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Helmholtz 2020 - Shaping the Future Through Partnership

The position paper "Helmholtz 2020 - Shaping the Future Through Partnership", which was adopted by the general assembly today, is an active contribution by the Helmholtz Association to the discussion on the prospects for the German research system. It is planning to significantly strengthen important topics at the heart of its mission via new strategic partnerships and suitable collaboration models. The Helmholtz Association believes that close cooperation with partners in the research system is the only effective way to maintain and safeguard the international competitiveness of the German research system in the long term.

As a research location, Germany is facing major changes. The end of the Excellence Initiative in 2017 and the question of how the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation and the Higher Education Pact 2020 will be continued mean that it is vital to develop a clear strategy for the future. At the same time, societies are facing great challenges as a result of social and technological transformation processes worldwide.

Rising energy demand, climate change and demographic shifts are merely a few examples of developments on which society expects research to provide possible solutions. Against this backdrop, the Helmholtz Association's research centres drafted the new position paper. The paper provides concrete suggestions on the further development of the German research system and makes a contribution to the process of dialogue on the future of Germany as a research location that has just started. The paper is called "Helmholtz 2020 - Shaping the Future Through Partnership".

A clear focus: further development of the research system "Our strategy focuses primarily on the quality of further developments in the research system," says the President of the Helmholtz Association, Prof. Jürgen Mlynek. "If Germany only continues with its existing structures and concepts, it will not be possible to achieve the advances needed to tackle the challenges of the future." The role played by the Helmholtz Association involves specific topics on which it has a particular research mission and proven research expertise.

The Helmholtz Association believes that the only way to exploit the German research system's potential effectively and in the long term is to pool the work of various actors on certain research topics, as well as skills and resources along innovation chains. This requires sustainable cooperation models that include additional project support activities. However, there is no need to "reinvent the wheel" - these models can certainly make use of established successful concepts. The Helmholtz Association therefore suggests that universities which are funded in part by the German Federal Government, institutional networks and project-funded networks be further developed. To this end, the Association plans to continue working closely and openly with the other research and research promotion organisations involved in the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation.

The position paper is an invitation to these partners and funding organisations to engage in a dialogue with the Helmholtz Association on working together to further develop and shape the German research system, which is highly productive thanks to its diversity and division of labour.

Further information: <www.helmholtz.de/helmholtz-2020> to the strategy paper, "Helmholtz 2020 - Shaping the Future Through Partnership" <www.helmholtz.de/en/about_us/mission/> to the Helmholtz Roadmap for Research Infrastructure

The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Key Technologies; Structure of Matter; and Aeronautics, Space and Transport. With almost 34,000 employees in 18 research centres and an annual budget of approximately €3.4 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).

idw :: 27.09.2012