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.
Since its establishment in spring 2018, the scientific coordination office (WKS) Bavaria-Israel has been managing research projects of all disciplines from the EU research program and other funding programs with Bavarian and Israeli participation. The aim of the WKS Bavaria-Israel is to strengthen the Bavarian-Israeli dialogue on science and innovation and to initiate new cooperation projects.
With the "Bavaria-Israel Symposium", which has been held regularly since 2018, the office specifically promotes the bilateral exchange of knowledge in various thematic areas by means of joint workshops and delegation trips. The scientific coordination office Bavaria-Israel also organizes information events on new research areas and funding opportunities that are of great interest to both Bavaria and Israel.
The WKS Bavaria-Israel welcomes inquiries and projects from all fields.
Small and large projects are welcome! Company participation is always desired. Project ideas are always welcome: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis after initial consultation.
Intensifying cooperation between Bavaria and Africa in the field of science, research and innovation
The aim of the WKS Bavaria-Africa is to deepen cooperation between Bavaria and Africa in science, research and innovation. In doing so, it supports both the Bavarian course - Minister-President Dr Markus Söder opened the Bavarian Africa Office in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia on 12 April 2019 to develop long-term partnerships across Africa - and the European course - which seeks closer cooperation between the European Union and Africa, for example in the EU Green Deal.
The thematic priorities are:
- Economic development
- Science (diplomacy), research, education and training
- Agriculture and nutrition
- Environment and natural resources
- Management and administration
To achieve this goal, WKS Bavaria-Africa aims to provide an overview of networks and activities of Bavarian institutions in science and research on the African continent. In addition, BayFOR provides targeted training for African and Bavarian institutions on the rules of participation in EU funding programmes and the administrative project management of research projects in order to initiate joint cooperation projects in science, research and innovation.
With its research-related structures, BayFOR offers the ideal conditions for hosting the WKS Bavaria-Africa. For example, as the project administrator for the BayIntAn funding programme, it creates the possibility of initinal funding for international research cooperation, for example for trips to the African continent and invitations from African stakeholders to Bavaria. With its Unit SME advisory services, BayFOR also places research-affine companies in European project consortia. Within the framework of the Regional Leaders Summit (RLS), projects with the South African region of the Western Cape were successfully initiated, for example the "Global Aerospace Campus" project or the "Lightweight, Strong Impact: Small Satellites for Telecommunication and Earth Observation" project. BayFOR has also already advised and successfully supported several EU research projects with African project partners in the application process. Further information on these Africa-related projects can be found here. In addition, BayFOR has already participated in several scientific meetings in Africa and has been able to build up a large network in this way. Finally, BayFOR, together with Bavarian institutions, offers suitable conference formats through which the exchange between Bavaria and African countries is intensified, for example the "Cooperation Lounge Bavaria-Tunisia" to promote scientific cooperation on 4 October 2021. Further information on BayFOR's network can be found here.