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A new agreement on scientific cooperation between St. Petersburg and Leoben has been reached

Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад /

The network of foreign partner universities of Russian scientific community is set to increase further. Last week, an agreement on scientific-technical cooperation between the International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO and the University of Leoben (Montanuniversität Leoben) was signed in Austria. The document was signed by Vladimir Litvinenko, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Competence Centre, and Wilfried Eichlseder, Rector of the Austrian University. The ceremony was also attended by Kurt Wallner, Mayor of Leoben, and Kirill Molodtsov, Aide to the Chief of Staff at the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation.

Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад /

With the signing of the agreement, the University of Leoben has become the key partner university of the Competence Centre in Austria. The practical outcome is that now there will be more united scientific effort between the countries - joint research work included -, and new exchange opportunities will arise: students of both countries will be able to make a swap to attend the summer school or participate in the master's or postgraduate programme of the partner university. In addition to it, the Austria’s mining university will coordinate work of all higher education institutions of the country.

Vladimir Litvinenko: ”The mining industry is now facing two global problems - training of high-skilled workers capable of mastering new technologies and new areas of knowledge, and restoration of trust in the mineral resources sector and its role in the global economy. Solving these problems is set to be the key task of the Competence Centre.”

Wilfried Eichlseder: ”In 2050, mankind will consume twice as much resources as now. The environmental load, as an outcome, will also double. This is an engineering problem the Competence Centre will be solving. As for our university, we also have the possibility to deliver important information on energy supply and joint work with Russia to the EU’s political entities. We have a representative office in Brussels for this purpose.”

Kurt Wallner: ”In recent years, Leoben has become the biggest technological hub of Lower Styria. However, it is more than that - it is a town where global problems of the whole Europe are being solved. The agreement we have signed is, of course, our investment in the future. A noteworthy fact is that it was signed on the St. Barbara’s Day, historically the Miners Day.”

Kirill Molodtsov: ”The agreement on the establishment of the International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO in Russia was signed in March 2018, with the priority support of Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. As of now, 18 countries have already applied for membership in the Supervisory Board of the Competence Centre - Slovakia, Estonia, Spain and some other countries are among them.”

According to Mr. Molodtsov, the importance of the Austro-Russian agreement extends beyond academic cooperation, to the development of international relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Austria.