Germany – INTERNATIONAL OPEN IDEA COMPETITION: Science Creating Prospects for the Region

Two large-scale research centres will be established in the Saxon part of Lusatia and the Central German coalfieldThe BMBF and the State of Saxony have launched the competition “Wissen schafft Perspektiven für die Region!” to establish the centres.

On 14 August 2020, the Act on Structural Change in Coal Mining Areas (Strukturstärkungsgesetz Kohleregionen, StStG) entered into force as a structural assistance measure for the mining areas and communities affected the phasing out of coal useIn order to create new economic prospects for the mining regions, section 17 no29 of the StStG provides for “the establishment of a new institutionally funded large-scale research centre according to Helmholtz or equivalent principles in the Saxon part of Lusatia and the Central German coalfield following a competitive procedure”.

The ideas competition “Wissen schafft Perspektiven für die Region!” (Science Creating Prospects for the Region) is a joint initiative of the BMBF and the Free State of Saxony to develop and choose the best proposals for the establishment of the two new large-scale research centres in a transparent and thematically open competitive procedureThe competition is aimed at outstanding scientists and is designed to determine the thematic orientation and the precise location of the new large-scale research centresDepending on how successful the new research centres are in scientific terms, the long-term aim is to provide annual institutional funding of up to 170 million euros for each centre within the framework of the StStG.

The establishment of these new large-scale research centres is intended to strengthen German science and innovation and to contribute to the development of the Saxon part of Lusatia and the Central German coalfield regions into attractive regions for the futureIn addition to scientific excellence and the supraregional significance of the research programme, the focus of the new research centres will therefore also include the transfer of research results into commercial and societal applications as well as the promotion of innovation in the mining regionsWith the establishment of these two new large-scale research centres, we want to create innovative models for cooperation between science and industry.

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