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Better together: UK and German universities showcase leading research and collaborations


UK and German universities have joined forces to host an innovative showcase that shines a spotlight on the deep and vital partnerships that exist between British and German academia.

The showcase will explore themes contributing to European priorities where partners are collaborating at the cutting edge of science and technology and education, in areas such as AI, sustainable product design, and health research.

The exhibits will include Brunel University London and Hanover-based LZH Laser Akademie GmbH, who are the lead partners for the SAM project: the Sector Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing – popularly known as 3D printing.

Held today at the British Embassy in Berlin, the Showcase is itself a collaboration between BUILA (the British Universities International Liaison Association) and their German counterpart DAIA (the Deutsche Assoziation für Internationalen Bildungsaustausch), supported by the British Council and Universities UK International.

Dame Janet Beer DBE, President of Universities UK, commented: “Irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit process, universities in the UK are committed to continue their deep rooted and ground-breaking academic collaborations with German and European academic institutions and companies. Collaborative research and teaching are a key component to UK HE’s success and is something we need to work hard to protect and nurture.”

In terms of scientific, creative and cultural collaboration, UK and Germany are each other’s second most important partner. Collaboration between higher education institutions form a fundamental part of a successful partnership within both countries.

The SAM project, funded by EU’s Erasmus+ programme, comprises 16 partners from industry, vocational education and training organisations and higher education institutions. The aim of this project is to address current and future industrial additive manufacturing skills needs, through the creation of a methodology for the sector and an additive manufacturing observatory, that together will support the implementation of a European Additive Manufacturing Qualification System.

Dr Eujin Pei, Director for Postgraduate Research in Brunel's College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, highlights how the SAM project is helping Europe move into a completely digital manufacturing era: "The SAM project brings together a group of consortium members including highly qualified researchers, academics, policy makers and industry to deliver and implement a standardised qualifications programme to reskill and upskill the EU workforce as we move into this new era. Brunel plays an important role to ensure that we implementation this additive manufacturing qualifications programme."

Christian Müller, Deputy Secretary General at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), said: “The importance of collaborative research between Germany and the UK cannot be underestimated. Since 2014 some 11,745 joint projects have been undertaken between Germany and the UK and over 72,000 research publications have been produced jointly between German and UK academics, many of them with support from DAAD. It is absolutely crucial that these research links are maintained.”

The showcase demonstrates how universities and higher education institutions in the UK and Germany are working together, and with other European partners, to develop knowledge and skills and foster the innovation needed to address some of the key issues facing Europe.

Robbie Bulloch, The British Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission, added: “We are delighted to support the work of BUILA and DAIA and to be hosting this showcase at the British Embassy. Fostering links between Germany and the UK, within both academia and business, is an important role that we undertake at the British Embassy. Our future economic growth depends on collaboration."

The showcase is taking place to coincide with the British Council’s Going Global Conference, where leaders in international education with be meeting to debate the future of higher and further education.

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