear about a very wide range of innovations in one place and to consider how they could be applied in their own countries or transferred to their own areas of activity, thus helping to move Europe as a whole along the Green Path,” says PhD Rolandas Vitkūnas, Director of the VTDK.

PhD R. Vitkūnas, Director of the VTDK. Photo by J. Rozovskij.

At the end of 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal – a roadmap for action to ensure the sustainability of the EU’s economy by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas, and by ensuring that transformation is fair and inclusive for all.

“Europe and all its people want and aspire to live in an environmentally friendly, safe and healthy way, and the European Green Deal sets out a number of key steps to make this happen,” says R. Vitkūnas. One of the first steps, he says, is to reduce climate pollution. Innovations are being introduced across Europe to reduce the impact of climate change in different areas – transport, logistics, mining, product manufacturing and delivery. The aim of the conference is to present ideas and achievements in science, research and technological innovation, and to discuss future trends in technological innovation and design, reflecting the areas of transformation and potential initiatives identified in the European Green Compass.

The Plenary Session on 21 March was attended by representatives from academia, research, government and industry, as well as college researchers, lecturers and students.

“Creative Opportunities in Design and Media Art” focused on the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is becoming a serious helper and even a competitor for designers to visualise their creative ideas, and its application in various design fields.

In the session, Christhopher Hales, an artist and researcher from the UK, demonstrated the new possibilities of transforming moving images; Jonas Lekevičius, founder and host of the radio show Two Bits, vividly described a designer’s interaction with AI at different stages of projects. Justin Vinevičius, Creative Director of Justin Viv Studio, gave a practical demonstration of the benefits of the AI application MidJourney. Giedrius Morkūnas, CEO of startup DressMyCrib, demonstrated the practical interaction between AI and augmented reality tools in the design of living spaces. Arturas Valiauga, a lecturer at VTDK, used examples of photographic works to demonstrate that the subjective approach of the artist to the environment can be a counterbalance to the consistent objectivity of AI projects.

On 22 March, the international conference continued in 4 different sessions, with different presentations being given at the same time in different venues and at different MS Teams meetings. Participants from Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China, the UK, the Czech Republic, Sakartvelo, Italy and Turkey explored the topics of mechatronics and transport engineering, discussed creative possibilities in design and media art, and delved deeper into transport logistics and civil engineering.

“Creative Opportunities in Design and Media Art” focused on the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is becoming a serious helper and even a competitor for designers to visualise their creative ideas, and its application in various design fields.

In the session, Christhopher Hales, an artist and researcher from the UK, demonstrated the new possibilities of transforming moving images; Jonas Lekevičius, founder and host of the radio show Two Bits, vividly described a designer’s interaction with AI at different stages of projects. Justin Vinevičius, Creative Director of Justin Viv Studio, gave a practical demonstration of the benefits of the AI application MidJourney.

Giedrius Morkūnas, CEO of the startup DressMyCrib, demonstrated the practical interaction between AI and augmented reality tools in designing living spaces. Arturas Valiauga, a lecturer at VTDK, used examples of photographic works to demonstrate that the subjective approach of the artist to the environment can be a counterbalance to the consistent objectivity of AI projects.

The presentation is given by Dalius Gedvilas, President of the Lithuanian Builders Association. Photo by J. Rozovskij.

Innovators from different fields presented a whole range of solutions. In the Mechatronics and Transport Engineering session, presentations included a new piston-crankshaft coupling mechanism for the IC engine, or hydrogen for sustainability in such engines, benchmarking of pyrolysis oil spraying with a high-pressure injector, automatic diagnostics of pantographs for electric trains, etc. The transport logistics session touched on urban and international transport issues, while the civil engineering session focused on smart homes, alternative building materials, retrofitting of building facades and more. The session on Creative Opportunities in Design and Media Arts focused on the role of artificial intelligence in various creative platforms, and covered innovations in graphic design, video and photography.

The conference organiser VTDK is a unique higher education institution where creativity and innovation meet. There are 17 study programmes to choose from, ranging from Graphic Design and Interior Design to Transport Logistics and Renewable Energy Engineering, with Smart Building Engineering and Business and Customs Operations launching in 2023. The VTDK has state-of-the-art laboratories and workshops, a Toyota Technical Training Centre, students have every opportunity to combine education and work, receive competitive scholarships, and are regularly offered the opportunity to participate in events such as the just concluded Technological Innovation Conference or to deepen their knowledge through foreign exchange programmes.

Speaker PhD Vidas Žuraulis. Photo by J. Rozovskij.