Brussels, 05 Aug 2004
Germany's University Rectors' Conference and its Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft have agreed to a new form of closer collaboration that will see the joint education of PhD students from 2005.
An agreement entitled 'Towards cooperation and support for scientific spin-offs' will see the organisations exchanging information on their strategic planning with the aim of identifying fields of research where cooperation between the two organisations promises to result in significant synergy. The University Rectors' Conference and the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft are particularly interested in collaborating on support for spin-offs and scientific education.
From 2005, the organisations hope to create special groups for highly gifted PhD students in order to provide courses comprising both academic and industrial aspects. Candidates will be selected through competition.
Two current initiatives will also be strengthened through the agreement, namely virtual institutes bringing together universities and the Helmholtz centres, and Helmholtz-university spin-off groups. The groups, funded by the Helmholtz-Gemeinshaft, offer scientific independence, equipment and long term perspectives to spin-offs with potential. The groups are modelled on the US tenure track system, which sees academics passing through certain stages in order to receive tenure, which involves a job for life and complete academic freedom.