Networking and exchange with former researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technolo-gy (KIT) were in the focus of the Researcher Alumni Conference on Renewable Ener-gies organized in Santiago de Chile in November 2018 by the International Scholars and Welcome Office (IScO) of the International Affairs Business Unit (INTL) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH).
KIT Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs, Professor Dr. Thomas Hirth, un-derscored the important role of researcher alumni in future university collaborations and the recruitment of early-stage researchers: “We highly appreciate your roles as multipliers and ambassadors.” Hirth emphasized KIT’s long-standing researcher alumni activities that made KIT win a second grant of the AvH.
In his scientific opening speech, Professor Dr. Andreas Braun of KIT’s Institute of Regional Science (IfR), spokesperson of the Chile Cluster of KIT, introduced the Virtual Institute for Eco-Industrial Development (IEDE).
Professor Dr. Thomas Kohl of KIT’s Institute of Applied Geosciences (AGW) then presented a panel discussion on “Renewable Energies – a German-Chilean Cooperation and Challenge for the Future.” The invited experts extensively discussed existing partnerships and future cooperation potentials.
Then, representatives of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), AvH, and the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) provided information on funding options for internationally mobile researchers.
A large part of the program covered workshops on “Renewable Energies” led by professors of KIT. Here, researcher alumni were provided practical insight into the current research ac-tivities of their German colleagues. A visit to the Fraunhofer Center for Systems Biotechnolo-gy as an example of close scientific collaboration of Germany and Chile served to inform the participants about research activities there.
At the evening reception of the conference participants in the German Embassy, Ambassa-dor Rolf Schulze emphasized the importance of the researcher alumni meeting in Chile: “It is part of the impressing network of KIT and reflects the strength and variety of German-Chilean science collaboration.” In spring 2019, Ambassador Schulze plans to visit KIT.