Although Tartu is relatively close, the roots of academic education experience there is much older than in Rezekne and Latvia as a whole. The University of Tartu was founded in 1632. It currently has more than 13,000 students in its four faculties, including approximately 1,800 students from 90 different countries. The University of Tartu is considered to be the best university among the EU13 (new EU Member States).
The reception at the University of Tartu was well organized, meaningful, informative and effective, and aimed at achieving the goals of the visit. There was a sense of togetherness stemming from a shared historical experience, from the unity of the Baltic States and from the simple and humane fellowship of neighbouring countries.
During the visit the SalesLabs concept implemented by RTA was presented as part of the new innovative problem-based learning method. Estonian colleagues were particularly interested in finding out how the Latvian regional higher education institution with less than 30 years of academic experience manages to do "big things". Taivo Raud, the head of the Grants Office of the University of Tartu, informed RTA colleagues about the success of the University of Tartu in implementing EU projects. In total, 109 Horizon2020 projects have been / are being implemented at the University of Tartu for a total funding of 48.5 million euro.
The University of Tartu is implementing an “ecosystem” that provides a successful StartUp and SpinOff operating model. The university presents itself like this: It's easy to do "big things" even if you're "small." The aim is to make science meaningful from a practical point of view (commercialization, use of science in business), not only to master the study programme in the relevant field of study. As a result, the University of Tartu has a platform for implementing its ideas with potential for growth. The university's scientific potential provides more than 50% of Estonia's scientific achievements.
During the visit, there was an opportunity to attend the sTARTUp Lab event cycle activity “Service and product design workshop”. We also visited the SPARK HUB startup and Technology Center, founded by the University of Tartu and the Municipality of Tartu, where we were introduced to the inventions and ideas of start-ups created under the auspices of the University of Tartu. Colleagues from the University of Tartu invited RTA to participate in the largest business festival in the Baltics “From Zero to Hero”, which will be organized at the University of Tartu in cooperation with the other seven major universities in Estonia on January 29-31, 2020 within the sTARTUp Lab event cycle. The aim of the festival is to attract investment for student start-ups.
We hope that the cooperation between RTA and the University of Tartu will also continue in the preparation and implementation of Horizon2020 projects.
RTA Project Coordinators
Jeļena Lonska, Māris Igavens