Cooperation in post-doctoral research projects, the development of science-intensive business ideas and start-up creation, as well as the arrival of an international tenured professorship, were some of the issues discussed during the Riga Technical University management team’s visit to the University of Trento (UniTrento) in Italy.
During the meeting of RTU management with UniTrento rector Flavio Deflorian, internationalization vice-rector Maurizio Marchesi and the rector's delegate for sustainable environment Marco Ragazzi, topics included the implementation of the postdoctoral research work of the Italian partner university at RTU and the creation of joint professor positions, with professors working 50% of the time in each university. This could be one way of attracting international tenured professors to both universities.
While getting acquainted with the study and research activities, laboratories and technical support implemented by the Department of Construction, Environment and Mechanical Sciences of UniTrento, the expansion of cooperation in the field of environmental engineering, water research, and biotechnology was also discussed.
There was a special emphasis in the negotiations related to the exchange of teaching staff and doctoral students, in terms of increasing the quality of RTU's studies and international competitiveness of research.
The initiative to develop an offer for Italian students to implement an internship at the RTU Science and Innovation Center by engaging in various innovation activities was discussed with the representatives of UniTrento's Department of Economics and Management. The possibility of forming international student teams was also mentioned, with the involvement of both universities, HIT and Latvian University Incubator (UniLab), to promote the development of international science-intensive business ideas and the creation of high-value added start-ups.
During the talks, the representatives of the two universities repeatedly emphasized their close connection with the territory; specifically, cooperation with the industry and fulfilling the social role function. The parties have conceptually agreed on the implementation of a joint Erasmus+ combined intensive activity in the field of environmental sustainability in the summer of 2024, involving Latvian and Italian researchers, students, and pupils of the Trento school «Arcivescovile». In this way, the two universities want to join forces not only in popularizing engineering sciences, but also active participation in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN General Assembly.
The visit of RTU management to Italy took place during continued development of RTU's cooperation with one of the university's strategic partner countries - Italy - and the University of Trento, which is included among the 500 best universities in the world in the «QS World University Rankings 2024» and «Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024».