Annual U!REKA Conference 2020 kicks off

Press release to mark the opening of the 5th annual conference

16 Nov 2020 09:00 | Communication

The U!REKA conference is an online conference presented by the Urban Research and Education Knowledge Alliance, U!REKA. The alliance consists of eight urban-focused higher education institutions across Europe. Hosted by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the fifth U!REKA annual conference brings together the consortium for virtual workshops and online networking on the 16th and 17th of November 2020. 

The conference theme is Open innovation ecosystems. To facilitate the sharing of knowledge and good practices related to open innovation ecosystems, case studies which will be presented from Metropolia include Helsinki XR Center, Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, and Wellbeing and Health Village (“HyMy-Village”).

“Metropolia wants to give a strong input to renew Finnish society and to boost growth. Our top-notch, unique expertise in research, development and innovation activities displays through various projects and services in our five innovation hubs. They provide a new way to learn and produce solutions through interdisciplinary collaboration on major phenomena or challenges for the benefit of society as a whole. We carry out around 100 RDI projects each year in partnership with industry and our partner networks. Our students are closely involved in learning and creating new knowledge and solutions. All our Bachelor-level students complete an innovation project of 10 ECTS during their studies. We hope that by sharing these examples among the alliance's universities, we can support each other in developing innovation”, says Riitta Konkola, CEO, President of Metropolia UAS.

Online event

The U!REKA conference will be held online in Zoom due to the current global covid-19 situation. Nevertheless, the alliance has generated significant interest and the event is poised to be a success approximately 230 registered participants. This clearly indicates that international collaboration in higher education and knowledge sharing is regarded important.

The programme consists of different interactive online sessions like virtual cafés and online round tables. In addition, there are two calls for proposals: a call for collaboration proposals and a call for good practice in e-teaching and e-learning. The call for collaboration proposals aims to share and provide expertise to develop innovative solutions and new collaboration in six topics covering Smart Mobility, Clean and Sustainable Solutions, Functional City for People, Data-driven Construction, Wellbeing and Health Services and Learning Ecosystems and Development.

Sharing best practices

The rapidly changing world is also challenging institutions of higher education to change the way they operate and to develop different forms of e-teaching and e-learning i.e. online exams, IT tools for teaching, student participation and guidance. Thus, sharing best practices among the U!REKA institutions and finding ways to support each other in that context is vital.

The alliance organizes annual conferences for developing cooperation projects, networking and sharing best practices. The partners include The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; Edinburgh Napier University; HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences; Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki; Oslo Metropolitan University; VSB – Technical University of Ostrava; and Politécnico de Lisboa.

Further information

CEO, President
Riitta Konkola
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Contact information

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Myllypurontie 1, 00920 Helsinki
tel. +358 9 7424 5000