Tartu University News

Estonia Joined the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration Initiative

1 week ago
11.02.2020

Today, the agreement for Estonia to join the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration NeIC was signed at the Delta Centre in Tartu. This agreement gives Estonian research infrastructures the possibility to maintain and enhance their competitiveness and do more international cooperation.

The agreement was signed by Arne Flåøyen, Director for NordForsk, an institution  that facilitates and provides funding for cooperation on research across the Nordic region, and Andres Koppel, the chairman of the board of the Estonian Research Council.

“The agreement signed today is a remarkable step forward for Estonia as a well-known digital country. It gives our researchers the possibility to contribute with their knowledge to the cooperation between Nordic countries and thus maintain and enhance the competitiveness of our research infrastructures. Estonian Research Council is especially glad that our cooperation with NordForsk has been steadily intensifying over the last year,” said Andres Koppel.

With its combined population of 27 million and high-quality register- and data collections, the Nordics has a competitive advantage. “We believe that a joint Nordic-Baltic collaborative effort will benefit all of us, because Open Science is also about maximising returns on public investment in research. By giving access to research data to others who may have completely different backgrounds, we see the data with fresh eyes. Moreover, Estonia is known for having great e-infrastructure and highly competent experts in the field. We believe this holds enormous potential for learning even more,” said Arne Flåøyen.

Estonia’s rapidly developing high-level science and research stands out among the small countries of the European Union, noted Katrin Pihor, the Head of the Research Policy Department of the Ministry of Education and Research. “Estonia’s success is based on close international cooperation, especially with the Nordic countries. We hope that the agreement provides an additional boost to the development of data economy and IT research as well as Estonia’s researchers have opportunities to contribute to the developments that Estonia alone would never be capable.”

NeIC is the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration hosted by NordForsk through which most of the strategic collaboration on Nordic e-infrastructures is conducted. One of the main objectives of NeIC is the joint development and operation of high-level services of e-infrastructures in the strategic fields (incl. open science) important for the Nordic research community. This primarily includes Nordic High Performance Computing (HPC) collaboration projects, but also other e-infrastructures in various research fields. For example, the collaboration helps to securely manage the sensitive data sets from human research without exchanging or sharing copies of source data among partners.

For Estonian research infrastructures, which have significantly developed in recent years, cooperation with the Nordic countries is unavoidable in order to maintain and improve its competitiveness. NeIC’s activity is mainly carried out through collaboration projects. After Estonia became an observing member of NeIC in 2018, Estonian research infrastructures have already had the opportunity to take part in many NeIC projects.

Joining NeIC takes places at the level of research councils and the authorisation for the substantive work is given to the countries’ scientific computing centres. In Estonia, the substantive collaboration with NeIC will be coordinated by the Estonian Scientific Computing Infrastructure (ETAIS, Eesti Teadusarvutuste Infrastruktuur) led by the University of Tartu and partnered with Tallinn University of Technology, National Institute Of Chemical Physics And Biophysics and Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA,Hariduse Infotehnoloogia Sihtasutus).

According to the CEO of ETAIS, Ivar Koppel, full NeIC membership is a recognition of Estonia’s e-infrastructures and a mark of their quality, and proves that Estonia is indeed able to participate at the high level of the Nordic countries. “With regard to full membership, Estonia will have to opportunity to influence developments in infrastructures and participate in influential collaboration projects. Thanks to NeIC, Estonia is involved in the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking EuroHPC LUMI consortium and in the project coordinating the creation of the Nordic science cloud, EOSC-Nordic. The volume of financing allocated to Estonia in all NeIC projects is already about six million euros,” noted Ivar Koppel.

Estonia’s membership agreement was concluded for an initial period ending at the end of 2022 when the valid NeIC general Memorandum of Understanding expires. As agreed between countries, the Memorandum of Understanding is extended by five-year periods. Since last year, NeIC is also on the list of Estonian Research Infrastructure Roadmap.

Futher informations:
Priit Tamm, Estonian Research Council, Manager of Research Infrastructures, 730 0374, 501 6624, priit.tamm [ät] etag.ee
Ivar Koppel, CEO of Estonian Scientific Computing Infrastructure (ETAIS) Head of University of Tartu High Performance Computing Center and Head of IT Development in University of Tartu High Performance Computing Center, 5662 9282, ivar.koppel [ät] ut.ee

Category: UniversityPress release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

University of Tartu media researchers: Estonian children are smart internet users

1 week 1 day ago
10.02.2020

While Estonian children have previously shown a rather risky online behaviour, a new study classifies them as fairly smart internet users among European peers.

According to the recent report of the international research network EU Kids Online, Estonian children are rather active and diverse users of the internet compared to their European peers. At the same time, they experience online risks comparatively rarely. In terms of disturbing online experiences, Estonian children are at the European average level.

The majority of 9–16-year-olds in 19 European countries report using their smartphones daily or almost all the time. This marks a substantial increase in both the proportion of smartphone-using children as well as the amount of their internet use compared with the EU Kids Online 2010 survey.

There are still considerable differences between European countries. For instance, the time children spend online varies between 2.2 hours per day (Switzerland) and 3.6 hours (Norway). Estonian children with their 2.9 hours online per day represent the European average, sharing the 7–9th place with Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Children mostly use the internet to watch videos, communicate with their family and friends, visit social media sites and play games.

Estonia and Lithuania stand out positively

The study mapped the participating countries according to the diversity of children’s online activities as well as online risks and harm they encounter. During the month preceding the survey, Estonian children engaged in more than nine different online activities on average, placing them among the best in Europe. At the same time, Estonian children encountered fewer online risks (below 1.5) than their European peers on average. Only the survey among Lithuanian children showed similar results.

Veronika Kalmus, head of the Estonian research team of EU Kids Online and Professor of Sociology of the University of Tartu, said that such a positive result for Estonia and Lithuania was for her the greatest surprise of the survey. “Online behaviour of Estonian children has become smarter and more mature, children are now better at using the opportunities of the online world and avoiding excessive risk-taking,” summarised Kalmus.

Potential for improvement

A quarter of Estonian 9–16-year-olds reported having encountered disturbing content (some type of online harm) on the internet during the year preceding the survey. This figure represents the European average (25%) and has remained the same compared to the 2010 survey.

Most often, Estonian children reported concern about an unfriendly online environment: cyberbullying and hate speech. The percentage of children who had experienced cyberbullying has not decreased over the years, but Estonia is no longer leading in Europe in that aspect. Moreover, a relatively small percentage of Estonian children (12%) reported having been very upset by cyberbullying (compared to 29% in the Czech Republic, for instance). 

Estonian parents do well     

Children’s internet use has become a more common topic in families: 59% of Estonian 9–16-year-olds reported that they often or sometimes discuss their online activities with their parents. Although more active mediation is more common among parents of girls and younger children, Estonian parents have generally started to pay more attention to their children’s internet use.

Andra Siibak, member of the Estonian research team of EU Kids Online and Professor of Media Studies of the University of Tartu, said she was happy to see that compared to the results of eight years ago, the rather carefree attitude of Estonian parents towards their children’s internet use has slowly started to change and parents are becoming more active in applying different parental mediation strategies.

One aspect by which Estonian parents stand out in the comparison with other countries is that they normally do not share online content concerning the child that would seem inappropriate for the child or require removal. During the month preceding the survey, only 1% of the Estonian 12–16-year-olds participating in the survey had asked their parents to remove a social media post their parents had made about them. By this figure, Estonia holds the first place among participating countries along with Germany, Lithuania and Slovakia.

The EU Kids Online network brings together researchers from more than 30 European countries studying the internet use of children and young people. The first EU Kids Online survey was carried out in 2010 in 25 European countries. The results of the study are used to bring more safety and awareness into children’s internet use and develop recommendations and guidelines on the topic. On the basis of the results, recommendations are given to improve children’s internet safety and media literacy. Estonia is represented in the EU Kids Online network by the research team from the Institute of Social Studies of the University of Tartu. More information is available on the Estonian website of EU Kids Online.

Further information:
Veronika Kalmus, Professor of Sociology of the University of Tartu, +372 5662 3583, veronika.kalmus [ät] ut.ee
Andra Siibak, Professor of Media Studies of the University of Tartu, +372 517 4146, andra.siibak [ät] ut.ee

Sandra Sommer Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5681
Mob: +(372) 5307 7820 sandra.sommer [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: ResearchPress release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

University of Tartu opens its doors to future applicants

1 week 4 days ago
07.02.2020

On 26 February, the University of Tartu (UT) holds an Open Doors Day during which final-year secondary school students and other future applicants can take part in various activities.

The University of Tartu library hosts a study fair on the UT curricula at which experienced specialists give admission and career advice. Together with representatives of student organisations, participants can find out how to be more than a student and what else they can do for personal development during their studies at the university.

Marleen Otsus, Specialist for Marketing of the University of Tartu and project manager of the Open Doors Day, said that at the conference hall of the library, students and alumni will hold discussions on the topic. The audience will be involved in the discussions as they can send the performers questions via an online platform. “Students, for instance, will speak about their choice of curriculum and how they became students and what the student life is about. Alumni will share their thoughts on how they found their way to their area of specialisation and in which ways has the university shaped their career,” described Otsus.

Workshops taking place in faculty buildings will give future applicants a chance to test their suitability for particular specialisations. In addition, it is possible to take part in lectures and practical sessions, have a look into classrooms, take a sample academic test and meet teaching staff and students. On the same day, information sessions on English-taught Bachelor’s curricula take place.

The Open Doors Day gives the participants a unique opportunity to learn about the UT curricula in a completely new and exciting way. “For the first time, potential students can ‘meet’ our curricula on a blind date. We hope this helps participants to better understand the content of our curricula or discover something completely new,” Otsus explained. “What makes the blind date exciting is the fact that the particular curriculum will be known only in the course of the date,” Otsus added.

During guided tours to student dormitories at Narva mnt 25 and Raatuse 22, participants can get advice on how to fill in the dormitory application to get a place at the most suitable dormitory, see the common areas of dormitories and peek into some dormitory rooms.

The programme also includes a guided tour at the University of Tartu main building with its former student lock-up in the attic, the historical lecture hall, the stately assembly hall and the UT Art Museum. On that day, student card holders can visit UT museums free of charge.

Free special buses will bring registered participants to Tartu from Tallinn, Narva, Viljandi and Pärnu. In Tartu, it is possible to take a free shuttle bus to Maarjavälja to visit Chemicum, Physicum, Biomedicum and the Institute of Technology. More than 2000 people are expected to take part in the Open Doors Day.

Registration for free buses and workshops is open on the University of Tartu website. Useful information can be also found on the event’s page on Facebook.

Further information: Marleen Otsus, Specialist for Marketing and project manager of the Open Doors Day, University of Tartu, +372 5668 1613, marleen.otsus [ät] ut.ee

Sandra Sommer pressiesindaja tel +372 737 5681
mob +372 5307 7820 sandra.sommer [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: StudentsAdmissionUniversityPress release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Startup Day 2020. Münt won Kaleidoskoop Finals

2 weeks 4 days ago
31.01.2020

13th student business ideas competition Kaleidoskoop Finals was held at the business festival Startup Day 2019. Team Münt who is developing eco-friendly toothpaste tablets was selected to be the winner. Their mission is to make the planet earth a cleaner place.

Before the Kaleidoskoop Finals pre-selection was run to select 10 best teams from 36. Kaleidoskoop is organized by the University of Tartu Startup Lab. „It was probably the strongest pre-selection in the history of the Kaleidoskoop which made it quite difficult for the jury to pick only 10 teams for the finals “, said a member of the Kaleidoskoop Pre-selection jury Taavi Tamm.

Today top 10 teams pitched their ideas to the panel of judges at the Startup Day Pitching Stage. “We are bit shocked and very happy right now because they see the potential in us,” said co-founder of Münt Marilin Berg.  “We didn't even think we could win, actually we weren't sure we would even get through the pre-selection. It is great recognition for us” added the co-founder of Münt Märten Kala.

Münt won the main award - tickets to TechChill business festival in Latvia.  CommuniCare won Tartu City Government monetary award and was selected to pitch at the Starter Pitching competition that took place during the same day at the Startup Day Pitching Stage. Team CommuniCare is a social platform that unites volunteers all over Estonia to provide aid for carehomes in their area. The volunteers meet and talk with clients (elders) of carehomes and therefore take the workload off from everyday personnel.

Team Ropotty, who is creating an online potty training program linked with accessories rent for parents, won the special award by the UT Startup Lab and Law Firm LMP – every startup dream book „The Startup Owner’s Manual“ and free consultation from the Law Firm LMP. 

The judges were Alo Lilles (Tartu City Government Chief Business Development Specialist), Triin Kask (Nevercode co-founder) and Kalev Kaarna (Alpine House Superangel).

According to Alo Lilles one of the goals of Tartu City Government is to support start-ups. City Government in cooperation with members of the Startup Tartu community is actively contributing to various events where entrepreneurs share their knowledge, experience, stories of success and failure. "It is great to see so many young people and their startups at Startup Day", said Alo Lilles.

Startup Day is the biggest business festival in the Baltics that brings together startups, traditional companies, investors, innovators, and students.

Kaleidoskoop is funded by the European Social Fund.

Contact: Andres Vaher, Marketing & Communications Specialist, sTARTUp Lab, University of Tartu, +372 5558 7359, andres.vaher [ät] ut.ee

Category: Entrepreneurship
Kaja Karo (kajakk)

University of Tartu and Bolt presented autonomous driving lab’s test car

2 weeks 6 days ago
29.01.2020

On 28 January the University of Tartu and Bolt presented the test car procured for the University of Tartu’s autonomous driving lab. This high-technology vehicle will be used for experiments in several research and development fields. The aim is to conduct test runs in urban traffic this year already.

According to Anne Jääger, Head of Industry Collaboration and Project Manager at the Institute of Computer Science of the University of Tartu, the presented test car is essentially a technology development platform. It will be used to start research and development in several research projects related to autonomous driving. “Among other things, we will study the possibilities to automatically generate machine-readable precision maps that are necessary for autonomous driving, ensure user safety and systems security, and improve human-vehicle interactions,” Jääger said.

“Rather than developing its own self-driving car, the University of Tartu aims for experimental research and development with the help of freeware technologies and mapping applications. We want to analyse the suitability of technological solutions that have been developed in the world for use on self-driving cars in Estonia, and work out new technology on that basis,” Jääger explained. In addition to research and development it is also important to educate future specialists. “This is why we are soon offering first courses on autonomous driving technologies, and involve students in the work of the lab,” Jääger added.

The vehicle introduced today is equipped with many devices, for example a laser locator, camera, radar and navigation system, which help the car drive autonomously in the future. Currently it can independently travel a predetermined distance and is controlled by software. The next step, after developing the technology, would be autonomous test runs in traffic. Before that, all functions are thoroughly tested in computer simulation and thereafter in a parking area. During the test runs there are always two people in the car to ensure safety: a safety driver behind the wheel and a researcher in the passenger seat.

The laboratory was established by the university and Bolt; and also other enterprises operating in the field of self-driving technology are expected to join. Cooperation is also planned with the city of Tartu and the Estonian Road Administration to adapt legal requirements to the rapidly evolving technology.

André Karpištšenko, Head of Data Science at Bolt, says the goal of their cooperation with the University of Tartu is to prepare for the launch of the new technology and in future also use self-driving cars in Bolt services. “Bolt has successfully applied the existing technology. However, excellent knowledge is required for success, and the University of Tartu has got it. The university also has experience in developing innovative projects. The research and development in the lab help us work out the best solutions for the future markets,” he said.

“In future, the self-driving car will be a sustainable alternative, considering the ever-growing demand for transport. Transport in the city, in suburbs and in the country will definitely change in different ways. However, with technology developed in cooperation by the University of Tartu, Bolt, Archimedes and other organisations, also the legal space and infrastructure must develop so people will have the opportunity to use innovative modes of mobility,” Karpištšenko added.

Bolt received a grant from the Archimedes measure “Support for applied research in smart specialisation growth areas” to cooperate with the University of Tartu in applied research in autonomous driving technologies from May 2019 to August 2021.

Pictures can be downloaded from here.

Further information:
Anne Jääger, Head of Industry Collaboration and Project Manager at the UT Instutute of Computer Science, +372 737 6415, anne.jaager [ät] ut.ee
Jaan Lašmanov, Press Officer for Bolt, +372 5695 0462, press [ät] bolt.eu

Category: EntrepreneurshipResearchPress release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

University of Tartu Delta Centre to be opened in Tartu City Centre

3 weeks 1 day ago
27.01.2020

The University of Tartu Delta Centre, one of the most modern centre for digital technology, analytics and economic ideas in the Nordic countries, will open its doors on Wednesday, 29 January at 12:00. The Delta Centre comprises an academic and a research building and an entrepreneurship building and will bring together more than 3000 students, lecturers, researchers and development employees from companies.

The opening of the Delta Centre will give new life to both the university’s academic work and research and the whole of Tartu’s business scene. “As a building, the Delta Centre is already one of the landmarks of Tartu. Its contents will certainly make it a hub of innovative ideas that will bring the Estonian economy to a new level of development using a research-based approach,” said Professor Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu, adding that the upcoming long-term development strategy for Estonia includes R&D and the development of research fields important for Estonian entrepreneurship as the main precondition for the growth of smart entrepreneurship.

“The Delta Centre brings together the best knowledge, so that businesses can keep up with the rapid advancement of technology with the help of the university and ensure a new generation of workers,” said Toomas Asser. “During the construction of the centre, we received a clear signal that entrepreneurs like this kind of form of cooperation between students, researchers and entrepreneurs and that Tartu needs at least one more IT entrepreneurship centre in the immediate vicinity of the university.

The academic and research building will accommodate the UT Institute of Computer Sciences, the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and some laboratories of the Institute of Technology.

According to Jaak Vilo, Head of the Institute of Computer Sciences, the Delta Centre will become a unique cooperation environment for the specialties of information technology, economy, mathematics, statistics and computer technology and different types of companies to conduct academic work and research and implement development and innovation projects. “People with such competence have a very important role in the development of companies and the state,” said Vilo. According to Vilo, it is also important that the Institute of Computer Sciences can now work in the same building and on the same floor again.

The entrepreneurship building is to be opened in April and will bring research-based entrepreneurship linked with academic work and research to the immediate vicinity of the university in order to offer varied cooperation opportunities. The building will become a home to Cybernetica AS, Swedbank AS, Statistics Estonia, machine learning and data science competence centre STACC OÜ, AS SEB Pank innovation centre, the Business Incubation Centre of the European Space Agency and Tartu Science Park. 

The Delta Centre was designed by Illimar Truverk, Sander Aas, Sander Paljak, Kristjan Lind and Joanna Kordemets from Arhitekt11 OÜ. The centre was built by AS Ehitusfirma Rand and Tuulberg and AS Ehitustrust.

The total area of the four-storey academic and research building is approximately 17,500 m2 plus a 4,600 m2 underground car park. The total area of the five-storey entrepreneurship building is around 4,700 m2. The academic and research building cost a total of 28,425,600 euros and the entrepreneurship building 6,580,433 euros plus VAT. The construction of the Delta Centre was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Republic of Estonia and the University of Tartu.

Read more from the Delta Centre website.

The opening of the Delta Centre will be broadcast live via UTTV.

In cooperation with the University of Tartu and aside from the opening of the Delta Building,Tartu will host Startup Day, the largest business festival in the Baltic States, which takes place from 29 to 31 January and brings together more than 120 world-class performers and nearly 4000 participants in the university’s Sports Hall. In the evening of 30 January, the Delta Centre car park will host the Startup Day party.

For further information, please contact:
Erik Puura, Vice Rector for Development, University of Tartu, 506 9882, erik.puura [ät] ut.ee
Ott Pärna, Head of Marketing of University of Tartu Delta Centre, 517 8111, ott.parna [ät] ut.ee

Category: University
Kaja Karo (kajakk)

ERA Chairs bring excellence to Estonian universities

3 weeks 6 days ago
22.01.2020

European Union funded ERA Chairs projects bring outstanding academics to universities and research institutions, while also implementing structural changes to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis. Estonia has been the country with the highest number of funded ERA Chair applications each year. What lies behind this success?

Estonia has had a high success rate for receiving ERA Chair grants both in the 2017 and 2019 calls. All the largest Estonian universities – the University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology and the Estonian University of Life Sciences hold at least two ERA Chair grants.

Estonia has been very successful in applying for ERA Chairs because in a short time, the country has received almost 30 million euros for science grants. This shows the quality of Estonian research.

In the following interview, Taivo Raud, Head of Grant Office at the University of Tartu, helped to analyse the current situation.

How do you explain the success behind the University of Tartu’s ERA Chair funding?

Taivo Raud: This is primarily due to the excellence of researchers at the University of Tartu. They have been active in applying for the measure and have used the money coming from it as intended. Secondly, these applications are built on existing strengths in some areas and are aimed to support their further development. Only countries with a R&D performance of up to 70% of the European Union average can participate in the application of the ERA Chair. The measure works because it helps our science to meet the European excellence.

Read futher from Research in Estonia web page.

Category: ResearchPublications
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Mark Fišel to deliver inaugural lecture on natural language processing

4 weeks ago
21.01.2020

On Wednesday, 22 January at 16:15, Mark Fišel, Professor of Natural Language Processing at the University of Tartu’s Institute of Computer Science, will be delivering a lecture in the university assembly hall on natural language processing solutions that do not require annotated examples or linguistic knowledge encoding. Fišel, who compares his field of work to the search for a free lunch, has called his English-language lecture just that: ‘Free Lunch’.

According to Mare Koit, a language technology specialist at the University of Tartu, natural language processing has made significant progress thanks to the adoption of machine learning and statistical methods and the availability of large language corpora. “Mark became active in the field as a student and has since produced significant results in the field of machine translation in particular,” she said. “Under his leadership, the Chair of Natural Language Processing is conducting a number of research projects and working with business partners. For instance, Estonian was added to the Common Voice project by Mozilla, which is used to collect freely usable speech datasets. Mark’s colleagues and students value his ambitious ideas, how hard-working he is and how much energy and enthusiasm he has.”

University of Tartu language technology specialists study and develop the basic technology of natural language processing, which is largely independent of language. At the same time they develop applications and natural language processing components for Estonian end users, offering technological support for the Estonian language.

Fišel sees natural language processing as a complicated and exciting branch of artificial intelligence – mainly because nobody knows exactly how language functions and current solutions for individual tasks, such as machine translation and text analysis, are imprecise and incomplete. “The majority of existing language technology solutions are based on large amounts of language resources,” he explained. “As a result, the situation becomes more complicated in the case of languages with fewer speakers and fewer resources, such as Estonian.” His lecture will address such topics as machine translation, translation quality estimation, style adaptation and grammatical error correction.

Fišel obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Tartu in 2011 and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Zurich from 2011–2015. He has been the head of the Chair of Natural Language Processing at the University of Tartu since 2015.

Further information:
Mark Fišel, Professor of Natural Language Processing, Head of Chair and Vice-Director of UT Institute of Computer Science, +372 737 5430, mark.fisel [ät] ut.ee
Mare Koit, UT Language Technology Specialist, +372 737 5464, mare.koit [ät] ut.ee

Sandra Sommer Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5681
Mob: +(372) 5307 7820 sandra.sommer [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

International security students from California enjoyed the winter in Tartu

1 month ago
13.01.2020

In the course of this winter the students from San Diego State University (USA) studied for the 12th time at the University of Tartu. Of the 15 students who participated the majority were from the international security and conflict resolution program. Upon arrival in Tartu they were greeted by frosty weather and snow-covered streets, which was a first-time experience for many of them.

In regard of the relations between Estonia and Russia the students were given an overview of our mutual history, cooperation and future perspectives. Special attention was accorded to regional security and cooperation with NATO, as well as to introducing Estonia as an e-state. Lectures were delivered by the university’s highly acclaimed lecturers Piret Ehin, Mihkel Solvak, Andrey Makarychev and Heiko Pääbo from John Skytte Institute of Political Studies. In addition, some of the lectures were held by external experts. The personal stories conveyed by Piret Ehin about the challenges after the restoration of independence were greatly appreciated by the students as the stories gave them a better understanding of the complexity of the transitional period of the 1990s.

San Diego State University professor Allen Greb explains why he makes annual trips to Estonia with his students: “It is an outstanding program that continues to amaze and enlighten our ISCOR and SDSU students. Always great to come back because of the great work and preparation by University of Tartu organizers. This is not the “usual suspect” European program; it offers something very different and unique for our students”. The feedback from the students has always been very positive. For example, Hayden Pierce Steger who participated in the program stated: “The whole program was organized excellently. The structure, all activities and trips were perfect. All lecturers were genuinely interested in us and professionals.”

The academic lectures and seminars were supplemented by a rich cultural program in Tartu, St. Petersburg and Tallinn.

The program for the students from San Diego State University is a part of the year-round international continuing education program of University of Tartu. At the moment, application process is open to International Summer University. Visit www.isu.ut.ee for further information.

Further information: Mari-Ann Susi, Program Director for International Summer University, University of Tartu, +372 501 4388, mari-ann.susi [ät] ut.ee

Category: Continuing Courses
Marko Ojakivi (ojakivi)

Scientists hope to defeat infections after discovering bacterial espionage

1 month 1 week ago
07.01.2020

University of Tartu (UT) scientists hope create a solution for chronic infections that do not respond to antibiotic treatment after having discovered mechanisms for listening in on sleeping bacteria.

Having recently published a research article on the topic in Scientific Reports with his team, Senior Research Fellow in Molecular Microbiology Arvi Jõers writes about the ability of bacteria to listen in on one other and what this discovery means for medicine.

The life of bacteria is not easy. If there is sufficient food, they multiply rapidly, but they do not tend to store it. Once bacteria are out of food, it is over for them: their metabolism slows down and they enter a sleep-like state. In such a state, bacteria are quite resilient to environmental conditions and can even live through difficult times. In this, they are similar to a bear in hibernation – minimal energy is spent while waiting for better times ahead.
These arrive with new food.

Once there is enough food again, all bacteria wake up and start multiplying rapidly. However, bacteria can be more hesitant if there is little food and it is not of the best quality. Is it even worth leaving a secure state for such a lousy meal? Perhaps it is not even real food, but some sort of trick? Naturally, bacteria do not follow this line of thought. Instead, they have developed mechanisms in the course of evolution that offer solutions to such dilemmas.

One particular sign of the environment being sufficiently good for bacteria to grow and multiply is the growth of other bacteria. University of Tartu scientists discovered that sleeping bacteria can learn about the growth of other bacteria by spying on them.

Namely, as bacteria grow, they expel material from their cell walls into the environment. The cell wall is quite a rigid structure that surrounds each bacterial cell and protects it from the external environment. For a bacterium to grow bigger, the cell wall must become softer and give in to a certain degree. As a result of changes like this, part of the cell wall material enters the environment, sending sleeping bacteria a message that conditions have improved and others have enough food to grow.

Once sleeping bacteria identify material originating from the cell walls of other bacteria in the environment, they wake up quickly and in great numbers in order to get their share of the newly arrived nutrients.

Sleeping bacteria unwilling to wake up pose a serious problem in medicine. Antibiotics are, above all, known to kill actively growing bacteria and they do not often work on sleeping bacterial cells. Thus, sleeping bacteria can survive a course of antibiotics in the human body and start to grow again later when the person has finished the treatment. These cells are called persister cells and they can cause long-term chronic infections that do not respond to antibiotic treatment.

If scientists could now use this new knowledge to trick sleeping bacteria and lure them into waking up with some substance similar to a cell wall, there would be hope of killing them with antibiotics on the first try. This would allow bacterial infections to be treated with one course of treatment.

Futher information: Arvi Jõers, UT Senior Research Fellow in Molecular Microbiology, 737 5041, arvi.joers [ät] ut.ee

Category: Research
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Enn Saar awarded the University of Tartu Grand Medal

1 month 4 weeks ago
20.12.2019

Senior Research Fellow of Tartu Observatory Enn Saar was awarded the University of Tartu Grand Medal. The medal was handed over on December 18 before this year's last astronomy seminar in Tõravere.

The main field of research for Saar has been the fundamental forces that form the Universe: dark matter, dark energy and their observational occurrences in the large-scale structure of the Universe; in the earlier days, also in the structure of galaxies and galaxy clusters. He is one of the discoverers of dark matter and the large-scale structure of the Universe along with long-time colleague Jaan Einasto. It can easily be stated that most of Tartu Observatory's biggest achievements in this field of research are founded on Saar's contributions. His part in the numerical modelling of the evolution of the Universe as well as applying mathematical and statistical methods to analyze cosmological data also needs to be emphasised.

From 1998 to 2016, Saar was the Head of the Department of Physics of Galaxies and Cosmology. He is a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences since 2010. For the research of dark matter, a comprehensive co-operation between the researchers of Tartu Observatory and the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics was started with Martti Raidal. This collaboration has led to founding two Centres of Excellence. Among colleagues, Saar is valued as an original and broad thinker and counsellor who can see through the mathematical essence of different scientific problems.

The book "Statistics of Galaxy Distribution" written with colleague Vicent Martinez is a highly valued manual for astronomers and cosmologists working both on this and that side of the ocean. "Star Atlas" („Täheatlas“; Tallinn: Valgus, 1990) written with Jaak Jaaniste is of value to the broader audience interested in the sky as well as mythology.

Enn Saar has also been an apinist. He has worked at the international alpinism camp in Pamir. Twice, Saar has reached the summits of mountains higher than 7000 metres. In 1982 Saar was the leader of an expedition to Central-Pamir. During the expedition, the alpinists climbed the highest unconquered mountain of the Soviet Union at the time. The mountain peak was named Tartu Ülikool 350 (University of Tartu 350) (height 6350 metres).

Saar was awarded the National Science Prize (as a member of a group) in 2007 for a discovery that effects the paradigm of the discipline as well as the world view. He has also received the national prize of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1982 and the Estonian Physical Society Annual Award in 2006.

The University of Tartu Grand Medal is awarded to employees as well as people outside of the university, who have done great service to the university.

Futher information: Enn Saar, Academician and Senior Research Fellow at UT Tartu Observatory department of Physics of Galaxies and Cosmology, 737 4556, enn.saar [ät] ut.ee

Category: UniversityPress release
Kairi Janson (kairijan)

University of Tartu and City of Tallinn see more collaboration opportunities in research and development

1 month 4 weeks ago
20.12.2019

On 13 December the Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart and the delegation of Tallinn City Government visited the University of Tartu to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the university and the City of Tallinn.

The University of Tartu cooperates effectively with Tallinn in introducing learning opportunities. For example, the higher education event “Study in Tartu” is organised together with other higher education institutions of Tartu at the beginning of January, and in spring the traditional week-long event “The University of Tartu in Tallinn” is held. The curriculum of Law can be fully completed in Tallinn and in addition, the university offers continuing education courses for different target groups in the capital of Estonia. One in four entrants to the University of Tartu come from Tallinn.

According to Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu, both parties are willing to enhance the cooperation. “While the university is quite close to Tallinn in terms of teaching and studies, and nearly a third of the secondary school graduates of Tallinn choose to continue their studies at the University of Tartu, there still is a great potential in the area of research and development. That is why during the visit we focused on introducing the university’s research topics that Tallinn could benefit from.”

The university has engaged in research and development cooperation with the City of Tallinn in various fields, although in rather small-scale projects so far. During the visit Mihkel Solvak introduced to the delegation the work of the Centre of IT Impact Studies (CITIS), Margus Pedaste and Katri Lamesoo presented the services offered to schools by the Centre of Educational Innovation, and Tiit Tammaru spoke of the new trends and opportunities in urban and mobility studies. The city has got a lot of data; and the university has the competence to analyse them and thereby contribute to developing various policies and services.

During the meeting the parties also reviewed the 2020 action plan of the cooperation agreement between the City of Tallinn and the University of Tartu that was renewed in spring. The next meeting to discuss more specific development projects will be held in Tallinn.

Further information: Aune Valk,  UT Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, +372 737 6201, aune.valk [ät] ut.ee

Category: Continuing CoursesUniversity
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Anniversary of Estonia’s national university celebrated in Stockholm and Lund

1 month 4 weeks ago
20.12.2019

Celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university outside Estonia culminated in the visit of the rector and delegation of the University of Tartu to Sweden. On 11 December a ceremony and reception was held to mark the anniversary in the Estonian House in Stockholm.

Rector Toomas Asser greeted the representatives of the local Estonian community, many of whom have close connections with the university. Professor Birute Klaas-Lang held an academic lecture on the possibility of and need for research in the Estonian language.

Evelin Tamm, chair of the Estonian Learned Society in Sweden, talked about the history of the society and its strong ties with the University of Tartu. Kristel Engman, deputy head of the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Stockholm, emphasised the value of the University of Tartu and of higher education in exile. The ceremony and reception was organised by the Estonian Learned Society in Sweden, the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Sweden and the University of Tartu.

On 12 December the representatives of the University of Tartu visited Lund University, where they discussed collaboration in research and development and teaching with Stacey Ristinmaa Sörensen, the pro vice-chancellor for research of Lund University.

The University of Tartu physicists led by Professor Marco Kirm cooperate closely with the international synchrotron radiation facility MAX-Lab at Lund University. This facility together with the European Spallation Source make up part of Northern Europe’s largest research centre in Lund. Marco Kirm and Professor Leho Ainsaar, who takes office as the dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology on 1 January, participated in several meetings with partners at Lund University.

During the visit the University of Tartu representatives paid their respects to two former rectors who were buried in Sweden – Johan Kõpp’s grave in Stockholm Forest Cemetery and Edgar Kant’s grave in Lund Northern Cemetery.

Further information: Kristi Kerge, Head of International Cooperation, +372 737 6123, kristi.kerge [ät] ut.ee

Category: University
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Startup Day brings Fiverr and Airbnb experience to Tartu

2 months ago
18.12.2019

Baltics biggest business festival Startup Day just launched its program of the 2020 festival on January 29-31 in Tartu, Estonia.  This year the festival lasts for 3 days, it has 4 stages and over 40 great seminars and a special day for pre-events. Altogether the festival is expecting over 120 speakers and 4000 guests.

"Being the largest startup festival in the Baltics means that the program should have something for anyone who is interested in startups,” said the program manager Sven Illing. “Over 120 speakers will offer something for everybody. The program team has kept some topics that have been there from the start - such as smart city, space tech, science to business and health-tech."

This year, one of the keynote speakers is Andres Schabelman - the VP of Expansion of Fiverr, the world’s largest freelance marketplace. Schabelman is going to share his lessons from Airbnb and Fiverr and how to scale companies (and yourself) with heart. The program also includes futurist Jeremy Goldman who will talk about predicting the successful startup of tomorrow. Hermione Way, the former Head of European Communications at Tinder, will talk about her learnings from 10 years of marketing in startups.

"We have also chosen some exciting founder stories from early-stage startups to a unicorn story of Vinted, the first billion-dollar startup from Lithuania,” said Illing. Vinted’s co-founder Milda Mikute is one of the many inspiring startup founders who is going to share her success story on the stage.

Startup Day is the place were startuppers, investors, executives, world-class experts, and media meet – and that’s how great ideas are born. The festival gives it’s best to inspire people to start working on their dreams and give knowledge of how to get to the next level!

Startup Day is taking place from the 29th to 31st of January 2020. The festival brings together innovative startups, the vibrant investor scene, forward-looking executives, and other startup-minded people.

The price for Startup Day ticket is going up after the 20th of December. Get your ticket from here! Read more about the speakers from here!

Additional Information: Riin Lisett Rei, Startup Day PR Manager, +372 5908 6451, Riin.Lisett [ät] startupday.ee

Category: Entrepreneurship
Kaja Karo (kajakk)

Towards biomarker-based diagnosis of psoriasis

2 months ago
18.12.2019

Chronic inflammatory skin diseases, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, may in certain cases, based on visual inspection, be very similar and this complicates their accurate diagnosis. University of Tartu scientists together with Tartu University Hospital dermatologists studied a novel approach for diagnosing psoriasis vulgaris. The purpose of this research was to drive forward the development of biomarker-based diagnostics in the field of inflammatory skin diseases.

The University of Tartu Faculty of Medicine Transgeno working group in cooperation with the Tartu University Hospital Dermatology Clinic published a research article in the Acta Dermato-Venereologica journal studying the possibility of using a diagnostic method based on measuring the expression of specific genes for diagnosing psoriasis vulgaris.

The study is novel in two ways: on one hand, in the context of psoriasis or other chronic inflammatory skin diseases, known biomarker candidates have so far not been tested on several different patient groups. On the other hand, in this study, scientists adopted a method of transforming gene expression data, which enabled them to use gene expression data gathered using various technical methods in the same classification models.

One of the authors of the study, a specialist at the University of Tartu Core Facility of Clinical Genomics and a doctoral student of medicine, Freddy Lättekivi, explained that for the diagnosis of psoriasis vulgaris, molecular diagnostic methods are not yet used in the clinics. “Several biomarker candidates have been found, but none of them have been tested on larger patient groups,” said Lättekivi.

Thus, scientists looked at how accurately it is possible to separate psoriasis vulgaris from other chronic inflammatory skin diseases based on the expression of specific genes or their combinations in different datasets. “We used both previously published data from public gene expression datasets as well as gene expression data measured from the skin biopsies of patients at the Tartu University Hospital Dermatology Clinic – a total of 542 samples,” said Lättekivi.

“We discovered that the classifying models based on the combination of several genes consistently give more accurate results than classification based on the expression of single genes. Nevertheless, none of the tested gene combinations were completely accurate – the best result was 96.4%. We also found that different patient groups are characterised by systemic differences in their gene expression profiles, which ultimately became the limiting factor for this approach,” said Lättekivi describing the results of the research.
According to Lättekivi, this research will help drive forward the development of biomarker-based diagnostics in the field of chronic inflammatory skin diseases. “Developing diagnostic biomarkers creates possibilities for their daily use, which in more complicated cases would allow diseases to be diagnosed more accurately and faster.”

The TransGeno ERA Chair project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 6689889.

The translation of this article was funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Estonian Research Council.

More information:
Freddy Lättekivi
Specialist at the Core Facility of Clinical Genomics, University of Tartu
freddy.lattekivi [ät] ut.ee Category: Research
Virge Ratasepp (a73579)

University of Tartu researchers are developing a translation programme with Mozilla Firefox

2 months ago
17.12.2019

Recently, news of Mozilla’s new translation programme Bergamot spread through international technology news portals. Few know that the high-level team also includes language technologists from the University of Tartu who are helping to improve the flexibility and quality of machine translation. The head of the Tartu part of this work, professor of natural language processing at the Institute of Computer Science Mark Fišel, describes the background of the collaboration.

Reading about the project from English media, you will learn that it involves a machine translation programme (The Bergamot Project; see browser.mt) for open-source web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, the largest difference with, e.g., Google Translation being its privacy. When most similar machine translation programmes are cloud-based, Bergamot must be downloaded to the computer and no user data is collected during its use.

In addition to the University of Tartu and Mozilla, the consortium of Bergamot also includes the University of Edinburgh, Charles University and the University of Sheffield.

Read futher from research in Estonia webpage

The translation of this article from Estonian Public Broadcasting science news portal Novaator was funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Estonian Research Council.

Category: Research
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Estonian EconMin, University of Tartu to teach computer programming to young people

2 months ago
13.12.2019

The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has concluded an agreement with the University of Tartu for carrying out online training courses in computer programming in cooperation with schools for at least 500 young people by spring 2022.

Minister of Foreign Trade and IT Kaimar Karu said that areas in which technology is not used these days have become scarce."ICT is no longer a separate field, it has become ubiquitous. Knowledge of and practical skills in IT benefit everyone, which is why we must above all introduce this field to young people, who are about to make their career choices," Karu said, adding that the initiative helps contribute to raising the next generation of specialists and cooperation partners who can continue building and developing the digital state. 

The minister noted that outside the traditional field of ICT, too, the number of roles is growing in which good knowledge of ICT provides a competitive edge. "There is great demand for people who have the ability to combine business needs and the opportunities offered by technology -- for people who speak both languages," Karu said.

Eno Tonisson, associate professor in didactics of informatics at the University of Tartu's institute of computer science, said that the training course will expand the range of choices both at schools where programming is already taught as well as in those, where the option is not yet available. People who are not currently studying at the school providing the course also have the opportunity to participate. "This course offers is a good opportunity to get acquainted with computer programming and thus gain some clarity with regard to one's further learning or career plans," Tonisson said.

The goal of the program is to provide instruction in computer programming to those who lack previous exposure to the field or have rarely come into contact with it. Eligible to participate in the program are all people aged 16 to 26, regardless of whether or not they are studying in a high school or vocational school. The program will run for ten weeks and end with a test. Students are supported in their studies through their school or over the internet.

The translation of the article "MKM hakkab koostöös Tartu Ülikooliga noortele programmeerimist õpetama" was done by The Baltic Times

 

Futher information: Eno Tõnisson, UT Associate Professor in Didactics of Informatics, 737 5431, eno.tonisson [ät] ut.ee

Category: Press release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Fuel cells developed in collaboration with University of Tartu researchers win innovation award for Elcogen at Europe’s biggest business competition

2 months 1 week ago
10.12.2019

The Estonian fuel cell manufacturer Elcogen was named the winner of the Award for Innovation at Europe’s biggest and most prestigious business competition European Business Awards on 4 December.

Elcogen is the manufacturer of the world’s most efficient fuel cells, which make it possible to generate electricity without the need for internal combustion. The production of electricity by means of fuel cells is efficient and safe, and does not release pollutants. In addition, solid oxide cells can be used to produce environmentally friendly hydrogen, which is considered a highly promising approach in the field of energy storage. Elcogen technology enables the world’s most advanced industries to offer green energy production and storage solutions for the mass market.

Elcogen started to develop the fuel cell that won them the innovation award in collaboration with the University of Tartu. To develop medium-temperature solid oxide fuel cells, Elcogen established contacts with Enn Lust, Professor of Physical Chemistry of the University of Tartu, in 2001 already. This collaboration resulted in creating a new synthesis method, which was patented in 2005 in the USA, Russian Federation, and 15 member states of the European Union, including Estonia. Based on the patent also the methodology for unit cell production was developed. The University of Tartu and Elcogen have jointly participated in implementing Estonian energy and materials technology projects.

According to Professor Enn Lust, the University of Tartu continues research and development collaboration with Elcogen. “The goal is to find a solution to use fuels containing sulphur and silicon compounds – biogas, wood gas, synthesis gas and untreated natural gas,” he said. Also, porous materials for high-temperature co-electrolysis of carbon dioxide and water steam are developed. “Collaboration is even more efficient as Freddy Kukk from Elcogen is currently a doctoral student at the University of Tartu. Kukk defended his master’s thesis on the long-term stability of solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyser cells,” Lust added.

European Business Awards have been issued since 2012. Their primary purpose is to support and develop a stronger, more successful, innovative and ethical business community, because businesses play a key role in addressing issues faced across the world.

Elcogen is the first Estonian company to win this competition. The competition started out in July, when 2753 participants were selected in the first round. After a rigorous selection process, 363 companies were announced as National Winners in September, and had the possibility to introduce their company to a high-level jury in the grand final.

Further information: Enn Lust, UT Professor of Physical Chemistry, Director of the Institute of Chemistry, +372 737 5165, +372 511 2030, enn.lust [ät] ut.ee

Sandra Sommer Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5681
Mob: +(372) 5307 7820 sandra.sommer [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Entrepreneurship
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

Public lecture of Prof Robert Alexy on constitutional rights

2 months 1 week ago
09.12.2019

Professor emeritus of public law and legal philosophy at Kiel University, renowned German legal philosopher and constitutionalist Robert Alexy will deliver a lecture on the topic of Constitutional Rights, Proportionality and Argumentation in the Assembly Hall of the University of Tartu from 12:15 to 14:00 on 10 December.

Robert Alexy studied law at the University of Göttingen. He achieved his habilitation with the Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Göttingen in 1984 and he has been working at Kiel University since 1986. He was President of the German Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy from 1994-1998. In 2002 he was appointed to the Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Göttingen. He has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by numerous Latin-American (Brazil, Peru, Argentina) and European universities (incl. the Charles University of Prague, Coimbra, Antwerp and Alicante).

It often happens that two or more fundamental rights collide and demand or permit different things. In order to solve these cases, researchers of constitutional law and legal theory have come up with the principle theory of fundamental rights. One of the most important components of assessing the principle theory and fundamental rights is the idea of proportionality, also considered to be the essence of the principle theory. Originally developed to solve collisions of fundamental rights, the theory and the accompanying proportionality test have become an important part of the judicial supervision system of constitutional law in general. A fully developed theory of arguing for fundamental rights comprises three parts: the principle theory, the general theory of rational legal discourse and the theory of judicial supervision of constitutional law. Robert Alexy is one of the most important thinkers in this tradition and a founder of the complex approach motivated by legal theory.

Professor Alexy´s lecture will be held as a part of the German-Estonian Academia week, funded by the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state´s employers´ association. Academia, initiated in 1997 in order to further cooperation between the research communities in Germany and Estonia, is a series of lectures as of this year. Professor Alexy´s lecture is the second in the series.

The lecture is in English. Everyone is welcome to attend!

P.S. Professor Robert Alexy´s lecture is also accessible via UTTV.

Futher information: Lauri Randveer, UT Senior Specialist for International Cooperation, 737 5510, 512 9996, lauri.randveer [ät] ut.ee

Category: International
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)

University of Tartu hosted the Government of Estonia

2 months 1 week ago
09.12.2019

On 5 December the Government of Estonia held its special session at the University of Tartu to mark the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university. During the meeting the university leaders gave an overview to the government members of the University of Tartu’s development plans and of the solutions the university could offer to help the country achieve its long-term goals.

Rector of the University of Tartu Toomas Asser expressed his gratitude to the government members who made this significant visit on the occasion of the anniversary of the national university. In his welcoming address he pointed out the achievements of Estonian education system with reference to the excellent results of Estonian schoolchildren in the recent OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. The rector admitted that the survey results send a powerful message to the university. “Both as an educator of teachers and as the future university of the young people who took the PISA test, we are part of the cycle that ensures an educated future generation for Estonia,” said Asser. “The more educated are our prospective students and the broader their horizons, the better results we will attain in higher education and research. Only if each part in the learning and teaching cycle is of the highest level can we call ourselves an educated society that believes in knowledge.”

The rector together with Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Aune Valk and Vice Rector for Research Kristjan Vassil gave the government an overview of what the university and the government could do to ensure that the research and teaching quality at the University of Tartu reached an equal level with the world’s one hundred best universities. “I’d like to mention the PISA survey again: it is the obligation of the university and the state to ensure that our world-level, educated young people have the best possibilities to continue their studies in Estonia,” said Asser.

Members of the Rector’s Office assured the government ministers that the University of Tartu – the only classical higher education and research institution in Estonia – has the capacity and obligation to contribute to the achievement of Estonia’s long-term objectives, which have been described in the soon-to-be-published strategy “Estonia 2035” and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. “In our forthcoming new strategic plan we pay much attention to being society’s development advisers and state confidently that the university will stand by the state and society,” said Toomas Asser. He added that many potential solutions have already been worked out at the university for many critical issues in society, and together with the leaders of Estonia it is possible to plan how to best implement these solutions.

The university leaders emphasised that policymakers need science- and evidence-based solutions to tackle global challenges. The role of universities is to create new knowledge to meet the needs and to offer existing solutions to solve the key problems. Therefore, the national Research and Development Strategy must focus on problems of particular importance to Estonia that, if solved, yield development opportunities, the smart use of which in business would give us a competitive edge in the world.

“It is a great honour to hold the government’s special session at the University of Tartu, who is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university these days. The national university is one of the central institutions of our republic, the leader of our research and higher education, who has important responsibilities to the state and the people of Estonia, as well as to world science,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

Members of the government and leaders of the University of Tartu also visited the Estonian National Museum and after lunch the session of the Government of Estonia was held in the Council Hall of the University of Tartu. In the evening a visit was paid to the Institute of Genomics of the University of Tartu, where the rector hosted a reception to government members and organisers of the centenary events of Estonia’s national university. In the evening the government and university members went to the Vanemuine Theatre to watch the drama “Faehlmann”, which first premiered in 1982 on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the University of Tartu.

Further information: Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu, +372 737 5601, toomas.asser [ät] ut.ee

Sandra Sommer Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5681
Mob: +(372) 5307 7820 sandra.sommer [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: UniversityPress release
Sandra Sommer (sandraso)
Checked
18.02.2020 - 21:14
Subscribe to Tartu University News feed