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Date: Dec 14, 2018

University and the City of Bonn move closer together Mayor and Rector sign cooperation agreement

The Federal City of Bonn and the University of Bonn have given their cooperation a new contractual basis. Mayor Ashok Sridharan and Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch have placed their signatures under a "Memorandum of Understanding" between the municipality and the university. In this, they have defined strategic areas of activity ranging from urban development to knowledge and technology transfer.

The city of Bonn and the University of Bonn have been closely intertwined since the university was founded in 1818. In the year of the university's 200th anniversary, the relationship between the two partners has been intensified once more.

The city and the university have always benefited from one another, emphasizes Mayor Sridharan: "The university trains young people as students and trainees. Many are already from the region, even more want to stay after they graduate. Through innovations, which today increasingly lead to business start-ups, and not least as one of the largest employers in our city, the university contributes to the prosperity of the region. It is an important economic factor for Bonn."

The university also benefits from its location in the federal city, says Rector Hoch: "Bonn is located in one of the most important science regions in Germany and Europe, with an extraordinary wealth of non-university research institutions, universities, research organizations and science funding organizations. In addition, our hometown is the cradle of the first functioning democracy on German soil and today excellently fulfills its role as the German city of the United Nations, as a second federal political center and as an important business location. For 200 years, we have been firmly anchored in this livable, cosmopolitan city and benefit from each other mutually. We now want to collaborate even more intensively in key areas and, on the basis of this MoU, jointly tackle important challenges of the future."

The five core topics are:

  • Urban development and university infrastructure, especially the development of the campuses
  • Internationality, UN and sustainability issues
  • Dual career and family
  • Knowledge and technology transfer 
  • Communication and information exchange

Urban development and university infrastructure

The university wants to localize its teaching and research facilities in four locations: Campus Poppelsdorf, Campus Endenich, Campus City Center (including the "Sustainability Campus" on the site of the former Children's Hospital) and Campus Venusberg (location and responsibility of the University Hospital Bonn). In these areas, the university and the city want to coordinate more closely on important issues in the coming years, including construction law and open space design, energy supply, parking and mobility, and student housing. 

Internationality, UN and sustainability issues

The city and the university will mutually support each other in internationalization projects in order to benefit even more from their internationality and in dealing with global challenges. The city should be even more involved in the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research and include this in the city marketing and other municipal activities. The city will also be included in delegation visits by international guests at the university, while the university is integrated into the city's international network, e.g. visits to international delegations, project partners and town twinnings.

Dual Career and Family

Both city and university are attractive employers and strive to embed their employees in an attractive environment. Thus they have agreed to cooperate more in attracting professionals and researchers. Central topics are the expansion of childcare, dual -career options (job placement for the partners of appointed researchers) and the cooperation of the family offices of the two institutions.

Knowledge and Technology Transfer

University and city traditionally work closely together in the field of knowledge and technology transfer. They have now agreed to further intensify this cooperation, in particular by expanding joint start-up support and strengthening the "Science Region Bonn" brand.

Communication and information exchange

In addition to regular exchanges between the Mayor and the Rector, the city and the university agree to have regular meetings between the heads of the areas responsible for the aforementioned areas of action in city and university administration. In addition, joint working groups will be established on specific issues and projects.

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