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)
With Merko support, the Estonian Academy of Arts Faculty of Architecture opened an energy performance professorship in autumn 2016. The goal of the professorship is to establish the best contemporary international know-how in the field of energy performance and thereby to deepen skills and knowledge among future architects so that energy performance is considered already in the building design phase.
In the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic year, the Austrian architect and top energy performance expert Bernhard Sommer and energy design lecturer Galo Moncayo have been teaching at the Academy of Arts. On an everyday basis, Bernhard Sommer works at the Exikon architecture office and teaches energy design at one of the most experimental and fascinating architecture schools in the world – the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Sommer directs future architects to design their projects on the principles of energy efficiency from the very start and is convinced that we shall achieve a more energy efficient future city not through better materials, but through smarter spatial geometry. Sommer’s office Exikon is also engaged in solving the energy efficiency problems of complex spaces, combining research with architecture and using the top-end digital technology.
COOPERATION WITH TALLINN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
In 2017, Merko’s young researcher and teaching staff member scholarship went to Endrik Arumägi, who heads up the nearly-zero-energy (NZE) residential buildings project at the university to develop standardized solutions and sample projects for NZE apartment buildings, row houses and detached homes. In 2016, Merko awarded the engineering grant to Tallinn University of Technology 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 Tallinn University of Technology 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 Tallinn University of Technology’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).