German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Germany is regarded as “the land of ideas”. What makes the German science and research landscape so successful?
The German research landscape is extremely diverse and has produced 80 Nobel laureates to date. Research takes place in universities, non-university research institutes as well as in companies. There are nearly 1,000 public and publicly funded institutions of science, research and development in Germany, as well as a large number of R&D centres run by the private sector.
All of these offer an excellent infrastructure, a wide variety of disciplines and well-equipped research facilities where scientists par excellence from all over the world work together. This, together with young researchers joining these research teams for PhDs or postdocs, makes the German research landscape highly international.
Apart for its strength in basic research, Germany is also known for its special focus on applied research. It’s no wonder that industry-academia ties are very strong in Germany.
Many Indian and German scientists work together, and their research results can be applied in India. Which collaboration impressed you the most?
Indo-German scientific collaboration dates back to the 1950s. Since then, numerous bilateral research projects have been carried out, involving many institutions and researchers from both sides. German organisations such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have had successful partnerships with the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), University Grants Commission (UGC), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), among others. Such collaborations provide a solid platform for the exchange of scientists and young researchers between the two countries.
In order to tackle future challenges, young and innovative minds are needed. What’s your advice to our readers who want to become scientists?
Global challenges like climate change, sustainable development, urbanisation, shortage of resources, etc, need a global approach. As a consequence, research has become more and more international and interdisciplinary. To tackle future challenges, young minds need to be innovative and think out of the box. Learning from others in an international environment, bringing together expertise from different angles and rethinking existing patterns is essential to find the right kind of solutions not only for existing challenges, but also for challenges the future may present.