Berlin and Moscow to enhance cooperation in research and education
Germany and Russia signed an agreement on closer cooperation in research and education on 15 October. The agreement allows for the joint construction and use of research facilities. In
addition, the two partners are planning to set up a new training programme for Russian engineers in Germany, intended to supplement existing exchange and training schemes.
The strategic partnership in education, research and innovation that the two countries have shared for the past two years had been a great success, according to German Federal Minister of
Education and Research Annette Schavan. Ms Schavan signed the agreement with her Russian counterpart Andrei Fusenko. Now, ‘our common use of state-of-the-art technologies will take our
scientific cooperation to a new level’, she added.
As part of this enhanced collaboration, Berlin and Moscow will join forces to develop and deploy sources of synchrotron radiation and free electron lasers. In this context, Russia will assist
in the construction, operation and use of the European x-ray laser facility XFEL. In addition, the Kremlin will invest in the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) that will be built
in Darmstadt, Germany, states a declaration of intent by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency.
Marine and polar research will be another cornerstone of the cooperation, Ms Schavan said. The BMBF and the Russian Ministry of Science and Education intend to carry out joint expeditions for
the study of climate change, in which the two countries share an interest, the minister added.
The agreement also marked the kick-off for a number of health research projects. The projects are dedicated to improving understanding of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) as well as
diagnosis and therapy of infectious diseases of the cardiovascular system.
The agreements were signed in the framework of the ninth round of high-level consultations between Russia and Germany, which took place in the German city of Wiesbaden. Research cooperation
between the two countries has a long history: an Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation came into force 20 years ago, forming the basis for joint research and education schemes.