The framework of establishing the Network of Space Universities has been presented at AGH UST. The primary objective of the initiative will be the exchange of experiences in the area of education and research in the field of space technologies, the establishment of a discussion platform, as well as facilitating collaboration between research groups working at Polish universities in this new in Poland, though rapidly developing discipline. The initiative of establishing the Network is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science.
Space for Earth and Humanity – this motto will be a signpost for the Network of Space Universities, an initiative whose assumptions were presented on 27th May 2021 at AGH UST.
“The dynamic development of the space sector, observed in Poland, Europe, and all over the world, poses a number of challenges for Polish universities. New production plants, specialist companies, and laboratories are looking for highly-qualified staff in the field of space technologies. It is a chance for Polish universities to join the sector and to supply it with well-educated specialists. As individual universities, we have a lot to offer, for example, unique fields of study, modern laboratories with up-to-date equipment, and research projects conducted jointly with other universities. However, only as the Network of Space Universities we have a chance to appear in the awareness of the world leaders. In the first place, the Network of Space Universities aims at the development of Polish science in the area of space-related research, education in the field of space engineering, as well as carrying out joint research projects and their commercialisation. A starting point for the establishment of the Network of Space Universities have been AGH UST’s activities in the field of education and research in the area of space engineering, as well as the prestigious project of the European Space University UNIVERSEH, which AGH UST develops jointly with four other European universities,” emphasized professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST Rector, an initiator of the Space Universities Network.
He also added:
“It is really important for us to share our experiences with other universities in Poland. Joint education of engineers in space-related disciplines, joint research programmes in the area of space sciences, as well as joint grants and research projects are our primary objective. As a network of universities united around the subject of space, we will surely be able to increase our contribution to this more and more rapidly developing branch of science.”
Wojciech Murdzek, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education and Science, Government’s Proxy for the reform of the operation of scientific research institutes, said:
“I am very pleased with the AGH UST’s initiative. The idea behind it, i.e. Space for Earth and Humanity, very accurately reflects the spirit of the contemporary needs of Poland and the whole world. We are setting the bar very high. Universities first can make a significant contribution to the development of the space sector. A challenge for space projects is their efficient management. I hope that the Network of Space Universities will oversee projects in this area, as well as initiating new enterprises and programmes within the framework of the space sector. The Ministry will definitely support the initiative and will be actively involved in its activities.”
The meeting initiating the operations of the Network of Space Universities was also participated in by professor Grzegorz Wrochna, President of the Polish Space Agency, who said:
“Talking about how to educate future experts and how to open their minds to the potential of transfer of technologies is extremely important for us. I am convinced that the meeting initiating the operations of the Network of Space Universities will be an excellent beginning of a close and active collaboration between the Polish Space Agency and AGH UST, as well as the entire Network. We are happy to share our contacts with the industry. We are aware that nothing helps better in inspiring students than a possibility of getting involved in practical applications of science.”
In the opinion of professor Tadeusz Uhl, Director of the AGH UST Space Technology Centre, the world science, including Polish science, is extremely dynamically developing research and education in the area of space technologies:
“The results of research in this sector have served humanity for many years. Thanks to changing the strategy of space exploration by the largest players in this field, the cost of participating in research projects is not an obstacle for universities any more. In this regard, we hope that in the near future the Network of Space Universities will participate in many missions, and will contribute to an increase of our competitiveness on the international arena, both scientifically and commercially. We do want the Network to be a discussion forum, but also a decision-making body within the scope of specialist education and the subject areas of undertaken research. Another extremely important area of the Network’s activity is sharing research infrastructure, such as unique laboratories, with other Network partners. If we can take advantage of the added value following from the fact of collaboration between a large number of science and research institutions in Poland, then we will have a chance to make our presence known among the leaders of the ‘new universe’", adds professor Tadeusz Uhl.
The online meeting initiating the operations of the Network featured the following people: professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST Rector, professor Rafał Wiśniowski, AGH UST Vice-Rector for Cooperation, professor Tadeusz Uhl, Director of the AGH UST Space Technology Centre, professor Arkadiusz Mężyk, President of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland, professor Teofil Jesionowski, President of the Conference of Rectors of Polish Technical Universities, professor Bogumiła Kaniewska, President of the Conference of Rectors of Polish Universities, professor Grzegorz Wrochna, President of the Polish Space Agency, Anna Budzanowska, Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology, and Mateusz Gaczyński, Vice-Director of the Department of Innovation at the Ministry of Education and Science. A special guest of the meeting was Wojciech Murdzek, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education and Science, Government’s Proxy for the reform of the operation of scientific research institutes. The circle of partners forming the Network of Space Universities will in the future be joined by other universities, for example, members of KRASP (Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland), KRPUT (Conference of Rectors of Polish Technical Universities), and KRUP (Conference of Rectors of Polish Universities), which offer education and carry out research in the area of space technologies.
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