Two years of the Twin for Hope partnership

The 29th March 2024 marks two years since we entered an international partnership with Sumy State University, Ukraine. The twinning partnership was established to share resources, learning and ideas at a challenging time for Ukraine.

The Initiative is coordinated by Cormack Consultancy Group with the support of Universities UK International, the President’s Fund of Ukraine for Education, Science, and Sports, and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

To mark the two-year anniversary, the University will be hosting the Twinning showcase and academic networking event which will help academics at Ukrainian Universities and Research institutes integrate into the international research network.

The event, hosted at the University campus and online, will bring together stakeholders from Ukraine and the UK to engage in presentations, poster sessions, round table and working group discussions to help academics at Ukrainian Universities and Research institutes to integrate into the international research network.

University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Jones will welcome participants on 27th March and discuss the long-term partnership between the University of Liverpool and Sumy State University in the form of running academic and research twinning programmes as well as the strong commitment to support Ukraine.

Keynote talks will follow delivered by representatives from research institutions, industry, foundations and support initiatives. Networking event activities will be focused on stimulating new forms of research collaboration across existing research activities and facilitating the building of new links and collaborative projects between universities capitalising on current progress.

Through this two-year partnership, Liverpool has been able to support Sumy State University during a very challenging period by providing an International Summer School for Ukrainian students, sharing our extensive electronic library resources and virtual learning database, and assisting with Sumy’s cloud-based IT needs. We were also able to provide accommodation and access to work space for visiting staff and students.

In 2023, a new research collaboration was launched with support from a grant of £197k from the Universities UK International’s (UUKi) UK-Ukraine R&I twinning grant scheme.

Led by Professor Igor Potapov from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Computer Science and Head of the International Affairs Department at Sumy State University Dr Konstantin Kyrychenko, the digitalisation and digital transformation research and innovation programme has built stronger research links and helped foster longer term partnerships between the two organisations specifically in the areas of digital economics, renewable energy, digital Infrastructure and digital transformation.

48 researchers from Sumy State, mostly Early Career Researchers, have participated in the programme to date after a match-making exercise was undertaken to match Sumy researchers with research mentors at Liverpool.

Work on jointly agreed projects took place over a 5-month period – through a virtual fellowship programme as well an in-person summer programme which incorporated research placements in Liverpool (working with mentors and research groups) as well as additional workshops focused on research skills, career development and academic publishing.

Professor Igor Potapov said “I am excited about the active development of a stronger and deeper relationship between our universities and establishing research links that meet the research and innovation needs of both the University of Liverpool and Sumy State University. Following our research seeding initiative we are hosting 9 visitors including established academics, early career researchers and postgraduate research students working together with academic colleagues from the Management School, School of Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental Sciences, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Digital Innovation Facility of the University of Liverpool.