Romania's accession to the European Union in January 2007 will mark the beginning of a new era in German-Romanian relations. With a population of approximately 22 million, Romania will be the second-largest Eastern European country in the enlarged EU, which will then have 27 members, making it an extremely interesting economic and scientific partner for Germany: as a manufacturing location, as a market for German technology, but first and foremost as a partner for cooperation in research and development. With this in mind the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is working to strengthen existing cooperation in research and research funding. To this end it organised a meeting to promote dialogue between key figures from the German and Romanian scientific communities.
The meeting, the "First Romanian-German Research Round Table", was co-organised by the DFG and the German Embassy in Bucharest and took place on 12-13 October 2006. The meeting included representatives from the DFG, the Max Planck Society, the German Rectors' Conference and the German Academic Exchange Service, as well as researchers from universities and research institutes of the Leibniz Association and the Helmholtz Association. It enabled German participants to meet with Romanian scientists and members of Romania's scientific administrative bodies, in order to analyse the current state of scientific relations between the two countries, discuss opportunities and hurdles, and sound out the potential for future development. Apart from the formation of networks and discussion of specific subjects, key topics also included the promotion of young researchers and scientific exchanges. "From Germany's point of view, Romania is an up-and-coming country that offers great opportunities. Conversely, we consider it very important to stimulate Romanian scientists' interest in Germany as a place to do science. Both sides will benefit from fruitful cooperation," concludes Roland Lohkamp, the German Ambassador to Romania.
German-Romanian research cooperation has a long tradition, with an emphasis in mathematics, physics and chemistry. The DFG has been collaborating with both of Romania's main research funding bodies, the Romanian Academy (Academia Românã) and the more recently established National University Research Council, for some time. Outstanding research projects involving cooperation between Romania and Germany can already receive DFG funding. The first "Research Round Table" aroused great interest on both sides in expanding cooperation between the countries, and there are now plans to repeat the meeting as a regular event.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Torsten Fischer Tel.: +49 228 885-2372 Torsten.Fischer@dfg.de
Dr. Jens-Peter Gaul Tel.: +49 228 885-2799 Jens-Peter.Gaul@dfg.de