This visit fits in the long standing relationship between Linköping and Twente. This time, the visit was initiated by students of Linköping University and a delegation of Science Park Mjärdevi. The students were eager to learn more about how we in Twente work together with companies and what roles students play in this cooperation. The Student Union & University Innovation Fellows were happy to host the Linköping students.
The cooperation in large European Research projects takes a major part in the Enschede-Linköping relationship. Currently nine projects are active. One of the examples is the SHERPA project, in which ground-aerial robots help improve rescuing activities in Alpine environments. Another project is the SATORI project, in which philosophers work together to assess the ethical impact of research and innovation.
The University of Twente and Linköping University also work together in the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). Recently the project called RUNIN ‘The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development’ started, funded with 3.7 Million Euro by the EU. Seven universities (6 ECIU universities) and nine regional development organizations are partners (including Regio Twente), and a total of seven European countries.
This project fits the ambition of ECIU perfectly: being the leading international consortium of research intensive universities, with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact, driving the development of a knowledge-based economy.
The two municipalities of Linkoping and Enschede took part in the program. Linköping was represented by Niklas Nåbo (Vice Mayor) and Christian Gustavsson, and Enschede was represented by Eelco Eerenberg (Vice Mayor), Toon Bom, Richard Kokhuis, and Dayenne Smolders. In the public administration domain were striking similarities between the cities: a great interest for Smart City related topics, such as mobility, sustainable energy, waste management, housing, etc.
In the near future cooperation is explored in the context of EUROCITIES, in which Netwerkstad Twente and Linköping take part. Inspired by earlier organized hackathons and creathons, the starting point is to use these kinds of events to develop practical collaborative programs. Both Enschede and Linköping have a close relationship with Palo Alto, USA, and further international collaborations will be explored.
Other highlights during the day were the site visits to LOPES Rehab Robot, the Experimental Center for Technical Medicine (ECTM), and spin-off companies like SciSports, Xsens and Demcon.
The Mjärdevi science park in Linköping supported the student initiative for a visit and asked Novel-T (Kennispark Twente) to organise a visit. The relationship between these two organizations results from the ECIU European Consortium of Innovative Universities.