Groundbreaking research of blood cells brought the author a scholarship

2 months ago
13.10.2017

On the 13th of October, along with the celebrations of the 385th birthday of the medical faculty, the Valda and Bernard Õun Scholarship will be awarded to Silva Kasela, a specialist at the Estonian Genome Center and a doctoral graduate of University of Tartu.

In her research “Pathogenic implications for autoimmune mechanisms derived by comparative eQTL analysis of CD4+ versus CD8+ T cells“, Kasela looked into the gene regulations in specific types of white blood cells and their connection to autoimmune diseases. The inappropriate activation or lack of regulation of these cells may contribute to the onset and course of several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

“The topic is important in today’s medical field, as it explains how genetic information helps us understand the genetic paths of illnesses, which in turn helps to discover how certain genetic markers of the illnesses impact a person’s wellbeing,” the author Kasela said. “The information gathered here helps us inch closer to using the human genome in drug development and clinical practice. Our findings specifically have the potential of use in medicine targeted at type 1 diabetes.”

The head of the scholarship committee, professor of molecular immunology at UT, Pärt Peterson confirmed that the scholarship was competitive and agreed with Kasela’s assessment of the potential of the research: “The work may have actual impact on new medicines used to treat diabetes. The author also published some of the work in a prestigious science journal “PLoS Genetics” and those specific qualities made this piece of scientific research particularly outstanding.”

The Valda and Bernard Õun Memorial Foundation was created to the University of Tartu Foundation with the purpose of recognizing the published research of UT students in the field of biomedicine. The scholarship is 5000€ and is appointed from the total donation of 500 000€, made by Valda Õun in her will.

Additional information: Katrin Linno, UT Foundation assistant, (+372) 5657 1221, katrin.linno [ät] ut.ee

 

Maria Kristiina Prass Assistant to the Press Officer Tel. (+372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 5566 2832 E-post: maria.prass [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: ResearchPress release
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Groundbreaking research of blood cells brought the author a scholarship

2 months ago
13.10.2017

On the 13th of October, along with the celebrations of the 385th birthday of the medical faculty, the Valda and Bernard Õun Scholarship will be awarded to Silva Kasela, a specialist at the Estonian Genome Center and a doctoral graduate of University of Tartu.

In her research “Pathogenic implications for autoimmune mechanisms derived by comparative eQTL analysis of CD4+ versus CD8+ T cells“, Kasela looked into the gene regulations in specific types of white blood cells and their connection to autoimmune diseases. The inappropriate activation or lack of regulation of these cells may contribute to the onset and course of several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

“The topic is important in today’s medical field, as it explains how genetic information helps us understand the genetic paths of illnesses, which in turn helps to discover how certain genetic markers of the illnesses impact a person’s wellbeing,” the author Kasela said. “The information gathered here helps us inch closer to using the human genome in drug development and clinical practice. Our findings specifically have the potential of use in medicine targeted at type 1 diabetes.”

The head of the scholarship committee, professor of molecular immunology at UT, Pärt Peterson confirmed that the scholarship was competitive and agreed with Kasela’s assessment of the potential of the research: “The work may have actual impact on new medicines used to treat diabetes. The author also published some of the work in a prestigious science journal “PLoS Genetics” and those specific qualities made this piece of scientific research particularly outstanding.”

The Valda and Bernard Õun Memorial Foundation was created to the University of Tartu Foundation with the purpose of recognizing the published research of UT students in the field of biomedicine. The scholarship is 5000€ and is appointed from the total donation of 500 000€, made by Valda Õun in her will.

Additional information: Katrin Linno, UT Foundation assistant, (+372) 5657 1221, katrin.linno [ät] ut.ee

 

Maria Kristiina Prass Assistant to the Press Officer Tel. (+372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 5566 2832 E-post: maria.prass [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: ResearchPress release
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Faculty of Medicine celebrates 385th anniversary

2 months ago
12.10.2017

This week the Faculty of Medicine is marking its 385th anniversary with two conferences, the awarding of its faculty medals and recognising its best students. The focal topic of the traditional anniversary conference is drawing attention to the importance of scientific research in benefiting the health of the people of Estonia.

The anniversary celebrations are open to everyone and begin on Thursday 12 October with a science conference at the Biomeedikum, where faculty research fellows, faculty members, doctoral students and students will be showcasing scientific research results from the past year in 21 presentations and 62 posters.

On 13 October, a conference dedicated to studies awarded with national prizes is being held at the Biomeedikum. The conference will open with an academic lecture by Helsinki University Professor Emeritus and newly elected Honorary Doctor of the University of Tartu Markku Kaste, who is one of the world’s leading researchers into acute strokes. Eight medical scientists from the Faculty of Medicine who play a significant role in conducting health studies and who have been awarded with national prizes for their work will then introduce their research. The topics include diabetes, the possibilities of molecular diagnostics, infections, panic disorders, inherited autoimmunity syndrome, early detection of cardiovascular disease, psoriasis and cancer research.

At the dean’s reception on the evening of Friday 13 October in the White Hall of the University of Tartu Museum the Faculty of Medicine medals will be awarded, as well as the research award of Tartu University Hospital and several grants, and the best presenters from the science conference will be recognised.

This year, the Faculty of Medicine medal is being awarded to English-language Bachelor’s and Master’s studies programme director and Associate Professor of Children’s Gastroenterology Oivi Uibo for her dedicated work in developing English-language medical studies and to Associate Professor of Gastroenterology Riina Salupere for her consistent work in leading the committee assessing doctors’ competence.

More information on the Faculty of Medicine’s anniversary programme is available on the faculty website.

 

Maria Kristiina Prass Assistant to the Press Officer Tel. (+372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 5566 2832 E-post: maria.prass [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: University
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Faculty of Medicine celebrates 385th anniversary

2 months ago
12.10.2017

This week the Faculty of Medicine is marking its 385th anniversary with two conferences, the awarding of its faculty medals and recognising its best students. The focal topic of the traditional anniversary conference is drawing attention to the importance of scientific research in benefiting the health of the people of Estonia.

The anniversary celebrations are open to everyone and begin on Thursday 12 October with a science conference at the Biomeedikum, where faculty research fellows, faculty members, doctoral students and students will be showcasing scientific research results from the past year in 21 presentations and 62 posters.

On 13 October, a conference dedicated to studies awarded with national prizes is being held at the Biomeedikum. The conference will open with an academic lecture by Helsinki University Professor Emeritus and newly elected Honorary Doctor of the University of Tartu Markku Kaste, who is one of the world’s leading researchers into acute strokes. Eight medical scientists from the Faculty of Medicine who play a significant role in conducting health studies and who have been awarded with national prizes for their work will then introduce their research. The topics include diabetes, the possibilities of molecular diagnostics, infections, panic disorders, inherited autoimmunity syndrome, early detection of cardiovascular disease, psoriasis and cancer research.

At the dean’s reception on the evening of Friday 13 October in the White Hall of the University of Tartu Museum the Faculty of Medicine medals will be awarded, as well as the research award of Tartu University Hospital and several grants, and the best presenters from the science conference will be recognised.

This year, the Faculty of Medicine medal is being awarded to English-language Bachelor’s and Master’s studies programme director and Associate Professor of Children’s Gastroenterology Oivi Uibo for her dedicated work in developing English-language medical studies and to Associate Professor of Gastroenterology Riina Salupere for her consistent work in leading the committee assessing doctors’ competence.

More information on the Faculty of Medicine’s anniversary programme is available on the faculty website.

 

Maria Kristiina Prass Assistant to the Press Officer Tel. (+372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 5566 2832 E-post: maria.prass [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: University
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

UT doctoral student teaches robot to express emotion

2 months 1 week ago
09.10.2017

On October 6, Kairi Tamuri defended the doctoral dissertation ‘Basic emotions in speech read out in Estonian: acoustic analysis and modelling’ at the University of Tartu, during the preparation of which she managed to identify the acoustic sound of anger and sadness in text that is read aloud and teach a robot producing speech to express these.

Synthetic speech is used in many areas, such as communication between humans and machines, multimedia and assistive tools for people with impairments, which is why it is necessary for synthetic speech to sound natural. One way to achieve this is to add emotion to it with acoustic models. To create such models, it is necessary to know how emotions are expressed in human speech vocally, meaning what exactly the acoustic parameters are so that the machine can express recognisable emotion when following them.

“Human speech always includes emotion, which is why it should also be perceptible in synthetic speech mimicking human speech,” said Tamuri. “The relevance of speech is something you sense daily, for instance, during phone conversations when all communication is done at the level of sound alone.”

The author had two aims in her dissertation: to determine the acoustic expression of three emotions (joy, sadness and anger) in speech read out in Estonian; and to create emotional speech acoustic models for an Estonian speech synthesiser based on the results. Since the expression of emotions differs between languages, both aims required separate study.

To create the models it had to be identified whether and to what extent emotions affect the values of the acoustic parameters – such as tone, intensity and speech tempo – and which parameters distinguish emotions from one another and neutral speech. The aim set in the thesis was partially achieved: the synthesiser satisfactorily expressed anger and sadness, but based on the acoustic models of joy it was unable to express the emotion so that it could be understood.

“The problem was not recognising joy in Estonian human speech, since there’s nothing difficult about expressing or perceiving joy,” Tamuri explained. “The difficulty was in the speech synthesising. The situation could be improved by expanding the search area of the parameters, meaning playing with these parameters on a larger scale than in this research. Emotional synthetic speech should also definitely be tried out with machine learning methods. Studying the acoustics of emotion and modelling emotions are still in their early stages and there’s room for improvement.”

The synthetic clips can be heard on the website of the Institute of the Estonian Language (EKI).

Additional information: Kairi Tamuri, dissertation author, (+372) 50 65 572, kairi.tamuri [ät] eki.ee

Maria Kristiina Prass Assistant to the Press Officer Tel. (+372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 5566 2832 E-post: maria.prass [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: StudiesResearch
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

UT doctoral student teaches robot to express emotion

2 months 1 week ago
09.10.2017

On October 6, Kairi Tamuri defended the doctoral dissertation ‘Basic emotions in speech read out in Estonian: acoustic analysis and modelling’ at the University of Tartu, during the preparation of which she managed to identify the acoustic sound of anger and sadness in text that is read aloud and teach a robot producing speech to express these.

Synthetic speech is used in many areas, such as communication between humans and machines, multimedia and assistive tools for people with impairments, which is why it is necessary for synthetic speech to sound natural. One way to achieve this is to add emotion to it with acoustic models. To create such models, it is necessary to know how emotions are expressed in human speech vocally, meaning what exactly the acoustic parameters are so that the machine can express recognisable emotion when following them.

“Human speech always includes emotion, which is why it should also be perceptible in synthetic speech mimicking human speech,” said Tamuri. “The relevance of speech is something you sense daily, for instance, during phone conversations when all communication is done at the level of sound alone.”

The author had two aims in her dissertation: to determine the acoustic expression of three emotions (joy, sadness and anger) in speech read out in Estonian; and to create emotional speech acoustic models for an Estonian speech synthesiser based on the results. Since the expression of emotions differs between languages, both aims required separate study.

To create the models it had to be identified whether and to what extent emotions affect the values of the acoustic parameters – such as tone, intensity and speech tempo – and which parameters distinguish emotions from one another and neutral speech. The aim set in the thesis was partially achieved: the synthesiser satisfactorily expressed anger and sadness, but based on the acoustic models of joy it was unable to express the emotion so that it could be understood.

“The problem was not recognising joy in Estonian human speech, since there’s nothing difficult about expressing or perceiving joy,” Tamuri explained. “The difficulty was in the speech synthesising. The situation could be improved by expanding the search area of the parameters, meaning playing with these parameters on a larger scale than in this research. Emotional synthetic speech should also definitely be tried out with machine learning methods. Studying the acoustics of emotion and modelling emotions are still in their early stages and there’s room for improvement.”

The synthetic clips can be heard on the website of the Institute of the Estonian Language (EKI).

Additional information: Kairi Tamuri, dissertation author, (+372) 50 65 572, kairi.tamuri [ät] eki.ee

Maria Kristiina Prass Assistant to the Press Officer Tel. (+372) 737 5509
Mob: +(372) 5566 2832 E-post: maria.prass [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: StudiesResearch
Maria Kristiina Prass (b14327)

Latvia and Estonia join forces to boost local startup scene

2 months 2 weeks ago
02.10.2017

Are you ready for an exciting life of an entrepreneur? Apply for the pre-accelerator program, build your team, develop the idea and start a business! As simple as that with the new project ‘EstLat-Accelerate’ that is launched as a part of European Regional Development Fund program ‘Interreg Estonia – Latvia’. There are two partnering cities involved – Riga and Tartu. And five strong community partners have joined forces to boost startup scene of both countries. 

University of Tartu, Garage48 Foundation, Baltic Innovation Agency, TechHub Riga and Latvian Startup Association, has taken part in the project with the aim to create a pre-acceleration program for helping very early teams to get to the acceleration phase. The first pre-acceleration batch for early stage teams will run 8 weeks in October/November of 2017 culminating with graduation days in Tartu and Riga. Mentoring will comprise of series of individual meetings and joint events with highly experienced entrepreneurs and business coaches. The aim of these sessions is to help teams to build the successful business model as well as validate customers, their problems and the new product or service as a proposed solution.

Pre-acceleration will end with the graduation day where teams will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors. Organizing team expects ten new companies to be formed during the pre-acceleration program that should be ready to apply for the acceleration and pre-seed financing.

The pre-acceleration program enables to move forward with the development of the product with the most insight possible still without full commitment.

The application can be submitted online at estlat-accelerate.eu. The deadline for application is 3rd October.  

‘EstLat-Accelerate’ is pre-accelerator program for boosting Latvian and Estonian startups supported by ERDF programme ‘Interreg Estonia - Latvia 2014 – 2020’. The programme is implemented under the European territorial cooperation goal of the cohesion policy and it supports cross-border cooperation. The programme carries on the co-operation relationship between Estonia and Latvia, which started during implementation of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia INTERREG IIIA Priority within the Baltic Sea Region INTERREG III B Neighbourhood Programme in 2004 and Estonia - Latvia programme 2007 - 2013. It is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia.

The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading center of research and training. It preserves the culture of the Estonian people and spearheads the country's reputation in research and provision of higher education. University belongs to the top 2% of world's best universities.

 ‘Garage48’ event series started in Estonia in April 2010 and have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa since then. All ‘Garage48’ events are held in English and have ~100 international participants. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

Baltic Innovation Agency provides innovation, clustering, and technology development related services to public, private and third sector organizations. Main competence areas include startup consulting, cluster management, strategic and business planning, technology transfer and commercialization, market research and analysis.

TechHub Riga is a community of new technology startups who can meet, work, learn and collaborate. It is a home for 20+ startups and a host of various events, such as Monthly Meetups and annual startup community get together ‘TechChill’.

Startin.lv is an organization founded with the aim to develop the Latvian Startup ecosystem and to promote startup movement in Latvia, as well as facilitate respect and cooperation in the startup environment.

Additional information:

Marge Seppo, Project Manager at UT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

marge.seppo [ät] ut.ee (+372 527 0173)

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Latvia and Estonia join forces to boost local startup scene

2 months 2 weeks ago
02.10.2017

Are you ready for an exciting life of an entrepreneur? Apply for the pre-accelerator program, build your team, develop the idea and start a business! As simple as that with the new project ‘EstLat-Accelerate’ that is launched as a part of European Regional Development Fund program ‘Interreg Estonia – Latvia’. There are two partnering cities involved – Riga and Tartu. And five strong community partners have joined forces to boost startup scene of both countries. 

University of Tartu, Garage48 Foundation, Baltic Innovation Agency, TechHub Riga and Latvian Startup Association, has taken part in the project with the aim to create a pre-acceleration program for helping very early teams to get to the acceleration phase. The first pre-acceleration batch for early stage teams will run 8 weeks in October/November of 2017 culminating with graduation days in Tartu and Riga. Mentoring will comprise of series of individual meetings and joint events with highly experienced entrepreneurs and business coaches. The aim of these sessions is to help teams to build the successful business model as well as validate customers, their problems and the new product or service as a proposed solution.

Pre-acceleration will end with the graduation day where teams will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors. Organizing team expects ten new companies to be formed during the pre-acceleration program that should be ready to apply for the acceleration and pre-seed financing.

The pre-acceleration program enables to move forward with the development of the product with the most insight possible still without full commitment.

The application can be submitted online at estlat-accelerate.eu. The deadline for application is 3rd October.  

‘EstLat-Accelerate’ is pre-accelerator program for boosting Latvian and Estonian startups supported by ERDF programme ‘Interreg Estonia - Latvia 2014 – 2020’. The programme is implemented under the European territorial cooperation goal of the cohesion policy and it supports cross-border cooperation. The programme carries on the co-operation relationship between Estonia and Latvia, which started during implementation of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia INTERREG IIIA Priority within the Baltic Sea Region INTERREG III B Neighbourhood Programme in 2004 and Estonia - Latvia programme 2007 - 2013. It is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia.

The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading center of research and training. It preserves the culture of the Estonian people and spearheads the country's reputation in research and provision of higher education. University belongs to the top 2% of world's best universities.

 ‘Garage48’ event series started in Estonia in April 2010 and have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa since then. All ‘Garage48’ events are held in English and have ~100 international participants. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

Baltic Innovation Agency provides innovation, clustering, and technology development related services to public, private and third sector organizations. Main competence areas include startup consulting, cluster management, strategic and business planning, technology transfer and commercialization, market research and analysis.

TechHub Riga is a community of new technology startups who can meet, work, learn and collaborate. It is a home for 20+ startups and a host of various events, such as Monthly Meetups and annual startup community get together ‘TechChill’.

Startin.lv is an organization founded with the aim to develop the Latvian Startup ecosystem and to promote startup movement in Latvia, as well as facilitate respect and cooperation in the startup environment.

Additional information:

Marge Seppo, Project Manager at UT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

marge.seppo [ät] ut.ee (+372 527 0173)

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

sTARTUp Day 2017 prepares the ground for great deeds

2 months 3 weeks ago
21.09.2017

On 8 December, the sTARTUp Day business festival will be held in Tartu for the second time. The main topic of the event is “From Zero to Hero”, covering presentations and seminars by leaders of international startups who have the experience of developing a successful company using limited resources.

The sTARTUp Day 2017 event is held in AHHAA Science Centre, which becomes the Mecca for startups. From morning to night, the participants can enjoy a rich programme divided between four stages, two workshops and the entire science centre.

Elevator pitches are given on one of the stages, the pitching stage.  During the whole day, it is possible to deliver sales presentation to investors, partners and future customers. In addition, on the Firelight stage it is possible to ask well-known people for advice.

Rick Rasmussen, faculty member of the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the experts who is waiting for participants’ questions and is ready to share his experiences. Rasmussen has been connected with really successful companies – the three companies in which he held top positions were sold for a total of eight billion dollars. Rick hopes he will also be able to learn something at the event. “Estonia has an excellent reputation in terms of entrepreneurship and business management, which is why I expect a mutual exchange of ideas.” 

Compared to the last year’s opening event, the organisers offer several innovations and surprises this year. “We have put together an even better programme with nearly 100 speakers. Thanks to an application for making preliminary appointments, there are better opportunities to meet partners and investors. Also the preceding and the following day are full of events – the EstBAN anniversary gala, seminars and an international fashion design fair,” said head organiser of the festival Ermo Tikk.

The topics dealt with this year are product development, biotechnology, branding, data security, space technology, etc.

Kristjan Korjus, head of computer vision and perception at Starship Technologies startup, will talk about machine learning, a topic that has caused much sensation. “Machines have been gradually making our lives more convenient for thousands of years already. This process is accelerating and keeping pace with it has been beneficial for countries and people. Nevertheless, even I feel uncomfortable thinking that machines are now also going to take mental works away from us,” Korjus explained the background to his speech.

Besides discussions on important issues, all participants will also get a free ticket to the afterparty, which will be an impressive event held in the sports hall in Turu street.

sTARTUp Day 2017 main organising partners are the city of Tartu, the University of Tartu, Startup Estonia and Tartu’s startup community. sTARTUp Day is the biggest business festival in the Baltics, aimed at startups, investors, technology leaders, young people, officials and the media.

Festival tickets are available on the event website https://www.startupday.ee.

Early bird tickets at 79 euros are on sale until 31 October 2017.

Additional information: Ermo Tikk, head organiser of sTARTUp Day 2017, +372 53 432 165, ermo.tikk [ät] startupday.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

sTARTUp Day 2017 prepares the ground for great deeds

2 months 3 weeks ago
21.09.2017

On 8 December, the sTARTUp Day business festival will be held in Tartu for the second time. The main topic of the event is “From Zero to Hero”, covering presentations and seminars by leaders of international startups who have the experience of developing a successful company using limited resources.

The sTARTUp Day 2017 event is held in AHHAA Science Centre, which becomes the Mecca for startups. From morning to night, the participants can enjoy a rich programme divided between four stages, two workshops and the entire science centre.

Elevator pitches are given on one of the stages, the pitching stage.  During the whole day, it is possible to deliver sales presentation to investors, partners and future customers. In addition, on the Firelight stage it is possible to ask well-known people for advice.

Rick Rasmussen, faculty member of the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the experts who is waiting for participants’ questions and is ready to share his experiences. Rasmussen has been connected with really successful companies – the three companies in which he held top positions were sold for a total of eight billion dollars. Rick hopes he will also be able to learn something at the event. “Estonia has an excellent reputation in terms of entrepreneurship and business management, which is why I expect a mutual exchange of ideas.” 

Compared to the last year’s opening event, the organisers offer several innovations and surprises this year. “We have put together an even better programme with nearly 100 speakers. Thanks to an application for making preliminary appointments, there are better opportunities to meet partners and investors. Also the preceding and the following day are full of events – the EstBAN anniversary gala, seminars and an international fashion design fair,” said head organiser of the festival Ermo Tikk.

The topics dealt with this year are product development, biotechnology, branding, data security, space technology, etc.

Kristjan Korjus, head of computer vision and perception at Starship Technologies startup, will talk about machine learning, a topic that has caused much sensation. “Machines have been gradually making our lives more convenient for thousands of years already. This process is accelerating and keeping pace with it has been beneficial for countries and people. Nevertheless, even I feel uncomfortable thinking that machines are now also going to take mental works away from us,” Korjus explained the background to his speech.

Besides discussions on important issues, all participants will also get a free ticket to the afterparty, which will be an impressive event held in the sports hall in Turu street.

sTARTUp Day 2017 main organising partners are the city of Tartu, the University of Tartu, Startup Estonia and Tartu’s startup community. sTARTUp Day is the biggest business festival in the Baltics, aimed at startups, investors, technology leaders, young people, officials and the media.

Festival tickets are available on the event website https://www.startupday.ee.

Early bird tickets at 79 euros are on sale until 31 October 2017.

Additional information: Ermo Tikk, head organiser of sTARTUp Day 2017, +372 53 432 165, ermo.tikk [ät] startupday.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

UT scientist receives prestigious grant to launch anticancer drug

2 months 3 weeks ago
20.09.2017

The European Research Council (ERC) awarded the University of Tartu scientist Tambet Teesalu a grant of 150,000 euros to support his research on developing a smart anticancer drug.

In 2012, Tambet Teesalu won the European Research Council (ERC) starting grant for four years. His research project focused on developing an anticancer drug which, if injected into blood vessels, would find cancer cells and leave the healthy tissue unharmed. In order to turn scientific research into a real drug sold in pharmacies, usually a considerable amount of money is needed. The ERC has decided to support the Estonian scientists’ work and its way to production.

“The idea is to take the results of one of our unpublished research studies and protect its intellectual property rights,” explained Teesalu. “To make it from research study to clinical trials, which is the starting point for the drug to reach patients, first you have to get a provisional patent for your discovery. Then you will have a year to publish the research results in a scientific journal and move forward towards the patent. However, it all requires the support of consultants and experts and is quite expensive,” said Teesalu.

The recognition awarded to Teesalu – the proof of concept grant – will support investigating the innovation and market potential of the research results achieved in the course of the project that received the ERC starting grant in 2012.

A smart anticancer drug functions as follows: nanoparticles make it possible to convey the cancer drug to the precise spot which it should affect, i.e. the tumour. Such administration of the drug leaves the healthy tissue unharmed and also reduces the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment. This makes both the diagnostics and the treatment significantly more precise.

Read more about Teesalu’s achievement and smart anticancer drugs on ERR Novaator.

Additional information: Tambet Teesalu, 5397 4441, tambet.teesalu [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

UT scientist receives prestigious grant to launch anticancer drug

2 months 3 weeks ago
20.09.2017

The European Research Council (ERC) awarded the University of Tartu scientist Tambet Teesalu a grant of 150,000 euros to support his research on developing a smart anticancer drug.

In 2012, Tambet Teesalu won the European Research Council (ERC) starting grant for four years. His research project focused on developing an anticancer drug which, if injected into blood vessels, would find cancer cells and leave the healthy tissue unharmed. In order to turn scientific research into a real drug sold in pharmacies, usually a considerable amount of money is needed. The ERC has decided to support the Estonian scientists’ work and its way to production.

“The idea is to take the results of one of our unpublished research studies and protect its intellectual property rights,” explained Teesalu. “To make it from research study to clinical trials, which is the starting point for the drug to reach patients, first you have to get a provisional patent for your discovery. Then you will have a year to publish the research results in a scientific journal and move forward towards the patent. However, it all requires the support of consultants and experts and is quite expensive,” said Teesalu.

The recognition awarded to Teesalu – the proof of concept grant – will support investigating the innovation and market potential of the research results achieved in the course of the project that received the ERC starting grant in 2012.

A smart anticancer drug functions as follows: nanoparticles make it possible to convey the cancer drug to the precise spot which it should affect, i.e. the tumour. Such administration of the drug leaves the healthy tissue unharmed and also reduces the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment. This makes both the diagnostics and the treatment significantly more precise.

Read more about Teesalu’s achievement and smart anticancer drugs on ERR Novaator.

Additional information: Tambet Teesalu, 5397 4441, tambet.teesalu [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Idea Lab opens an exceptional season

3 months ago
15.09.2017

On 15 September, UT Idea Lab opens the new season with an event in SPARK, where an all-day idea hackaton takes place for the development of exciting ideas and finding teammates. The event is an introduction to the Idea Lab’s pilot course “From Idea to Execution”.

Idea Lab starts the new season with seven new projects, in which all enterprising students have an opportunity to develop their business ideas, listen to leaders of internationally renowned startup companies or lead their team to the finals of the business ideas contest Kaleidoskoop. It is possible to gather ideas in Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, as well as Riga.

As a new project, a series of business idea development workshops for advanced teams – the STARTER Advanced programme – is opened this semester. According to head of Idea Lab Maret Ahonen it is pleasant that this year it is possible to offer a training programme for teams who are already operating, and in this way, support their way to their first paying customer. The programme starts on 21 September in the Paabel building, where all interested students can present their business ideas to join the programme. Workshops are conducted by practicians with international experience.

During this semester, Idea Lab’s activities will also expand outside Tartu and Estonia. On 20 September, the STARTER Basic programme starts again in Pärnu, for participants from the university, vocational school and gymnasiums. A completely new project, the STARTER Basic programme in Virumaa, is launched in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology. An inspiration event “100 Ideas that Change the World” is held in UT Narva College already this Friday, 15 September. The best team in each programme will get an attractive award – an opportunity to present their idea at the finals of the Kaleidoskoop contest at sTARTUp Day. This year’s sTARTUp Day takes place in AHHAA Science Centre on 8 December.

The Idea Lab also heads abroad. “Idea Lab’s experiences in developing student teams and conducting the STARTER programme of developing business ideas have brought us cooperation offers from international partners. For example, we participate in the Estonian and Latvian pre-acceleration programme EstLat-Accelerate, which starts with the Garage48 hackaton “Hardware&Arts” from 29 September to 1 October in Riga. It is important to point out that differently from STARTER, in this programme the participants do not have to be students. In addition, we share our experience of the STARTER programme in Ukraine, where, in cooperation with different Kiev universities, the STARTER@Ukraine programme is launched at the beginning of 2018,” said acting head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Piret Arusaar.

More information about all the programmes is available on the Idea Lab website ideelabor.ut.ee.

The STARTER programme in Ukraine is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from development and humanitarian aid funds.

The STARTER Advanced programme is supported by the European Social Fund. 

The EstLat-Accelerate project is supported by the Estonian-Latvian cross-border programme 2014-2020. The programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Additional information:
Maret Ahonen, head of UT Idea Lab, 522 5910, maret.ahonen [ät] ut.ee
Piret Arusaar, acting head of Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 516 2945, piret.arusaar [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Economic trends present both possibilities and challenges for collective labour relations in Estonia

3 months ago
14.09.2017

The University of Tartu's Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) prepared an overview for the European Commission of the current situation and future trends of collective labour relations in Estonia.

The report compiled by the analysts of the UT Centre for Applied Social Sciences Uku Varblane, Kerly Espenberg and Olena Nedozhogina "Industrial Relations in Estonia: Recent Developments and Future Challenges" aimed to study post-crisis industrial relations and changes in economic development, and to give recommendations for dealing with future challenges.

One of the authors of the report Olga Nedozhogina explained that rapid economic growth has brought about labour shortage. The positive aspect of this phenomenon is the rise in salaries and standard of living, while its negative sides are low productivity and the rise in cost level, which are strategic risks for the competitiveness of Estonia's economy.

Kerly Espenberg, another author of the survey, added, "If we look ahead, it is clear that the decreasing and ageing population, new forms of employment and the changing job structure open up new possibilities for the development of collective labour relations. The question is, to what extent the parties to our collective labour relations are ready to take such an initiative and to what extent the state is willing to give them such a role. This remains to be seen."

This project is a follow-up to the 2012 project, also financed by the European Commission, "Impact of the Economic Crisis on the National System of Industrial Relations: Policies as a Key Instrument for Recovery".

Additional information: Kerly Espenberg, UT project manager-analyst, 5330 7476, kerly.espenberg [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

How to coexist despite our differences?

3 months ago
11.09.2017

On 13–14 September, the University of Tartu hosts an international symposium “Islam in Europe: Challenges of Diversity and Ways to Co-existence” to discuss the differences and challenges of European secular society and the Islamic culture and religion.

The history of Islam in Europe dates back to the 8th century. The Arab Spring revolutions, civil wars, the Islamic State, as well as the economic, social and demographic crises in North Africa have culminated in huge waves of refugees flowing into Europe. This has led to a situation in which besides helping refugees, Europe has to deal with new legal and social problems. The secular Europe speaks of religious problems, and specifically Islamic “challenges” for the secular and open society. The prospect of larger Islamic minorities also increases fears of the desecularisation of Europe.  

“It is time we discussed the challenges and differences of our secular society and the Islamic culture and religion, and asked how we can coexist despite our differences,” said head of the UT Asian Centre Elo Süld about the symposium.

The international symposium “Islam in Europe: Challenges of Diversity and Ways to Co-existence” is organised by UT Asian Centre, UT School of Theology and Religious Studies, UT School of Law, UT Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts (GSCSA; ASTRA programme). The event is also supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Speakers include legal and religion scholars from Europe and Islamic countries:

Prof. Dr Stefan Schreiner (University of Tübingen, Germany)

Prof. Dr Mustafa ef. Cerić (imam, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Prof. Dr Egdūnas Račius (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania) 

Prof. Dr Mathias Rohe (University of Erlangen, Germany)

Prof. Amal Idrissi (Moulay Ismail University, Morocco)

Dr Enes Bayraklı (Turkish-German University, Istanbul, Turkey)

Dr Leni Franken (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

Dr Merilin Kiviorg (School of Law, University of Tartu)

Dr Ringo Ringvee  (Ministry of the Interior, Estonia)

Venue: the University of Tartu main building (Senate Hall), Ülikooli 18

The working language of the conference is English. The programme is available on the website of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Additional information: Elo Süld, Head of UT Asian Centre, elo.suld [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Tartu ülikooli pressinõunik Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-post: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

PhD students explain science in three minutes

3 months ago
11.09.2017

For the third year already, the Estonian Academy of Sciences organises the competition in which public university students explain their field of science in three minutes.

“Science in 3 minutes” is targeted at PhD students of 2017, including spring graduates, and is conducted in a video format. Candidates are expected to submit one-shot video clips, in which they have to explain the topic of their doctoral thesis in as simple language as possible. The presenter’s oratory skills and creativity have an important role in introducing a complicated topic in a captivating manner.

“The skill of speaking of one’s research in understandable terms is a part of being a scientist,” says UT senior research communication specialist Randel Kreitsberg. “Researchers are more and more involved in public discussion and they need to know how to express themselves clearly to the general public. Today’s doctoral students are the opinion leaders who will comment on science on TV in the future, therefore now it is their last chance to test their skills in a constructive and developing environment, and to get experience and feedback.”

Three best doctoral students of the University of Tartu as well as other finalists in the contest have an opportunity to represent the university and their field of science at the gala show in the hall of the Estonian Academy of Sciences on 27 October. ERR Novaator will make a live broadcast of the event and the presentations of the eight best finalists will be communicated to those interested on TV, in the research portals of ERR and Postimees and in a printed publication.

All candidates are expected to send a one-shot uncut 3-minute video clip by 1 October to novaator [ät] ut.ee.

Finalists representing the University of Tartu in 2016 were:

Kristi Krebs, “Why a medicine can cure one person but not the other?”
http://novaator.err.ee/259599/video-miks-moni-ravim-suudab-uhe-terveks-ravida-aga-teist-mitte

Ragnar Saage, “Nonferrous iron-age cast metal”
http://novaator.err.ee/259597/teadusvideo-arheometallurg-uurib-rauaaja-metallikunsti-saladusi

Maido Merisalu, “How to fight the invisible enemy?”
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJHEcXwlj-U

Additional information: 
Randel Kreitsberg
Senior Research Communication Specialist/Editor for ERR Novaator
737 5611, 522 9383
e-mail: randel.kreitsberg [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

The high level of analytical chemistry studies at UT confirmed

3 months ago
11.09.2017

The European Commission decided to extend funding to the international joint master’s programme EACH – Excellence in Analytical Chemistry. The programme, coordinated by the University of Tartu, is running for the third year in cooperation with three more European universities.

EACH is the only Erasmus Mundus joint programme currently coordinated by an Estonian university. In the first academic year, students take general study modules in Tartu. The second year is more application-oriented and is spent at one of the three partner universities in Europe. Students can choose between the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in France, Åbo Akademi University in Finland or Uppsala University in Sweden.

The EACH programme has been offered since autumn 2015 and this year students were admitted for the third time. The success of the programme activities got an important external confirmation now, as the European Commission has decided to extend the Erasmus Mundus funding to the programme for admissions in three more years.

“Thanks to EU funding, which first of all means very decent scholarships for students, we have managed to create a really international and very competitive joint master’s programme,” says Ivo Leito, UT professor in analytical chemistry. “It is pleasant to see that this is recognised also by the European Commission who finances our programme.”

Leito added that this summer the also students of the EACH programme proved their high level internationally: four students participated in the international analytical chemistry MSC Summer School for master students organised by a consortium of ten European universities. In the final ranking list of all the 30 summer school participants , the students of the EACH programme occupied the first four places.

EACH programme is funded by the European Union from the Erasmus+ programme “Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees”.

Further information about the EACH programme can be found on the programme website http://www.analyticalchemistry.eu.

Additional information: Ivo Leito, EACH programme director, University of Tartu Professor in Analytical Chemistry, 518 4176,ivo.leito [ät] ut.ee ( )

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

First UT online course goes live on Udemy

3 months ago
11.09.2017

This fall marks the first time a course by the researchers of the University of Tartu goes live on Udemy, one of the largest international online learning platforms.

Online course “Introduction to Internet Voting”, developed by the Senior Researchers in Technology Studies Kristjan Vassil and Mihkel Solvak, is available on Udemy - an online teaching platform with 15 million active learners. Currently, this is the only University of Tartu MOOC, massive open online course, offered at such a scale on the international online platform.

“This is a great way to contribute to the international community of online educators and to showcase a type of research conducted by the university and the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies to students around the world,” said one of the course’s creators, Senior Researcher Mihkel Solvak. “The system which has become a common method of voting across all groups in Estonia, is unique on a global scale and certainly deserves further introduction.”

“Introduction to Internet Voting” is a glimpse into the University’s 8-week MOOC "Diffusion and Impact of Internet Voting" (SVJS.TK.003), which in the previous openings managed to attract more than 520 participants globally, coming from such places as the US, India, Russia, UK, Brazil, Iceland, Kenya and New Zealand. The 8-week MOOC is going to be open for the 3rd run on 9th of October, and is currently open for registration.

During the course, students are going to learn about the main prerequisites for the evolution of e-government, how a typical e-voter looks like, how fast people vote online and how it relates to their age. The course will also examine whether e-voting is politically biased, how costs are related to the decision to vote and whether vote verification has increased trust towards e-voting.

The course is created with the support of the European Social Fund program "Increasing Digital Literacy" and Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Additional information on the Udemy course can be found on the platform and the 8-week MOOC on the University’s website.

All interested in the regular 8-week course (“Diffusion and Impact of Internet Voting”, 2 ECTS), can register here

Course introductory video is available here

Contact: Anna Beitane, Project Manager of the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu, anna.beitane [ät] ut.ee, +372 5834 637

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Studies
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Garage48 Hardware & Arts invites students to Riga

3 months 1 week ago
08.09.2017

From the 29th of Sept to the 1st of Oct, the Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga hackathon is welcoming participants from the Baltics and abroad. The physical prototyping hackathon for makers and creators is welcoming participants with a wide-ranging skillsets: product designers, UI / UX designers, electronics engineers, mechanics engineers, server programmers, mobile or web apps developers, marketers or researchers are all welcome. The goal of the prototyping hackathon is to bring ideas into reality within an intense 48 hour time frame.

Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga is organised in co-operation with EstLat Accelerate project and hosted by RTU Design Factory. The hackathon is held in Riga for the first time ever, while being already the fourth in line for Garage48. “Hardware & Arts hackathons by Garage48 stand out in this respect as an class on its own, and bringing it to Latvia marks a whole new era in recognition of Riga as a true hub of engineering talent and design inspiration,” said Viesturs Sosārs, the Co-founder of TechHub Riga, of this joint initiative.

The teams will get to use lots of equipment and materials that will enable them to build their prototypes. Additionally, there are mentors helping the teams out with numerous questions and problems that they may face during the creation process.

The discounted participation ticket, costing 15€, is available only until the 11th of September, 2017.

To make the hackathon a success for everyone involved, there will a pre-event taking place in Tartu’s SPARK HUB on Sept 25 at 4PM to help the participants to prepare for the prototyping hackathon and ask questions regarding the event.

The registration for the hackathon is open for everyone.

Additional information can be found on the official website of the event and Facebook event page, which all participants are welcome to join.

Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga is sponsored by European Regional Development Fund Interreg Estonia-Latvia, RTU Design Factory, Riga Technical University, Garage48, TechHub Riga, Baltic Innovation Agency, Latvian Startup Association and supported by University of Latvia, University of Tartu Idea Lab, MassPortal.

Additional information: Triin Liiv, Project manager, 5919 3040, triin [ät] garage48.org

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: International
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

UT maintains a high position in the world university rankings

3 months 1 week ago
07.09.2017

The Times Higher Education (THE), arguably the world’s most influential compiler of university rankings, published the most recent ranking of the world’s best universities. In the 2018 rankings the University of Tartu continues to hold a place in the 301–350 band.

THE rankings, published since 2004, is considered the world’s most reputable and objective university ranking which compares world research universities across all core missions. The ranking considers 13 performance indicators which are grouped into five areas: the learning environment (30% of the final result), research (30%), research influence (30%), industry income (2.5%) and international outlook (7.5%).

For this year’s ranking, THE ranked 1000 best universities in the world. This year’s list is led for the first time by two UK universities – the University of Oxford on the number one spot and the University of Cambridge on the second place. 

Of Estonian universities, also the Tallinn University of Technology made it to the table, holding on to the 601–800 band, similarly to last year.

Read more about the methodology of the ranking and browse the full list of universities on THE website.

Additional information:
Lauri Randveer, UT Senior Specialist for International Cooperation, 737 5510, lauri.randveer [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)
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