Our Vice President of Innovation Dr. Sebastian Pohlmann was invited today to speak at the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) virtual development conference, where the future of education, and the contribution of science and universities to solve global challenges were discussed on various panels.

In addition to Sebastian Pohlmann, other prestigious guests spoke at the event, such as the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, the CEO of Comodule Kristjan Maruste, the Head of TalTech's Open University Hanno Tomberg, the Senior Vice President of TU Munich Gerhard Müller, TalTech's expert of health technologies Margus Viigimaa, to name a few.

As our VP of Innovation, Dr. Sebastian Pohlmann is leading Skeleton's innovation efforts and coordinating joint innovation projects on European, Federal and local levels. His panel was about the “Models of the universities of the future”, discussing the meaning of digital revolution in education and distance learning and the better understanding of information technology. 

He emphasized on the cooperation between academic and business worlds, urging companies to actively reach out to universities and look at what they can offer and the value they can bring, not only from an employer’s perspective. “Companies must be aware of the importance of basic research and researchers must think faster about applications. In fast-growing companies, we have seen that development cycles shrink, particularly in the car industry”, he said.

He offered two pieces of advice to universities to help students to get relevant skills for the future. Firstly, one of the key skills needed by companies nowadays is the ability to curate all the data accessible and select information. So, this ability should be taught at universities, in particularly through cooperation on a project basis.

Secondly, the different mindsets of academic research and industrial development must be brought together. In the academic world, people may have different goals like publications and academic recognition, while in the business and industrial world, people always ask about the value and costs. SO, there is a need to combine these two mindsets by integrating students into research programmes of companies and industrial leaders in the curriculum of universities.

The event was hosted by ERR journalist Johannes Tralla, and live-streamed on the ERR News website.