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The Grand Challenges challenging universities of technology to change


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Title: The Grand Challenges challenging universities of technology to change

The Grand Challengeschallenging universities of
technology to change
  • Executive Dean Matti Pursula
  • Aalto University, Finland
  • Cesaer Grand Challenges Seminar
  • Trondheim 15.10.2010

IntroductionEurope must focus on the Grand
Challenges of our time
  • The Grand Challenges defined by the Lund
    Declaration in 2009
  • Global warming
  • Tightening supplies of energy, water and food
  • Ageing societes
  • Public health
  • Pandemies and
  • Security

Meeting the Grand ChallengesThe Lund Declaration
  • Strengthening frontier research initiated by the
    research community itself
  • Competition among researchers to ensure the
  • Taking global lead in the developing of enabling
  • Biotechnology, information technology, materials
    and nano-technologies
  • Bringing together supply side and demand side
    measures to support both business development and
    public policy goals
  • New knowledge for industrial, environmental and
    social policies, agriculture and regional
  • Excellence and well-networked knowledge
  • Modernisation of and cooperation between
  • The creation and maintenance of world class
    research infrastructures
  • A risk-tolerant and trust-based approach in
    research funding

The role of engineering universities
  • Science and engineering have traditionally been
    seen to have the key position in solving the
    Grand Challenges, but
  • To meet the Challenges we need an approach is
    needed where public and private organisations
    work together to make the knowledge triangle to
    work (Knowledge Triangle Shaping the Future
    Europe, Gothenburg 31.8 -2.9.2009)
  • It is important to realise that the challenges
    are also societal in nature, i.e. they are also
    related to human behavior and search for better
  • Therefore, a wide approach in engineering
    universities is needed, including cooperation
    with public and private organisations and other
    disciplines like social sciences, economics,
    design, etc.

The need to change in universities
  • The societal pressure
  • The global challenges
  • The grand challenges of mankind
  • The challenge of global competition in the
    knowledge based economy
  • The internal pressure
  • The challenges of university leadership and
  • Scarce resources and rising costs of labour and
  • The needs of multi-disciplinarity and
  • The challenge of international competition

The societal pressure
  • According to the Lund declaration the
    universities have to reassess
  • their missions, management and structures
  • their approaches to education and facilitating
  • their pursuit of research
  • their involvement in innovation activities and
    regional and national development

The Finnish approach
  • Knowledge and innovations high on the political
  • University reform to give universities more
  • Several policy actions to promote innovations and
    cooperation between universities, companies and
    public organisations

Co-operation between companies and universities
and research institutes
Share of innovative companieshaving co-operation
agreementswith universities (1994-1996)
Share of innovative companies havingco-operation
agreements with publicresearch institutes

Source Eurostat, Enterprise DG, 2nd Community
Innovation Survey, Veijo Ilmavirta, OIIC
Aalto universityAn example of change
Aalto University An example of changeA merger
of three leading Finnish universities operative
Art Design founded 1871
Science Technology, founded 1849
Economics, founded 1911
Aalto University
  • The second biggest university in Finland
  • 4,300 faculty and staff, including 300 professors
    (200 in technology)
  • 20,000 students (13 000 in technology)
  • 75,000 alumni
  • Total annual budget 400 million (2010)
  • GOAL 2020
  • A world class university combining
  • science and art, technology, business
  • and industrial design to stimulate innovations

Aalto University Reassessing the Mission
  • Aalto University will strive to change the world
  • top class interdiscilpinary research,
  • pioneering education,
  • continuous renewal, and
  • bold surpassing of traditional boundaries
  • We will educate responsible and broad-minded
    experts with wide perspective to act as future
    visionaries in the society

Aalto UniversityReassessing the management and
structures 1
  • Governance system
  • Aalto University is a foundation
  • Capital of 700 million euro is given by the State
    (500 million) and the private industries and
    private persons (200 million)
  • Increased yearly funding for 10 years to give a
    good start
  • Strategic Board
  • Seven members coming from outside the university
  • The board nominates the President, Vice
    Presidents, Deans and Directors of service
  • Board decides the yearly budget and strategic
  • The board is nominated by the Universitys
    Committee on Academic Affairs

Aalto University FoundationThe founding partners
The Government of Finland Federation of Finnish
Technology Industries Technology Industries of
Finland Centennial Foundation Foundation for
Economic Education Confederation of Finnish
Industry and Employers Finnish Association of
Graduate Engineers Finnish Association of
Business School Graduates
Aalto UniversityReassessing the management and
structures 2
  • School model (autonomous in academic affairs)
  • For the time being three schools (Economics,
    Design and Science and technology)
  • From the 1st of January 2011 six schools
    (Economics, Design and four schools in Science
    and technology)
  • All central functions under academic leaders
    (President and four Vice-Presidents)
  • Research and education (2 VPs)
  • Networking (1 VP)
  • Library and infrastructure (1 VP)
  • Joint services (Finance, HR, PR, Planning and
    Fundraising) have professional directors under
    the President

School of Science and Technology
School of Art and Design
School of Economics
Research and Education
Knowledge Networks
Academic Affairs Committee
Academic Affairs Committee
Academic Affairs Committee
Executive Dean
Executive Dean
Executive Dean
Tenured Professors Council
Academic Affairs Committee
Aalto University Reassessing the approach to
education and facilitating learning
  • The goal is to create a new type of learning and
    student centered academic culture in research and
  • Better commitment of students and personnel
  • Learning outcomes based approach
  • Strengthening the Bologna model
  • New approaches to teaching (Design Factory)
  • Increased involvement of students to research

Aalto FactoriesMultidisciplinary Opportunities
  • Expertise workshops and the first new platforms
    for collaboration within Aalto University
  • Design factory
  • Media Factory
  • Service Factory
  • The factories are environments for learning,
    teaching, research and co-creation between
    universities, companies and society.

Aalto-Tongji Design Factory ATDF
  • Joint project between Aalto University and Tongji
  • 1000 m2 of creative, transformable space bringing
    together students, research, industry society
  • Passion-based co-creation platform for
    interdisciplinary collaboration
  • ATDF was opened 25.05.2010

Aalto on Tracks An example of student enthusiasm
  • Aalto on Tracks took 83 Aalto students (and a few
    members of staff) from Helsinki to Shanghai by
    train 14.5. - 24.5.
  • Aalto on Tracks was a joint project of the
    Aalto-community Aalto University, Aalto
    University Student Union, Aalto Design Factory in
    Shanghai ja Aalto Entrepreneurship Society
  • The project was planned and realized by student
  • The aim of the project was to make Aalto
    University, Finland and Finnish education known
    to the World, and to offer the participants
    cross-disciplinary learning experiences

Aalto University Reassessing the pursuit of
  • An international Research Assesment Exercise
    (RAE) was done in all schools in 2009 as a
    starting point for development
  • Research strategy focuses on current strenghts
    and areas seen important to the university and
  • The university supports excellence and ambition
  • A tenure track system is created as a central
    strategic tool in the creation of focus in
    research and education
  • Creating strategic partnerships with universities
    and industry on a global scale
  • Internationalisation of the staff and student

Average Ratings of Aalto RAE
  • On average, research at the Units of Assessment
    was judged to
  • belong between good and very good international
    level (scale 1-5)
  • Basic trends
  • The impact on and the visibility within the
    international scientific community is not as
    strong as the quality of research would deserve
  • The societal impact of research is very good (4
    or more) in most departments
  • These trends are more visible if we look at the
    distribution of numerical ratings

Research Quality Scientific Impact Societal Impact Research Environment Future Potential
Average (All Units) 3.57 3.11 3.87 3.13 3.70
Aalto UniversityReassessing the involvement in
innovation activities
  • Reorganisation the innovation activities and
    research support services of the former three
  • Spontaneous self-organisation of students to
    Aalto Entrepreneurship Society with already more
    than 3000 members
  • Aalto Garage for start-ups
  • Boot Camps for students planning to start an
    entreprise of their own

  • Main Targets
  • Higher awareness of entrepreneurship
  • Willingness to establish a company
  • Understanding of the market dynamics
  • Main Targets
  • World-Class entrepreneurship research in selected
  • Special focus on high-growth ventures

Entrepreneurship Research
Entrepreneurship Education
  • Main Targets
  • World-Class commercialization models
  • World-class commercialization results
  • Outside-In flow of capital and talent
  • Main Targets
  • World-Class venturing models
  • World-class venturing results
  • Outside-In flow of capital and talent

Growth Venturing / Start-Up Services
Innovation Services And Technology Transfer
Community-driven growth entrepreneurship
catalyst at Aalto University.
Foster an entrepreneurial culture at Aalto
University Make resources available for Aalto
startups Grow Entrepreneurial Leaders
  • 23.3.2010

Aalto UniversityReassessing the involvement in
national and regional development
  • Active cooperation of the former three
    universities with regional and national
    organisations continues
  • Cooperation agreements with the cities in
    Helsinki region
  • Active partner in forming the Metropolitan
    development strategy
  • A shareholder in local and regional development

Espoo City strategy T3Inspired by the idea
of Aalto University
Otaniemi campus
Otaniemi campus
Keilaniemi business hub
University as a Value Co-creation Platform
  • The goal of the T3 -project is to connect and
    facilitate interaction between the university,
    corporate research and living / commercial
    centers of Espoo.
  • Aalto University is the value co-creation
    platform in city scale, facilitating the
    discussions and development through research and
    education, enabling new areal learning process to
    take place.

  • The Grand Challenges of mankind ask for new
    approaches in university education and research
  • Renewal of governance, management, teaching and
    research are needed
  • Local and international networking and
    cooperation are essential both in research and
    education and in the fullfilment of the third
  • There are different ways to make the change based
    on the cultural and institutional framework

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