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Education and aftergrowth
We support the sector of education with the aim to develop higher education of construction and professional aftergrowth. Merko has cooperation with universities and participates in innovation and science projects.
Cooperation with the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA)
Since 2016, Merko has been cooperating closely with the Faculty of Architecture of the Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA). In the autumn of 2016, Merko supported the opening of a professorship of energy efficiency, which is unique in Estonia, and in autumn 2018 – a digital tools studio that focuses on the designing of a high-capacity energy-efficient building.
The professorship of energy efficiency opened in 2016 with support from Merko aims to bring the best modern knowledge of energy efficiency to Estonia and to use it to deepen the skill and wisdom in future architects to think about the energy efficiency of buildings from the first design stages. Austrian architect and a top expert in energy efficiency Bernhard Sommer as well as architect and energy design lecturer Galo Moncayo have both taught at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of EEA.
The new digital tools studio is being led by Professor Bernhard Sommer and Assistant Professor Galo Moncayo and students are also assisted by junior researchers and doctoral students of the faculty. The studio focuses on the use of digital tools in the process of designing buildings, seeing different parts of a building closely interlinked and, where relevant, adaptable.
COOPERATION WITH TALTECH
Merko has had a successful relationship with the TalTech since 2007, the goal being to promote specialized education and provide encouragement to the rising generation of professionals. Merko scholarships are awarded in cooperation with the TalTech Development Fund. The 3,300-euro scholarship is awarded to young researchers/faculty members at the university who hold a doctorate in construction fields and who are up to 40 years of age, while a 2,000-euro scholarship goes to a successful third-, fourth- or fifth-year student in the university’s civil engineering programme.
In 2018, Merko’s young researcher and teaching staff member scholarship was awarded to Senior Fellow of the Faculty of Engineering at the Civil Engineering and Architecture Department, Kalle Kuusk, whose research is mainly focused on the complete renovation of residential buildings and nearly zero-energy buildings i.e. technical renovation solutions, their cost-effectiveness, investments needs, buildings interior climate, levels of nearly zero-energy buildings and other topics. Engineering Study Scholarships were awarded to Erik Teder, Mari Stepanjan and Kaarel Juurmaa.
In 2017, Merko’s young researcher and teaching staff member scholarship went to Endrik Arumägi. In 2016, Merko awarded the engineering grant to TalTech fifth-year industrial and civil engineering student Erik Sumer. The 2015 young researcher grant was awarded to civil engineering doctoral student Raido Puust and the engineering scholarship to Kristel Tamm, a fifth-year student in the field of heating and ventilation. The 2014 young researcher grant was awarded to professor Hendrik Voll, the head of the TalTech heating and ventilation chair, and the engineering scholarship went to fourth-year student in the same speciality, Jakov Ivanov. The 2013 engineering scholarship was awarded to construction economics and management student Alan Väli and the young researcher grant was received by Andrus Räämet, who has a PhD in civil engineering and environmental technology. Previously, Merko’s master’s degree scholarships have gone to Miia Rõõm, Teet Reinson, Martin Talvar, Jürgen Sarmet, Ats Pildre and Kaspar Vitsur. Up to 2012, Merko gave out the Professor Heinrich Laul young researcher/faculty scholarship, which was awarded to Targo Kalamees, Raido Puust, Hendrik Voll, Madis Ratasepp and Ivar Annus.
INNOVATION CENTRE MEKTORY
Merko has supported TalTech’s interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship centre, MEKTORY. Opened in November 2013, the aim of the centre is to connect students, researchers and entrepreneurs as well as promote the engineering sciences among school pupils. The four-storey 4,450 m² building houses various experimental labs, workshops, company demo centres equipped with state-of-the-art technology, startup studios, a space centre, an energy centre and an exhibition and conference hall. Various theme studios have been furnished to promote the cultures of different countries (Japan, China, India, Australia, the UK and the US).
COOPERATION WITH THE FOUNDATION NOORED KOOLI
We have supported the implementation of the program Noored Kooli (Bringing young people to school). The programme is an initiative of the foundation, aimed at setting a higher value on the role of a teacher by bringing active young people to schools and creating conditions for their development into outstanding teachers and leaders in various areas of life. The Foundation Noored Kooli will use the support under the programme framework of the initiative „Toeta noort õpetajat” (Support for young teachers).