Rectors of the Guild network: universities are the leaders of innovation

Rectors of the top science universities belonging to the Guild network gathered in Tartu on Oct 13 to discuss how to expand the influence of scientific research and make the contribution of universities more visible to the society.

At the General Assembly, the rectors discussed different opportunities for the universities to support innovation and smart leadership. The rectors found the key elements to be in further developing business relations, supporting the cooperation of different research fields, and providing scientific advice to policymakers. The basis of all this, however, is expanding funding for research and development.

The Rector of the host university, University of Tartu, Volli Kalm said that the goal of the meeting was to agree on the Guild’s strategic objectives in the shaping of European higher education and research, as well as in the communication with the European Parliament, the European Commission and other strategic partners. “We established the network’s priorities of the next three years, emphasizing that the European potential for information is related to a science-based higher education,” Kalm said.

The Guild’s Secretary General Jan Palmowsky said that the General Assembly made key decisions about how the Guild will contribute to current debates about the future of the next European Framework Programme. “It agreed a number of key areas of collaboration among members, and it approved a strategy for the Guild’s future development. The Presidents of the Guild’s universities appreciated both the opportunity to learn more about the achievements of the University of Tartu’s staff in teaching, internationalisation, and research,” Palmowsky summarized.

Before the General Assembly, the rectors participated in a Tallinn conference titled “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society”, held in conjunction with Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. They also met with Taivo Raud, Head of the Research Division of the Ministry of Education, who introduced the guests to the focuses of Estonia’s science, research and innovation strategy “Teadmistepõhine Eesti” (“Knowledge-based Estonia”).

The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities is a network of universities created in summer 2016. The network is comprised of 19 of the top research-intensive universities in Europe, and has set itself an objective to mold research policies and expand the funding into research and development. Additionally, the cooperation also focuses on innovation and business relations. Even more information about the Guild can be found on its website.

Contact: Volli Kalm, Rector of the University of Tartu, +372 737 5601,