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In the German state of Saxony, neighbouring Lower Silesia, two large science centres will be established. Which ones? This is not known. What is known is that one of the persons giving opinions on the ideas will be a professor and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wrocław, Patrycja Matusz. This is a considerable distinction and proof that the University of Wrocław is becoming an increasingly important scientific player in this part of the region.

In the coming years, two new large-scale research centres will be built in Saxony. Suffice it to say that Saxony and Berlin will contribute EUR 170 million annually for this purpose. In addition, the state is to provide technical facilities for the newly established research centres.

Under the motto “Knowledge creates perspectives for the region!” The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Free State of Saxony announce a competition for the content and structure of the centres. A professor from the University of Wrocław was invited to join the 15 people who decide on the final shape of these research centres. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek, Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony Michael Kretschmer and Saxony’s Minister of Science Sebastian Gemkow explained when appointing Professor Matusz and announcing the competition for ideas:

“It is important that we actively shape structural change in Germany’s former coalfields. Where coal was mined, something more valuable is now to be created – knowledge, technology and innovation. Education, research and innovation will contribute to ensuring that Łużyce and the Central German mining region are well prepared for life after the lignite era and remain attractive regions in which to live,” explained Karliczek.

By 2023, Germany wants to create two new large-scale research centres with international reach that will strengthen Germany as a centre of science. To this end, as they explain: they are looking for the brightest minds with the best ideas. All scientists who have an innovative idea for a new large-scale research centre are invited to participate.

The new research centres alone are expected to create up to 3 000 new workplaces. The combination of excellent research and innovative concepts for cooperation with industry creates an attractive environment for the establishment of new companies and business start-ups – and thus new prospects for the people living in regions where coal was previously mined. Saxony assumes a strong cooperation with Poland – hence the invitation at the competition stage for the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wrocław, Patrycja Matusz, to join the jury.

– The establishment of two new large-scale research centres in the Saxon coal mining areas is a great success. Research centres create new perspectives and workplaces when coal runs out. It is therefore important that the new centres provide opportunities for technological development, but also for the employment of people who used to work in mining. That is why we have planned that the committee evaluating projects will be very diverse. We want it to include not only technology people,” explained Kretschmer.  I would like to expressly thank the Federal Government, which is working with us to bring this project, which is unique in Germany, to fruition, and to provide the funding for it. It will be a real revolution.

Saxony’s Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow adds:

“It would be hard to find better conditions for planned major research centres. Saxony offers excellent opportunities for future research projects – in the university, non-university and business sectors. Scientific institutions with their flexibility and competence in various fields are a decisive location advantage for the establishment of research centres and their subsequent operation. This makes it possible to create new scientific discoveries and innovations from which new added value can be generated. It is not only the post-mining areas that will benefit from this in the long term.”

Patrycja Matusz graduated in Dutch and German Studies at the Faculty of Philology, University of Wrocław. Her scientific interests include: theories of international migration and integration of immigrants, migration management, multicultural education. Currently, she is the Prorector for Projects and International Relations.

Scholarship holder and intern at the University of Groningen (1999-2000), Free University of Berlin (2000), University of Amsterdam (2004), University of Surrey (2007). She is currently working on two Horizon 2020 grant projects.

dr hab. Patrycja Matusz, prof. UWr, stoi na korytarzu gmachu głównego UWr
Fot. Magdalena Marcula/UWr/CC BY 2.0

Published by: Tomasz Sikora

2 Feb 2021

last modification: 2 Feb 2021