5th RMU Day: Spotlight on the Rhine-Main Region of Science

This year’s Rhine-Main Universities Day will take place on 10 November. Now entering its fifth round, the focus this year is on “Region Matters for U – Shaping Innovative Science Together in the Rhine-Main Region”. The event will take place at the Technical University of Darmstadt’s Lichtwiese Campus.

The RMU Day will start with a panel discussion on “Shaping Science in the Rhine-Main Region: The Environment for Research, Innovation and (Knowledge) Transfer”, hosted by journalist Jan-Martin Wiarda. In the first round, Clemens Hoch, Minister for Science and Health of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate; Ayse Asar, State Secretary at the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and the Arts; Professor Tanja Weil, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research; Professor Michael Huth, Vice President of Goethe University Frankfurt; and Professor Volker Mosbrugger, President of the Polytechnic Society, will discuss the conditions necessary for the successful transfer of knowledge and technologies. The second round will feature Professor Nicole Deitelhoff of the Peace ResearchInstitute Frankfurt (PRIF), part of the Leibniz Association; Professor Dieter Fellner from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) in Darmstadt; and Professor Lisa Hartung from the Institute of Mathematics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Here, the discussion will center on how to achieve scientific innovations through joint research projects, as well as how such projects can be initiated and collaboration fostered.

As part of the afternoon program, participants will be able to choose between a workshop, three guided tours of scientific facilities situated on Lichtwiese Campus, or the constituent session of the RMU Assembly. The aim of the 90-minute workshop, entitled “RMU and You – Shaping Knowledge Transfer”, is to enable an exchange of ideas on what participants consider to be their main needs when it comes to knowledge transfer and start-up entrepreneurship, and identify custom-fit offers that could help them. Working groups with experts from the RMU transfer units will illuminate various aspects, depending on participants’ interests. One working group will address the questions: How does knowledge transfer work in general? How can scientists communicate and exchange their research results and topics worldwide? What key questions and considerations do spin-offs and licensing agreements need to take into account? Another working group will look at why universities support transfer and start-ups, how this relates to basic research or the humanities, and how we can all encourage transfer. The third working group will devote itself to an exchange of experiences and expectations and discuss how researchers and administration can work together efficiently in the area of transfer. Anyone wishing to introduce another interesting topic can do so when registering for the event: The most mentioned topic will be discussed by a fourth working group.

Alternatively, visitors can choose between three guided tours of scientific facilities. Participants will be able to visit the ETA Fabrik model factory, a toolkit and demonstrator for innovations in energy efficiency, energy flexibility and resource efficiency in production. Another group will visit the Glass Competence Center (GCC), a research hub for glass construction that covers all the main processes involved in flat glass processing – from cutting to grinding and finishing. The third tour will visit the eHub living lab of emergenCITY. In the eHUB lab – a smart home equipped with numerous solar cells that make it energy self-sufficient – scientists are exploring technologies for crisis and disaster management – especially for prolonged nationwide power outages.

Beyond that, RMU members will be able to attend the constituent session of the RMU Assembly, made up of appointed members of the senates of Goethe University Frankfurt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Marlar Kin, Managing Director of the Rhine-Main Universities Central Office established on 1 March 2023, is looking forward to the 5th RMU Day: “The Rhine-Main Universities have made it their goal to develop the Rhine-Main region into an internationally leading region of science that is visible worldwide. Within it, the exchange of knowledge with stakeholders in society and the overall framework for research and innovation play a key role. That is why I am very pleased that we have not only been able to attract such prominent personalities for our panel discussion, but will also be exchanging ideas with the participants in the workshops. I am sure that at the end of the day we will have gained many new insights that will help us all further strengthen the Rhine-Main region as a region of science.”

In terms of content, RMU Day – held alternately in Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Mainz since 2019 – always addresses the main concerns of the Rhine-Main Universities. Last year’s focus lay on researchers in the early phases of their careers as well as academic mid-level faculty. Previous events centered on research (2021), studies and teaching (2020), and the potential of the cross-federal state alliance (2019). The purpose of the strategic alliance of the Rhine-Main Universities, launched in late 2015, is to foster cooperation between the three universities in the most important areas of university performance, especially in research, studies and teaching, transfer, as well as science communication. To further strengthen this cooperation, a central RMU office and new governance, including several advisory committees such as the RMU Assembly, were established this year.

Julia Ebert

5th Rhine-Main Universities Day
“Region Matters for U – Shaping Innovative Science Together in the Rhine-Main Region”

10 November 2023, 11.00 – 15.15,
Lecture Hall and Media Center (L4|02), Lichtwiese Campus, Technical University of Darmstadt

Registration for RMU Day and the afternoon program is open until 2 November 2023 at https://eveeno.com/rmu
Further information is available at www.rhein-main-universitaeten.de/5

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