– UNIVERSEH, our European University, gives us great opportunities for international collaboration in education and now also research. Although the participating universities will especially collaborate within the space area, UNIVERSEH opens up great general opportunities for educational collaborations, says Pär Weihed, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.
Jonas Ekman, project manager for Beyond UNIVERSEH at Luleå University of Technology, agrees and highlights the importance of the network arising within the framework of both projects.
– This project gives our researchers a way into UNIVERSEH's consortium. Synergy effects are created that will strengthen Luleå University of Technology's role as a university in Europe, and as an obvious partner for companies and industries related to space, says Jonas Ekman.
The purpose of Beyond UNIVERSEH is to create interdisciplinary collaboration and to define a roadmap for the consortium's space research in the coming years. The parties in the UNIVERSEH alliance will form a sustainable and integrated research and innovation network and identify needs and societal challenges that space-related research could solve.
– Focus is on space but the approach is multidisciplinary. There are an incredible number of subject areas that are relevant, such as engineering materials, social sciences, earth observation and robotics to name a few, says Jonas Ekman.
– Absolutely, all the university's research subjects should consider this an opportunity. We would really like to see the collaboration broadened to more research and education areas, says Pär Weihed.
Strengthened position in Europe
Luleå University of Technology leads one of the project's work packages: to develop a research agenda for 2035 and a vision for 2050. The goal is to influence decision-makers, industrial actors and the overall policy work in Europe.
– A large part of the work is about mapping who does what and what research areas and collaborations are represented within the UNIVERSEH alliance. After that, we can aim forward and work together. For Luleå University of Technology, it will be a logical continuation to maintain our position as Sweden's Space University.