Research cooperation in war TU Braunschweig supports partner university in Kiev
In December, the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI) in Kiev and TU Braunschweig started a research cooperation. Together, the universities want to use radar technology to make visions of the future, such as autonomous flying or gesture recognition, into everyday technology. The cooperation was officially sealed with the signatures of Professor Angela Ittel, President of TU Braunschweig, and Professor Mykhailo Zgurovsky, Rector of the KPI. Now the KPI campus is at a scene of war, in the middle of a besieged city.
In the current shadow of war, the agreement between the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and TU Braunschweig sound as if they are from another age. Yet it is only a few weeks old. At the centre is a type of technology centre in which the KPI tests new kinds of simulations and algorithms with chips from Braunschweig and reflects the findings back into the chip design process. Doctoral students from Kiev are to come to Braunschweig for several months. A guest lecture and even an Erasmus agreement are on the agenda to make international experience accessible to students already there.
“As the leading technical university in Ukraine, the KPI is an ideal partner for us to improve our highly integrated systems,” explains Professor Vadim Issakov, who as head of the Institute for CMOS Design is the driving force behind the cooperation. “Now our cooperation is more in demand than ever. We have a duty to do everything possible to help our partners.”
Escape instead of Erasmus
TU Braunschweig is currently pooling support for Ukraine on the website “We care for Ukraine”. Together with Braunschweigischer Hochschulbund e.V., the university has quickly set up an emergency fund. The emergency fund collects donations for students and researchers who have fled Ukraine and supports the current Ukrainian students and researchers already at TU Braunschweig. Moreover, a peer-support programme has been prepared to give the refugees practical help in everyday life.
Professor Vadim Issakov: “Unfortunately, only a few researchers were able to flee Ukraine. We are now trying to accommodate those who have made it. For example, I received a request from the KPI to take in four students. I am currently working on enrolling them, finding them a place to stay and integrating them into our projects. The most important thing is that TU Braunschweig helps me to provide a basis with which I can also employ the students as student assistants.”
Braving the bombardments
When will it be possible to do research together with the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI) again? Between the horrors of war, such questions seem far from any near future. And yet there is a fierce hope that the commitment that unites the two universities will not only survive the harrowing time, but could play a small part in overcoming it. The hope that guest lectures, student exchanges and joint projects will be at the heart of the cooperation. Because even in the midst of the bombardments, the cooperation partners in Kiev signalled that they want to continue joint research despite everything.