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An international partnership takes the stage at ESOF 2014

The EuroTech Universities Alliance, an international partnership dedicated to producing new knowledge and translating it into action for the benefit of society, will highlight innovations in communication and education as well as technology at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF 2014), June 21-26 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The partners of the Alliance, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and Technische Universitt Mnchen (TUM), chose ESOF 2014, organized around the theme of "science building bridges," as the perfect forum to offer practical examples of their contributions to society.

An ESOF session organized by the Alliance will turn the spotlight on MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, as a potentially disruptive innovation for scientific and technical education in Europe, on Tuesday morning, June 24.

Further, the Alliance will present the first issue of Technologist, a new popular science and technology magazine with a mission to provoke public interest and informed debate.

Finally, EuroTech Universities Alliance will present selected research projects throughout the week. These range from novel scanning, imaging and modeling technologies to innovations in food, drugs, energy, and tactile sensing for cognitive machines. These exhibits can be viewed in the House of Future Technologies at the ESOF site.

AAAS CEO Alan Leshner to give keynote at Technologist launch

The EuroTech Universities Alliance is inviting journalists, policy makers, and scientists to ESOF's House of Future Technologies at 10:30 on 24 June for the launch of the new magazine Technologist together with its associated website. The new magazine targets the general public and covers science and technology from a European perspective and with a focus on grand societal challenges. Under the motto "Innovation.Explained" the magazine sets out not only to present relevant, timely, and accurate accounts of research and innovation, but also to stimulate discussion. The print-only magazine will be published four times a year in French and German as well as in English.

The leaders of all four EuroTech Universities Presidents Anders Overgaard Bjarklev (DTU), Patrick Aebischer (EPFL), and Wolfgang A. Herrmann (TUM) and Rector Magnificus Hans van Duijn (TU/e) will take part in the launch event. The keynote talk, focusing on communicating science across boundaries of all kinds, will be given by Dr. Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science.

What to make of MOOCs?

Once-dominant companies across a range of industries have experienced the destructive power of disruptive innovations. The advent of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs is sometimes portrayed as posing a similar threat in higher education, yet a number of leading universities have embraced it as an opportunity. EPFL in particular has been a pioneer in producing some of Europe's first MOOCs, and the EuroTech Universities are collaborating to develop a portfolio of MOOCs in key domains of science and technology.

An ESOF scientific workshop on MOOCs, organized by the EuroTech Universities Alliance, will take place in the Carlsberg Museum on 24 June at 9 a.m.

This session brings together four leaders who can survey the scene from complementary vantage points. EPFL President Patrick Aebischer was one of the first university chiefs in Europe to recognize the significance of MOOCs. Xavier Prats-Monn, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture at the European Commission since 2011, will assume the post of Director-General beginning this August. Joining them are two key figures engaged with bringing MOOCs to the widest possible audience: Johannes Heinlein is Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at edX, a not-for-profit, open-source platform for MOOCs governed by MIT and Harvard. Volker Zimmermann is a member of the executive board at IMC AG, a full-service e-learning provider with roots in Europe and customers worldwide.

Contact: Patrick Regan
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

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