AGH University of Science and Technology, together with its partners in Europe, develops the strategy for the space industry

The AGH UST delegation visited Toulouse, where it participated in the conference Space and the Universities of the Future in Europe

From October 4-6, 2021, the AGH UST delegation, headed by the AGH UST Rector, Professor Jerzy Lis, visited Toulouse, where it participated in the conference Space and the Universities of the Future in Europe, as well as debates of project groups of the UNIVERSEH consortium, which is co-created by the AGH UST with the universities from France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Sweden.

The event in France was the first opportunity for the project participants to meet in person since its launch in December 2020. During the conference, the research part of the programme called “Beyond UNIVERSEH” was initiated.

One of the chief issues of the inaugural conference was the presentation of the capabilities of European universities in terms of increasing the quality of education, especially in the sector of space exploration. The panellists and debate participants have answered the question of how UNIVERSEH can provide benefits to all parties of the project, as well as how to guarantee students from all partner countries equal access to the high level of education.

Researchers, engineers, doctoral students, and students from the five universities involved in the project have shared their research and experience related to the education-friendly environment in terms of space technologies. Knowledge and practical experiences of working in the space sector were also presented by members of the European Parliament, the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, as well as representatives of the space industry, including the European Space Agency, Airbus, and the European Investment Fund. Representatives of the start-up sector have also contributed greatly to the discussion; including Polish start-ups: SatRevolution and Analog Astronaut Training Centre.

During the conference, the official launch of the research pillar of the consortium project called “Beyond UNIVERSEH”, whose funding was announced in spring 2021, took place. The objective of the initiative is to expand the know-how of the project in terms of conducting research and education in the fields of science and engineering, economy, business, as well as finance, medicine, social sciences, art, culture, or entrepreneurship.

The AGH UST Rector, Professor Jerzy Lis, cannot express his contentment enough in relation to the effects achieved so far: ‘The participation of the AGH UST in the first conference within the framework of the UNIVERSEH project “Space and the Universities of the Future in Europe” in Toulouse was an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen our relationship and collaboration with our partners from France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Sweden. We have had numerous edifying and extremely fruitful meetings, debates, and workshops. I am very happy that our students and doctoral students could also participate in those meetings, as they are the future of the space sector. We are doing our best to help them benefit from this project as much as possible. During the conference, we had the opportunity to talk about the programmes of study, the education offer, and the challenges of the space industry. From the point of view of the university, the expansion of connections, which can result in internships or work placements for students, is of particular value’.

Professor Tadeusz Uhl, Director of the Space Technology Centre AGH UST, which fulfils the UNIVERSER project, adds: ‘I am immensely happy that after almost a year from launching this project, we were able to meet in person to debate and work together to achieve the next objectives of our space university project. The last few months have shown that multicultural and multilingual collaboration is possible and, consequently, that the project goals we have set are absolutely within our grasp. I am convinced that within the framework of the UNIVERSEH project we will create a friendly environment for students and researchers that will help them conduct research related to space innovations’.

The objective of the 2020-2023 UNIVERSEH project is to support the European Education Area in terms of space technologies, notably by increasing the employment of specialised personnel or the development of industry. For nearly a year, the consortium has worked towards establishing the first European Space University for Earth and Humanity, the objective of which will be to collectively educate future specialists in the field of space technologies. The AGH UST partners in this project are: The University of Toulouse (France), the University of Luxembourg, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Germany), and Luleå University of Technology (Sweden). For detailed information on the consortium, see: https://www.universeh.eu/ and https://www.universeh.agh.edu.pl/.