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HEERLEN, September 2014 – Every region with progressive companies needs highly-qualified (beta) knowledge workers, and the Euregio is no exception. This calls for an attractive, innovative range of educational facilities. Introducing students to regional companies during their training makes them more inclined to remain in the Euregio after graduating. PNA endorses this vision and offers work placement to student’s on the Knowledge Engineering bachelor’s degree course at Maastricht University.

Op 17 September 2014, the first students in the new KnowledgeEngineering @Work project started their work placement at PNA. These were second-year students Tomas Cremers and Hidde van Scherpenseel. “For PNA this is an excellent opportunity to get into contact with interesting students. We can make good use of talented people like these in the innovative services and products that we develop and sell at PNA, and the challenging projects in which we take part,” says Sjir Nijssen, PNA’s CTO.

With the KnowledgeEngineering @Work project, Maastricht University wants to attract highly-qualified, talented young people to the Euregio. The bachelor’s course in Knowledge Engineering is a 3-year course with modules and projects in the fields of informatics, mathematics and artificial intelligence. During their course, the students work half-time at the participating companies. “At our partner institution in Germany – the RWTH in Aachen – there is already a course in which working and academic training go hand in hand,” explains Dr Frank Thuijsman, university professor and initiator. “This course has been such a success that they can’t meet the demand for working students. Following on from Aachen, Maastricht is now going to start up a similar program. Actually, we are working closely on this with the RWTH.”

PNA is an expert in the field of knowledge management. Through its cogNIAM® method, it helps organizations cope with knowledge-intensive challenges, laying the foundations for sustainable use of knowledge. The profile of Maastricht University’s KnowledgeEngineering @Work students is an excellent fit in this respect. PNA is active in various triple-helix partnerships, such as the Smart Services Hub. In fact contact with Maastricht University grew out of this. PNA is the first company in which KnowledgeEngineering @Work students have started work.