Today (29 March) marks one year of the Twin For Hope initiative, run by Universities UK International and supported by the Cormack Consultancy Group. It now has more than 100 twinning partnerships between universities in the UK and Ukraine.
The landmark programme has enabled Ukrainian campuses to stay open, academics to continue vital teaching and research activities and most importantly, students have been given a lifeline to continue their studies.
Loughborough is one of 33 UK universities to receive additional funding through the UK-Ukraine Research and Innovation twinning grants scheme – provided by UKRI’s Research England – to enable twins to further their research and innovation collaborations.
Its twinning project – ‘Digital solutions to maximise readiness for post-war reconstruction of the built environment’ – will be led by Professor Tarek Hassan from the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering.
The project will leverage the power of digital modelling and information management to aid the planning and delivery of post-war reconstruction, drawing on the expertise of academics from Loughborough and Beketov National University.
The collaboration will produce a feasibility study and roadmap for implementation that will underpin material-efficient, cost- and time-effective approaches to rebuild Kharkiv, the home of Beketov.
Speaking about the collaboration, Professor Tarek Hassan said: “I am delighted to extend our on-going support to our colleagues at Beketov University during this difficult time by working with them to develop plans for the post-war reconstruction of their home city of Kharkiv, one of the cities which has been significantly affected by the conflict.
“The extra funding of more than £100K, awarded through the twinning initiative, will enable the embedding of digital solutions in these plans for building modelling, micro mobility planning and the latest construction technologies, such as 3D Concrete Printing.”
Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “The twinning initiative provided Research England with a unique opportunity to support Ukraine researchers on the ground and we are delighted with the impact it is having on the lives of those working and studying during this exceptionally stressful time. We are thrilled this funding has provided support to a further 33 UK twinning partnerships.
“By supporting Ukraine's researchers through this twining scheme, we enable them to continue their work helping to secure meaningful and long-lasting collaborations in the years ahead.”
The Loughborough project starts on 1 April and runs until 31August 2023.