Bavaria is cooperating closely in science, research and technology with different regions and countries outside Europe. On behalf of the Bavarian government, BayFOR is in charge of the bilateral cooperation with Québec, Alberta, and Israel. In addition, BayFOR in coordinating the Bavarian participation in the scientific network called RLS-Sciences. RLS-Sciences is embedded within the Regional Leaders Summit-(RLS) of the seven following partner regions: Bavaria (Germany), Upper Austria (Austria), Shandong (China), Western Cape (South Africa), São Paulo (Brazil), Georgia (USA) and Québec (Canada).
The Scientific Coordination Office (WKS) in the Bavarian Research Alliance provides support to researchers and companies in Bavaria who are interested in collaborating with these international regions and countries.
Based on regional and national specifics, the Scientific Coordination Office offers targeted support from project planning to implementation:
- Management of international science and innovation projects
- Scientific, administrative, and financial support for bilateral initiatives from project idea to project implementation
- Liaison between the different research and innovation players, e. g. science and business missions
- Strategic scientific preparation and management of multilateral large scale initiatives
Current cooperation between Bavaria and Québec is based on a longstanding tradition of partnership which began in the early 1980s and was institutionalised in 1989. This cooperation spans into broad areas such as politics and administration, economy, science, research and technology, social and academic education, culture and society. Important synergy effects are also achieved in the interplay.
In joint workgroup conferences, which take place every two years in Bavaria and Québec, content-based priorities are established for the following two-year term. The 14th workgroup conference took place in Munich in 2016. The meeting in 2018 took place in Québec. Both sides have federal subsidies at their disposal for the financial support of joint initiatives according to the principle of reciprocity.
In the field of science, research and technology, the mobility programme is particularly emphasised. This enables activities for the networking of scientists from Bavaria and Québec and in the process guarantees initial funding for existing research plans.
The position, embedded in the Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH, of a senior scientific officer for international research association in Bavaria (with Québec/Canada in particular), accompanies these projects as an assignment from the Bavarian State Chancellery and in cooperation with the representatives from the Free State of Bavaria in Québec.
In the scientific-technological area, the two governments are currently funding about 20 bilateral research projects with the following thematic emphases:
In the strategic areas of aeronautics, renewable energies, environmental studies (especially climate change), nanotechnologies, transport, life sciences and neurosciences, key priorities are being established.
In contrast to the multi-year cooperation between Bavaria and Québec, which progresses within a fixed framework of institutional cooperation, the scientific-technological dialogue with Alberta is only in its initial phase.
Nevertheless, in strategic sectors such as energy, information and communication technologies (ICT), nanotechnology and life sciences, both joint research interests as well as complementary approaches are already available in many different ways.
This dialogue started in the context of the delegation-trip, initiated by Vice Minister Hans Spitzner, to Alberta in 2007. In addition to representatives from politics and economics, seven scientists from Bavarian universities and research centers took part in the trip. In discussions with scientists from Alberta, it was possible to line up bi-lateral research cooperation projects, which still exist. Regular student and faculty exchanges between universities in Bavaria and Alberta were increased.
During the delegation trip led by Vice Minister Katja Hessel in 2011, a first cross-disciplinary scientific network called ABBY-Net arose that is evaluating the co-evolution of energy systems and ecosystems. Together, the members of this network want to take part in international cooperative research efforts with partners from industry.
The 5th of June 2013 Minister Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch and the Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, Deputy Premier of Alberta, Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education signed a Letter of Intent in Research and Technology.
On behalf of the Bavarian State Chancellery, the Scientific Coordination Office of the Bavarian Research Alliance supports the development of mutual research projects.
Bavaria in the Regional Leaders Summit (RLS)
The Regional Leaders Summit (RLS) is a forum comprising seven regional governments (state, federal state, or provincial), which together represent approximately 177 million people across five continents, and a collective GDP of 3 trillion USD. The regions are: Bavaria (Germany), Georgia (USA), Québec (Canada), São Paulo (Brazil), Shandong (China), Upper Austria (Austria), and Western Cape (South Africa). Since 2002, the heads of government for these regions have met every two years for a political summit. These summits offer the RLS regions an opportunity for political dialogue.
During the sixth summit in São Paulo in 2012, the RLS member states adopted a Final Declaration, which included a commitment to joint research and innovation initiatives in the field of renewable energy.
''In order to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the total energy consumption, as well as contribute to the security of energy supply and to promote renewable energy on a global scale, we invite our universities, research institutes, and industrial clusters to join forces in the formation of a network, centered on renewable energy and energy efficiency, so that innovations and new products will be developed to achieve these goals. This initiative will be led by the Government of the State of São Paulo until 2014. The intensification of the cooperation in research is necessary to implement these technologies in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency broadly and at a reduced cost."
Within the framework of RLS, RLS-Sciences seeks to leverage the unique composition and strengths of the RLS network to support scientific research within and between the RLS regions. It works to generate and support academic, scientific, and technological exchanges, as well as the initiation of multilateral research projects. The existing resources of RLS-Sciences include its scientific network, the existing bilateral relationships between the RLS members, and its pilot project, the Energy Network (2013-ongoing). Further multilateral research projects are in the fields of digitalization, aerospace, and small satellites.
Review the RLS-Sciences structure here.
Learn more on the RLS-Sciences website.
After beginning work in the spring of 2018, WKS Bavaria-Israel is already overseeing its first research projects from the EU research framework programme with Bavarian and Israeli participation. With the "Bavaria-Israel Symposium", the office is also strategically promoting bilateral scientific exchange through joint workshops and delegation trips. The first and second symposia focus in particular on issues related to digitalisation in the context of agricultural sciences, life sciences and industrialisation. A new subject area will be developed for the envisaged third symposium.
WKS Bavaria-Israel is happy to receive enquiries and projects from all disciplines.
They welcome projects big and small!
Company participation is always desired.
Projects ideas are welcome at any time: applications will be received continuously after initial consultation.
Intensification of research and innovation cooperation between Bavaria and Africa
The Regional Leaders Summit (RLS) has already successfully launched projects with the South African region of Western Cape, such as the Global Aerospace Campus project or the Lightweight, Strong Impact: Small Satellites for Telecommunication and Earth Observation project. The Scientific Coordination Office Bavaria-Africa was initiated at BayFOR in July 2020 to further intensify the cooperation between Bavaria and Africa in the field of research and innovation. It provides advice on suitable (EU) funding instruments for cooperation projects and facilitates scientific staff exchanges, among others, by granting mobility allowances to Bavarian research and innovation stakeholders. Thematic priority areas are:
- Economic development
- Science diplomacy, research, education and training
- Agriculture and nutrition
- Environment and natural resources
- Management and administration
- Frugal innovation