Unite! Space Tech project kicks off at the Winter Satellite Workhop

The Unite! Space Tech project got a flying start when the team met at Aalto University during the Winter Satellite Workshop (WSW) on 17-19 January 2024. The WSW is the largest New Space event in Finland and other Nordic and Baltic countries bringing together space technology specialists, scientists, and students to discuss current topics in a rapidly developing space field.
Unite! Space Tech project members Rene Laufer (Luleå University of Technology) Leonardo  Reyneri (Politecnico di Torino), Francesco Mosca (Spacemotionery), Jaan Praks (Aalto University), Quazi Saimoon Islam (University of Tartu), Mykola Ivchenko (KTH).
Project members from left to right: Rene Laufer (Luleå University of Technology) Leonardo Reyneri (Politecnico di Torino), Francesco Mosca (Spacemotionery), Jaan Praks (Aalto University), Quazi Saimoon Islam (University of Tartu), Mykola Ivchenko (KTH).

One of the Winter Satellite Workshop emphasis areas this year was space education. The conference had two sessions on education and several sessions on educational space missions. Unite! Space Tech project brought to Finland five universities and two companies belonging to the project consortium, to present their results and discuss project developments. During the dense program, many presentations were given by Unite! members. The project had also meetings, lunch gatherings, a project dinner and an excursion to Aalto facilities. 

“Outreach during the event brought also many new candidates to our space education network. We decided that next year, already a much larger delegation from Unite! universities will be invited and additional program for students is arranged. Overall, the event was a success and the need for collaboration between Unite! universities in the field of space education is apparent”, says Professor Jaan Praks, the organizer of the WSW event and the project leader for the Unite! Space Tech.

Project members include six Unite! universities (Aalto University, Universitaire de Grenoble, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Politecnico di Torino, Universidade de Lisboa, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech), two other universities (University of Tartu, Luleå University of Technology) and two companies (Arctic Astronautics Ltd., SpaceMorionery s.r.l).

Professor Leonardo Reyneri from PoliTo and professor Jaan Praks from Aalto University standing in a seminar hall at the Winter Satellite Workshop 2024.
Professors Leonardo Reyneri (left) and Jaan Praks. Photo: Suvi Lavinto

Building strong and lasting collaboration

”The Space Tech project was born from a group of academic institutions across Europe, all with many years of experience in teaching and developing small satellites. The main goal that the partners have in mind is to establish strong and lasting cooperation in the field of small satellite economics, initially between the partners but subsequently extended to a growing audience”, says Professor Leonardo Reyneri from Politecnico di Torino. 

In the Piedmont area where Politecnico di Torino is situated operates many high-level companies in the space economy and also a growing number of SMEs. As a result, there is a well-established requirement for training the new generation of space engineers and technicians and as a result a wide range of courses are offered in different areas of space engineering. This is being implemented both in the Politecnico di Torino and in other training institutions in the same area, recently also in some high schools which are starting training courses in the space sector.

The Space Tech team will work together to develop shared seminars towards collective course activities, create a platform for shared hybrid teaching, monitor learning experiences of students and develop assessment strategies and inclusion of hands-on elements to hybrid teaching. The team will also start planning for a European Space Summer School. 

 Unite! Seed Fund call open until 15 March 2024 

The Space Tech project received seed funding from Unite! in the last funding round in 2023. Unite! offers financial boost for innovative ideas from teachers, researchers and students across the Unite! alliance of nine European universities. With this funding Unite! wants to activate the co-creation of e.g. joint research projects, study offers, blended intensive programmes, long-term collaborations in teaching and/or research units as well as extra-curricular or intercultural activities by students.

Applications for Teaching & Learning and Research & PhD seed fund

  • must include at least three Unite! member universities
  • up to 10 000 Euros for "exploration" activities like for establishing contacts and formulating collaboration ideas
  • up to 80 000 Euros for development activities like building blended/joint courses or developing joint research proposals

The seed fund is open for applications from 15 January to 15 March 2024. Read more by following the link below. 

Read more on the Unite! Seed Fund

Jar full of coins representing Unite! Seed Fund.

Apply for Unite! Seed Fund to foster collaborative teaching, research and student activities

Financial boost for collaborative ideas from teachers, researchers and students across the Unite! alliance of nine European universities. Apply now!


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