EUGLOH Program Brought Together Talents from Five European Universities
Demola has been part of EUGLOH Alliance’s innovation activities for the past couple of semesters now. The most recent EUGLOH projects ended just a couple of weeks ago. Next year, EUGLOH program is going even bigger when the alliance grows, with nine university partners taking part instead of the current five. But what exactly is EUGLOH and who are involved in it?
European University Alliance for Global Health (EUGLOH) and Demola Global have ran 15 innovation projects together this year, in pursuit of raising awareness of global health and tackling problems our societies are facing right now and in the future. The co-creation activities have been part of EUGLOH program's innovation and mobility activities. The universities involved in the EUGLOH alliance this far have been University of Szeged in Hungary, University of Porto in Portugal, Université Paris-Saclay in France, Ludwig Maximiliam University of Munich in Germany and Lund University in Sweden. Starting from 2023, there will be four new additions to the alliance, as University of Novi Sad from Serbia, University of Tromsø from Norway, University of Alcalá from Spain and University of Hamburg from Germany will join the alliance.
Marta Széll, vice rector of University of Szeged and coordinator of the EUGLOH program, tells that the cooperation between the first five universities fully started in 2019.
"One of the important aims of the alliance was to vivify the students and academic mobility among the partners", Széll states. However, the program had only started running when the world was closing and everything had to move online. This didn't mean the program had to take a pause; on the contrary, taking things online created new kinds of possibilities, such as mobility and exchange programs online — of which Demola projects were part of.
For the mobility and innovation activies, each partner university in the alliance gave a list of potential industrial partners, who were eventually involved in the co-creation process all along.
"When we organize an innovation project within the alliance, then the international team of students, for example, is gathered from all five universities. And not only the students and the academics of the five partner universities are connected, but also the industrial partners of the five universities, which means that the connections between whole regional ecosystems are created", Széll describes.
Joonas Kemppainen, who is responsible for the co-creation operations from Demola's side, comments on the cooperation: "With EUGLOH we have been able to take health-related phenomena as the focal point of our future exploration journey. The participating students have been very talented, making it easy to build interesting, interdisciplinary teams that create impactful results. Knowledgeable and committed mentors have been the cherry on the top. Cooperation with EUGLOH has been effortless and the mutual trust has enabled the top-notch quality of execution."
Teams at the final event at University of Szeged. Photos: Attila Huszár
"The team grew so much during the weeks"
Anna Hjalmers Mattsson, study and career counselor at Lund University, took part in the co-creation projects in a mentor's position last spring. She facilitated her team's work for 8 weeks and shared her own expertise with the students. The project was called 'Sustainable... But at what cost?' and the team decided to focus on affordable and efficient train travel supported by the governments. Hjalmers Mattsson describes the best things during the process being the huge growth of the team: "The team grew so much during the weeks. For me it was a big thing to see them all three working together very tightly, because they had such different backgrounds and views of this project in the end, and they were standing there as a team talking confidently and loudly in the room. That was a big pride for me."
Another mentor, Véronique Tibayrenc, Marketing professor at Université Paris-Saclay mentored a team within a project called 'World as Your Office'. The team focused on social welfare and the evolution of occupational health. "The first part of the process, where the team members had to analyze their personal thoughts and their position towards the topic, really opened their minds", describes Tibayrenc.
Tibayrenc has taken part in other activities in the program as well, and finds the interdisciplinary, international working style very effective. "Throughout the EUGLOH program, I've been amazed at the discoveries and capacities of the team, working altogether and coming from completely different backgrounds, and I think that those occasions are really great opportunities for the youth because they are to realize that they have the power to think about the future and to have projection, to propose new things. It would be very important to have that kind of program in each curriculum."
Last but not least — Valuable experience shared
The last teams of the year 2022 finished their work two weeks ago, and one of the participating students, Andrea van der Loos from Université Paris-Saclay, shared their experience on the project at the time:
"[...] I wanted to share with you my experience of the Joint Innovation Challenge EUGLOH/Demola. The challenge takes place over 8 weeks. The students from the different universities of the EUGLOH alliance were divided into teams of 5 or 6 working on a subject online. Mine was the inheritance of values. The goal is to think about the future and bring innovative solutions to it. The thought process was very interesting because each week we had homework that allows us to reach the final solution. I am currently in Szeged for the last week of the project. We are preparing the final presentation which will be held on Thursday afternoon. Today we had a training in communication to express oneself and present Thursday we have to present in front of a panel EUGLOH and Demola (organization which facilitated the challenge), the presentations will be broadcast live on YouTube. it's been 7 weeks. It was a great intellectual stimulation. I am delighted with my experience and I can only recommend it to other students."
EUGLOH will be even bigger next year, and we are looking forward to new encounters and sparks of innovations!
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