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Bialystok University of Technology supports Ukraine. We are hosting participants of the SPLOT UA Residency convention

The Rector, together with three men, is sitting behind a table; three of them are looking to the left
Bialystok University of Technology has been actively supporting the entire Ukrainian nation since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. With our eastern neighbours in mind, with the aim to share knowledge, the SPLOT UA Residency project was created. This is just one of the many activities that our University supports.

SPLOT UA Residency is a programme that enables young talents from Ukraine (more than 30 people) to design the future of their country together. Its goal is to create prototypes of social innovations that could support Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. The interdisciplinary teams meet at online workshops and onsite meetings in three cities: Katowice, Warsaw and, starting today, Bialystok (24-26 March 2023). Workshop participants broaden their knowledge through a rich programme of open lectures accompanying the SPLOT UA Residency.

Bialystok University of Technology, like other Polish universities, has been supporting Ukrainian universities, generally Ukrainian citizens, since the outbreak of the war, – recalls Assoc. Prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, DSc, PhD, Eng, Rector of Bialystok University of Technology. – I am very pleased that at the moment the assistance is already going beyond financial or material aid. It’s important that we can participate in projects such as the SPLOT UA Residency, but there are also other projects to develop the competencies of young Ukrainians. We don’t know when the war will end. But preparing young people to build a new, better world, a new, better reality is incredibly important. We will only see the effects of this in some time, but if we don’t start doing it now, we won’t see these effects. The ‘tangle’ (pl. splot) in the name of this project is also important, because it reminds us that the fates of Ukraine and Poland were ‘tangled’ historically and are ‘tangled’ in the present.

The entire academic community of Bialystok University of Technology has been heavily involved in collections and targeted relief efforts since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

These activities were initiated by the citizens of Bialystok themselves, – recalls Przemyslaw Tuchlinski, deputy president of Białystok. – Various institutions, including Bialystok University of Technology, provided various types of assistance – from in-kind to activities related to learning – such as the Polish language. All in all, the help offered to refugees from Ukraine was really large. I think everyone had the possibility to organize and provide assistance.

In the afternoon, three interdisciplinary groups of six to seven young Ukrainian citizens arrived at Bialystok University of Technology to the Faculty of Architecture.

These are not just engineers, architects, or programmers or designers, – recalls Jan Pomierny, head of Science Now, the company that runs the project. – Each group has mixed competencies – One is engaged in education, another is engaged in tourism, i.e., using the dark sky as a certain resource to kick-start tourism and to create a tourist attraction in Ukraine that benefits from it. The third group deals with urban reconstruction using all the best practices that can be applied. By combining these competencies, we are creating prototypes for social innovations that can be useful in the reconstruction efforts of post-war Ukraine, which we hope will happen as soon as possible.

For this occasion, the meeting at the Faculty of Architecture at Bialystok University of Technology was honoured by an open lecture by Prof. Pedro Russo entitled ‘The Creativity Edge: Exploring Culture &mp Science Intersections.’

by jd

Prof. Pedro Russo – SPLOT UA Residency Mentor. Professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands (science&society area) and member of the Board of Directors of the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture (Ciência Viva). This agency coordinates a network of 21 science centres in Portugal. Ciência Viva is headquartered at the Knowledge Pavilion, a science centre created in one of the main thematic pavilions of the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon. Prof. Russo is also a member of the programme committee of the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite), a board member of the Airbus Foundation, and a mentor of the SPLOT UA Residency programme. Prof. Russo’s work focuses on breaking down barriers between science, policy and society by creating innovative, interdisciplinary R&D and open science ventures. He is involved in science policy-making, including in the area of promoting the use of basic research to address global challenges such as climate change and stimulating sustainable development. Prof. Russo was coordinator of the United Nations global programme ‘International Year of Astronomy 2009’ and is involved in the work of several international organizations, including the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the European Astronomical Society (EAS). Prof. Russo has been recognized for his work with a number of prestigious awards, including the Seeds Special Award in 2009, Scientix Best Educational Resource in 2015 and 2016, the Innovation in Education Award from the Finnish HundrED programme in 2017 and 2018, the K.J. Cath Prize and the first NWO Science Communication Award in 2020.