The agreement is based on the two parties’ shared view that we must prepare for major changes and use this to build a more functional and safer world.
The City of Helsinki and Aalto University have signed a five-year strategic agreement to develop a “functioning and sustainable city” together.
The city said that the cooperation is seen as particularly important in the current pandemic situation, when the effects of the crisis are strongly reflected in the activities of both parties and the need for research information is great.
The main areas of focus in the agreement are urban research and the use of the information it produces, innovations and entrepreneurship, cooperation in the field of education and training, as well as design and the creative industries.
“The rapid pace of change in the world and the effects of the coronavirus crisis require us all to innovate quickly, identify opportunities and make better use of our own ecosystem,” said Jan Vapaavuori, mayor of Helsinki.
He continued: “The cooperation between the City of Helsinki and Aalto University is based on our shared view that we must prepare for major changes in the world and use them to build a more functional and safer world. Together we can make Helsinki and the entire capital region the most attractive place in the world to live, study and work.”
Aalto University and the City of Helsinki have done a lot of work in the area of urban research, especially in urban planning, transport systems and architecture, and also urban economics in recent years.
“The rapid pace of change in the world and the effects of the coronavirus crisis require us all to innovate quickly, identify opportunities and make better use of our own ecosystem”
Both are also involved in the joint Urban Academy which includes other cities in the Helsinki metropolitan area and the University of Helsinki.
The parties have also already cooperated on creating a model for predicting coronavirus situations to help allocate resources in Helsinki hospitals. The material from this project will be used by a wider network of researchers modelling the spread of the coronavirus.
“Helsinki is an important and inspiring partner for Aalto University, and themes related to cities and living environments are central areas of expertise for us. The importance of research and art is becoming even more evident now that society is struggling in an exceptional situation caused by the pandemic,” said Aalto University president Ilkka Niemelä.
The City of Helsinki and Aalto University have strong cooperation in building innovation clusters, for example, in the field of health technology and artificial intelligence. The aim is also to jointly promote the development of business incubator services in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
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