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05/05/2022 | Pressemitteilung

University receives millions in funding for knowledge transfer on sustainability

From 2023 to 2027, the University of Kassel will develop a new type of lab for the transfer between science, business and society, which will be dedicated to the major sustainability issues of our time and will also develop concrete solutions for the region of North Hesse. The university's transfer unit, UniKasselTransfer, had applied for around 8 million euros from the federal government's program for innovative new university concepts for this purpose. As the Joint Science Conference announced today (May 5), the University of Kassel is one of the universities receiving funding.

Campus Holländischer Platz of the University of Kassel.Image: University of Kassel.
Campus Holländischer Platz of the University of Kassel.

Hesse's Science Minister Angela Dorn congratulated: "To tackle the challenges of our time, we need innovations - and universities, as the heart of the knowledge society, develop these solutions." The award for the University of Kassel and the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences, which was also considered, is "a special recognition of the outstanding commitment of the two universities in knowledge and technology transfer and in the development of innovations. In the future, the two universities will be able to further expand their role as innovation poles with regional and supra-regional appeal, also thanks to the funding. The regional economy and society will also benefit from this."

"The program will be an ideal complement to the Kassel Institute for Sustainability. We want to break new ground here in order to intertwine social developments with science and relate them to each other," said University President Prof. Dr. Ute Clement. "This will result in new forms of dialogue on research between fundamentals and application."

"Complex societal questions can no longer be answered by one discipline or institution alone. Therefore, the university wants to actively bring together science, politics, business and civil society to jointly develop practical solutions and innovations to achieve the SDGs in the region of North Hesse. To this end, the Innovative University program offers us a unique opportunity to develop and test new programs in Kassel that are also close to the interests of young people who want to actively help shape the world of tomorrow," says Daniel Opper, Head of UniKasselTransfer.

"Established as an ideas and startup university in the middle of Germany"

"After the success of the Gründerhochschule and the establishment of the Science Park, with which we have established the University of Kassel as an ideas and startup university in the center of Germany, this program will enable us to relate the idea of knowledge transfer to the entire diversity of social interaction," added Chancellor Dr. Oliver Fromm.

To this end, a profile-building transfer laboratory is to be established and tested as part of the "Innovative University" funding program, flanking the new SDG Center: the SDG+ Lab. The main pillars of the SDG+ Lab are new methods of research and development with society, dialogue, consulting, and the piloting and anchoring of solutions. In this interlocking of science and practice, the Lab sees itself as a think & do tank, which is the central strategic measure of the application.

These measures are intended to create concrete science-led added value for the region's development into an innovative sustainability region that produces supra-regionally relevant solutions and transformational knowledge on individual SDG issues. The lab and its programs are intended to pave the way for the anchoring of the new SDG Center of the University of Kassel in the region and to complement the offerings of the central transfer institution 'UniKasselTransfer'`. "Northern Hesse will not become a "Silicon Valley", but has the potential for a "Sustainable Valley", says Daniel Opper. The Lab is intended to show ways to get there.

Daniel Opper
Head of UniKasselTransfer
E-mail: opper[at]uni-kassel[dot]de