Aalto University hosts annual meeting of the leading Nordic technical universities and assumes Nordic Five Tech presidency

Aalto University proudly hosted the Presidents’ and Annual Meeting of the Nordic Five Tech (N5T) Alliance on May 23-24. The two-day event brought together around 80 guests from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway, fostering dialogue and collaboration among the N5T universities. Another 70 seminar participants kicked off N5T’s doctoral collaboration in battery technologies. The event centered around key issues in sustainable development, student mobility, innovation, and education, further strengthening the Alliance's shared vision.
Aalto-yliopiston rehtori Ilkka Niemelä pitää avauspuheen Nordic Five Tech (N5T) -verkoston vuosikokouksessa.
Photo: Mikko Raskinen.

The Nordic Five Tech Alliance, established in 2006, consists of five leading technical universities in the Nordic region: Aalto University (Finland), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway). These institutions are globally recognised for their expertise in energy, environment, and sustainable development, and through the N5T Alliance, they collaborate to create synergy in education, research, and innovation.

Inspiring sessions and strategic discussions

Under the theme "Together for a Sustainable Future," Aalto University assumed the presidency for the year 2023-2024, hosting the Annual Meeting that focused on addressing global challenges while aligning with Nordic values. The event took place on Aalto's picturesque Otaniemi campus in Espoo, Finland, providing an inspiring backdrop for engaging sessions, diverse workgroup meetings, and enjoyable activities among friends and colleagues.

The event kicked off with an inspirational evening at Metso, Dipoli building, a tradition upheld by the N5T Alliance. Esteemed speakers included İdil Gaziulusoy, Associate Professor of Sustainable Design at Aalto University, and Nitin Sawhney, Professor of Practice at Aalto University, who delivered captivating presentations on shaping a sustainable future by going beyond conventional sustainability practices. The evening programme also featured a mesmerising performance that combined art and technology, showcasing Aalto's commitment to the fusion of artistic expression and technological innovation.

Katariina Luukas piti lumoavan tanssiesityksen.
Katariina Luukas delivered a mesmerising dance performance. Photo: Anastasia McAvennie.

'Aalto Studios' MAGICS infrastructure supports the Finnish National Opera and Ballet in their XR Stage project for virtual production and distribution. Our interest lies in measuring and quantifying the collective experience in live and virtual performances,' says Antti Ruotoistenmäki, Academic Coordinator of MAGICS. 'We look forward to expanding our cooperation with new partners.'

The programme continued with N5T presidents sharing insights into the Alliance's achievements in the past year and unveiling plans for the future. The evening concluded with participants savoring the rich flavors of Finnish cuisine, providing an opportunity for networking and cultural exchange.

N5T rehtoreiden paneeli vasemmalta oikealle: Stefan Bengtsson (Chalmers), Philip John Binning (vararehtori, DTU), Anne Borg (NTNU), Anders Söderholm (KTH) ja Ilkka Niemelä (Aalto).
N5T Presidents’ Panel from left to right: Stefan Bengtsson (Chalmers), Philip John Binning (Senior Vice President, DTU), Anne Borg (NTNU), Anders Söderholm (KTH), and Ilkka Niemelä (Aalto). Photo: Kristaps Kovalonoks.

The second day of the event saw the continuation of workgroup meetings and the Presidents' meeting, where the joint Action Plan for Aalto University's presidency year was approved. Jérôme Rickmann, Senior Advisor at Aalto University, highlighted the institution's commitment to driving impactful initiatives in line with the Action Plan's objectives.

Later that day, the Annual Meeting took place at Makerspace, located in the Harald Herlin Learning Center at Aalto. The event facilitated meaningful discussions on pressing topics, such as battery studies, global partnerships and responsible internationalisation, sustainable development, and student mobility. President of Aalto University Ilkka Niemelä highlighted the N5T's commitment to prioritising sustainability, stating, 'We prioritise sustainability, which is seen in all our activities, as a key strategy within the N5T Alliance, demonstrating our strong dedication to making a positive impact on society and fostering collaborations within the Nordic region'. He further emphasised Aalto University's goal of actively involving students in the network's activities, nurturing a sense of community and an extended campus mindset.

Reflecting on the success of the N5T Presidents’ and Annual Meeting, Kristaps Kovalonoks, Coordinator of Global Engagement at Aalto University, expresses great satisfaction, stating, 'Witnessing the enthusiasm and commitment of all participants was truly inspiring. As we look ahead, we are excited to continue the exceptional work of the N5T Alliance and further strengthen our collaboration on a global scale.'

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