DFG Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek has visited St Petersburg University to discuss nine mutual projects, copyright protection in science, and identify areas for development between SPbU and DFG.  

Dorothee Dzwonnek met SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev to discuss how the universities, scientists and business relate to each other and benefit in copyright law in Germany and Russia. Rector proposed to hold a conference on copyright to exchange experience with the German colleagues and identify the ways how to put it to work in Russia.

“We have been collaborating with Germany since the University began. And now we have been working as partners for decades. Germany is our key partner as it leads the way on our mutual research publications and investigations, and our scope of research interest is enormous”, — said Nikolay Kropachev.

Today the University has the Research Park with the equipment of about seven bln rubles, and it is open for anyone from the academic community. The University has also created a data base for electronic scientific resources. Finally, SPbU is the only university in Russia to offer accommodation to scientists. Nikolay Kropachev proposed an idea to create a centre for Russia-Germany relations at SPbU and at one of Germany’s universities to study history, science, culture and arts of the two countries, which will contribute to deepening the relationships between us.

SPbU also hosted a press-conference as part of the delegation visit. The event was visited by DFG Secretary General and Manfred Bayer, Prof of the Technical University of Dortmund who also initiated a new format of interaction as the international centres for mutual research. The experts told about collaboration between DFG and St Petersburg University and how we can provide substantial support to young researchers.

“Surprisingly enough, DFG is the largest research foundation in Germany which is a research funding organisation and works directly with the University. It can be explained by a special status of SPbU, its independent nature, and excellence in education and research, — said Dorothee Dzwonnek. — That’s why we have allocated 1.8 mln euros for mutual research projects as the University has”.

Let us remind that last year SPbU and DFG hold the first mutual research project competition for Russian and German researchers. The winners were nine projects in various fields: chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and earth sciences. Moreover, in 2015 SPbU, the Ioffe Institute and Technical University of Dortmund, with the support of DFG, opened ICRC-TRR160, which is the first in Russia international centre for mutual research.

“We are facing lots of challenges, and we cannot respond to them alone, — said Manfred Bayer. — In some sciences, countries should work together and use mutual expertise and competences. This is the way how we can effectively solve our problems and achieve our aims. A good example is the centre for mutual research. This is a project we have been deepening and expanding over years”.

SPbU also held a seminar as part of the delegation visit on how to provide substantial support in science in Russia and Germany and to exchange experience in research project competitions.