Agora Day 2016: Results from University - Need for Speed?

The Agora 16th annual celebrations took place at the University of Jyväskylä, on March 16th, 2016. The topical theme of the day was to discuss the structural changes and needs for research-based impact in the society.

The top-level speakers included University of Jyväskylä rector, professor Matti Manninen, Ministerial Adviser Pirjo Kutinlahti from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Research professor Antti Hautamäki, and a former Prime Minister of Finland, presently multiply active, e.g., at Aalto University, Esko Aho.

Publication of Ministry report on how to increase impacts of Universities in society

The day included publication of a report produced in the project by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy to forward governmental research policies. Research professor Antti Hautamäki, leader of the project, presented the conclusions and suggestions. The report Impact-oriented research – suggestions for experiments to enhance research-based impacts and commercialization is openly available in Finnish on the Ministry website. New conceptual thinking, experimentations, and new operational models were called for in the day's presentations. Also the operations of the hosting Agora Center will be renewed according to these ideas.

The event ended with publication of the annual Agora Award for Excellence in a doctoral thesis. The CEO of Regional Council of Central Finland Anita Mikkonen presented the award to Dr. Jing Yang and her thesis Benefit-oriented socially engaged art: two cases of social work experiment that had strong aims for tackling societal challenges through research and art. Based on investigation of two non-profit projects—the Art for the Disabled Scheme and the Art and Culture Companions, this dissertation explored the conceptions, mechanisms and effects of benefit-oriented socially engaged art, The Agora Award has been annually awarded from 2001 on to support interdisciplinary scientific research with topical societal relevance.

The Agora Center is an internationally recognized and networked research center for interdisciplinary, innovative research on human technology and the knowledge society at the University of Jyväskylä. It creatively combines research of high international standards from a variety of scientific disciplines with the know-how derived from its diverse partner network. The work is primarily carried out with competed external funding.

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