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01/12/2023 | Press Release

Exemplary in transfer: Federal Minister of Education Stark-Watzinger informs herself at the University of Kassel - first-time visit

For the first time, Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger visited the University of Kassel today (Thursday, January 12, 2023). The Federal Minister of Education and Research informed herself about the university's transfer strategy and presented a certificate as a symbol of success in the BMBF's Innovative University funding line. President Prof. Dr. Ute Clement, the presidium and selected guests welcomed the government member in the Science Park building, which is also home to the UniKasselTransfer institution.

Image: University of Kassel.
Bettina Stark-Watzinger (from left), Prof. Dr. Ute Clement, Ayse Asar.

Ayse Asar, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts, was also represented. The state co-finances the Innovative University program.

In her welcoming speech, Minister Stark-Watzinger praised the University of Kassel's successful project application and emphasized the importance of transfer as a third mission in addition to the classic tasks of research and teaching: "In times like these, innovation and transfer are more important than ever. Our country is facing major challenges that we can only overcome with research and its application. Our universities generate new knowledge every day and research new, promising technologies. We need to transfer this knowledge more quickly to the economy and society in order to master the challenges and secure growth and prosperity. That's why I'm particularly pleased that the University of Kassel has made transfer one of its profile priorities."

President Ute Clement expressed her thanks. She introduced the delegation of founders, researchers, business partners and employees from the university: "This group of people can tell them very vividly and from very different perspectives about how the transfer approach has grown at the various levels between the university, the region and the economy," said Clement. She went on to emphasize that through the innovative and formative university, actors from business, politics and research are advancing the energy turnaround in northern Hesse: "Together with our partners inside and outside the University of Kassel, we are certain that we can only counteract the climate catastrophe together if we join forces now. To this end, we are proposing to create a model region for sustainable and resilient energy systems in North Hesse. We have the expertise in research, knowledge transfer and business to do this here; the region offers the best conditions for the transformation to a sustainable economy and society. In particular, there are well-established partnerships in the field of renewable energies and e-mobility. The new Kassel Institute for Sustainability and the funding from the Innovative University by the federal government, as well as our major steps towards more energy efficiency in the university's operations, further promote this initiative. We will present it to the public in early February."

Chancellor Dr. Oliver Fromm took a look at the history of the University of Kassel's development. "We were programmatically and politically born with knowledge transfer in mind. As a comprehensive university, the University of Kassel was geared to solving societal problems and challenges from the very beginning. And it was founded with the political will to strengthen the region. Against this background, we had to answer the question of how to deal with the task of knowledge transfer very early on. In the course of the 50 years since then, our knowledge transfer has constantly evolved, oriented toward our own goals and the requirements of society. Today, we formulate the claim to actively help shape the region and its development and to play a central role in solving society's major challenges."

A lighthouse example to this day is the company SMA. Its founders maintain deep ties to the university through their cdw foundation and are committed to the region's development, as Thomas Flügge, executive director of the foundation, explained.

As a university for start-ups, the University of Kassel has successfully established a central building on campus for its start-up activities in the form of the Science Park in cooperation with the city of Kassel. 

Daniel Opper presented the university's further developed transfer strategy to the Federal Minister. The head of UniKasselTransfer explained the prominent importance of the Kassel profile topic of sustainability in it. From 2023 to 2027, for example, the university will develop a new type of thinking laboratory (Lab) for the transfer between science, business and society, which will be dedicated to the major sustainability issues of our time and will develop concrete solutions for the region of North Hesse. UniKasselTransfer will receive around 8 million euros from the federal government's program for innovative new university concepts for this purpose. In so-called SDGplus labs, new forms of dialogue on research between fundamentals and application are created. 




Beate Hentschel
Head of Communications, Press and Public Relations
University of Kassel
Tel.: 0561 804-1961
Mail: presse[at]uni-kassel[dot]de