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Rector Kaleta also emphasizes that this transition to education with the use of the latest computer and audiovisual technologies (such as Virtual Reality - VR), in the era of pandemics and the threat of further lockdowns, makes it necessary to speed up such phenomena, because education will not return to the old patterns: - If students are to come to us willingly, they need to see something new, which is exactly what our venture is.

Who came up with the CSPB at the University of Economics?

The originator and manager of the Centre for Simulation of Business Processes (CSPB) is Krzysztof Nowosielski, PhD, professor, a scientist and a didactician, passionate about using modern technology in educational processes and scientific research. He initiated the creation of the new facility on the university campus, right next to the inQube building of the University Business Incubator, driven by the need to create a virtual business environment that would bring students closer to practice in the best possible way.

The creation of the Business CSP was possible thanks to the resources of the project "PORTAL - Integrated Development Programme of Wrocław University of Economics", co-financed by the European Union from the European Social Fund under the Operational Programme "Knowledge Education Development".

- Our university's practice is to send our students on internships and confront them and their skills with real problems. This is difficult as it requires guaranteeing each of our future graduates access to the same companies in order to unify educational standards. Therefore, we cannot do this other than by bringing these processes to us. The simulator is supposed to create the conditions that prevail in a given company, so that we can see the logistical, manufacturing, commercial or service processes, thus showing the students the reality. This, in turn, is supposed to prepare "top quality" students and graduates who will already be "out there" on the labour market - explains dr hab. Krzysztof Nowosielski. 

The heart of the Business Processes Simulation Centre - which is a unique project in our country - is an interactive computer laboratory for designing, modelling, visual simulation and improvement of business processes, which uses the latest computer and audiovisual technologies, such as integrated AV management systems and Virtual Reality - VR technology, as well as an integrated access control system and virtual reception. 

How does the CSPB look and operate?

The studio is housed in a modular building formed by a set of nine containers - mobile spatial systems connected together on one level. When designing the building, it was assumed that it could be extended by a further two floors, while retaining the existing technology.

In its current form, the CSPB has two functional areas: process design and VR. The first one is used for creating process models with the use of Business Process Modelling Software class systems, their visual 3D simulation and conducting improvement and optimisation works. Here, the CSPB uses the American simulation design software FlexSim.

In the main projection room there is a trainer's station and 12 participants' stations. All of them are equipped with monitors with a screen ratio of 32 x 10, which enables the display of multithreaded content of the modelled process, including, among others: a 3D model of the process, process-flow, management cockpits - dashboards, input and result tables. The content of the classes, coming both from the trainer's stand and from the participants, can be displayed on the main projection screen.

In the second zone of the Centre - VR, "walks" through processes and virtual decision-making games (WGD) in various roles take place. In this zone, six VR boxes have been organised where, after putting on special goggles, the participant can take an active part in the simulation. In the first phase of implementation of the designed solutions, users will have at their disposal a total of 20 WGDs from the following areas: production, transport and warehouse logistics, as well as from the area of administrative and commercial processes.

A CSPB user will be able to take on the role of e.g.: a manager of a large commercial building or a food wholesaler; they will be able to take on the role of a production manager or a director of a waste management plant. He or she will also be able to learn to make decisions in the field of finance and accounting, based on simulation result data.

The technology currently used in the CSPB enables the free development of implemented games, as well as the design and implementation of subsequent ones, in which employees of the Wroclaw-based EU are involved.

CSPB and cooperation with the environment

The Centre for the Simulation of Business Processes is to serve not only educational purposes. As the EU authorities assure, it is to support and actively cooperate with the socio-economic environment. The Centre's tasks will therefore include the initiation of and participation in research and development work for the benefit of business and universities. 

The Centre's team will organise and participate in scientific seminars and conferences presenting EU experience in the use of modern information and audiovisual technologies, including VR, or in the simulation and interactive visualisation of business processes.