Press Release No. 61 | 4 October 2007
"A Perfect Housemate"
The DFG Opens its New York Office in the German House
The opening of the DFG's new office in New York by Professor Matthias Kleiner, President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), was attended by 140 invited guests from the fields of politics, science and business.
The office is located in the German House - within sight of the United Nations - which is also home to Germany's Permanent Mission to the UN, the German Consulate General, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Carl Duisberg Society (CDG) and representatives from a number of German universities.
This "centre of excellence", as it was described by the President of the DFG during his speech, will contribute towards a deepening of existing contacts and the creation of new ones. Science does not stop at national borders, and the DFG has opened all of its programmes to foreign scientists and researchers. International cooperation needs to start with young scientists and academics, said Kleiner. Of the approximately 500 postdoctoral fellows funded by the DFG each year, about two-thirds went abroad, with more than half of them going to the USA and Canada. The recently launched Excellence Initiative is helping to reverse this one-way street, however, as Germany is now able to offer posts that are also attractive to American scientists and academics.
In his welcoming speech, Ambassador Thomas Matussek, Germany's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, also spoke of the need to augment existing cooperative links and welcomed the DFG to the German House. "Like you, we are trying to draw the attention of our American and international partners to cooperation with Germany", Matussek continued. The Consul General, Dr Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, described the DFG office in New York as "a perfect housemate". Not only will politicians seeking scientific contacts as they pass through receive more effective answers than has previously been possible, there is also an increasing number of young Americans who are interested in conducting science or research in Germany and who need advice on the subject. New York, he said, is a biotope for science and research, and the DFG has therefore chosen the right location.
The Secretary General of the DAAD, Dr. Christian Bode, welcomed the DFG as a new partner at the German House, which, he said, has now also become a house of German science.
The DFG has had a liaison office in Washington since 2002. With the addition of its new office in New York, the largest German research funding organisation is pursuing three major goals: to strengthen contacts with North American and Canadian universities and research institutions and thereby to the researchers and scientists themselves; to create a forum for bilateral activities such as symposia, peer review meetings and round table discussions; and to expand the assistance offered to young scientists and academics, with the goal of informing them about changes in the German university landscape and about career opportunities and prospects in Germany.
The coordination of cooperation with North American partner organisations and the monitoring of developments in science policy will continue to be directed from the DFG's Washington Office.
The opening ceremony was rounded off by a panel discussion on the topic "National strategies for internationalisation in the age of global science and research".
Dr. Marion Müller
DFG New York Office
871 UN Plaza, Suite 611
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel. +1 212 339-8300