Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be launching the Research and Academic Relations Initiative 2009 at the conference "Connecting worlds of knowledge. German Foreign Policy for more Education, Science and Research" to be held on 19 and 20 January. This year the Federal Foreign Office is making available an additional EUR 43 million to further raise Germany's profile as a location for science and research and strengthen networks linking German researchers with their colleagues around the world.
Federal Minister Steinmeier will open the conference in the Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office at 3 p.m. on 19 January along with the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Dr Annette Schavan. Together with distinguished academics and researchers from Germany and abroad they will discuss research and academic relations goals and prospects in the global knowledge society. Participants will include the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, M. S. Ananth, and the Secretary General of the European Research Council, Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker. The debate will be chaired by Ana Plasencia, a journalist with Deutsche Welle TV.
A series of panels and working groups will analyze experience of research and academic relations policy to date. The conference is expected to generate a host of new ideas that will greatly benefit the new Initiative also as it evolves in the future.
Be your subject climate change, space research or the architecture of the international financial markets, if you want to be a top researcher and able to answer the pressing questions of our time, you need international contacts. Research and researchers have long left national boundaries behind. Without good academics there can be no science and research, no inspiration or innovation, no impetus for growth and prosperity in Germany. And that is why the Federal Foreign Office has made research and academic relations the priority of its cultural relations policy in 2009.