10:59 09 Nov 2023

Germany to open expert centers to support Ukraine's reconstruction and science development

Federal Minister of Education and Scientific Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger. Photo: Olha Tanasiichuk

Drawing from its advanced scientific expertise, Germany is aiding in setting up the foundations for Ukraine's ongoing reconstruction. 

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the German Minister of Education and Research, stated this during an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian-German scientific and technical collaboration in Berlin.

"Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine has dealt a severe blow to Ukrainian scientific pursuits. Germany stands firmly with Ukraine, both in military support and on the civilian front," said the German minister. "Through our four German-Ukrainian centers of excellence and advanced experience hubs, we aim to bolster Ukraine using cutting-edge scientific systems. These initiatives will also play a substantial role in the country's reconstruction." 

Her department is earmarking up to €11 million over the next four years for these centers, whose locations have recently been determined.

The ministry reports that the EUU20 center in Lviv will focus on researching German-Ukrainian and European history of the 20th century. The CENtR natural products research center, also in Lviv, will concentrate on strategies to discover and utilize new anti-infective substances. 

The GU-QuMat quantum materials center, set to be established in Kyiv, will explore novel quantum materials and their potential for future technologies. The PLASMA-SPIN-ENERGY center will be located in Kharkiv. These centers are scheduled to open in 2024. 

The minister also stressed the energy sector's pivotal role in the country's reconstruction. Part of the Green Deal Ukraine involves plans to create a Ukrainian-Polish-German "knowledge center" tasked with developing a sustainable energy supply system based on renewable energy. This, as Stark-Watzinger highlighted, guarantees independence.

"We are committed to supporting and actively participating in the reconstruction efforts. Yet, it's not just about rebuilding; it's about building anew, aiming for a better future," said Stark-Watzinger.

She then added, "Ukraine needs bright minds for a smarter future."

The Ukrainian scientific and educational system, aspiring to become an EU member, aims to align with the European scientific landscape. Improved education and scientific progress will lead to a more promising future for the nation.

The minister acknowledged that in Germany, they anticipate the return of over 200,000 students admitted to German schools following the onset of the war, along with more than 9,100 Ukrainian university students expected to return to their homeland in the foreseeable future.

"We are always working toward their return," she affirmed.

The minister assured that Germany will continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and support the country. Stark-Watzinger also exhibited to the audience a fragment of a Russian missile that landed close to the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science. She acquired this unsettling memento during her visit to Kyiv in February, and it has since been on display in her office.

Rubryka reported that the Goethe-Institut unveiled the launch of the children's project "A Suitcase with Books" for Ukrainian libraries.

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