Sharing the strengths of international research 

Category: Englisch

At the first International Research Days at TH Aschaffenburg, scientists from all over the world met for a virtual exchange

From 13 to 14 January 2021, Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences hosted international scientists from its research network on the virtual campus. Over 100 participants from partner universities in 10 countries accepted the invitation and made use of the opportunity to discuss new research approaches and initiate joint projects within the framework of the virtual conference.

"Research thrives on exchange," explains Dr Heike Bruhn, responsible for international research management at TH AB, adding: "At this networking event, the university's main aim was to expand and intensify international research partnerships and to use synergies across national borders." Joint applications for new research projects in interdisciplinary teams play a central role here, with the focus being on the Horizon Europe programme, which will start in 2021.

In addition to researchers from Germany, scientists from Finland, France, Great Britain, Japan, Sweden, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary and the USA were virtually connected to follow the more than 20 presentations on innovative project ideas from the main research areas of "Intelligent Systems", "Materials", "Information and Innovation Management" and "Business and Law" and participated actively in the subsequent workshop-style discussion. 

Basis for sustainable expansion of international research cooperation 
"Our International Research Days have created a very good basis for further expanding our international research cooperations in a sustainable way. In an international and interdisciplinary team of scientists, we discussed approaches to solutions for the global challenges of our time and planned joint research projects," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Zindler, Vice President of Research, summing up the successful event. "The world has moved a little bit closer together in these two days - especially in the current situation, this is not only beneficial but also of great importance," he emphasises. 
This virtual international conference was already the second one hosted by TH Aschaffenburg this winter. It was able to benefit from the experience of the successful International Language Days in November 2020, which was organized by the heads of the Language Centre Prof. Dr. Renate Link and Prof. Dr. Sylvana Krausse.

The central hub on the virtual campus was the exhibition hall at At the Virtual Expo, selected partner universities presented themselves at virtual information stands alongside Technische Hochschule Aschaffenburg.

Early entry into the scientific community for young researchers
Doctoral students of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral College (iDok), founded in 2019, presented current research projects to the visitors in more than 30 poster presentations. One of the virtual poster sessions took place in a laboratory of the Open Innovation Lab (OIL), the other on the outside area of the campus. "We enable our students and doctoral candidates to enter the international scientific community at an early stage through our numerous demanding research projects. In this way, we are also significantly contributing to strengthening the Bavarian Untermain region as a business location," says Klaus Zindler, "because a large number of our graduates join a local company after graduation."   
Positive response from conference participants
Beyond the framework programme, the "magnolia lounge", named after the Aschaffenburg magnolia groves, invited those present to meet and get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. There was also a virtual pinboard where further project ideas could be exchanged and discussed. 
“The presentations and discussions were very fruitful and are, without a doubt, a first step towards cooperation in various fields [...]", says Prof. Christine Chauvin, Vice Présidente Relations Internationales of Université Bretagne Sud, speaking on behalf of the consistently positive response from the circle of participants.