Prof. Strohschneider opens the 2017 summer reception in Moscow
(27.06.17) At the end of June, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) hosted its traditional summer reception in Moscow. In the presence of some 150 invited guests, some of whom travelled from St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, the DFG and its local partners thanked the representatives of both countries for their open and constructive collaboration in the past year. A roundtable discussion was held the next day with the partner organisations of the DFG with the aim of further consolidating the collaboration between the institutions.
2017 summer reception in Moscow
This year, President Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider opened the summer reception on behalf of the DFG, summing up the current situation for the large audience representing both academia and politics. As well as locally based Russian and German institutions, guests from Germany were also present this year, including the Bavarian Academic Center for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (Bayhost), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS). Regardless of the changing political situation between Germany and Russia, and in a year that has seen a change of director at its Moscow office, the DFG continues to succeed in strengthening collaboration in science and the humanities and in research on many levels.
In the area of co-funded projects, the last year has seen another joint announcement with the Russian Science Foundation (RSF). The successful and long-established project funding model with the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) was also translated for the first time into a fixed announcement. Since the organisation merged with the Russian Foundation for Humanities (RFH), funding has also been available for projects in the humanities and social sciences. In 2017, there was the addition of shared project funding with Saint Petersburg State University (SPBU) – a first in German-Russian relations, as nine German-Russian projects in various areas of research can currently benefit from joint funding with the university.
In his welcome address the Envoy and Permanent Representative of the German Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Andreas Meitzner, highlighted other activities of the DFG – such as the Leibniz Lecture delivered by DFG Vice-President Professor Dr. Wolfgang Ertmer at Lomonosov University and the sixth German-Russian Week of the Young Researcher in Moscow – and thanked the DFG office for its involvement in the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH Moscow). The General Director of RSF, Alexander Khlunov, also addressed the guests, emphasising the strong partnership with the DFG in terms of both project funding and administrative cooperation. The deputy chairpersons of the RFBR council, Vladimir Kvardakov and Vladimir Fridlyanov, praised the long-standing active partnership with the DFG and the prospects opened up by this cooperation both now and in the future – for example in relation to interdisciplinary research and contributions to academic diplomacy.
With a view to reinforcing institutional cooperation, alongside the summer reception the DFG organised a meeting for more in-depth discussion with its Russian partner organisations RFBR, RSF and SPBU at the library of Hotel Baltschug – a venue which the DFG has used previously for many different events, including joint events with the German House for Research and Innovation. The current challenges and specific prospects for the DFG in bilateral collaboration with Russia were the topics of this research discussion. The delegation led by DFG President Strohschneider with Annette Schmidtmann (Head of the Scientific Affairs Department), Karin Zach (Head of the Mathematics and Physics Division) and Jörn Achterberg (Director of the International Affairs Division) also benefited from the opportunity to learn about the ongoing institutional reforms in the Russian research system and discuss current research policy issues in Germany and Russia. As in the previous year, the meeting focused on calls for proposals published by the DFG along with its Russian partners to ensure the continuation of joint funding for German-Russian research projects. Close to 200 project proposals are currently being reviewed, reflecting the broad basis of scientific cooperation between the two countries.