On July 1, 2020, TU Graz Rector Harald Kainz took over the TU Austria relay from Sabine Seidler, Rector of the Vienna University of Technology, and thus for one year the presidency of the alliance of the three technical universities in Austria (Graz University of Technology, Vienna University of Technology and Leoben Montan University). . As of July 1st, the board will be composed as follows: President is Harald Kainz, Rector of Graz University of Technology, Vice President and President are Sabine Seidler, Rector of Vienna University of Technology and Wilfried Eichlseder, Rector of the University of Leoben. The annual change takes place according to the applicable TU Austria statutes.
After a year of presidency, Sabine Seidler sums up: “Promoting young talent is an essential part of meeting the challenges of the future. The focus on common MINTInitiatives and the expansion of school cooperation support this endeavor. The corona crisis has delayed or made some activities more difficult, but at the same time has spawned new concepts. Ten years of TU Austria show that those involved have the potential and the will to help shape the educational landscape and develop solutions for society. ”
On the agenda: digitization and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
For his TU Austria presidency 2020 to 2021, Harald Kainz has an ambitious work program in his luggage. “A central focus of the TU Austria’s content continues to be the digitization of our universities in research, teaching and administration. The corona-related lockdown was a kind of digitalization stress test for the universities, “says Harald Kainz,” and these experiences will drive digital transformation at universities even faster. Not least because of our pioneering role in the areas of technology and innovation, we at TU Austria strive to find the right mix of digital and analogue and to implement it as an example. ”
The topic of sustainability and climate protection is also at the top of the TU Austria’s work plan, which campaigns for the United Nations Global Sustainability Agenda. By 2030, 17 political goals – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – to ensure worldwide sustainable development on an economic, social and ecological level. TU Austria wants to raise awareness of the SDG and education for SDG– promote oriented developments. “Whether sustainable urban development, climate protection technologies, resilient infrastructure or education for everyone – the sphere of activity of the TU Austria universities encompasses almost every one of the 17 sustainability goals. In this respect, the technical universities play an important role as initiators and co-designers of a sustainable society, which we also want to take with an honest and critical look at our own actions, ”emphasizes Kainz, who is currently chairing the City of Graz’s climate protection advisory board.
TU Austria Innovations Marathon goes digital
An annual fixture on the TU Austria agenda is the innovation marathon as part of the technology talks at the European Forum Alpbach. The fifth edition of this event comes up with a novelty this year due to the corona: the innovation marathon goes virtually on the stage – the basic principle remains the same: multidisciplinary and international student teams work on real tasks of Austrian companies in exactly 24 hours and present at the end of Marathons their innovative solutions. This time, 50 students take part, who are in ten teams of 5 via zoom with the innovationCoaches and the companies work together. The starting shot for the innovation marathon is on Thursday, August 27th at 2 p.m., the presentation of the results will be streamed on Friday at 2 p.m. Details on this at https://www.innovations-marathon.org. TU Austria also controls one at the Alpbach Technology Talks Breakout session on the topic of “hydrogen technologies”. The program of the European Forum Alpbach 2020 can be found online from July 7 at https://2020.alpbach.org/
10 years of TU Austria
The TU Austria Presidency of Harald Kainz also coincides with the 10th anniversary of this university network, which was launched in 2010. Since then, the three technical universities, TU Vienna, TU Graz and Montanuniversität Leoben have been pursuing concerns and demands in terms of research, teaching and university policy under the motto “Together for Austria’s future”. TU Austria unites more than 45,300 students and 9,800 employees and is a nationally and internationally important, well-networked and visible university forum. A summary of the first decade of TU Austria can be found here in the OTS broadcast.