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2014

  • Interview with Volkswagen’s Peter Bosch – Heading Towards Sustainable Auto Manufacturing

    Issue 51, Green Manufacturing, June 2014

    Germany-based Volkswagen Group is working to become the world's greenest carmaker and a global leader in e-mobility. Peter Bosch, Head of Strategy, Processes, and Structures for the Production and Logistics Division at the Group's main brand, Volkswagen, is leading the way with company-wide sustainability measures to achieve this goal.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. Bosch describes Volkswagen's "Think Blue. Factory." initiative as well as the newest inventions and current projects underway at the VW assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In addition to sharing what makes the plant so unique, he also discusses the impact the new factory has had on the city and its surrounding area since its launch in 2011.

    Peter Bosch's strategic management approach is based on creating holistic, sustainable business designs. In addition to spearheading the "Think Blue. Factory." campaign at Volkswagen, Mr. Bosch has also been responsible for the "Mach 18. Factory." global strategy for increasing efficiency in production and logistics.

    Mr. Bosch holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Technische Universität München (TUM) and a Diploma in Business Administration from the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU).

    Image: © Volkswagen AG

     
  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost - Germany's Digital Champion for the European Commission

    Issue 50, STEM, May 2014

    Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost, Head of the Design Research Lab at the Berlin University of the Arts, is a well-respected expert on wearable computing, embodied interaction design, and gender and diversity in technology development.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Joost describes her lab's interdisciplinary research areas as well as the differing needs and desires of men and women with regards to ICT. In addition to sharing her vision for the future of human-machine interaction, she also offers suggestions on how to promote digital change within Germany.

    Prof. Dr. Joost is Chairwoman of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF) and a board member of the Technologiestiftung Berlin. Until 2010, she was Junior Professor for Interaction Design and Media at the Technische Universität Berlin in cooperation with Telekom Innovation Laboratories. She also previously taught Gender and Design at the HAWK Hildesheim University of Applied Sciences and Arts as a visiting professor. In 2008, Prof. Dr. Joost received the Science Award of the Governing Mayor of Berlin for Young Researchers.

    In 2014, Prof. Dr. Joost was appointed Germany's Digital Champion for the European Commission. As an ambassador for the EU's Digital Agenda, she will harness her creativity and expertise to lead innovative projects in ICT education, digital inclusion and access, and e-government. These efforts will help pave the way to a free and innovative Internet infrastructure, which is integral to Europe's economic growth, social participation, and knowledge sharing.

    Image: © UdK Berlin, Design Research Lab

     
  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann - Germany's E-Entrepreneurship Expert

    Issue 49, Entrepreneurship, April 2014

    Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann, Chair of E-Business and E-Entrepreneurship at the University of Duisburg-Essen, is a well-respected researcher and consultant in Germany on e-commerce and the Internet start-up scene.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Kollmann discusses the future of e-entrepreneurship, the possibilities and limitations of today's digital economy, and the most common types of mistakes that start-ups make in e-business and online marketing. He also shares his strategies for angel investing.

    As co-founder of AutoScout24, a popular electronic marketplace for new and used cars, Prof. Dr. Kollmann was a pioneer in the European Internet start-up scene. He has contributed many articles on e-entrepreneurship, e-business, and new media marketing to national and international journals as well as to various anthologies. He is author of several books in these fields and also writes a regular column on entrepreneurship in manager-magazin.de. Over the past ten years as an angel investor, Prof. Dr. Kollmann has financed numerous start-ups in the new economy. In 2012, the Business Angels Network Deutschland e.V. voted him "Business Angel of the Year."

    In 2013, Dr. Philipp Rösler appointed him as a core member and Chairman of the newly created Advisory Board of the "Young Digital Economy" for Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). In 2014, he was also appointed Commissioner of North Rhine-Westphalia's Digital Economy. Prof. Dr. Kollmann is Managing Director of netSTART Venture GmbH in Cologne, a program offering advice, support, development, programming, and research for companies and start-ups aiming to become active in today's new economy.

     
  • Interview with Arne Schönbohm, President of the Cyber Security Council Germany

    Issue 48, Cyber Security, March 2014

    Arne Schönbohm, President of the Cyber Security Council Germany e.V., is a well-regarded security expert and consultant to key industry players and various political decision makers at the state and federal level.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. Schönbohm describes the main tasks and goals of his Council, as well as the greatest dangers facing individuals today with regards to cyber security. He outlines the most common types of cybercrimes and how these have changed over the history of the Internet. He also discusses the kinds of Internet protection the average household user should have, as well as the delicate balance between freedom and security that society must seek to achieve.

    Mr. Schönbohm began his career by studying International Management in Dortmund, London, and Taipei. From 1995 to 2008, he worked in a variety of capacities at EADS, the European Aeronautics Defense and Space group, most recently serving as Vice President of Commercial and Defense Solutions. Since December 2008, he has been CEO of BSS BuCET Shared Services AG, a Berlin-based management consulting firm that focuses on strategy, sales, and business development in the security sector for leaders of critical infrastructures.

    An advisor to the public and private sector, Mr. Schönbohm has made frequent appearances in the German media, including Zeit Online, SAT.1, Deutsche Welle, Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche, Welt Online, ARD, and ZDF. Mr. Schönbohm is also a member of the Cyber Security Coordination Group and author of diverse publications, including his recent book, "Germany's Security - Cyber Crime and Cyber War."

    Image: © Christoph Vohler

     
  • Researching Alternative Energy Solutions: Interview with Prof. Dr. Schüth

    Issue 47, Energy, February 2014

    Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth, Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, is a highly esteemed German chemist. He has served as Vice President of the German Research Foundation since 2007 and is also a recipient of the organization’s Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most prestigious science award.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Schüth describes his research on hydrogen storage materials and catalysts for alternative fuels as well as the general sentiment of the German public with respect to the “Energiewende” debate. He also discusses his predictions about changes in Germany’s energy infrastructure over the next decade.

    Prof. Dr. Schüth studied Chemistry and Law at the University of Münster, where he received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1988. He was a Postdoc at the University of Minneapolis in the Chemical Engineering Department in 1988/89 and completed his Habilitation in Inorganic Chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 1995. From 1995 to 1998, he served as Full Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Since 1998, he has been Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, and since 1999, also Honorary Professor at the Ruhr University Bochum.

    His most recent awards include the 2013 Chemical Engineering Medal from the ETH Zürich, the 2012 Wilhelm Klemm Prize from the German Chemical Society, and the 2010 Werner Heisenberg Medal from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

    On March 31, Prof. Dr. Schüth will speak at the GCRI about Germany’s energy transition.

     
  • Interview: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andreas Kruse – Germany’s Aging Expert

    Issue 46, Aging, January 2014

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse, Chair and Director of the Institute of Gerontology at Heidelberg University, is one of Germany’s leading aging experts. A highly esteemed social and behavioral scientist, Prof. Dr. Kruse has served as member of the German government’s Expert Commission for the German National Report on the Situation of Older People since 1989.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Kruse discusses transcultural comparisons of concepts of aging and the risk of depression across the lifespan. He also describes how today’s retired population differs from that of past generations and how Germany compares to other countries with respect to dementia care.

    Prof. Dr. Kruse received his Doctorate and Habilitation in Psychology from the University of Bonn and Heidelberg University, respectively. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Professor and Chair in Developmental Psychology as well as Founding Director of the Institute of Psychology at the University of Greifswald. Since 2006, he has been a board member of Heidelberg University’s interdisciplinary Network Aging Research. More recently, from 2007 to 2011, he acted as the university’s Dean of the Faculty for Behavioral and Cultural Studies.

    A prolific author and frequent award recipient, Prof. Dr. Kruse has received numerous accolades, including the First International Presidential Award of the International Association of Gerontology as well as the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

     

2013

  • Interview: Designing the City of the Future - Mr. Alanus von Radecki

    Issue 44, Smart Cities, November 2013

    Mr. Alanus von Radecki, project manager at Fraunhofer IAO, oversees the coordination and management of the Stuttgart-based innovation network "Morgenstadt - City Insights." His Fraunhofer research institute is one of several, which form a global alliance with businesses and cities to push sustainable urban development through systems innovation.

    Mr. von Radecki studied at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in Breisgau, where he received his Masters of Science in Environmental Governance and his Masters in Sociology in 2011 and 2006 respectively. Before his role as project manager at Fraunhofer IAO, he worked as a researcher at the Institute. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. von Radecki was a knowledge development manager at Lexware, a computer software company.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. von Radecki describes the main characteristics of a "Smart City" and the primary research sectors of the "Morgenstadt - City Insights" initiative. He also discusses the areas in which smart cities will have the greatest impact, how Germany compares to other countries with respect to urban development, and what his vision for the city of the future looks like.

     
  • Interview: Prof. Dr. Niels Birbaumer - Germany's BCI Research Pioneer

    Issue 43, Brain-Computer Interface, October 2013

    Prof. Dr. Niels Birbaumer, Senior Professor and Director at the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology at the University of Tübingen, is one of Germany's leading experts on brain-computer interface (BCI) technology.

    In his interview with GCRI, he describes how his research has greatly benefited patients with brain injuries, as well as psychiatric and neurological disorders. "Our research has improved the quality of life for individuals suffering from severe chronic strokes and has enabled communication for completely paralyzed and locked-in patients," he said, further noting BCI success stories for patients with intractable epilepsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More generally, this Leibniz Prize recipient also addresses the ethical decisions society faces when using brain-based communication devices.

    Prof. Dr. Birbaumer studied psychology, statistics, and art history in 1963 at the University of Vienna. He then completed his Ph.D. from 1966 to 1969 on electroencephalography on the blind. Since 1975, he has been professor at the University of Tübingen, moving in 1993 from the Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty to the Medical faculty, where he currently leads the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, in addition to the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Center.

    He spoke at the GCRI on "Moving the World by Thought: Dimensions and Perspectives of Brain-Computer Interfaces" on November 7, 2013.

     
  • Go MINT! Interview with Executive Director Dr. Ulrike Struwe

    Issue 42, STEM Education, September 2013

    Germany has a reputation globally as a center for research, but the country's shortage of qualified employees in MINT subjects remains a challenge. Go MINT!, the National Pact for Women in MINT Careers, a project of the Competence Center for Technology, Diversity and Equal Chances in Bielefeld, Germany, aims to counter this shortage by sparking young women's interest in scientific and technical subjects and encouraging them to pursue a career in one of the MINT fields.

    In her interview with GCRI, Go MINT!'s Executive Director, Dr. Ulrike Struwe, describes the current situation and future challenges of women studying and working in MINT fields in Germany. "Go MINT! was very active in attracting more young women to scientific and technical majors," she said, "[but] attracting young women to study MINT subjects is only the beginning."

    Besides her work for Go MINT!, Dr. Struwe has also been a managing board member of the Competence Center for Technology, Diversity and Equal Chances. She studied sociology at the University of Bielefeld, where she received her Ph.D. for research on the vocational orientation of young people with technical interests.

     
  • Interview: Prof. Dr. Rita Schmutzler

    Issue 41, Breast Cancer, August 2013

    Prof. Dr. Rita Schmutzler, member of the German national guideline committee on breast cancer, is one of the leading researchers in Germany in the field of breast and ovarian cancer.

    Since 1997, Prof. Dr. Schmutzler has served as Head of the Centre for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer at the University Hospital of Cologne. Since 2005, she has also acted as speaker for the 15 centers that constitute the German Consortium of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Her research focuses on the genetic causes of breast cancer, namely the identification of new predisposing genes and risk alleles, and genotype-/phenotype correlations.

    She received her doctorate and habilitation from the University of Bonn. Since 2003, she has held a full professorship in the Molecular Gyneco-Oncology division at the University of Cologne. An award-winning researcher, Prof. Dr. Schmutzler also serves as a member on various expert committees, including the Deutsche Krebshilfe and the ethics committee at the Bundesärztekammer.

     
  • Interview: Dr. Hans J. Langer, Founder and CEO of EOS

    Issue 40, 3D Printing, July 2013

    Some people regard 3D printing as an industrial revolution. Dr. Hans Langer prefers to call it an evolution of design and manufacturing.

    Dr. Langer founded EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, a world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, and systems for rapid prototyping, e-manufacturing and serial production through additive manufacturing, in 1989. Today, he is one of the longest-standing executives in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry. He is the company's major shareholder and steers the strategic direction of the EOS group as Chief Executive Officer. Before founding EOS, Dr. Langer served as Managing Director Europe at General Scanning, Inc. On a scientific level, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he received his Ph.D. with a thesis on laser technology.

    In this GCRI interview, Dr. Langer discusses the areas 3D printing will impact the most and related challenges, especially with regards to the manufacturing process.

     
  • Entrepreneurs Change and Shape the World: Interview with Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.

    Issue 39, Entrepreneurship, June 2013

    Dietmar Harhoff, chairman of Germany’s Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI), which advises the government on its innovation policies, is one of the 50 most influential people in the field of Intellectual Property, according to the Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Harhoff discusses the best ways to create and maintain a culture of entrepreneurship at universities, the challenges academics face when trying to commercialize research, and the framework conditions that benefit start-ups.

    Prof. Harhoff, who also serves as chairman of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator, is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law where he heads the Munich Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research (MCIER). From 1998 to February of 2013, he was Director of the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec) at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, where he continues to hold a professorship.

    He received graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Public Administration (Harvard University) and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A sought after expert, he is also a member of the Economic Advisory Group of the European Commission and the Chairman of The EPO´s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB). Prof. Harhoff’s research focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, industrial economics and economic policy.

    He spoke at GCRI’s “From University Innovation to Marketplace” event on June 25, 2013.

     
  • The Neuroscience of Gender: Interview with Prof. Dr. Ute Habel

    Issue 38, The Neuroscience of Gender, May 2013

    In this GCRI interview, Ute Habel explains the extent to which gender influences the neurobiology of emotions and how female and male brains age differently. She also discusses why depression and anxiety are more prevalent in women than in men and which psychotherapeutic inventions she would like to investigate further.

    Ute Habel is a leading psychologist and charted psychotherapist at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics at the University Hospital Aachen. Since 2009, she has held a full professorship for neuropsychological gender studies at the RWTH Aachen University and is currently the RWTH Rector’s Delegate for North America. Since 2013, she has also been a member of the university’s strategy board. She studied psychology in Trier and Tübingen, Germany, and received her Ph.D. in Tübingen in 1998. In 2005, she completed her habilitation (postdoctoral lecture qualification) in Vienna, Austria. She has been at RWTH since 2007, serving as the scientific coordinator of the International Research Training Group “Brain-behavior relationship of emotions and social cognition in schizophrenia and autism” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Her research focuses on neurobiological correlates of emotion and cognition, as well as gender differences in healthy individuals and psychiatric patients. She also investigates effects of psychotherapeutic interventions and hormonal influences on behavior and cerebral activation.

    Ute Habel spoke at "The Neuroscience of Gender" event at the GCRI on June 17, 2013.

     
  • Heading for Trouble? Interview with Dr. med. Inga Katharina Koerte

    Issue 37, Sports-Related Head Injuries and Memory, April 2013

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world with more than 250 million active players. It is also the only game in which players' unprotected heads come in contact regularly with the ball. A Munich University Hospital and Harvard Medical School study compared the brains of professional soccer players and swimmers to investigate white matter brain alterations, particularly in areas involved in attention and memory.

    Dr. Inga Katharina Koerte, the first author of this study, is one of the researchers who detected clear signs of brain tissue alterations in professional soccer players who had not suffered from concussions before. "The changes we saw resemble those observed in patients suffering from concussions, except that they are less pronounced," she said. In this GCRI Interview, Dr. Koerte discusses these results and the effect of sports-related injuries on memory.

    Dr. Koerte is a radiology resident and senior research fellow at the University Hospital Munich of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. She is also a visiting lecturer at Harvard Medical School, where she completed a fellowship at the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

    Dr. Koerte spoke on sports-related head injuries and their effects on the brain at the GCRI on June 3, 2013.

     
  • Benefits and Challenges of Big Data

    Prof. Dieter Kempf
    President, Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM e.V.)
    Issue 36, Big Data, March 2013

    In this GCRI interview, Prof. Kempf discusses benefits and challenges of Big Data accumulation and technologies in Germany, especially with regard to legal frameworks and privacy issues.

    Since July 1996, Prof. Kempf has served as Chairman of the Executive Board of DATEV eG, a software company and IT service provider for tax consultants, auditors and lawyers. He began his career as a DATEV board member in 1991 where he was in charge of the divisions of product and software development. Prior to working with DATEV, Prof. Kempf was an auditing assistant with a specialization as electronic data-processing (EDP) auditor for Arthur Young GmbH auditing firm (later Ernst & Young GmbH), and completed internships in France and the U.S. In 1984 he became authorized signatory and leader of the EDP-Auditing and EDP-Consulting Group at Arthur Young. Subsequently, Prof. Kempf served as Partner (shareholder-managing director) from 1989 until 1991.

    Prof. Kempf became Associate Professor for Business Administration at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2005. He was born in Munich and holds a diploma in Business Administration from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

     
  • Logistics & Efficiency: Interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen
    Director, Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML), Chairman, Fraunhofer Transport Alliance & Managing Director, Institute of Transport and Logistics, TU Dortmund University
    Issue 35, Logistics - Securing Supply Efficiently and Sustainably, February 2013

    In this GCRI interview, one of the speakers of the March 14, 2013, “Global Logistics: Challenges and Solutions” event, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen discusses developments and challenges that have shaped Germany’s position as a leading logistics hub.

    Prof. Clausen has been Managing Director of the Institute of Transport Logistics at TU Dortmund University as well as Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML) in Dortmund since 2001. He has been Chairman of the Fraunhofer Traffic and Transportation Alliance since 2003. From July 2002 to July 2005, Prof. Clausen served as Dean of the Engineering Faculty at TU Dortmund University. His research focuses on commercial traffic modeling, intermodal transportation, mathematical optimization, network optimization and distribution systems, and green logistics. He also served as European Operations Director at Amazon.com and Logistics Manager at Deutsche Post DHL. From 2004 to 2012, he was a member of the German Research Foundation (DFG) review panel “Traffic and transportation systems, logistics, quality management.” In 2012, he became a member of the Board of the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes.

     
  • Learning is a Lifelong Process: Interview with Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D.

    Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D.
    President, Social Science Research Center Berlin (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB); Professor of Educational Sociology and Labor Market Research, Humboldt University, Berlin
    Issue 34, Aging Society and Lifelong Learning, January 2013

    Lifelong learning is a term Jutta Allmendinger prefers to avoid. We learn every day by following the news, surfing the Internet, and talking with friends, she said in her interview with GCRI. In the context of demographic change and labor market developments, Prof. Allmendinger is specifically interested in job-relevant learning categories, from formal education early in life to new career training later in life. In this interview, she also discusses Germany’s dual system of vocational training, knowledge transfer between elderly skilled workers and young employees, and key factors that contribute to a qualified and productive workforce.

     

2012

  • Accelerating German-American Business: Interview with Oliver Hanisch

    Issue 32, Entrepreneurship, November 2012

    Oliver Hanisch is a German entrepreneur, business developer, and consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also Vice President of Business Development & Operations of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator (GSVA), an initiative that provides three months of intensive support and mentoring programs for selected German ICT start-ups in Silicon Valley. In this GCRI interview, Oliver discusses GSVA's approach to enhancing German-American business relationships, entrepreneurial cultures in Germany and the U.S., key ingredients for a successful start-up, and the impact of university-industry collaboration on entrepreneurship.

    Oliver has founded several companies and launched numerous initiatives and projects, such as the Founder Institute Berlin, a training and mentorship program for entrepreneurs. He was co-founder and CMO at SnipClip, a social applications and games company, and Director of Business Development at Red Herring, a Silicon Valley-based publisher providing products and services for the start-up and venture capital community.

    When he isn't advising organizations and governments on entrepreneurial programs and incubation models, Oliver likes to scout for the latest innovations and emerging trends in ICT.

     
  • E-Health Developments and Solutions: Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renz

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renz
    Corporate Vice President, Business Model & Healthcare Innovation, Boehringer Ingelheim
    Issue 31, E-Health, October 2012

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renz is Corporate Vice President of Business Model & HealthCare Innovation at Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

    In this GCRI interview, he discusses opportunities and challenges in e-health in Germany and the U.S. Renz, who also spoke at the October 17, 2012, GCRI panel on health information technology, also addresses e-health lead markets, data privacy, and how telehealth solutions help reduce costs and increase patient care.

    For over a decade Wolfgang Renz has been involved in developing medicines and technology to help people lead healthier, more productive lives. At Boehringer Ingelheim, he leads a team of specialists to find, test and develop the disruptive technologies that will shape the way health care will be delivered in the future. In addition, he also serves as Adjunct Professor of Surgery at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine.

     
  • Opportunities and Challenges in the German Medical Technology Field: Interview with Dr. Ute Brauer

    Dr. Ute Brauer
    Senior Vice President Medical Scientific Affairs, B. Braun Melsungen AG
    Issue 30, Medical Technologies, September 2012

    Medical advances, demographic changes, competitive pressures, and heavily regulated markets are transforming the medical technology innovation system in Germany. On October 20, 2011, German State Secretaries Dr. Georg Schütte (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF), Thomas Ilka (Federal Ministry of Health) and Ernst Burgbacher (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) appointed high-ranking policy makers, representatives of industry, science, and health care to the Steering Committee of the national strategy process “Innovations in Medical Technology.” With the goal to accelerate the innovation process and enhance patient care, the Committee convenes more than 100 experts in five working groups to develop recommendations for future medical technology innovation policy.

    Dr. Ute Brauer is one of the Steering Committee members. As the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President Medical Scientific Affairs at B. Braun Melsungen AG, Dr. Brauer brings vast experience in the medical technology field, both from a physician’s as well as from an industry perspective. In this GCRI interview, she talks about the opportunities and challenges in Germany’s medical technology field, the changes in its innovation system, and which developments will create lead markets.

     
  • Science for the Benefit of Humankind: Interview with Prof. Dr. Karl Ulrich Mayer

    Prof. Dr. Karl Ulrich Mayer
    President of the Leibniz Association
    Issue 29, GCRI Fall 2012 Preview, August 2012

    The Leibniz Association is a network of 86 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and scientific facilities with an annual budget of approximately 1.4 billion euros. The areas covered by Leibniz Institutes range from regional research and economics to the social and natural sciences, life sciences, engineering, environmental research, and the humanities. Leibniz Institutes have made significant contributions to Germany's clusters of excellence in a number of fields, including mathematics, optical technologies, materials research, medicine, environmental research, bio- and nanotechnology. In addition, the Leibniz Association also comprises eight research museums in natural and cultural history, for example the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany, as well as numerous infrastructure facilities, such as specialist libraries, collections and databases.

    Prof. Dr. Karl Ulrich Mayer has been the President of the Leibniz Association since 2010. In this month's GCRI interview, he introduces the Leibniz Association's networks, explains how Leibniz Institutes differ from other research institutions in Germany, and encourages excellent post-docs to apply for a Leibniz-DAAD research fellowship. Prof. Mayer is Stanley B. Resor Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Yale and Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. His major research areas focus on social stratification and mobility, life course and aging, education and labor markets.

     
  • Investigating the Brain with Music: Prof. Stefan Koelsch

    Prof. Dr. Stefan Koelsch
    Professor for Biological Psychology and Music Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin
    Issue 28, Music and the Brain, July 2012

    Playing and listening to music engages a large array of psychological processes, including perception, attention, learning and memory, social cognition, and processing of syntax and meaning. "This richness makes music the ideal tool to investigate human psychology and the workings of the human brain," says Prof. Stefan Koelsch, whose book, Brain and Music, was published in May 2012. In this GCRI interview, Prof. Koelsch explains why he considers music psychology a fundamental discipline for understanding the brain, why people have different reactions to the same piece of music, and how adults and children process music differently.

    Born in 1968 in Texas, Prof. Koelsch studied violin, piano, and composition at the Bremen University of Music and Arts, as well as psychology and sociology at the University of Leipzig. After receiving his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Neurology/Neuroimaging at Harvard Medical School. From 2003 to 2008, Prof. Koelsch returned to the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences to lead the "Neurocognition of Music" independent junior research group. In addition to this area, his main research interests include music and emotion, music therapy, and similarities and differences of music and language processing. He is Professor of Biological Psychology and Music Psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin.

     
  • Stress: A Brain-Body Connection - Prof. Dirk Hellhammer

    Prof. Dr. Dirk Hellhammer
    Head, Division of Theoretical and Clinical Psychobiology; Founder and Chair, Center for Psychobiological and Psychosomatic Research
    Issue 27, Stress and the Brain, June 2012

    In 2008, Prof. Dirk Hellhammer published Stress: The Brain-Body Connection, a book that provides clinicians, researchers, and students from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurobiology and psychoendocrinology with an overview of how knowledge from basic psychobiological research can benefit their patients.

    In his book, Prof. Hellhammer introduces Neuropattern, the first translational diagnostic tool for the assessment of stress-related disorders. In this GCRI interview, Prof. Hellhammer addresses the physiological systems most strongly affected by stress, why people react to stress differently, and how Neuropattern can detect and test stress pathology.

    Dirk Hellhammer studied psychology and biochemistry at the Universities of Würzburg and Frankfurt, and has been Professor of Clinical and Physiological Psychology at the University of Trier since 1986. His initial animal research focused on glia-neuron interactions, the septo-hippocampal system, and brain mechanisms participating in stress-related bodily disorders, while his clinical research dealt with peptic ulcer, anorexia nervosa, and ulcerative colitis. His group introduced the assessment of hormones in saliva and the Trier Social Stress Test as new tools in stress research. Other main research areas include prenatal programming of stress vulnerability and hypocortisolemic disorders, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disease, or burnout.

    A recipient of numerous public and scientific awards, such as the German Psychology Award, Prof. Hellhammer received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology in September 2012 in New York.

     
  • Biofuel & Aviation: Joachim Buse, Vice President, Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa

    Joachim Buse
    Vice President Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa
    Issue 26, Sustainable Mobility, May 2012

    In 2011, Lufthansa took the first steps to prove that biosynthetic fuel can be a viable option for operating commercial flights. After a six-month trial conducted on 1,187 Airbus A321 flights on Lufthansa's Hamburg-Frankfurt route, the German airline reduced CO2 emissions by 1,471 tons by using a 50% biofuel mix in one engine, while the other engine burned conventional kerosene. The burnFAIR research project culminated in a transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Washington DC in January 2012.

    In this GCRI-Interview, Joachim Buse, who has been the head of Lufthansa's Corporate Aviation Biofuel Project since December 2009, discusses which biofuels have proven the most efficient in aviation and whether biofuel-powered flights will become the standard in the near future.

    Mr. Buse started with Lufthansa in 1986 as a Purchasing Manager for Cabin Interior Materials, then became Manager Aircraft Acquisition for Airbus Aircraft and later Head of Lufthansa's Fuel Contract Department within Lufthansa's Corporate Fuel Management. In 1996, he moved to AFS Aviation Fuel Services GmbH and became Managing Director of AFS with 13 Intoplane companies and fuel depots at German airports. He returned to Lufthansa in 2005 and became Chief Procurement Officer of Lufthansa Passenger Airline. Mr. Buse has been Vice Chairman of the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (AIREG) since June 2011.

     
  • Vocational Education and Training: Prof. Dr. Friedrich Hubert Esser

    Prof. Dr. Friedrich Esser
    President, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
    Issue 25, Manufacturing, April 2012

    Since its foundation in 1970, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training has worked to identify future challenges in vocational education and training (VET), stimulate innovation in national and international vocational systems, and develop new, practically-oriented solutions for both initial and continuing VET.

    Prof. Dr. Friedrich Hubert Esser became President of the BIBB on May 1, 2011. In this GCRI Interview, he discusses the key factors that have led to the success of the German vocational education and training systems. He also addresses how this knowledge could be applied to the U.S. market, and the structural developments necessary for a rapidly changing global manufacturing and technical environment.

    Prof. Esser completed an apprenticeship as a baker before studying business administration and economic and business education in Braunschweig and Cologne. Prior to joining BIBB, he headed the Vocational Education and Training Department at the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) in Berlin. Prof. Esser is the author and editor of numerous scholarly publications involving skilled trades. His research and work focus on occupational and qualifications research, European vocational education and training, the German Qualifications Framework (GQF), the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), and entrepreneurship.

     
  • Research Museums: Prof. Dr. Albrecht Beutelspacher, Director of the Mathematikum

    Prof. Dr. Albrecht Beutelspacher
    Director of the Mathematikum
    Issue 24, Research Museums, March 2012

    Prof. Albrecht Beutelspacher, Professor for Discrete Mathematics and Geometry at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, created the Mathematikum, the world's first mathematical science center, in 2002.

    The idea for the Mathematikum was conceived during a geometric models seminar in 1993, where Prof. Beutelspacher's students constructed and described mathematical models. Since its foundation in 2002, more than 17,000 school classes and 150,000 annual visitors have come to explore and decipher the museum's 150 hands-on exhibits that include stunning puzzles, giant soap bubbles, deceiving mirrors, and mysterious bridges.

    Located in Giessen, Germany, the Mathematikum provides a variety of programs that fascinate young and old, such as number stories, mathematical mini shows, lectures for children and adults, a math academy, concerts, and art shows. In addition to his regular lecture series at the Mathematikum, Prof. Beutelspacher delivered ten special lectures as part of the institution's tenth anniversary celebration. Each of the lectures focused on a number between one and ten.

    Prof. Beutelspacher has received numerous awards and honors, including the Communicator Award, which was conferred by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2000. It is bestowed upon researchers who have communicated their scientific findings to the public with exceptional success, and Prof. Beutelspacher was the first recipient of this prestigious award.

     
  • Tech Campus and Regional Development: Prof. Dr. Ursula Gather, Rector TU Dortmund University

    Prof. Ursula Gather
    Rector, TU Dortmund University
    Issue 23, Universities as Catalysts and Drivers for Regional Development, February 2012

    In this GCRI interview, Prof. Ursula Gather discusses TU Dortmund's impact on regional development, creating a culture of innovation at her university, and the kinds of frameworks necessary to promote collaboration between academia and industry.

    When TU Dortmund University was founded in 1968, it was surrounded by coal and steel industries. Since then, the university has triggered the rise of more modern industrial branches in its region, the Ruhr area. Where there had once been a great meadow, there are now around 25,000 students, 300 professors and 3,400 staff members who shape the region's technical innovation potential. In 1985, the City of Dortmund established the Technology Center Dortmund, a technology park which currently houses 280 companies and provides 8,500 jobs.

    Prof. Gather has been a part of TU Dortmund since 1986, when she became chair for Mathematical Statistics and Industrial Applications at Dortmund's Faculty of Statistics. She held this position until she took office as rector in 2008. Throughout her career, various positions in research organizations have attested to her engagement in university, science, and research management: In 2011, the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) elected her vice president for teaching, studies and admission. One year before, she became Chairwoman of the State's Rectors' Conference for North Rhine-Westphalia and an appointed member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).

     
  • How We See the World: Dr. Udo Ernst

    Dr. Udo Ernst
    Bernstein Awardee 2010, University of Bremen
    Issue 22, Vision & The Brain, January 2012

    Udo Ernst is a theoretical physicist turned neuroscientist.His research focuses on how the brain processes visual information, for which he envisages possible applications in the visual typewriter or a novel cortical visual prosthesis. One type of visual typewriter is already used, for example, by paralyzed patients who can only communicate with their eyes. The typewriter allows them to form words by moving their eyes from letter to letter. Dr. Ernst's proposed model would instead be connected to a brain-computer interface (BCI), thereby significantly accelerating the process by reading the patient's brain signals. His research on a cortical visual prosthesis seeks to use signals from the visual system to interact with the environment, via e-mail, for example.

    In this GCRI Interview, Dr. Ernst, who received the 2010 Bernstein Award for Computational Neuroscience, explains how our brains analyze visual scenes to create representations of reality. He also discusses how factors, such as context, knowledge, and intention, influence our visual perception of reality and how we can learn to enhance this perceptual ability.

    Dr. Ernst currently works as a postdoctoral fellow and coordinator of the Bernstein Group for Computational Neuroscience Bremen at the University of Bremen, where he leads the "Feature Integration in Visual Cortex" project.

     

2011

  • Winds of Change: Herrmann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association

    Herrmann Albers
    President of the German Wind Energy Association
    Issue 20, Wind Energy, November 2011

    The German Wind Energy Association (BWE - Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.) is one of the largest renewable energy associations in the world, with about 20,000 members. Its members include wind turbine manufacturers, operators and their shareholders, planning offices, financiers, scientists, engineers, technicians, and lawyers, making the BWE a premium discussion partner for politics, commerce, science, and the media.

    Herrmann Albers has been the President of the BWE since 2007. He also serves as Vice President of the German Renewable Energy Association. Born in 1960 in Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, Albers already planned his first wind farm in 1989. Around the same time, he became an active member of one of the first German wind energy associations, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Windergie. When the BWE was founded in 1996, Albers first became a board member and then in 1998, Vice President. Albers, who helped found the BZEE Education Center for Renewable Energies (BZEE - Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien), also manages several community windfarms.

    In this GCRI Interview, he explains why wind energy is considered Germany's most important source of clean energy and its potential in terms of export, innovation, and job creation.

     
  • Aging is a Lifelong Experience: Prof. Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger

    Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger
    Vice President of Jacobs University Bremen, Professor of Psychology, Academic Dean of the Jacobs Center of Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development, Vice President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
    Issue 19, Aging Brain, October 2011

    Ursula Staudinger thinks outside of the box. At the successful GCRI event on the Aging Brain (October 13, 2011), she offered fascinating insights on the continuous interaction between biological make-up and the socio-cultural context in which humans live.

    In this GCRI interview, Prof. Staudinger addresses the role of the environment in aging brain plasticity. She also discusses how female and male brains age differently and why physical activity benefits the aging brain more than computer games.

    Ursula Staudinger is Vice President of Jacobs University Bremen, Professor of Psychology, Academic Dean of the Jacobs Center of Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development as well as Vice President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. As a member of the Demography Advisory Group of the German Government, Prof. Staudinger represented Germany during the negotiations at the UN for a new World Action Plan on Aging. Adult development in the work context under conditions of demographic aging is one of her research foci; other areas include lifespan developmental psychology, plasticity of aging, and personality growth.

    Ursula Staudinger's work has been published in refereed journals, such as Psychology and Aging and American Psychologist. She served as President of the German Psychological Society from 2008 to 2010.

     
  • Cyber Security: Cryptography Expert Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann

    Prof. Johannes Buchmann
    Cryptography Expert, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Founder and Director of the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED)
    Issue 18, Cyber Security, September 2011

    In this GCRI interview, award-winning cryptography expert Johannes Buchmann discusses IT security, cloud computing, and how quantum computers affect cryptography.

    Professor Buchmann is the author of the textbook "Introduction to Cryptography," a standard work at many universities. A professor of computer science and mathematics at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Prof. Buchmann founded and heads the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED), one of the largest European research networks for IT security and privacy.

    The recipient of the German Research Foundation's prestigious Leibniz Prize, the Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize and the German IT Security award, Prof. Buchmann is also one of the designated directors at the new BMBF-funded competency center, the European Center for Security and Privacy by Design (EC-SPRIDE). After discovering serious vulnerabilities of widespread WEP-W-LAN encryption and wireless DECT telephones, Prof. Buchmann's group assisted the German government in developing a secure new German ID card. Prof. Buchmann is a member of various scientific and editorial boards and a member inter alia of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), as well as the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, where he coordinates a project on Internet privacy.

     
  • Gluten-Free Grains and Plant Health: Prof. Karl-Heinz Kogel

    Prof. Karl-Heinz Kogel
    Head of the Department of Phytopathology at the Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
    Issue 17, Biotechnology, August 2011

    Prof. Karl-Heinz Kogel is the Head of the Department of Phytopathology at the Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. His current research topics encompass plant biotechnology, hypoallergenic plants, as well as food safety research concerning contaminations with Fusarium toxins. Prof. Kogel co-authored an article entitled "Gluten-Free Wheat: New Hope for Celiac Patients?" and spent a sabbatical year at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, NY.

    On September 13, 2011, at the GCRI event "Better Living Through Science: Biotech, Food and the Future," he discussed plant biotechnology and its impact on nutrition and medicine, particularly efforts to develop gluten-free wheat that could have an enormous impact on the quality of life of those suffering from celiac disease.

    In the GCRI Interview, Prof. Kogel talks about gluten-free wheat as a hope for celiac disease sufferers and the key challenges in developing new gluten-free cultivars of wheat. He also addresses the achievements and role of plant biotechnology for human health and the connection between plant root diseases and climate change.

     
  • From Physicist to Astronaut: Reinhold Ewald

    Dr. Reinhold Ewald
    Astronaut, Operations Manager, Columbus Control Center, European Space Agency (ESA)
    Issue 16, Aerospace, July 2011

    Throughout his career, Reinhold Ewald has always reached for the stars: In 1997, he became the ninth German to travel into space. He spent 19 days aboard the Mir Space Station as a research cosmonaut. As a member of the second German-Russian mission, he performed experiments in biomedical and material science, and carried out operational tests in preparation for the International Space Station (ISS).

    Born in 1956, Ewald studied physics at the University of Cologne, where he also received his PhD in 1986. As a young research associate at the German Research Foundation (DFG), his work focused on the structure and dynamics of interstellar molecular clouds, which are thought to be the birthplace of new stars. He is currently the operations manager at the European Space Agency's Columbus Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

    In this GCRI Interview, Ewald discusses how research results obtained in space affect daily life on Earth and which technological innovations he wishes had existed 14 years ago. He also reflects on the end of the U.S. Space Shuttle era and shares his thoughts on space tourism.

     
  • Trends and Challenges in the Aviation Industry: Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member

    Prof. Rolf Henke
    Executive Board Member for Aeronautics, German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR)
    Issue 15, Air Travel, June 2011

    According to Rolf Henke, who joined the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) Executive Board in November 2010, the reduction of noise and pollutant emissions are central components of the activities of aviation research and industry trends in Germany.

    Prior to his current assignment at the DLR, where he is also responsible for space research and development, Professor Henke taught Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Technical University of Rhineland Westphalia in Aachen. At RWTH Aachen, he also became the director of the Institute of Aerospace Technology (Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt, ILR). Before joining academia, Professor Henke held various positions at Airbus for more than 20 years, where his responsibilities included flight testing of the Airbus 320, working as Airbus Transnational Coordinator for the "Technology Area Aerodynamics", and heading Airbus High-Lift Technology in 2000. He continues to teach at RWTH Aachen through a special professorship.

    In this GCRI Interview, Professor Henke discusses upcoming trends and challenges in the aviation industry, the eco-efficient use of aircraft, and the benefits of cooperation between research institutions, universities, and industry.

     
  • E-Mobility: Ralph Griewing, Head of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Siemens Energy

    Ralph Griewing
    Head of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Siemens Energy
    Issue 14, E-Mobility, May 2011

    On March 31, 2011, the European Commission launched the Green eMotion Initiative to promote electromobility in Europe. Forty-two partners including industrial companies, automobile manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, universities, and technology and research institutions, will share their knowledge and expertise on e-mobility. As the lead company in the Green eMotion research consortium, Siemens will contribute to the development of software and infrastructure solutions, and to the establishment of industrial standards.

    The GCRI spoke with Ralph Griewing, Head of Electromobility Activities at Siemens Energy, about this new Green eMotion Initiative. In addition, Mr. Griewing speaks about the German government's goal of having one million e-cars on German streets by 2020; the role of smart grid in developing new infrastructures, and the differences between plug-in e-cars versus hybrids or hydrogen fuel vehicles.

    A graduate of theoretical electrical engineering at the University of Siegen and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Ralph Griewing started his career at Siemens AG in 1991 in the company's Communications Systems group. Since March 2010 he has been in charge of setting up global electromobility business at Siemens AG, where he has executive responsibility for planning, production, marketing & sales, and project planning in the U.S., China, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

     
  • From Politics to Academia: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
    former Minister for Innovation, Science, Research, and Technology and new Dean of Leipzig’s Graduate School of Management (HHL)
    Issue 13, Innovation / Entrepreneurship and Universities, April 2011

    Driven, energetic, and engaging: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart embodies the meeting point of science, business, and politics. The former Minister for Innovation, Science, Research and Technology as well as Deputy Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof. Pinkwart is the Dean and Academic Director of HHL - Leipzig Graduate School of Management. Sharpening the business school's innovative profile, Prof. Pinkwart also holds the university's new Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship.

    Before assuming his appointments at the HHL, Prof. Pinkwart was a Visiting Scholar at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University (AICGS), focusing his research on the roles of universities as drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. and Germany. On June 9, 2011, he shared his results at the AICGS-conference "The New Role of Universities in the Twenty-First Century: Universities as Engines of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Hubs" in Washington, DC.

    In his interview with the GCRI, Prof. Pinkwart discusses the necessity of ideas and innovations for a country to remain competitive in the global job market, the role of the university within this competition, and how he plans to enhance the entrepreneurial culture at HHL.

     
  • Reliable to the Nanometer: Prof. Dr. Bernd Michel

    Prof. Bernd Michel
    Head of Department of "Mechanical Reliability and Micro Materials," Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) Berlin
    Issue 12, Nanotechnology, March 2011

    For this issue's interview, the GCRI spoke with Prof. Dr. Bernd Michel about the impact and challenges of nanotechnology and his nanoreliability research.

    Prof. Michel, whose main areas of expertise are reliability, crack and fracture research in micro- and nanosystems, is the chair of several international conference series on material reliability in microsystem technology. He has published more than 400 papers on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and micro/nanosystem reliability and co-chaired the Micro and Nano Reliability Symposium at the June Microtech Conference & Expo 2011 in Boston, MA.

    A founding member of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS, Prof. Michel heads the Micro Material Center Chemnitz. He has been the president of the European Center for Micro- and Nanoreliability EUCEMAN since 2005. In addition to his research and review activities as a member of 40 scientific program committees in 18 countries, Prof. Michel is the editor in chief of the international journal Microsystem Technologies and editor of the Fraunhofer the series Micromaterials and Nanomaterials. Prof. Michel received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Packaging Award in 2000 and the Fraunhofer Award in 2005.

     
  • Sustainability as a Global Issue: Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer

    Prof. Klaus Töpfer
    Founding and Executive Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam
    Issue 11, Climate Change / Global Health, February 2011

    Klaus Töpfer's primary focus has been sustainability. In 2008, he received the German Sustainability Award for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the field of sustainability. He is the founding director and current Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). The Potsdam-based organization is a think tank devoted to promoting interdisciplinary science and research for global sustainability. Before taking the lead of IASS, Prof. Töpfer was the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (1998-2006). From 1987 until 1994 he served as German Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and from 1994 to 1998 he was the Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Housing and Urban Development.

    In his interview with the GCRI, Prof. Töpfer discusses how modern societies can become sustainable. He also reflects on the relationship between science and policy-making and how the IASS has been able to enhance this relationship. Sharing his insights on effective governance for sustainable development, Prof. Töpfer addresses a topic he presented at the May 9, 2011, GCRI event on "Science for Sustainable Societal Transformations: Towards Effective Governance."

     

2010

  • Plasma Medicine: Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann

    Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann
    Director, Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology
    Issue 8, Plasma Medicine, November 2010

    At the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP Greifswald e.V.), research and application go hand in hand. INP Greifswald is the largest non-university institute in the area of low temperature plasmas in Europe. It focuses on basic research and technical applications. Current research priorities include environmental and energy engineering, surfaces and materials as well as interdisciplinary topics in biology and medicine, specially-designed plasma sources, plasma modelling and diagnostics.

    Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann has been the head of the INP Greifswald since 2003. On December 8, 2010, he spoke at the GCRI about "Plasma Medicine: Scientific Challenges and Technological Opportunities". In this GCRI-Interview, he discusses current developments, breakthroughs and opportunities in plasma medicine and about his collaboration with the U.S.

     
  • Mapping the Brain: German Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Bert Sakmann

    Dr. Bert Sakmann
    Nobel Prize Laureate and Inaugural Scientific Director of the Max Planck Florida Institute
    Issue 7, Mapping and Understanding the Brain, October 2010

    Dr. Bert Sakmann, with physicist Erwin Neher, was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for their discoveries on single channels in cells, enabled by their invention of the patch clamp technique. Their ground-breaking technique, that is now commonplace in laboratories around the world, allows researchers to measure electrical activity and chemical flow across cell membranes and single ion channels.

    Currently, the inaugural scientific director and research group leader of the digital neuroanatomy group at the Max Planck Florida Institute, Dr. Sakmann now focuses on a program dedicated to obtaining a three-dimensional map of the normal rodent brain.

    In this GCRI-Interview, Dr. Sakmann talks about the role of the touch system's digital anatomy in processing sensory information in the brain, neuroinformatics as an integral part of neuroscience, and how sensing, thinking, and learning affect the electrical signaling in the brain.

    Dr. Sakmann spoke about "Mapping the Brain: Reconstructing the Cerebral Cortex" at the GCRI on November 3, 2010.

     
  • Transatlantic Climate Bridge: German Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Klaus Scharioth

    Dr. Klaus Scharioth
    German Ambassador to the United States
    Issue 6, Renewable Energy, September 2010

    On September 30, 2008, the German government launched the Transatlantic Climate Bridge (TCB), an initiative to foster transatlantic cooperation and partnerships between Germany, the U.S. and Canada on climate and energy policies at the local, state, and federal levels. With the goal of tackling today's common climate change and energy security challenges, the TCB is a joint commitment to invest in newer, cleaner sources of energy that can create new jobs and world-class industries, clean up the environment and protect the climate, improve standards of living and enhance global security.

    On the occasion of the initiative's second anniversary, GCRI spoke with German Ambassador to the United States Dr. Klaus Scharioth, who together with the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan, opened the GCRI on February 19, 2010. In the interview, the Ambassador discusses the TCB's effect on the relationship between Germany and the U.S., how the TCB changed the science and technology dialogue, and its impact as a model for joint approaches appealing to the scientific and business communities.

     
  • Talking about the Super Grid: Dr. Gregor Czisch

    Dr. Gregor Czisch
    Head and Consultant, Transnational Renewables
    Issue 5, Smart Energy, August 2010

    The German scientist and energy expert Dr. Gregor Czisch has been researching scenarios and structures for a cost-optimized renewable energy supply since 1997. During his work in the R&D division Information and Energy Economy at the Institute for Solar Energy Supply Techniques (ISET) and at the Institute for Electrical Energy Technology/Rational Energy Conversion (IEE-RE) at the University of Kassel, he worked on potential analyses for renewable energies, simulating their production behaviour, conceptualizing energy transport systems and developing scenarios for a CO2-neutral electricity supply. This work resulted, among other things, in a dissertation entitled "Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply - Cost-Optimized Approaches to Supplying Europe and its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies."

    Since completing his doctorate, parallel to his research at the University of Kassel, Dr. Czisch has worked as a consultant to the Scientific Advisory Council on Environmental Change of the Federal German Government (WBGU) and was, among other things, invited as an expert to hearings in various ministries, parliaments and utilities.

    The GCRI spoke with Dr. Czisch about a North American super grid concept he was developing in 2010, and about the "Declaration of Support for an Efficient Renewable Energy Future," he drafted with Roy Morrison, director of the Office for Sustainability at Southern New Hampshire University.

     
  • Incubators, Innovation, and Growth: Dr. Dieter Spath

    Dr. Dieter Spath
    Vice President, acatech (National Academy of Science and Engineering) and Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO
    Issue 4, Academic Entrepreneurship, July 2010

    Under the project leadership of Professor Dr. Dieter Spath, the German academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) is conducting a study on the German incubator landscape in an international context.

    The GCRI interviewed Professor Spath, who is acatech's Vice President and also head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, and head of Stuttgart University's Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT, on the key characteristics of technology incubators in Germany.

    According to Spath, the German incubator landscape is distinctive, compared to other countries, because of the large number of non-university research facilities, such as Fraunhofer, the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz and the Leibniz Associations. He observed that research organizations foster intensive joint working relationships with industry, and technical innovations progress through the market launch stage.

     
  • Innovation as Key to Sustainability: Dr. Roland Schindler

    Dr. Roland Schindler
    Executive Director, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
    Issue 3, Sustainability, June 2010

    Founded in 2008 and located within walking distance of the MIT campus, the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) offers a wide range of applied research services dedicated to the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The CSE focuses on photovoltaic (PV) modules, building energy efficiency, and the "TechBridge" commercialization program.

    GCRI spoke with Prof. Dr. Roland Schindler, Executive Director of the CSE, about the correlation between innovation and sustainability. Schindler, who is a 24-year veteran of Freiburg's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), has been a significant contributor to the PV industry for the last 30 years and is a world-renowned expert in silicon.

     
  • Talking about the Bilingual Brain: Prof. Jürgen M. Meisel & Prof. Michael Ullman

    Michael Ullman
    Director, Brain and Language Lab, Georgetown University
    Prof. Jürgen M. Meisel
    Professor emeritus of Romance Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Calgary
    Issue 2, Bilingual Brain, May 2010

    In this interview, the speakers of the June 3, 2010, science dinner, Professors Jürgen M. Meisel and Michael Ullman, share their insights on the physiological differences between learning a second language in youth and adulthood.

    In addition, Professor Meisel also discusses the importance of active engagement with children while they are learning a second language.

     
  • Directors' Talk: Dr. Sebastian Fohrbeck & Dr. Marion Müller

    Dr. Marion Müller
    Director, DFG Office North America
    Dr. Sebastian Fohrbeck
    Director, DAAD North America
    Issue 1, About the GCRI, April 2010

    GCRI's initial two executive directors, Dr. Sebastian Fohrbeck, also the director of the German Academic Exchange Service's (DAAD) New York office, and Dr. Marion Müller, director of the North American Office of the German Research Foundation (DFG), discuss the differences between the German and North American research landscapes, why the GCRI was created, and how it will enhance the interface between research and industry.