International cooperation and the exchange of specialist knowledge across national frontiers is a fundamental prerequisite for internationally competitive science and research. Nowadays science and research are international, like the problems and challenges they seek to address – for example, in the fields of energy, the environment, climate, population development, to name just a few. International cooperation is therefore considered highly important in Germany: the German Rectors’ Conference has registered approximately 26,000 international collaborations in over 140 countries involving German higher education institutions. Additionally, there are countless bilateral and multilateral agreements between non-university research institutes or companies and cooperation partners outside Germany: Max Planck Institutes alone are currently working on over 2,500 international projects with more than 6,000 partners in 123 countries.
This means that foreign senior researchers can network their research projects internationally in order to achieve synergies, increase expertise and realise innovations. The German Houses of Science and Innovation in Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Sao Paulo and Tokyo are meeting places and points of contact for German and international researchers and scholars and provide advice and information for international researchers who are interested in a collaboration with Germany. Four Centres of Excellence in Russia, Thailand, Chile and Colombia were founded in 2010 with the goal of networking outstanding foreign researchers and advanced foreign research in specific subject areas with German research. Germany engages in scientific and technological cooperation with some 50 countries at all levels (government, research institutions, universities, private industry).
How can I find a cooperation partner?
If you are seeking a suitable cooperation partner, you can search for existing collaborations and research projects:
A German Rectors’ Conference database contains detailed information on some 26,000 international collaborations with German higher education institutions. It lists the cooperating institutions, subject areas and the content of collaborations as well as contact details.
The databases of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) contain information about over 90,000 state-funded research projects. They allow you to find out more about the type of research that has been and is being done in laboratories and who is working on a particular subject.
The Research Explorer project of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides information about 19,000 institutes at German universities and non-university research institutions on the basis of geographic, subject and structural criteria.
The Gepris database of the German Research Foundation (DFG) also offers a database containing information about current and completed DFG research projects (mainly in German).
The largest German funding organisation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), also maintains offices abroad. The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion in Beijing and its offices in North America, India, Moscow and Tokyo are intended to support cooperation between researchers and cooperation with the respective national funding organisations.
A whole group of German higher education institutions now maintains global networks of offices that aim to support the international networking of researchers at the respective university. Contact details can be found on the websites of the individual higher education institutions, whose addresses are available on the Higher Education Compass website.
As the world’s largest funding organisation for international exchange between students and researchers, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) maintains a global network of 14 regional offices and 51 information centres providing advice on the spot.