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DFG Hosts Summer Reception and DFG-MSU Workshop in Moscow

In June, the DFG Office Russia hosted its annual summer reception in Moscow. In the presence of around 200 guests from Moscow and regions of Russia as well as from Germany, DFG President Peter Strohschneider thanked the Russian and German partners for the fruitful collaboration.

2019 DFG summer reception at the Metropol Hotel Moscow
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2019 DFG summer reception at the Metropol Hotel Moscow

© DFG / Sergey Teplyakov

(25.06.19) On behalf of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), DFG President Peter Strohschneider opened the ceremonious reception and reflected on the achievements of the previous year in joint German-Russian research funding, which was marked by "mutual trust based on partnership", in the presence of the German Ambassador to Moscow, Rüdiger Freiherr von Fritsch, and prominent representatives of Russian science policy.

In his welcome address, Ambassador von Fritsch stressed the important role that the DFG has played in the funding of bilateral basic research for several years. Furthermore, the science advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, Andrei Fursenko, addressed the assembled company and acknowledged the work of the DFG in the Russian Federation. There were also warm words of welcome from Alexander Khlunov, General Director of the Russian Science Foundation (RSF), and Vladimir Fridlyanov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR).

Ambassador Rüdiger von Fritsch welcomes attendees at the 2019 DFG summer reception
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Ambassador Rüdiger von Fritsch welcomes attendees at the 2019 DFG summer reception

© DFG / Sergey Teplyakov

Expanding international scientific cooperation has been a central goal of the DFG for many years. This is most notably reflected in regular calls for proposals with the two Russian partner organisations RFBR and RSF, which demonstrate proposal and funding figures that increase year on year. Long-term research groups are another aspect of the cooperation. In November 2018, the continued funding of the largest cooperation project, the Collaborative Research Centre for Spintronics between TU Dortmund, St. Petersburg State University and the Ioffe Institute, was ensured. This was also the case for the German-Russian International Research Training Group "Cultural Transfer and 'Cultural Identity' – German-Russian Contacts in the European Context", in which researchers from the University of Freiburg and the Russian State University for the Humanities conduct research on a collaborative basis.

In preparation for the German-Russian Year of University Cooperation and Research 2018-2020, which was opened in December 2018 by Foreign Ministers Heiko Maas and Sergej Lawrow, the DFG President and the Rector of Lomonosov University Prof. Sadovnichy signed a joint letter of intent on institutional cooperation at the opening of the All-Russian Science Festival in October 2018. In the spirit of this agreement, the Faculty of Physics at Lomonosov University arranged a DFG-MSU workshop on "Funding opportunities for scientific cooperation between Russia and Germany" together with the DFG on the eve of the summer reception. A DFG delegation provided insights into the German research system and exchanged information with Russian attendees from faculties of physics, chemistry, biology, mechanics and mathematics regarding channels of international cooperation, scientific networks, International Research Training Groups and opportunities for institutional cooperation.

In his speech, the DFG President also noted the establishment of formats such as the Leibniz Lecture, the Weeks of the Young Researcher and discussion forums. He thanked the Russian institutions and the German organisations for their continued support and common creative power.

In the run-up to the summer reception, the DFG President took the opportunity at a roundtable discussion to come to an understanding with the heads of partner organisations RFBR and RSF as well as universities such as the Saint Petersburg State University (SPBU), Moscow State University (MSU) and the project of the German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) in Kazan on current trends and perspectives of research funding and frameworks in terms of science policy. Anette Schmidtmann (DFG Department Head, Scientific Affairs Department) and Karin Zach (DFG Programme Director, International Affairs) reported on developments in science policy in Germany within the scope of the Excellence Strategy and the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation. President Strohschneider spoke about digitalisation in research and the associated challenges.

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