Unite! Seed Fund 2024: Aalto mukana 13 rahoitusta saaneessa hakemuksessa

Unite! Seed Fund -rahaston tavoitteena on kannustaa ja tukea opettajien, tutkijoiden ja opiskelijoiden yhteistyöhankkeita ja auttaa muodostamaan kestäviä akateemisia ja opiskelijayhteisöjä yhdeksässä Unite!-yliopistossa. Vuoden 2024 rahoitushaku päättyi 15. maaliskuuta. Saapuneista hakemuksista Unite! rahoittaa kahtakymmentä, joista Aalto on mukana kolmessatoista. Kahta hanketta Aalto koordinoi. Alla hankkeiden englanninkieliset kuvaukset rahoituskategorian mukaan.

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Teaching and Learning

Cities in Times of Drought or Abundance: An Inventory of Architectures, Infrastructures, and Landscapes to Remediate Climate Impact 

The global climate emergency impacts cities' liveability locally. This proposal aims to establish a strong network between three European schools of architecture, urbanism and landscape to develop preparatory work for the design of a joint course. The course will engage bachelor, master, and PhD students in confronting future design challenges while studying solutions to mitigate the effects of climate severity.

Aalto contact: Pia Fricker, Landscape Architecture, School of ARTS

Unite! Languages Café

Our project, the virtual Unite! Language Café (ULC), aims at fostering informal interactions to promote and encourage students to use and learn all Unite! languages. A virtual space, where meetings are planned, the ULC will be run by students for students. To reach our objective we will create a model, the didactic concepts, training material for student tutors, an evaluation process and select an appropriate platform. Once finalized the virtual ULC will be a sustainable project which raises awareness of linguistic diversity and encourages autonomous learning. Our model will easily be adapted to other contexts and target groups.

Aalto contact: Yoonjoo Cho, Language Center 

Unite! Games for Health - towards an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programme for the development and use of Serious Games for Healthcare

Serious Games are games with an additional characterizing goal such as a learning effect, behavioural change or support for healthcare prevention and rehabilitation (Games for Health, abbr.: G4H). Singular studies prove the benefit of G4H for specific application domains and the socio-economic potential of G4H is high. Nevertheless, good examples are rare, healthcare practitioners are not aware of existing solutions and there is a lack of education/training programs for the development of qualitative G4H and its integration/use in healthcare settings. Based on that situation, both Serious Games experts and Healthcare practitioners of the Unite! network want to collaborate in the field of G4H, analyse existing approaches, identify requirements and best-practice examples, and finally elaborate a study program tackling those aspects as basis for an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master program. 

Aalto contact: Maria Nazarova, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, School of Science

Developing and effectively enhancing the teaching and learning of “Fluid Power and Systems” in Higher Education

The focus of this seed fund proposal is to strengthen a common international understanding for the development of appropriate teaching methods and approaches for fluid engineering and systems education. This joint effort aims to continue and extend the exploratory project to develop accessible existing application-oriented offerings, blended lectures, virtual workshops and customised demo labs, integrating qualitative methods, experiences, and stories. 

Aalto contact: Jari Vepsäläinen, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering 

RoboEthic - Ethical Cybersecurity for Industry 5.0 

The project aims to facilitate cross- domain knowledge transfer among social, engineering, and business students through a hybrid learning model. Course modules focus on socio-technological implications, dependability, innovation management, and industrialization. Interactive teaching, facilitation workshops, and evaluation in simulated industry environments will be employed. Expected outcomes include course integration, training material generation, online platforms, mutual training, course evaluations, EU collaboration, scientific dissemination, and integration into partner universities' continuous learning programs. 

Aalto contact: Udayanto Atmojo, Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, School of Electrical Engineering 

Unite! Research School 

The topic of this proposal is to gather in a same place the entire Unite! Higher Education and Research system: Master and PhD students, researchers and Industry. For students, a Blended Intensive Program will allow them to benefit from top level courses in the fields of expertise from Unite!, as well as transversal courses and a challenge project. They will also discover Unite! research infrastructures and will be able to meet researchers and industry to get internship, PhD positions or first jobs. Researchers will benefit from research infrastructures all through Unite!.

Aalto contact: Minna Söderqvist, Doctoral education services

Developing a Unite! Nuclear Education InitiaTive (UNEIT)

With the official entry of nuclear energy in the green taxonomy of the EC, the commitment of 22 countries (including 4 Unite! countries) to triple the nuclear generation capacity by 2050, and the significant renaissance of interest for this energy source in other Unite! countries, including Italy, several governments have announced the future need of qualified workforce in the field, far above the current capacity of nuclear higher education programs across the European Union. As a good fraction of Unite! partners already host nuclear education programs, or at least courses, at the MSc level, it is to be expected that the concerted Unite! educational effort in the nuclear field that we plan to develop in this project could find significant interest, increasing both the brain recirculation among our universities and related opportunities for PhD and research collaborations, as well as their capability to attract talents from outside the Alliance.

Aalto contact: Andrea Sand, Department of Applied Physics, School of Science 

Research & PhD 

3P@DLT – Three Perspectives on Distributed Ledger Technology - Insights from the Intersection of Technology, Housing, and Finance

In this seed project, we aim to start building a common understanding of how Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) influences important aspects of our lives, i.e. real estate and finance. The DLT/blockchain paradigm introduced a major breakthrough wrt. how we understand the perception of ownership and who is the guardian of it (compared to who should it be). The Web3 philosophy goes further, stating that most assets should be in distributed environments without a central controlling entity. Our aim in this seed project is to gather researchers representing technology, real estate, and finance to get a deeper understanding of how DLT impacts these fields and what lessons we can learn from this paradigm, taking into account all stakeholders: policy makers, society, and markets. 

Aalto contact: Heidi Falkenbach, Department of Built Environment, School of Engineering

Smoky mirrors: Self-other mirroring in real and virtual worlds

Recent technological advances increasingly blur the boundaries between real and virtual selves. Understanding how individuals perceive self-other boundaries in dynamic, interactive settings in real and virtual environments has profound implications in our progressively hyper-digitalized world. The “Smoky Mirrors” interdisciplinary project unites three Unite! partners to explore dynamic self-other boundaries in real and virtual social interactions. Methodologically, we employ virtual reality, Electroencephalography (EEG) hyperscanning technologies, physiological signal measurements, and the Mirror Game task, where participants try to mirror each other's movements with or without established leadership. This novel collaboration aims to deepen our understanding of the “smoky” boundaries of the self and to spark innovative research questions. Expected outcomes include the establishment of a cross-European university collaboration and exchange program, the organization of a symposium, one paper publication, the design and execution of a pilot experiment, and the dissemination of our findings to academic and wider communities (e.g., schools, museum exhibitions). 

Aalto contact: Juan Camilo Avendano Diaz, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, School of Science

Towards fleets of robust and agile mobile robots in harsh environments

While there has been a noticeable increase in the use of robots in predictable setups for repetitive tasks, the lack of robots operating in harsh environments is a pressing issue that requires attention. The project focuses on investigating the reasons behind the absence of effective solutions for robot teaming in harsh environments. By formulating research questions that address this gap, the project aims to facilitate formulation of tangible research agenda to address this issue while aligning with short and long-term goals set by the EU. The project consists of planning and development activities, leading to a sustainable, long lasting research environment capable of building a wide-ranging consortium spearheading research in the deployment of reliable robot fleets in challenging conditions. This will contribute to the advancement of industries in domains such as forestry, mining, and search and rescue (SAR) that require resilience, agility, and adaptability, creating a positive impact in these sectors.

Aalto contact: Tomasz Piotr Kucner, Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, School of Electrical Engineering

CLICK-chemistry enabled Sustainable & Safe-by-design (post-LiBs) solid-state Batteries (Acronym: CLICKBatt)

Fulfilling the present energy demand for e-mobility and renewable energy storage requires shifting paradigm towards Safe & Sustainable-by-design (SSbd) of higher performing, advanced (post-Lithium-ion) Solid-State Batteries (SSBs). Leveraging synergistic competences of its academic partners, this Unite! initiative will strive at designing and combining two innovative technological bricks for encoding (e.g. by implementing a reversible click-chemistry strategy) the (i) mass-manufacturability of SSBs in any shape with (photo)patternable polymer electrolytes, and (ii) separate recycling of their ((-) vs. (+) electrode) sub-components. CLICKBatt will prepare crucial (basic science till technology transfer (with VTT as an external partner)) information till proof-of-concept (lab. scale) demonstrators. These cross-fertilizing efforts will form the foundation for bringing a circular SSB economy one step closer to reality. The ultimate goal is paving the way to formulate a competitive Horizon proposal for closing the gap existing between academic and industrial endeavors to accelerate the mass-market intrusion of SSbd-SSBs.

Aalto contact: Janne Ruokolainen, Dept of Physics/MolMatLab., School of Science 

Crossroads of Speech and Language - Research, 2nd Cycle

The Unite! Graduate School of Speech, Language, and AI Technologies has received funding in the 1st cycle of the Seed Fund Programme, both as a Developing Project for Teaching and an Exploring Project for Research. The School is rooted in Speech and Language Technologies as demonstrated by systems such as Alexa, Siri, ChatGPT, DeepL, Translation Earbuds etc., which are among the front runners of Artificial Intelligence which is a “distinctive focus area” of the Unite! Alliance. During the first funding cycle, the Graduate School has been established successfully by 8 Unite! partners setting up a pipeline from a Joint Master’s programme to a PhD programme. While the Joint Master’s is under development (aiming at a proposal for the Erasmus Mundus Action), the PhD programme is in its exploratory phase and will enter the developing phase in the 2nd cycle (aiming at the establishment of a Doctoral Network), now uniting all 9 partner universities.

Aalto contact: Tom Bäckström, Department of Information and Communications Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering

Student Activities 

TEDx Unite!

We aim to create a day filled with brilliant speakers, thought-provoking conversations and new connections that will unleash new ideas and disseminate Unite!. The event would take place in February 2025 in conjunction with the bi-annual Unite! Dialogue taking place in Barcelona gathering people from all the universities in the alliance together. The talks would be broadcasted for any Unite! student to watch, as well as displayed live in classrooms, auditoriums, and other spaces across the Unite! universities. Additionally, partnering with TEDx would allow us to get internet exposure through a YouTube channel with over 40M subscribers. 

Aalto contact: Luísa Cardoso

Katso myös

Unite! logo

Yliopistoverkosto Unite!

Unite! on yksi Euroopan komission rahoittamista Eurooppalaiset yliopistot -verkostoista, jonka jäsen Aalto-yliopisto on yhdessä kahdeksan muun korkeatasoisen eurooppalaisen yliopiston kanssa. Unite! pyrkii merkittävästi vahvistamaan opiskelijoiden ja henkilökunnan liikkuvuutta sekä edistämään eurooppalaisen korkeakoulutuksen laatua, osallisuutta ja kilpailukykyä.

Jar full of coins representing Unite! Seed Fund.

Hae Unite!-yliopistoallianssin siemenrahaa opetusyhteistyön edistämiseksi

Siemenrahalla edistetään vaihto-opintokokonaisuuksien luomista Unite-yliopistojen välillä. Allianssiin kuuluu Aallon lisäksi kahdeksan muuta eurooppalaista yliopistoa.

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