On the 23th of April, ITMO University was visited by University of Kassel delegation. University of Kassel is one of the youngest universities in Germany.
University of Kassel was founded in 1971 in the state of Hessen. More than 24 thousand students of the University are engaged in the engineering, environmental and social sciences studying, pedagogy and arts. University of Kassel was the first university in Germany which focused on the international scientific and educational cooperation development. At the moment, the partner network of the University of Kassel involves more than 470 educational institutions worldwide.
ITMO University has attracted colleagues from Germany by similar development vectors: both universities are focused on developing of international laboratories network, global cooperation expansion, and support of business and research activities.
"The visit was planned very carefully: we regularly communicated with the Kassel University's employees and discussed partnership areas," Polina Kachurina, the Innovative Projects and Initiatives Development Department manager, said.
One of interesting interaction vectors is start-ups and young entrepreneurs' initiatives support. The Kassel University representatives agree with their Russian counterparts that universities have become important subjects of the innovations market: for example, on the basis of the German campus, about 300 start-ups were created; besides, the incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs was opened. In the incubator, not only educational institution employees, but also business representatives help in the business ideas realization. In addition, special workshops, business games, and consultations are held for students.
Igor Kudinov showed to guests from Germany how young entrepreneurs are supported at ITMO University. He also held introductory tours of the ITMO University business incubator and FabLab
"It's always interesting to learn how startups work at other universities," Annika Valby, the manager of the University of Kassel incubator, shared her opinion. "Indeed, it is clearly seen that your university has a very strong and well-designed structure for start-ups support. We are attracted by cooperation in this direction, because the interaction with new people and fresh ideas may become a beginning of something global – something that will be in demand on the international market."
The interaction between two universities can be continued in the educational sphere. Potential partners are interested both in academic exchange and joint educational programs and short intensive courses implementation.
Cooperation will be conducted in the field of research and scientific developments. Among the topics of discussion there are a cooperation in the framework of the European grant program Horizon 2020, and participation in other international projects for research and development support.
"We are always for development and expansion of global cooperation in research, business and entrepreneurship activities. It is important to keep in touch with various countries, including Russia," Annika Valby said.
According to Polina Kachurina, the University of Kassel colleagues' visit had familiarizing character. Perhaps, the ITMO University employees will visit Germany in return.