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  • Interview with Cristoph Burger, author and lecturer at ESMT Berlin

    Issue 99, July/August 2018, Blockchain, September 2018

    Christoph Burger is a senior lecturer at ESMT Berlin. Before joining in 2003, he worked five years for the e-commerce group Otto and was vice president at Bertelsmann Buch AG. Prior to that he worked for the consulting firm Arthur D. Little and as an independent consultant focusing on the private equity financing of SMEs.

    His research focus is on innovation, Blockchain and energy markets. He is co-author of the dena/ESMT studies on "Vulnerabilities in Smart Meter Infrastructure" and "Blockchain in the Energy Transition," the "ESMT Innovation Index - Electricity Supply Industry" and the book The Decentralized Energy Revolution - Business Strategies for a New Paradigm.

    In our interview this month, Christoph Burger talks to us about what Blockchain is, the U.S. and German Blockchain landscapes, common misconceptions about the technology, its potential uses in our everyday life, and its applications in his own work in the energy sector.

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Christoph Borner, Molecular Medicine / Cell Research, Freiburg University

    Issue 98, Precision Medicine, June 2018

    Prof. Dr. Christoph Borner is the Director of the International Masters Program of Biomedical Sciences between the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, and the University of Freiburg in Germany (Double Master Degree), Director of the Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine of the Excellence Initiative for the Advancement of Science and professor at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, both at the University of Freiburg.

    In this month's interview, Prof. Dr. Borner compares the state of precision medicine in the US and Germany, discusses the role of start-ups in the field of precision medicine, as well as its possible effects on the existing healthcare system. Furthermore he explains what risks patients should be aware of in order to protect their health data.

  • Interview with Dr. Ulrich Schmid, Managing Partner of mmb Institute Interview 2018

    Issue 97, Education Technology, April 2018

    In this month interview, Dr. Schmid, Managing Partner of mmb Institut, compares the state of digital education in Germany and the US and stresses the importance of the personal relationship between teachers and students.

    mmb Institute is an independent research institute conducting studies and research projects for institutions like the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the German Forum for Higher Education in the Digital Age and foundations like the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Dr. Schmid's main focus is on digitalization and higher and corporation education.

  • Interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Thrän, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH

    Issue 96, Bioeconomy, March 2018

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Thrän is the head of the Department of Bioenergy at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ and of the Bioenergy Systems Department at the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ), both in Leipzig. Furthermore she is co-spokesperson for the "EnergyLandUse" integrated project in the Helmholtz "Terrestrial Environment" research program.

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Thrän has been a member of the Bioeconomy Council since September 2012. She represents Germany on the ISO Committee "Biogenic Solid Fuels", is a member of the Energy Council for Saxony, coordinator of accompanying research for the "Biomass Energy Use" funding program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and head of Scientific Accompanying Research in the "Bioeconomy Cluster" (2012 - 2017). She has been working in the Extended Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) since January 2017.

    In this month's interview, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Thrän, highlights the benefits of a growing bioeconomy and focuses especially on the advantages and challenges of bioenergy. Furthermore she elaborates the importance of an international framework to make bioeconomy viable.

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Jörn Müller-Quade, Cryptography and Security, Karlsruhe Institute of Tec.

    Issue 95, Data Security, February 2018

    Prof. Dr. Müller-Quade is the head of the research group "Cryptography and Security" at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and director at the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI). Furthermore, he is spokesperson and initiator of the KASTEL competence center.

    His research interests include secure cloud computing, secure multi-party computing, hardware trust anchors and security definitions and models. He received the German IT security prize in 2008 and 2014.

    In this month's interview, Prof. Dr. Jörn Müller-Quade, focuses on the risks and benefits of Big Data and the value of privacy. Furthermore he makes suggestions on how to securing one's personal data in smart environments and social networks.

    Image: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

  • Interview with Dr.-Ing. Sabine Wagner, Mobility Concepts and Infrastructure, Fraunhofer IAO

    Issue 94, Smart Transportation, January 2018

    Dr.-Ing. Sabine Wagner is the head of the Mobility Concepts and Infrastructure team within the Department of Mobility and Urban Systems Engineering at Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

    Her main research activity is the sustainable integration of innovative mobility solutions in urban, suburban and rural areas. The aim of her work is to analyze mobility systems, user needs and user acceptance, as well as the digitalization of energy and mobility systems. Furthermore, her work focuses on the economic aspects of achieving an efficient and profitable crosslink between renewable energy and sustainable mobility.

    In her interview with the DWIH NY, Dr.-Ing. Wagner discusses new smart transportation trends in Germany and makes suggestions for how commuters can be more sustainable in their travels. Additionally, she focuses on mobility services, their challenges and the prospect of transforming everyday transportation in rural areas.

    Image: Fraunhofer IAO



  • Interview with Dr. Volker Then, Executive Director of the Centre for Social Investment (CSI)

    Issue 92, Social Innovation in Germany, November 2017

    Dr. Volker Then manages the Centre for Social Investment at Heidelberg University. His publications focus largely on the social economy and investments and he is acclaimed for his expertise in social entrepreneurship. Moreover, Dr. Then has extensive research experience with philanthropy and foundations. He received his M.A. in history, sociology and economics from Bielefeld University and earned his Ph.D. in social history from the Freie Universität Berlin. He also completed studies at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and the University of Oxford. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Civil Society in the School of Public Affairs, UCLA.

    Beyond his role of executive director at the CSI, Dr. Then is a member of numerous boards and committees, among them the National Advisory Committee of New Ventures, the National Initiative to Promote the Growth of Philanthropy in the USA (Washington, D.C.), the legal and tax boards of three German foundations, as well as the editorial board of Stiftung & Sponsoring, Verlag Berlin.

    In his interview with the GCRI, Dr. Then provides an overview on the latest trends in social entrepreneurship in Germany and specifically, the work at the CSI in Heidelberg. He also discusses the field of social innovation from a business perspective. Lastly, with the rise of technology and its advancing presence in the civil environment, Dr. Then shares his insight on how technology affects the nature of social innovation.

    Image: Stephan Brendgen

  • Interview with Molecular Biology Expert Prof. Dr. Andre Franke

    Issue 91, Cracking the Microbiome, October 2017

    Prof. Dr. Andre Franke is a professor of molecular medicine and director of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB) at Kiel University, where he is the head of the genetics and bioinformatics research group. His research interests are the molecular biology of complex inflammatory diseases and genome-wide association studies. The Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology is operating one of Germany's largest next generation sequencing centers, which is why a large amount of his research focuses on the microbiome.

    Prof. Dr. Franke studied biology and received his PhD in cell biology at Kiel University. Since 2008, he is an assistant professor for epithelial barrier diseases within the DFG Excellence Cluster "Inflammation at Interfaces". In 2010, he received the Peter Hans Hofschneider Professorship from the Stiftung experimentelle Biomedizin (Foundation for Experimental Biomedicine). He has received several scientific awards, including the Hensel Prize in 2008 and the Ludwig-Demling-Forschungspreis in 2012.

    In the interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Franke talks about what motivates him as a researcher and discusses the advantages of next generation sequencing technology for genomic projects and the ethical issues associated with this technology. He offers his insight into the current state of Germany's research landscape with respect to microbiome science and suggests what individuals can do to keep their microbiome intact.

    Source & Image: Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB), Kiel University, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein

  • Interview with Linguistics and Neuroscience Expert Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

    Issue 90, Language and the Brain, September 2017

    Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger is a professor of patholinguistics at the University of Potsdam. She is a leading expert in linguistics and neuroscience. The focus of her scientific work is the neural basis and development of higher cognitive functions and language processing by use of psychophysiological and brain imaging methods across the lifespan. Prof. Dr. Wartenburger is the spokesperson of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre, SFB 1287 - Limits of Variability in Language: Cognitive, Grammatical, and Social Aspects.

    After studying psychology at Bielefeld University, Prof. Dr. Wartenburger received her PhD at the Berlin Neuroimaging Center at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, where she held various postdoctoral fellow and leadership positions. In 2007, she started working at the University of Potsdam where she obtained her professorship.

    In the interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Wartenburger discusses why it is easier for young children to learn a foreign language and how problems in language acquisition can be predicted early in life. She also explains the reasoning behind scholars who argue for a bilingual advantage for the brain and those scholars who argue for the presence of a bilingual disadvantage.

    Source & Image: University of Potsdam

  • Interview with Renewable Energy Expert Prof. Dr. Kurt Rohrig

    Issue 89, Cleantech, August 2017

    With more than 25 years of experience, Prof. Dr. Kurt Rohrig is one of Germany's leading experts in renewable energy. He is the deputy director and head of the Division for Energy Economy and Grid Operation at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES). Prof. Dr. Rohrig is also an honorary professor for integrated energy systems at the University of Kassel, where he completed his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science in 2003.

    The focus of his scientific work is the prediction of wind and solar power for large supply areas that are managed in co-operation with large power transmission utilities. Prof. Dr. Rohrig was the scientific manager of the project "Renewable Model Region Harz" and received the German Award for Climate Protection for his involvement in the "Renewable Combi Plant" in 2009. As a result of his project work, he has proven that a smart combination of renewable energy sources could already cover 100% of the power demand in Germany today.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Rohrig points out why a combination of wind and solar power offer the greatest potential to propel the renewable energy field forward and how the energy transition will affect people's lifestyles.

    Source & Image: Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES)

  • Interview with Entrepreneurship Expert Prof. Dr. Dr. Holger Patzelt

    Issue 88, Entrepreneurship, July 2017

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Holger Parzelt is one of Germany's leading experts on business ventures, strategic entrepreneurship, and startup failure. He is the chairman of the TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute at the Technical University of Munich. The TUM Entrepreneurship Research Institute, which was launched in 2015, introduced its own startup incubator that offers TUM academics free coaching and an outstanding network of experts. Before joining the TUM School of Management, Prof. Dr. Dr. Patzelt served as an associate director at the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena.

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Patzelt's research focuses on entrepreneurial cognition and economic, emotional, and psychological consequences of failure. He has published several articles in leading international academic journals and received several national and international awards, such as the Wesley J. Howe Award for Excellence in Research on the Topic of Corporate Entrepreneurship in 2008.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Dr. Patzelt points out the main differences between the entrepreneurial cultures and the attitude towards startup failure in Germany and the United States. He discusses how universities can foster a culture of entrepreneurship and the main challenges academics face when they try to commercialize their research.

    Source & Image: Technical University of Munich

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. med. Nisar Peter Malek, Director at the University Hospital Tübingen

    Issue 87, Personalized Medicine, June 2017

    Prof. Dr. med. Nisar Peter Malek's clinical work focuses primarily on the treatment of malignant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver, as well as therapy for patients with chronic liver diseases. He is a full professor and the managing director at the University Hospital Tübingen, Department of Internal Medicine I and the Chairman of the Center for Personalised Medicine at the University of Tübingen.

    The focus of his scientific work is decoding cell division mechanisms, with the goal of identifying new substances for treating tumor diseases. Professor Malek was honored with the AIO Science Award in 2008 and the Johann Georg Zimmermann Prize for Cancer Research in 2009.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Malek discusses future developments in personalized medicine and the role that the University Hospital Tübingen plays for this development. He describes how the Center for Personalised Medicine tries to overcome challenge of introducing cutting-edge technologies into clinical trials, and whether computing and big data analysis are necessary to make personalized medicine a success.

    Source & Image: University Hospital Tübingen

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wernsdorfer, Alexander von Humboldt-Professor

    Issue 86, Nanotechnology, May 2017

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wernsdorfer is one of the world's leading experts on nanomagnets and their use in quantum spintronics. He is the head of the Research Group Wernsdorfer at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Physics. As an Alexander von Humboldt Professor he is known as a specialist in experimental solid state physics at the interface with chemistry and material science. Before joining the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, he was a research director at the Institut Néel, CNRS in Grenoble, France from 2004 to 2016 where he also received the CNRS Silver Medal 2016.

    Prof. Dr. Wernsdorfer's research is driven by the aim to contribute to one of today's most ambitious technological goals: the realization of an operational quantum computer.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Wernsdorfer discusses the most exciting practical applications of nanotechnology and how they are transforming everyday life. He describes his current research on the realization of an operational quantum computer and how the transition from being the research director at the Institut Néel to becoming an Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has contributed to his research.

    Source: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

    Image: Andreas Drollinger, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

  • Interview with Human Genetics Expert Prof. Dr. Stefan Mundlos

    Issue 85, CRISPR, April 2017

    Prof. Dr. Stefan Mundlos is a human genetics expert. He is the director of the Institute for Medical and Human Genetics at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the group leader of the Research Group Development & Disease at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. Prof. Dr. Mundlos is the author of several publications, including his book, Limb Malformations: An Atlas of Genetic Disorders of Limb Development.

    Prof. Dr. Mundlos' research is based on genetic mechanisms of normal and abnormal development with a particular focus on the skeleton. Mechanisms of gene regulation and how they are influenced by genomic variation are an important aspect of his current work. He received the ESHG Award in 2016 for his work on the identification and characterization of disease genes and disease-causing mechanisms of gene regulation.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Mundlos discusses the most exciting potential applications of CRISPR/Cas9. He describes ethical and safety issues associated with this genome editing technology, such as the concerns over genome editing in human embryos. He also highlights his current research on understanding how a certain class of mutations, known as structural variations, can affect the genome.

    Source & Image: Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics

  • Interview with Transport and Mobility Expert Prof. Dr. Andreas Knie

    Issue 84, Intelligent Mobility, March 2017

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Knie is a transport and mobility expert, and the head of the Research Group "Science Policy Studies" at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. He also established and is the leader of the "Mobility" Project Group at the WZB. He is a professor of sociology at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) and the managing director of the Innovation Centre for Mobility and Change (InnoZ). Prof. Dr. Knie is the author of several publications, including, Die digitale Mobilitätsrevolution. Vom Ende des Verkehrs wie wir ihn kannten.

    Prof. Dr. Knie is advocating for a shift away from an automobile-friendly transport policy to a German transportation transformation (Verkehrswende) by increasing flexible public transport services. He was involved in the development of the Deutsche Bahn Carsharing and Call a Bike services, as well as the Touch & Travel app to buy tickets.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Knie discusses intelligent mobility and why Germany needs a Verkehrswende. He describes what has been done to improve car traffic flow in Germany and what needs to change. Prof. Dr. Knie also highlights the greatestchallenges cities will face with respect to traffic management in the future.

    Source & Image: WZB Berlin Social Science Center

  • Interview with Water Management Expert Dr. Mareike Braeckevelt

    Issue 83, Global Water Sustainability, February 2017

    Before Dr. Mareike Braeckevelt became the research coordinator at CAWR, she conducted research for Water4Crops, one of the largest existing Euro-India collaborative projects addressing the worldwide issue of water and wastewater reuse and management. As a part of the DAAD project PROCOL, she provided knowledge transfer for the implementation of wetland treatment systems for wastewater treatment in Colombia.

    Dr. Braeckevelt is the research coordinator at CAWR, which brings together the water competences of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and the Technische Universität Dresden. Her publications focus on ecological engineering and environmental chemistry.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Dr. Braeckevelt explains the current situation for efficiently treating polluted water in Germany and Europe. She highlights the numerous challenges for sustainable urban water management in rural and urban areas and describes one of CAWR's current research projects, "Managing Water for Urban Catchments".

    Source & Image: Center for Advanced Water Research (CAWR)

  • Interview with Cyber Security Expert Prof. Dr. Michael Backes

    Issue 82, Cyber Security, January 2017

    Prof. Dr. Michael Backes was featured as the leading German researcher under the age of 40 by the German edition of the Financial Times in 2010. He has been ranked among the 30 most important IT people in Germany since 2010 by the newspaper, Computerwoche. Prof. Dr. Backes has won numerous awards and was the first German researcher to receive the Massachusetts Institute of Technology TR35 award in 2009, naming him one the world's top innovators under the age of 35. He has also been named one of Germany's "Digital Minds" by the German Computer Science Foundation and by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

    Prof. Dr. Backes is the director of CISPA and leads the Information Security and Cryptography group. He is a professor at Saarland University and a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems. Prof. Dr. Backes's research covers various aspects of IT security and privacy. A major current research project of his, imPACT, focuses on privacy, accountability, compliance, and trust for a secure Internet of the Future.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Backes discusses malware, one of today's most common cybercrimes and how large organizations need to better protect themselves. He describes the German data protection law and what still needs to improve in terms of increasing individual privacy and data protection. Prof. Dr. Backes also highlights the main goals of the CISPA-Stanford Center for Cybersecurity.

    Source & Image: Saarland University



  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Margraf, Alexander von Humboldt-Professor of Clinical Psychology

    Issue 80, The Future of Mental Health Care, November 2016

    In 2010 Prof. Dr. Jürgen Margraf was the first psychologist to be awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, a prestigious international award for German academics. The professorship has enabled him to carry out several long-term research projects at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He founded the Mental Health Research and Treatment Center (MHRTC) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum´s Faculty of Psychology, which treats over 2000 children, adolescents and adults annually using evidence-based methods.

    Prof. Dr. Margraf's work on mental health focuses on the interplay between psychological, biological, and social factors, using a combination of etiological, epidemiological and intervention research strategies. He is the author of approximately 400 publications. Prof. Dr. Margraf is a member of Leopoldina - German National Academy of Science and a fellow of the American Psychological Society.

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Margraf discusses some of his current research projects, including an international mental health study and a research program based on anxiety disorders. He compares the current state of depression and anxiety in North America and Germany, and predicts that the role of outpatient psychotherapy will increase in the future. Prof. Dr. Margraf also describes his research plans after his Alexander von Humboldt Professorship ends.

    Source & Image: Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin, Co-Founder of the Foundation for Entrepreneurship

    Issue 79, Entrepreneurship, October 2016

    The aim of Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin's Foundation for Entrepreneurship is to foster a positive environment for the culture of entrepreneurship worldwide. His foundation reaches out to those who have been able to recognize their entrepreneurial potential, and provides information on how to present an innovative and marketable concept. Setting up a business, funding, self-employment, and business plans are some of its other focus areas.

    In 1977 Prof. Dr. Faltin started working as a professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and in 1999 he founded the university's Labor für Entrepreneurship (Laboratory for Innovative Entrepreneurship). In 1985 he founded the Teekampagne (Tea Campaign), a successful example of how academic knowledge can be applied in entrepreneurial practice. He has worked together with experts, such as Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus. Prof. Dr. Faltin is the author of several publications, including his best-selling book, Kopf schlägt Kapital (Brain versus Capital).

    In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin discusses how Germany's startup scene has changed and how it will develop over the next five years. He also shares his most significant accomplishments from the Foundation for Entrepreneurship and provides advice to those thinking about starting their own business, which he refers to as Citizen Entrepreneurship.

    Source & Image: Foundation for Entrepreneurship

  • Interview with the CEO of the Berlin Institute of Health, Prof. Dr. med. Erwin Böttinger

    Issue 78, Translational Medicine, September 2016

    Last year, Erwin Böttinger moved from New York back to Berlin, where he became the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). He assumed this position on November 1, 2015, and was also appointed professor of personalized medicine at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

    After conducting research at numerous prestigious institutions in the U.S., such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Prof. Böttinger accepted a position at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, in 2004, where he was Director of the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine since 2007. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Prof. Böttinger was Director of the Biotechnology Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He lived and worked in the U.S. for almost 30 years, after completing his medical studies at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nuremberg in 1987.

    In this GCRI-Interview, Prof. Böttinger shares how he got involved with translational research and how his experience researching and practicing in the U.S. influences his work in Berlin. He also addresses the biggest challenges in personalized medicine today and how the BIH transforms advances in biomedical research into benefits for patients.

    Source & Image: Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

  • Interview with Ocean Researcher Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck

    Issue 77, The Future of the Ocean, August 2016

    Did you know that the ocean provides 50% of the oxygen we breathe, 90% of long distance transport, and access to 95% of telecommunications? As the world’s hunger for food and goods grows, marine life is being pushed to the brink of ecological collapse. Scientists are discovering how the ocean reveals the state of the planet, which has broadened the climate change discussion from air to water.

    In this GCRI Interview, Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck explains the effects of climate change on the state of the oceans and how science distinguishes between human climate change and natural climate change, also referred to as climate variability. Given that half of the global population is dependent on marine food, his research also explores new ways to use ocean resources in a more just and sustainable manner.

    Prof. Visbeck is the Head of the Research Unit, Physical Oceanography, GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. He has been a Professor at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel since 2004 as well as an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.

  • Interview with Verena Pausder - A Young Global Leader Shaking Up the Berlin Start-Up Scene

    Issue 76, Digital Future, July 2016

    Each year, the World Economic Forum selects the most innovative, enterprising, and socially minded men and women under the age of 40 who are pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them.

    Verena Pausder, CEO and Co-Founder of the leading digital publisher Fox & Sheep, was selected to join this exclusive circle of "Young Global Leaders" for its Class of 2016. Pausder will partake in a five-year leadership journey with an elite community that will help break down barriers, bridge cultures, and use its collective skills to effect change across public, private, and civil sector organizations.

    Pausder is an entrepreneur with a great passion for the online and mobile industries. She believes that parents should teach children how to handle new media responsibly rather than closing themselves off to it. Her Berlin-based company works with authors and illustrators to develop high-quality children's apps that offer fun learning experiences. These apps include "Wake Up with Shrek!" and "Dinotrux," which were developed in collaboration with Dreamworks Animation.

    Pausder currently writes a weekly blog for the German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche and has appeared on numerous occasions in the press, including in Forbes' "From the CEO of Fox & Sheep: Parenting in the Age of Angry Birds." Back in 2006, Pausder was named "CEO of the Future" in a contest initiated by McKinsey.

    In her interview with GCRI, the 37-year-old businesswoman discusses how apps can help children navigate today's digital age. She elaborates on a few current projects at Fox & Sheep and discusses why Germany is a good place for app development. Further, Pausder describes some of the challenges inherent in developing apps for children and how this differs from developing for an older target audience. Lastly, she describes what potential education technology offers for reaching historically disadvantaged user groups.

    Image: Verena Pausder

  • Interview with Berlin's Traffic Planning Expert Burkhard Horn

    Issue 75, Smart Sustainable Cities, June 2016

    Berlin has a complex and efficient traffic system. No major city can function well without one. To optimize the interplay of pedestrian and bicycle traffic, public transportation, and motorized traffic, long-term urban planning is imperative.

    Burkhard Horn, Head of the Transport Division for the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment in Berlin, is focused on improving pedestrian and bicycle traffic and the city's public transportation system, promoting bicycle and car sharing, and further developing electromobility.

    In his interview with GCRI, Horn discusses some of the biggest challenges that cities face with respect to traffic management. He addresses how traffic flow can be improved in cities to promote sustainability. He also shares his thoughts on what developments he foresees in the field of mobility over the next 10-15 years.

    Horn completed his graduate studies in urban planning at the University of Kassel in Germany from 1982 to 1990. Since then, he has served in a variety of capacities as a traffic planner. From 1996 to 2008, he held the position as Head of Transport Planning for the city of Göttingen and from 2008 to 2014, as Head of Transport Policy and Traffic Development Planning at the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment in Berlin.

    In his current role, he is responsible for key issues pertaining to transportation policy and development planning, major transport policy framework planning, including business traffic planning, traffic safety programs, city park planning, and cycling strategies, and the evaluation of major infrastructure projects.

    Source: Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Rammensee - A Global Pioneer in the Field of Personalized Cancer

    Issue 74, Cancer, May 2016

    Precision medicine is an emerging new approach to cancer treatment and prevention, which will redefine patient care in the future. Individualized care based on the specific molecular drivers or other biological characteristics of a patient's tumor represents one of the most promising developments in the field of cancer since the emergence of chemotherapies in the late 1940's.

    Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Rammensee, Director of the Department of Immunology at the Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology at the University of Tübingen, has been studying the immune system and the different ways to fight cancer for nearly 30 years. He has been devoted to developing effective therapies individualized for each cancer patient.

    In 2016, he was awarded the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine and 300,000 euros for his groundbreaking research on the molecular structure of cell surface peptides. Surface peptides play an important role in the recognition of cells by the immune system. The results of Prof. Dr. Rammensee's research are intended to provide the basis for personalized therapies, an especially promising concept considering that cancer-specific peptides are individual to each patient. The immunobiologist's approach to individualized cancer treatments has already yielded novel clinical applications.

    Prof. Dr. Rammensee has worked in the U.S., Switzerland, and Germany, including at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. In his interview with GCRI, he discusses how much progress we have made in the war on cancer. He elaborates on some of his current research projects concerning translational immunology and outlines which aspects of his research he would like to focus on next. Finally, he addresses the advantages of personalized immunotherapy.

    Source & Image:

  • Interview with Nutritional Medicine Expert Prof. Dr. Hans Hauner

    Issue 73, Nutrition, April 2016

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Hans Hauner discusses what constitutes a healthy diet, based on his research, and how his findings could be incorporated into diet and nutrition plans. He shares his opinion on vegan diets and elaborates on what he would like to focus on next in his research. Finally, he outlines the current state of Germany's research landscape with respect to nutritional science.

    Since 2003, Prof. Dr. Hauner has served as Director of the Else Kröner Fresenius Center for Nutritional Medicine in Germany, with locations at the Technical University of Munich's university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar and the TUM Weihenstephan School of Life Sciences. His research expertise explores diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

    Prof. Dr. Hauner studied medicine at the University of Regensburg and TUM. Following his postdoctoral training at the University of Regensburg's Institute of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetics, he completed an internship at the University of Ulm, specializing in endocrinology/diabetology. After that, he became a senior consultant for the clinical department of the German Diabetes Center at Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf. In 2003, he accepted the newly-created Chair of Nutritional Medicine at TUM.

    Prof. Dr. Hauner is a member of the German Academy of Sciences - Leopoldina and has served as spokesman for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's "Adipositas" diabetes competence network. Since 2015, he has also been coordinator and spokesman of the nutrition cluster "enable - healthy food choices in all stages of life," which conducts interdisciplinary research on the interface of nutrition and food science with ICT and sociology.

    Source & Image: Technical University of Munich (TUM)

  • Interview with Big Data Expert Prof. Dr. Katharina Morik

    Issue 72, Big Data, March 2016

    Prof. Dr. Katharina Morik recently spoke at the GCRI's "Big Data - Small Devices" event on the impact and challenges of using distributed computational power and data. In her talk, she discussed resource-aware data science and presented the smartphone as a resource-restricted system, drawing upon studies of thousands of app usages. She also described logistics hardware made by her Collaborative Research Center SFB 876 and explained resource-restricted machine learning.

    Since 2011, she has been leading SFB 876 on resource-aware data analysis, an interdisciplinary center comprising 14 projects, 20 professors, and about 50 Ph.D. students or postdocs. She also serves as Professor of Computer Science and Chair of the Artificial Intelligence Group at TU Dortmund University.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Morik discusses how she defines Big Data and how it will transform society in the future. She addresses the key focus areas of SFB 876 and describes some of her current projects. Lastly, she shares her thoughts on what will be the most significant changes in Big Data over the next decade.

    Prof. Dr. Morik earned her Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Hamburg and her Habilitation in 1988 from the TU Berlin. Starting with natural language processing, her interests transitioned to machine learning, ranging from inductive logic programming to statistical learning and then to the analysis of very large data collections, high-dimensional data, and resource awareness. She is a member of acatech - the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering as well as the author of more than 200 papers in well-acknowledged conferences and journals.

  • Interview with Reinhard Karger on the Future of Artificial Intelligence

    Issue 71, Artificial Intelligence, February 2016

    The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz, DFKI) is the world's largest non-profit contract research institute in the field of innovative software technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) methods. DFKI's research areas range from cyber-physical systems and multilingual technologies to embedded intelligence, augmented vision, and intelligent user interfaces.

    Reinhard Karger, the DFKI's Corporate Spokesperson and President of the German Association for Information and Knowledge (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Information und Wissen e.V., DGI), shared his thoughts with the GCRI on developments in AI. In his interview, Mr. Karger elaborates on what AI is and describes some of DFKI's current projects. He discusses what he foresees as the "next big thing" in AI and whether or not he believes AI poses a risk to jobs. He also addresses what, in his opinion, will be the most significant changes in the field over the next decade.

    Mr. Karger received his master's in theoretical linguistics and later went on to work as a Research Assistant for a linguistics and logic project at IBM Deutschland as well as in the Department of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics at the Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany. Since joining the DFKI, Mr. Karger has held a variety of roles, including Project Manager for the long-term project Verbmobil funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), Head of Corporate Communications, Head of the German Demonstration Center for Speech and Language Technology, and Corporate Spokesperson.

    Image: André Mailänder

  • Interview with Internationally Renowned Aging Researcher Prof. Dr. Konrad Beyreuther

    Issue 70, Memory, January 2016

    As the founding director of Network Aging Research (NAR) at Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Konrad Beyreuther has been extremely active in bringing together humanistic and scientific aging research. The network unites the research activities of the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim as well as numerous other research institutions in the Rhine-Neckar area.

    Until his appointment at NAR, Prof. Dr. Beyreuther was head of a laboratory that conducted research on the genetics, molecular and cellular biology of neurodegenerative disorders. His aim was to unravel the physiological and pathogenic function of key genes and mechanisms that underlie and drive the processes causing dementia. Internationally recognized for his work on Alzheimer's and on the key gene involved in the development of the disease, Prof. Dr. Beyreuther was awarded the honorary title of Senior Professor by the rector of Heidelberg University.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Beyreuther discusses what occurs in the brain of an Alzheimer's patient and how Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed. He addresses the importance of early diagnosis and also shares his thoughts on how far he thinks we are from finding a cure.

    Prof. Dr. Beyreuther received his doctorate in 1968 from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich. He completed research training at Harvard and at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, as well as postdoctoral work at the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne. In 1987 he accepted a professorship at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) at Heidelberg University, which he held until 2007.

    Source & Image: Heidelberg University



  • Interview with Dr. Patrick Graichen - An Energiewende Expert

    Issue 68, Renewable Energy, November 2015

    Dr. Patrick Graichen is the Executive Director of Agora Energiewende, a think-tank focused on dialogue with energy policy stakeholders. His non-profit organization develops scientifically based and politically feasible approaches for ensuring the success of the German Energiewende. As the Energiewende also affects other countries in Europe, his think tank looks beyond Germany's borders in its work.

    In his interview with GCRI, Dr. Graichen discusses what strategies are most effective for mitigating climate change as well as which technology, in his opinion, offers the greatest potential to propel the renewable energy field forward. He shares his thoughts on Germany's nuclear phase-out and how the energy transition will affect our lifestyle in the short and long term. He also addresses what challenges lie ahead for gaining the general public's acceptance of this energy transition.

    Dr. Graichen studied economics and political science, earning a Ph.D. in the field of municipal energy policy at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Environmental Economics at the University of Heidelberg. He previously worked at Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety, first in the area of international climate policy, then as a personal assistant to the Secretary of State in the ministry, and starting in 2007, as Head of the Unit for Energy and Climate Change Policy. During this time, Dr. Graichen was in charge of negotiating the design of the economic instruments of the Kyoto Protocol, the Integrated Energy and Climate Programme of the Federal Government (2007), the EU's Climate and Energy Package (2008), as well as legislative procedures in the area of energy management law.

    Source: © Agora Energiewende

    Image: © Agora Energiewende/Detlef Eden

  • Interview with E-Health Analytics Expert Dr. Philipp Daumke

    Issue 67, E-Health, October 2015

    Dr. Philipp Daumke is the CEO of Averbis GmbH, a specialist provider of text analytics solutions. His company's offerings comprise healthcare analytics, trend monitoring, patent analytics, sentiment analysis, and enterprise information discovery.

    In his interview with GCRI, Dr. Daumke discusses some of the latest trends in e-health as well as the untapped potential that unstructured data offers to healthcare. He elaborates on Averbis's role in developing smart data technologies and text analytics software for the healthcare market. He also addresses what makes his company's data mining capabilities so unique and what some of the main challenges are facing e-health efforts in Germany and the U.S today.

    Dr. Daumke completed his undergraduate studies in information technology at Fernuniversität in Hagen and his M.D. at the University of Freiburg, Germany. During his medical studies, he spent one year abroad for internships in hospitals in Sydney, Brisbane, and Hobart, Australia. In addition to a biomedical and computer science background, Dr. Daumke's other areas of expertise include enterprise search, machine learning, semantic web, data mining, healthcare IT, informatics, and software development.

    His company is involved in a variety of international IT research projects, such as SEMCARE "Semantic Data Platform for Healthcare," which is subsidized by the European Union. The project aims to develop a software platform that facilitates the diagnosis of rare diseases for clinics and aids in the automated selection of appropriate patients for clinical studies.

    Source: Averbis GmbH

  • Interview with Entrepreneurial Finance Expert Prof. Dr. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner

    Issue 66, Social Innovation, September 2015

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner conducts research in the area of entrepreneurial finance with a focus on the financing of innovation, venture capital, private equity, and family businesses. She also focuses on social entrepreneurship - particularly financing for social enterprises. Since 2001, she has held the Chair of Entrepreneurial Finance at the Technische Universität München (TUM).

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Dr. Achleitner discusses her definition of social innovation as well the main challenges facing social innovation efforts and some of the latest trends in social entrepreneurship. She elaborates on how universities can cultivate the next generation of social innovators. She also addresses to what extent different social, economic, cultural, and historical contexts enable or inhibit social innovation.

    Prof. Dr. Dr. Achleitner completed her undergraduate and doctoral studies in both economics and law as well as her Habilitation at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. She has worked in industry and academia, including time as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Frankfurt and as a professor of banking and finance at the European Business School (EBS) in Oestrich-Winkel. Since 2003, she has also served as Scientific Co-Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS) at TUM.

    A recipient of numerous accolades for her accomplishments in scientific research and university teaching, Prof. Dr. Dr. Achleitner was recently awarded the prestigious Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2014 (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse der Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). Back in 2006, she was awarded "Professor of the Year" by Germany's student magazine UNICUM BERUF.

    Source & Image: TUM

  • Interview with German Accelerator Co-Founder and CEO Dirk Kanngiesser

    Issue 65, Entrepreneurship, August 2015

    Dirk Kanngiesser is a technology start-up entrepreneur and investor based in Silicon Valley. He has more than 25 years of start-up, operational, and investing experience in Europe and the U.S., and has been instrumental in founding a number of start-ups.

    He is the co-founder and CEO of the German Accelerator, a German government-sponsored program that supports German start-ups with U.S. market entry via the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York City ecosystems. He also currently serves as CEO of Seebright Inc., an augmented and virtual reality start-up located in Santa Cruz and Palo Alto, California.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. Kanngiesser discusses how Germany's start-up landscape has changed over the past decade and where he sees it heading. He also describes his role in establishing the German Accelerator as well as his vision for its future. In addition, Mr. Kanngiesser touches on some of the challenges that German start-ups face when entering the U.S. market. Lastly, he addresses how universities can foster a culture of entrepreneurship and offers his advice to young entrepreneurs.

    Mr. Kanngiesser is an angel investor and board member of technology companies in both Europe and the U.S. and has been actively involved in many European venture capital investments and I.P.O.'s. He formerly served on the task force of Deutsche Börse for the creation of a new stock market.

    Specializing in global technology company building and corporate spin-offs, Mr. Kanngiesser is also very interested in start-ups around the mobile phone value chain and in the cleantech realm. He holds an electrical engineering degree from the TU Dortmund in Germany and an MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

    Source & Image: German Accelerator

  • Interview with Science Communication Aficionado Prof. Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl

    Issue 64, Nanotechnology, July 2015

    At the G7 Summit last month in the Bavarian castle, Schloss Elmau, Prof. Dr. Heckl dipped a nano-coated tie into a glass of red wine to present the science behind the dirt-repelling "lotus effect." This experiment, in which the tie came out clean, was part of the Deutsches Museum General Director's talk on the exciting applications of nanotechnology. A prolific speaker with a strong interest in the public communication of science, the Munich-based professor was invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to give a lecture on "Nanotechnology as a Key Technology of the 21st Century" as part of the summit's partner program organized by Chancellor Merkel's husband, Prof. Dr. Joachim Sauer.

    With more than 200 scientific publications to his name, Prof. Dr. Heckl frequently writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, ranging from biophysics and biocrystallography to genetics and surface physics. He currently serves as the Oskar-von-Miller Chair in Science Communication at the TUM School of Education and as a Professor in the Physics Department at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where he conducts research on molecular self-organization in nanotechnology. He is a student of the Nobel laureate Dr. Gerd Binnig, who developed the scanning tunneling microscope and thus one of the founders of the nanosciences, and Prof. Dr. Theodor Hänsch, a pioneer in the field of optical physics and atomic physics.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Heckl discusses practical applications of nanotechnology, how they are transforming everyday life, and which recent developments in nanoscience research he finds most interesting. He also elaborates on his current research on the generation, investigation, and manipulation of micro- and nanoscopic structures. Finally, he outlines what, in his opinion, are the biggest questions yet to be solved by nanoscience research.

    Image: © Deutsches Museum

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André on the Future of Smart Homes

    Issue 63, Smart Homes, June 2015

    The Human-Centered Multimedia lab at the University of Augsburg seeks to explore new paradigms for human-technology interaction, covering a wide-range of sensors and interaction devices, including eye-tracking systems, motion-capturing systems, bio-sensors, and touch-sensitive surfaces. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André, whose research ranges from affective computing to interaction techniques for augmented realities, currently serves as the lab's Chair.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. André describes the key characteristics of a "smart home" as well as her predictions for which areas of our lives she foresees them having the greatest impact. She also elaborates on how she expects humanoid robots to transform our living environments and how her research on exploring new frameworks for human-computer interaction could be applied to smart home concepts.

    After receiving her undergraduate and doctoral degrees in computer science from Saarland University, Prof. Dr. André continued on in a variety of research and teaching capacities-as a Scientific Researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and Alcatel-Lucent Foundation Fellow at the International Center for Culture and Technology Research (IZKT) to a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Augsburg. Career highlights abroad include guest researcher stays at SRI International, the University of Southern California, UC Santa Cruz, Université de Paris 8, and the University of Sheffield.

    In 2010, Prof. Dr. André was elected as a member of three societies of scientific scholars: the venerable Leopoldina, Academia Europaea, and AcademiaNet. In 2013, she was recognized for her outstanding work in the field of AI and appointed Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI).

    Image: © University of Augsburg

  • Interview with Dr. Böhning-Gaese, Director of the Senckenberg Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre

    Issue 62, Biodiversity, May 2015

    From research on movement patterns of trumpeter hornbills in South Africa to field projects on seed dispersal in Madagascar, Prof. Dr. Böhning-Gaese conducts exciting biodiversity research around the world. She currently serves as W3 Professor and Executive Director of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) in Frankfurt, Germany.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Böhning-Gaese discusses why biodiversity research and protection are so important as well as provides a few examples of projects and studies that she is currently working on with her team. She also elaborates on the extent that human land use impacts the biodiversity of ecosystems and how ongoing changes will affect the lives of future generations. Finally, she describes how she foresees biodiversity research changing in the years ahead.

    Since 2000, Prof. Dr. Böhning-Gaese has also served as Research Associate of the National Museums of Kenya. Previously, from 2001 to 2010, she was a C3 Professor of Ecology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and from 1999 to 2001, Research Associate in the Department for Zoology and Animal Physiology at RWTH Aachen University. She completed her Habilitation in Zoology at the University of Tübingen in 1999, postdoc at the former Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology (now Max Planck Institute for Ornithology) in 1996, and Ph.D. at the University of Tübingen in 1993.

    Her research interests in macroecology, community ecology, and conservation biology have led her on international research adventures around the globe - from Tanzania and Uganda to England and the U.S. Recognized for excellence in research, Prof. Dr. Böhning-Gaese has received the prestigious Heisenberg award as well as more than three million euros in third-party funding.

    Image: © Senckenberg

  • Interview with Vocational Education and Training Expert Yorck Sievers

    Issue 61, Workforce Development, April 2015

    In his interview with GCRI, Yorck Sievers describes how the vocational education and training (VET) system works in Germany and why it is so successful. He also elaborates on the type of businesses that can benefit the most from this type of training as well as what kind of information and guidance the AHKs and DIHK have to offer American companies interested in implementing Germany's VET system. Finally, he discusses the challenges that businesses face when establishing this style of vocational training abroad.

    Since 2007, Mr. Sievers has served as Director of AHK International Vocational Education and Training Projects for the German Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) in Berlin. The DIHK is an umbrella organization representing 80 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHKs) throughout Germany. These chambers represent the interests of some 3.6 million businesses in various industry, trade, and service sectors. The Worldwide Network of German Chambers of Commerce-or AHKs-are institutions that aim to promote Germany's foreign trade. The DIHK, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, coordinates this global network of chambers with its 130 locations in 90 countries. Over the past 30 years, the demand for German VET has increased significantly and continues to gain momentum.

    Image: © DIHK e.V.

  • Interview with Mechanical Engineering Expert Prof. Dr. Birgit Vogel-Heuser on the Future of Industry

    Issue 60, Industry 4.0, March 2015

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Vogel-Heuser describes her vision for the factory of the future as well as her predictions for what role the Internet of Things will play in this age of integrated industry. She also elaborates on several cutting-edge research projects she is currently working on and discusses how human-machine interaction will change as a result of this fourth industrial revolution. Lastly, she describes what conditions position Germany to become a lead market provider of Industry 4.0 solutions and services in the future.

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Vogel-Heuser's research focuses on the development and system evolution of distributed intelligent embedded systems in mechatronic products and production systems, with the aim of improving product quality, the efficiency and consistency of engineering activities, and operational availability. She currently serves as Chair and Director of the Institute of Automation and Information Systems for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technische Universität München (TUM).

    After receiving her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, Prof. Dr. Vogel-Heuser continued her studies at the RWTH Aachen University where she received her doctorate in robot programming in mechanical engineering. She then acquired industry experience over a 10-year-period, including time as Engineering Director for the Siempelkamp Group. After various professorships (Hagen 1996; Wuppertal 2000; Kassel 2006), Prof. Dr. Vogel-Heuser assumed a professorship at the TUM in the Department of Automation and Information Systems (formerly the Department of Information Technology) in 2009.

    Her research focuses on developing methods, descriptive aids, and tools for integrating the various perspectives of mechatronic systems (mechanical, electrical/electronic, and software) and phases in their life cycles and interactions.

    Image: © Astrid Eckert & Andreas Heddergott / TU München

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Ulf Ziemann, Director of the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research

    Issue 59, Brain Injuries, February 2015

    Prof. Dr. Ulf Ziemann is a leading German expert on clinical neurophysiology, stroke, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, and peripheral neurology. He currently serves as Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Stroke at the University Hospital Tübingen and as Director of the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen. In 2014, he was featured on a list of the best physicians in Germany.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Ziemann describes the main types of strokes as well as which of these are most common. He also elaborates on the short- and long-term effects of a stroke and the impact his research on noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques has had as a novel model for neurorehabilitation. Finally, he discusses which research projects he would like to focus on next.

    Prior to his roles at the University of Tübingen, Prof. Dr. Ziemann served as Associate Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main from 2004 to 2012. Former international career highlights include time abroad as a volunteer at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Neurology in London, U.K. In 1991, Prof. Dr. Ziemann received his medical degree from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

    Prof. Dr. Ziemann is author of 252 peer-reviewed publications, 38 book chapters, and six books. His research expertise concerns the human motor cortex, excitability, plasticity, motor learning, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), non-invasive brain stimulation, brain-state dependent stimulation, closed-loop stimulation, neuropharmacology, TMS-EEG, and neuroimaging.

    Image: © Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research

  • Interview with Artificial Intelligence Expert Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard

    Issue 58, Artificial Intelligence, January 2015

    Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard, Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Research Lab for Autonomous Intelligent Systems at the University of Freiburg, is well-respected for his research on artificial intelligence and mobile robots. Over the past years, his group has developed a series of innovative probabilistic techniques for robot navigation and control, covering a variety of areas, such as localization, map-building, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), path-planning, and exploration.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Burgard describes how Artificial Intelligence is currently transforming society and will continue to influence human behavior in the future. He also explains when and how he became involved with AI and a few interesting projects that his group is currently working on. Lastly, he discusses the areas of AI in which Germany is a global leader.

    In 2008, his group developed an approach that allowed a car to autonomously navigate through a complex parking garage and park itself. In 2012, his group created the robot Obelix that autonomously navigated like a pedestrian from the campus of the Faculty of Engineering to the city center of Freiburg. Since 2012, Prof. Dr. Burgard has served as Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools, which aims to develop adaptive, robust applications of brain-machine interface systems.

    Prof. Dr. Burgard is a Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI), the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is also a recipient of the 2009 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the most prestigious German research award.

    Image: © Emil Bezold



  • Interview with Univ.-Prof. Dr. Weissenberger-Eibl - An Expert on Conditions Conducive to Innovation

    Issue 56, Smart Cities, November 2014

    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marion Weissenberger-Eibl is Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI and Chair of Innovation and Technology Management at the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management, and Innovation (EnTechnon) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). She is well-regarded in Germany for her work focusing on strategic technology planning, knowledge management, and creating the conditions for sustainable innovation.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Weissenberger-Eibl describes the key characteristics of a "Smart City" as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing German cities transitioning to a sustainable, intelligent city model. In addition, she shares her vision for the city of the future and describes which innovative technologies she thinks will have the greatest impact on urban life over the next decade and why.

    Prof. Dr. Weissenberger-Eibl is a member of the supervisory boards of HeidelbergCement AG and MTU Aero Engines AG, where she helps strengthen links between industry, science, and research. She also serves as a member of the advisory board for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research's "Federal Report on the Promotion of Young Scientists" (BuWiN) and for the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). In 2014, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, appointed her as a member of the German-Chinese Dialogue Forum.

    Author of numerous publications and editor of the series "Cooperation between Science and Industry," Prof. Dr. Weissenberger-Eibl advises key decision-makers in business, science, and politics, such as in her role as Head of the working group "Innovation Culture" for "The Experts Dialogue on Germany's Future." She was recently named one of the "most influential women engineers in Germany."

    Image: © Klaus Mellenthin

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke - One of Germany's "Digital Minds" of the 2014 Science Year

    Issue 55, Digital Society, October 2014

    Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke, Director of the Institute Cluster IMA/ZLW & IfU at RWTH Aachen University, is one of Germany's leading experts on complex IT systems, robotics and automation, traffic and mobility, and virtual worlds. Earlier this year, on behalf of Germany's 2014 Science Year theme "The Digital Society," Prof. Dr. Jeschke was honored as one of 39 remarkable individuals demonstrating digital excellence with inspiring projects and innovative visions for Germany's digital revolution. Prof. Dr. Jeschke was recognized for her innovative automation solutions and cooperative robot systems that interact flexibly with their environment by using complex cognition, utilizing several unique concepts of distributed artificial intelligence.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Jeschke explains how technology megatrends, such as the Internet of Things, will transform society. She also discusses what types of intelligent robots currently exist and how cooperative and heterogeneous robots will influence human behavior in the future. Lastly, she addresses how distributed artificial intelligence will affect our understanding of life and intelligence and which research projects she plans to focus on next.

    Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke received her Ph.D. and postdoc from the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) in 2006. Career highlights include completing an astrophysics student research project at NASA's Ames Research Center in 1994 and serving as an instructor in mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2000 to 2001. After a period working as an associate professor at the TU Berlin, Prof. Dr. Jeschke became a full-time professor at the University of Stuttgart from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, she joined RWTH Aachen University, where she directs the Institute Cluster IMA/ZLW & IfU. Since 2011, she has also served as Vice Dean of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University.

    Image: © Winandy, RWTH Aachen

  • Interview with Prof. Angela Friederici - Germany's Leading Expert in the Neurobiology of Language

    Issue 54, Language and the Brain, September 2014

    Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici, Director of the Department of Neuropsychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, is an internationally acclaimed expert in linguistics and neuropsychology. A highly esteemed cognitive scientist, Prof. Dr. Friederici has received numerous scientific accolades, including the 1997 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the 2010 Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and the 2010-2011 Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Friederici discusses the human brain's unique capacity for language and how language acquisition is measured in infants before they are able to speak. She also explains why it is easier for young children than adults to learn foreign languages and how the brain benefits from multilingualism.

    Prof. Dr. Friederici received her Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1976 from the University of Bonn and her Habilitation in Psychology in 1986 from Justus Liebig University Giessen. Career highlights include a Postdoc in Psychology at MIT from 1978 to 1979, a Research Associate position at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands from 1980 to 1989, and a professorship in Cognitive Science at the Freie Universität Berlin from 1989 to 1994. In 1994, she founded the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (formerly the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience), where she has served as director ever since. Prof. Dr. Friederici is an honorary professor at the Universities of Leipzig (Psychology), Potsdam (Linguistics), and Berlin (Medicine).

    Image: © Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Sciences

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Andreas Bertram, President of Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences

    Issue 53, Higher Education, August 2014

    Founded in 1971, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences (OS UAS) is practice-oriented in both its teaching and research approaches. The university currently educates over 12,500 students at campuses located in Osnabrück and Lingen, Germany, as well via cooperative programs at partner universities in Shanghai and Hefei, China.

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Bertram has served as President of this German University of Applied Sciences since 2010. Prior to this role, he held various positions at the institution, which include: Vice President for Academic and Student Services and Dean of Studies for the Department of Agricultural Studies and Landscape Architecture. From 1991 to 1999, he worked at the Technische Universität München (TUM), first as a research assistant and then as an academic assistant at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering. Prof. Dr. Bertram holds a Ph.D. in horticultural science.

    This past May, he was elected Vice President of Information and Communication Technology for the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and a member of its Executive Board. The HRK - the political and public voice of German universities - is a voluntary association of state and state-recognized universities with 258 member institutions that currently serve more than 94 percent of all students in Germany.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Bertram describes how the higher education landscape in Germany has changed over the past decade and where he predicts it is heading. He also explains how a German University of Applied Sciences differs from a typical German university and whether its model could be adopted in the U.S. Lastly, he shares the ways in which Osnabrück UAS is working to foster a culture of innovation.

    On September 3, Prof. Dr. Bertram will speak at the GCRI on the future of higher education.

    Image: © Oliver Pracht

  • Interview with Christian Stammel - Founder and CEO of Wearable Technologies AG

    Issue 52, Wearable Technology, July 2014

    Christian Stammel is a visionary entrepreneur with broad technology know-how. As Founder and CEO of Wearable Technologies AG, the leading B2B platform for technologies worn close to, on, or even in the body, Christian Stammel is a pioneer in new technology fields, bringing to the table more than 20 years of experience in business development, sales and retail, and tech marketing.

    In his interview with GCRI, Christian Stammel describes when and how he got involved with wearable technology as well as what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the field. He also shares how Germany compares to other countries in the industry and how WT will affect our everyday lives over the next decade.

    By the mid 1990's, Christian Stammel had already founded his first successful ICT company with customers such as GE, Sun Microsystems, and Deutsche Telekom. From 2003 to 2009, he supported the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in business development, helping more than 100 companies successfully enter the satellite navigation industry. At the same time, he also founded Navispace AG, serving customers like Ericsson, Intel, Texas Instruments, Bluetooth, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Vodafone, the European Space Agency, and Cisco.

    In 2011, Christian Stammel founded Wearable Technologies (WT) AG, a leading innovation and market development platform, which has already served as a business accelerator for more than 300 renowned companies. WT is at the heart of the wearables ecosystem and is organizer of the largest global WTconferences and WTshows.

    Source & Image: © Wearable Technologies

  • Interview with Volkswagen’s Peter Bosch – Heading Towards Sustainable Auto Manufacturing

    Issue 51, Green Manufacturing, June 2014

    Germany-based Volkswagen Group is working to become the world's greenest carmaker and a global leader in e-mobility. Peter Bosch, Head of Strategy, Processes, and Structures for the Production and Logistics Division at the Group's main brand, Volkswagen, is leading the way with company-wide sustainability measures to achieve this goal.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. Bosch describes Volkswagen's "Think Blue. Factory." initiative as well as the newest inventions and current projects underway at the VW assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In addition to sharing what makes the plant so unique, he also discusses the impact the new factory has had on the city and its surrounding area since its launch in 2011.

    Peter Bosch's strategic management approach is based on creating holistic, sustainable business designs. In addition to spearheading the "Think Blue. Factory." campaign at Volkswagen, Mr. Bosch has also been responsible for the "Mach 18. Factory." global strategy for increasing efficiency in production and logistics.

    Mr. Bosch holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Technische Universität München (TUM) and a Diploma in Business Administration from the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU).

    Image: © Volkswagen AG

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost - Germany's Digital Champion for the European Commission

    Issue 50, STEM, May 2014

    Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost, Head of the Design Research Lab at the Berlin University of the Arts, is a well-respected expert on wearable computing, embodied interaction design, and gender and diversity in technology development.

    In her interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Joost describes her lab's interdisciplinary research areas as well as the differing needs and desires of men and women with regards to ICT. In addition to sharing her vision for the future of human-machine interaction, she also offers suggestions on how to promote digital change within Germany.

    Prof. Dr. Joost is Chairwoman of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF) and a board member of the Technologiestiftung Berlin. Until 2010, she was Junior Professor for Interaction Design and Media at the Technische Universität Berlin in cooperation with Telekom Innovation Laboratories. She also previously taught Gender and Design at the HAWK Hildesheim University of Applied Sciences and Arts as a visiting professor. In 2008, Prof. Dr. Joost received the Science Award of the Governing Mayor of Berlin for Young Researchers.

    In 2014, Prof. Dr. Joost was appointed Germany's Digital Champion for the European Commission. As an ambassador for the EU's Digital Agenda, she will harness her creativity and expertise to lead innovative projects in ICT education, digital inclusion and access, and e-government. These efforts will help pave the way to a free and innovative Internet infrastructure, which is integral to Europe's economic growth, social participation, and knowledge sharing.

    Image: © UdK Berlin, Design Research Lab

  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann - Germany's E-Entrepreneurship Expert

    Issue 49, Entrepreneurship, April 2014

    Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann, Chair of E-Business and E-Entrepreneurship at the University of Duisburg-Essen, is a well-respected researcher and consultant in Germany on e-commerce and the Internet start-up scene.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Kollmann discusses the future of e-entrepreneurship, the possibilities and limitations of today's digital economy, and the most common types of mistakes that start-ups make in e-business and online marketing. He also shares his strategies for angel investing.

    As co-founder of AutoScout24, a popular electronic marketplace for new and used cars, Prof. Dr. Kollmann was a pioneer in the European Internet start-up scene. He has contributed many articles on e-entrepreneurship, e-business, and new media marketing to national and international journals as well as to various anthologies. He is author of several books in these fields and also writes a regular column on entrepreneurship in Over the past ten years as an angel investor, Prof. Dr. Kollmann has financed numerous start-ups in the new economy. In 2012, the Business Angels Network Deutschland e.V. voted him "Business Angel of the Year."

    In 2013, Dr. Philipp Rösler appointed him as a core member and Chairman of the newly created Advisory Board of the "Young Digital Economy" for Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). In 2014, he was also appointed Commissioner of North Rhine-Westphalia's Digital Economy. Prof. Dr. Kollmann is Managing Director of netSTART Venture GmbH in Cologne, a program offering advice, support, development, programming, and research for companies and start-ups aiming to become active in today's new economy.

  • Interview with Arne Schönbohm, President of the Cyber Security Council Germany

    Issue 48, Cyber Security, March 2014

    Arne Schönbohm, President of the Cyber Security Council Germany e.V., is a well-regarded security expert and consultant to key industry players and various political decision makers at the state and federal level.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. Schönbohm describes the main tasks and goals of his Council, as well as the greatest dangers facing individuals today with regards to cyber security. He outlines the most common types of cybercrimes and how these have changed over the history of the Internet. He also discusses the kinds of Internet protection the average household user should have, as well as the delicate balance between freedom and security that society must seek to achieve.

    Mr. Schönbohm began his career by studying International Management in Dortmund, London, and Taipei. From 1995 to 2008, he worked in a variety of capacities at EADS, the European Aeronautics Defense and Space group, most recently serving as Vice President of Commercial and Defense Solutions. Since December 2008, he has been CEO of BSS BuCET Shared Services AG, a Berlin-based management consulting firm that focuses on strategy, sales, and business development in the security sector for leaders of critical infrastructures.

    An advisor to the public and private sector, Mr. Schönbohm has made frequent appearances in the German media, including Zeit Online, SAT.1, Deutsche Welle, Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche, Welt Online, ARD, and ZDF. Mr. Schönbohm is also a member of the Cyber Security Coordination Group and author of diverse publications, including his recent book, "Germany's Security - Cyber Crime and Cyber War."

    Image: © Christoph Vohler

  • Researching Alternative Energy Solutions: Interview with Prof. Dr. Schüth

    Issue 47, Energy, February 2014

    Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth, Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, is a highly esteemed German chemist. He has served as Vice President of the German Research Foundation since 2007 and is also a recipient of the organization’s Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most prestigious science award.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Schüth describes his research on hydrogen storage materials and catalysts for alternative fuels as well as the general sentiment of the German public with respect to the “Energiewende” debate. He also discusses his predictions about changes in Germany’s energy infrastructure over the next decade.

    Prof. Dr. Schüth studied Chemistry and Law at the University of Münster, where he received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1988. He was a Postdoc at the University of Minneapolis in the Chemical Engineering Department in 1988/89 and completed his Habilitation in Inorganic Chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 1995. From 1995 to 1998, he served as Full Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Since 1998, he has been Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, and since 1999, also Honorary Professor at the Ruhr University Bochum.

    His most recent awards include the 2013 Chemical Engineering Medal from the ETH Zürich, the 2012 Wilhelm Klemm Prize from the German Chemical Society, and the 2010 Werner Heisenberg Medal from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

    On March 31, Prof. Dr. Schüth will speak at the GCRI about Germany’s energy transition.

  • Interview: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andreas Kruse – Germany’s Aging Expert

    Issue 46, Aging, January 2014

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse, Chair and Director of the Institute of Gerontology at Heidelberg University, is one of Germany’s leading aging experts. A highly esteemed social and behavioral scientist, Prof. Dr. Kruse has served as member of the German government’s Expert Commission for the German National Report on the Situation of Older People since 1989.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Dr. Kruse discusses transcultural comparisons of concepts of aging and the risk of depression across the lifespan. He also describes how today’s retired population differs from that of past generations and how Germany compares to other countries with respect to dementia care.

    Prof. Dr. Kruse received his Doctorate and Habilitation in Psychology from the University of Bonn and Heidelberg University, respectively. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Professor and Chair in Developmental Psychology as well as Founding Director of the Institute of Psychology at the University of Greifswald. Since 2006, he has been a board member of Heidelberg University’s interdisciplinary Network Aging Research. More recently, from 2007 to 2011, he acted as the university’s Dean of the Faculty for Behavioral and Cultural Studies.

    A prolific author and frequent award recipient, Prof. Dr. Kruse has received numerous accolades, including the First International Presidential Award of the International Association of Gerontology as well as the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.



  • Interview: Designing the City of the Future - Mr. Alanus von Radecki

    Issue 44, Smart Cities, November 2013

    Mr. Alanus von Radecki, project manager at Fraunhofer IAO, oversees the coordination and management of the Stuttgart-based innovation network "Morgenstadt - City Insights." His Fraunhofer research institute is one of several, which form a global alliance with businesses and cities to push sustainable urban development through systems innovation.

    Mr. von Radecki studied at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in Breisgau, where he received his Masters of Science in Environmental Governance and his Masters in Sociology in 2011 and 2006 respectively. Before his role as project manager at Fraunhofer IAO, he worked as a researcher at the Institute. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. von Radecki was a knowledge development manager at Lexware, a computer software company.

    In his interview with GCRI, Mr. von Radecki describes the main characteristics of a "Smart City" and the primary research sectors of the "Morgenstadt - City Insights" initiative. He also discusses the areas in which smart cities will have the greatest impact, how Germany compares to other countries with respect to urban development, and what his vision for the city of the future looks like.

  • Interview: Prof. Dr. Niels Birbaumer - Germany's BCI Research Pioneer

    Issue 43, Brain-Computer Interface, October 2013

    Prof. Dr. Niels Birbaumer, Senior Professor and Director at the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology at the University of Tübingen, is one of Germany's leading experts on brain-computer interface (BCI) technology.

    In his interview with GCRI, he describes how his research has greatly benefited patients with brain injuries, as well as psychiatric and neurological disorders. "Our research has improved the quality of life for individuals suffering from severe chronic strokes and has enabled communication for completely paralyzed and locked-in patients," he said, further noting BCI success stories for patients with intractable epilepsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More generally, this Leibniz Prize recipient also addresses the ethical decisions society faces when using brain-based communication devices.

    Prof. Dr. Birbaumer studied psychology, statistics, and art history in 1963 at the University of Vienna. He then completed his Ph.D. from 1966 to 1969 on electroencephalography on the blind. Since 1975, he has been professor at the University of Tübingen, moving in 1993 from the Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty to the Medical faculty, where he currently leads the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, in addition to the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Center.

    He spoke at the GCRI on "Moving the World by Thought: Dimensions and Perspectives of Brain-Computer Interfaces" on November 7, 2013.

  • Go MINT! Interview with Executive Director Dr. Ulrike Struwe

    Issue 42, STEM Education, September 2013

    Germany has a reputation globally as a center for research, but the country's shortage of qualified employees in MINT subjects remains a challenge. Go MINT!, the National Pact for Women in MINT Careers, a project of the Competence Center for Technology, Diversity and Equal Chances in Bielefeld, Germany, aims to counter this shortage by sparking young women's interest in scientific and technical subjects and encouraging them to pursue a career in one of the MINT fields.

    In her interview with GCRI, Go MINT!'s Executive Director, Dr. Ulrike Struwe, describes the current situation and future challenges of women studying and working in MINT fields in Germany. "Go MINT! was very active in attracting more young women to scientific and technical majors," she said, "[but] attracting young women to study MINT subjects is only the beginning."

    Besides her work for Go MINT!, Dr. Struwe has also been a managing board member of the Competence Center for Technology, Diversity and Equal Chances. She studied sociology at the University of Bielefeld, where she received her Ph.D. for research on the vocational orientation of young people with technical interests.

  • Interview: Prof. Dr. Rita Schmutzler

    Issue 41, Breast Cancer, August 2013

    Prof. Dr. Rita Schmutzler, member of the German national guideline committee on breast cancer, is one of the leading researchers in Germany in the field of breast and ovarian cancer.

    Since 1997, Prof. Dr. Schmutzler has served as Head of the Centre for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer at the University Hospital of Cologne. Since 2005, she has also acted as speaker for the 15 centers that constitute the German Consortium of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Her research focuses on the genetic causes of breast cancer, namely the identification of new predisposing genes and risk alleles, and genotype-/phenotype correlations.

    She received her doctorate and habilitation from the University of Bonn. Since 2003, she has held a full professorship in the Molecular Gyneco-Oncology division at the University of Cologne. An award-winning researcher, Prof. Dr. Schmutzler also serves as a member on various expert committees, including the Deutsche Krebshilfe and the ethics committee at the Bundesärztekammer.

  • Interview: Dr. Hans J. Langer, Founder and CEO of EOS

    Issue 40, 3D Printing, July 2013

    Some people regard 3D printing as an industrial revolution. Dr. Hans Langer prefers to call it an evolution of design and manufacturing.

    Dr. Langer founded EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, a world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, and systems for rapid prototyping, e-manufacturing and serial production through additive manufacturing, in 1989. Today, he is one of the longest-standing executives in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry. He is the company's major shareholder and steers the strategic direction of the EOS group as Chief Executive Officer. Before founding EOS, Dr. Langer served as Managing Director Europe at General Scanning, Inc. On a scientific level, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he received his Ph.D. with a thesis on laser technology.

    In this GCRI interview, Dr. Langer discusses the areas 3D printing will impact the most and related challenges, especially with regards to the manufacturing process.

  • Entrepreneurs Change and Shape the World: Interview with Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.

    Issue 39, Entrepreneurship, June 2013

    Dietmar Harhoff, chairman of Germany’s Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI), which advises the government on its innovation policies, is one of the 50 most influential people in the field of Intellectual Property, according to the Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

    In his interview with GCRI, Prof. Harhoff discusses the best ways to create and maintain a culture of entrepreneurship at universities, the challenges academics face when trying to commercialize research, and the framework conditions that benefit start-ups.

    Prof. Harhoff, who also serves as chairman of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator, is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law where he heads the Munich Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research (MCIER). From 1998 to February of 2013, he was Director of the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec) at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, where he continues to hold a professorship.

    He received graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Public Administration (Harvard University) and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A sought after expert, he is also a member of the Economic Advisory Group of the European Commission and the Chairman of The EPO´s Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB). Prof. Harhoff’s research focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, industrial economics and economic policy.

    He spoke at GCRI’s “From University Innovation to Marketplace” event on June 25, 2013.

  • The Neuroscience of Gender: Interview with Prof. Dr. Ute Habel

    Issue 38, The Neuroscience of Gender, May 2013

    In this GCRI interview, Ute Habel explains the extent to which gender influences the neurobiology of emotions and how female and male brains age differently. She also discusses why depression and anxiety are more prevalent in women than in men and which psychotherapeutic inventions she would like to investigate further.

    Ute Habel is a leading psychologist and charted psychotherapist at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics at the University Hospital Aachen. Since 2009, she has held a full professorship for neuropsychological gender studies at the RWTH Aachen University and is currently the RWTH Rector’s Delegate for North America. Since 2013, she has also been a member of the university’s strategy board. She studied psychology in Trier and Tübingen, Germany, and received her Ph.D. in Tübingen in 1998. In 2005, she completed her habilitation (postdoctoral lecture qualification) in Vienna, Austria. She has been at RWTH since 2007, serving as the scientific coordinator of the International Research Training Group “Brain-behavior relationship of emotions and social cognition in schizophrenia and autism” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Her research focuses on neurobiological correlates of emotion and cognition, as well as gender differences in healthy individuals and psychiatric patients. She also investigates effects of psychotherapeutic interventions and hormonal influences on behavior and cerebral activation.

    Ute Habel spoke at "The Neuroscience of Gender" event at the GCRI on June 17, 2013.

  • Heading for Trouble? Interview with Dr. med. Inga Katharina Koerte

    Issue 37, Sports-Related Head Injuries and Memory, April 2013

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world with more than 250 million active players. It is also the only game in which players' unprotected heads come in contact regularly with the ball. A Munich University Hospital and Harvard Medical School study compared the brains of professional soccer players and swimmers to investigate white matter brain alterations, particularly in areas involved in attention and memory.

    Dr. Inga Katharina Koerte, the first author of this study, is one of the researchers who detected clear signs of brain tissue alterations in professional soccer players who had not suffered from concussions before. "The changes we saw resemble those observed in patients suffering from concussions, except that they are less pronounced," she said. In this GCRI Interview, Dr. Koerte discusses these results and the effect of sports-related injuries on memory.

    Dr. Koerte is a radiology resident and senior research fellow at the University Hospital Munich of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. She is also a visiting lecturer at Harvard Medical School, where she completed a fellowship at the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

    Dr. Koerte spoke on sports-related head injuries and their effects on the brain at the GCRI on June 3, 2013.

  • Benefits and Challenges of Big Data

    Prof. Dieter Kempf
    President, Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM e.V.)
    Issue 36, Big Data, March 2013

    In this GCRI interview, Prof. Kempf discusses benefits and challenges of Big Data accumulation and technologies in Germany, especially with regard to legal frameworks and privacy issues.

    Since July 1996, Prof. Kempf has served as Chairman of the Executive Board of DATEV eG, a software company and IT service provider for tax consultants, auditors and lawyers. He began his career as a DATEV board member in 1991 where he was in charge of the divisions of product and software development. Prior to working with DATEV, Prof. Kempf was an auditing assistant with a specialization as electronic data-processing (EDP) auditor for Arthur Young GmbH auditing firm (later Ernst & Young GmbH), and completed internships in France and the U.S. In 1984 he became authorized signatory and leader of the EDP-Auditing and EDP-Consulting Group at Arthur Young. Subsequently, Prof. Kempf served as Partner (shareholder-managing director) from 1989 until 1991.

    Prof. Kempf became Associate Professor for Business Administration at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2005. He was born in Munich and holds a diploma in Business Administration from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

  • Logistics & Efficiency: Interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen
    Director, Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML), Chairman, Fraunhofer Transport Alliance & Managing Director, Institute of Transport and Logistics, TU Dortmund University
    Issue 35, Logistics - Securing Supply Efficiently and Sustainably, February 2013

    In this GCRI interview, one of the speakers of the March 14, 2013, “Global Logistics: Challenges and Solutions” event, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen discusses developments and challenges that have shaped Germany’s position as a leading logistics hub.

    Prof. Clausen has been Managing Director of the Institute of Transport Logistics at TU Dortmund University as well as Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML) in Dortmund since 2001. He has been Chairman of the Fraunhofer Traffic and Transportation Alliance since 2003. From July 2002 to July 2005, Prof. Clausen served as Dean of the Engineering Faculty at TU Dortmund University. His research focuses on commercial traffic modeling, intermodal transportation, mathematical optimization, network optimization and distribution systems, and green logistics. He also served as European Operations Director at and Logistics Manager at Deutsche Post DHL. From 2004 to 2012, he was a member of the German Research Foundation (DFG) review panel “Traffic and transportation systems, logistics, quality management.” In 2012, he became a member of the Board of the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes.

  • Learning is a Lifelong Process: Interview with Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D.

    Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D.
    President, Social Science Research Center Berlin (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB); Professor of Educational Sociology and Labor Market Research, Humboldt University, Berlin
    Issue 34, Aging Society and Lifelong Learning, January 2013

    Lifelong learning is a term Jutta Allmendinger prefers to avoid. We learn every day by following the news, surfing the Internet, and talking with friends, she said in her interview with GCRI. In the context of demographic change and labor market developments, Prof. Allmendinger is specifically interested in job-relevant learning categories, from formal education early in life to new career training later in life. In this interview, she also discusses Germany’s dual system of vocational training, knowledge transfer between elderly skilled workers and young employees, and key factors that contribute to a qualified and productive workforce.



  • Accelerating German-American Business: Interview with Oliver Hanisch

    Issue 32, Entrepreneurship, November 2012

    Oliver Hanisch is a German entrepreneur, business developer, and consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also Vice President of Business Development & Operations of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator (GSVA), an initiative that provides three months of intensive support and mentoring programs for selected German ICT start-ups in Silicon Valley. In this GCRI interview, Oliver discusses GSVA's approach to enhancing German-American business relationships, entrepreneurial cultures in Germany and the U.S., key ingredients for a successful start-up, and the impact of university-industry collaboration on entrepreneurship.

    Oliver has founded several companies and launched numerous initiatives and projects, such as the Founder Institute Berlin, a training and mentorship program for entrepreneurs. He was co-founder and CMO at SnipClip, a social applications and games company, and Director of Business Development at Red Herring, a Silicon Valley-based publisher providing products and services for the start-up and venture capital community.

    When he isn't advising organizations and governments on entrepreneurial programs and incubation models, Oliver likes to scout for the latest innovations and emerging trends in ICT.

  • E-Health Developments and Solutions: Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renz

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renz
    Corporate Vice President, Business Model & Healthcare Innovation, Boehringer Ingelheim
    Issue 31, E-Health, October 2012

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Renz is Corporate Vice President of Business Model & HealthCare Innovation at Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

    In this GCRI interview, he discusses opportunities and challenges in e-health in Germany and the U.S. Renz, who also spoke at the October 17, 2012, GCRI panel on health information technology, also addresses e-health lead markets, data privacy, and how telehealth solutions help reduce costs and increase patient care.

    For over a decade Wolfgang Renz has been involved in developing medicines and technology to help people lead healthier, more productive lives. At Boehringer Ingelheim, he leads a team of specialists to find, test and develop the disruptive technologies that will shape the way health care will be delivered in the future. In addition, he also serves as Adjunct Professor of Surgery at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine.

  • Opportunities and Challenges in the German Medical Technology Field: Interview with Dr. Ute Brauer

    Dr. Ute Brauer
    Senior Vice President Medical Scientific Affairs, B. Braun Melsungen AG
    Issue 30, Medical Technologies, September 2012

    Medical advances, demographic changes, competitive pressures, and heavily regulated markets are transforming the medical technology innovation system in Germany. On October 20, 2011, German State Secretaries Dr. Georg Schütte (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF), Thomas Ilka (Federal Ministry of Health) and Ernst Burgbacher (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) appointed high-ranking policy makers, representatives of industry, science, and health care to the Steering Committee of the national strategy process “Innovations in Medical Technology.” With the goal to accelerate the innovation process and enhance patient care, the Committee convenes more than 100 experts in five working groups to develop recommendations for future medical technology innovation policy.

    Dr. Ute Brauer is one of the Steering Committee members. As the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President Medical Scientific Affairs at B. Braun Melsungen AG, Dr. Brauer brings vast experience in the medical technology field, both from a physician’s as well as from an industry perspective. In this GCRI interview, she talks about the opportunities and challenges in Germany’s medical technology field, the changes in its innovation system, and which developments will create lead markets.

  • Science for the Benefit of Humankind: Interview with Prof. Dr. Karl Ulrich Mayer

    Prof. Dr. Karl Ulrich Mayer
    President of the Leibniz Association
    Issue 29, GCRI Fall 2012 Preview, August 2012

    The Leibniz Association is a network of 86 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and scientific facilities with an annual budget of approximately 1.4 billion euros. The areas covered by Leibniz Institutes range from regional research and economics to the social and natural sciences, life sciences, engineering, environmental research, and the humanities. Leibniz Institutes have made significant contributions to Germany's clusters of excellence in a number of fields, including mathematics, optical technologies, materials research, medicine, environmental research, bio- and nanotechnology. In addition, the Leibniz Association also comprises eight research museums in natural and cultural history, for example the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany, as well as numerous infrastructure facilities, such as specialist libraries, collections and databases.

    Prof. Dr. Karl Ulrich Mayer has been the President of the Leibniz Association since 2010. In this month's GCRI interview, he introduces the Leibniz Association's networks, explains how Leibniz Institutes differ from other research institutions in Germany, and encourages excellent post-docs to apply for a Leibniz-DAAD research fellowship. Prof. Mayer is Stanley B. Resor Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Yale and Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. His major research areas focus on social stratification and mobility, life course and aging, education and labor markets.

  • Investigating the Brain with Music: Prof. Stefan Koelsch

    Prof. Dr. Stefan Koelsch
    Professor for Biological Psychology and Music Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin
    Issue 28, Music and the Brain, July 2012

    Playing and listening to music engages a large array of psychological processes, including perception, attention, learning and memory, social cognition, and processing of syntax and meaning. "This richness makes music the ideal tool to investigate human psychology and the workings of the human brain," says Prof. Stefan Koelsch, whose book, Brain and Music, was published in May 2012. In this GCRI interview, Prof. Koelsch explains why he considers music psychology a fundamental discipline for understanding the brain, why people have different reactions to the same piece of music, and how adults and children process music differently.

    Born in 1968 in Texas, Prof. Koelsch studied violin, piano, and composition at the Bremen University of Music and Arts, as well as psychology and sociology at the University of Leipzig. After receiving his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Neurology/Neuroimaging at Harvard Medical School. From 2003 to 2008, Prof. Koelsch returned to the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences to lead the "Neurocognition of Music" independent junior research group. In addition to this area, his main research interests include music and emotion, music therapy, and similarities and differences of music and language processing. He is Professor of Biological Psychology and Music Psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin.

  • Stress: A Brain-Body Connection - Prof. Dirk Hellhammer

    Prof. Dr. Dirk Hellhammer
    Head, Division of Theoretical and Clinical Psychobiology; Founder and Chair, Center for Psychobiological and Psychosomatic Research
    Issue 27, Stress and the Brain, June 2012

    In 2008, Prof. Dirk Hellhammer published Stress: The Brain-Body Connection, a book that provides clinicians, researchers, and students from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurobiology and psychoendocrinology with an overview of how knowledge from basic psychobiological research can benefit their patients.

    In his book, Prof. Hellhammer introduces Neuropattern, the first translational diagnostic tool for the assessment of stress-related disorders. In this GCRI interview, Prof. Hellhammer addresses the physiological systems most strongly affected by stress, why people react to stress differently, and how Neuropattern can detect and test stress pathology.

    Dirk Hellhammer studied psychology and biochemistry at the Universities of Würzburg and Frankfurt, and has been Professor of Clinical and Physiological Psychology at the University of Trier since 1986. His initial animal research focused on glia-neuron interactions, the septo-hippocampal system, and brain mechanisms participating in stress-related bodily disorders, while his clinical research dealt with peptic ulcer, anorexia nervosa, and ulcerative colitis. His group introduced the assessment of hormones in saliva and the Trier Social Stress Test as new tools in stress research. Other main research areas include prenatal programming of stress vulnerability and hypocortisolemic disorders, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disease, or burnout.

    A recipient of numerous public and scientific awards, such as the German Psychology Award, Prof. Hellhammer received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology in September 2012 in New York.

  • Biofuel & Aviation: Joachim Buse, Vice President, Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa

    Joachim Buse
    Vice President Aviation Biofuel, Lufthansa
    Issue 26, Sustainable Mobility, May 2012

    In 2011, Lufthansa took the first steps to prove that biosynthetic fuel can be a viable option for operating commercial flights. After a six-month trial conducted on 1,187 Airbus A321 flights on Lufthansa's Hamburg-Frankfurt route, the German airline reduced CO2 emissions by 1,471 tons by using a 50% biofuel mix in one engine, while the other engine burned conventional kerosene. The burnFAIR research project culminated in a transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Washington DC in January 2012.

    In this GCRI-Interview, Joachim Buse, who has been the head of Lufthansa's Corporate Aviation Biofuel Project since December 2009, discusses which biofuels have proven the most efficient in aviation and whether biofuel-powered flights will become the standard in the near future.

    Mr. Buse started with Lufthansa in 1986 as a Purchasing Manager for Cabin Interior Materials, then became Manager Aircraft Acquisition for Airbus Aircraft and later Head of Lufthansa's Fuel Contract Department within Lufthansa's Corporate Fuel Management. In 1996, he moved to AFS Aviation Fuel Services GmbH and became Managing Director of AFS with 13 Intoplane companies and fuel depots at German airports. He returned to Lufthansa in 2005 and became Chief Procurement Officer of Lufthansa Passenger Airline. Mr. Buse has been Vice Chairman of the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (AIREG) since June 2011.

  • Vocational Education and Training: Prof. Dr. Friedrich Hubert Esser

    Prof. Dr. Friedrich Esser
    President, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
    Issue 25, Manufacturing, April 2012

    Since its foundation in 1970, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training has worked to identify future challenges in vocational education and training (VET), stimulate innovation in national and international vocational systems, and develop new, practically-oriented solutions for both initial and continuing VET.

    Prof. Dr. Friedrich Hubert Esser became President of the BIBB on May 1, 2011. In this GCRI Interview, he discusses the key factors that have led to the success of the German vocational education and training systems. He also addresses how this knowledge could be applied to the U.S. market, and the structural developments necessary for a rapidly changing global manufacturing and technical environment.

    Prof. Esser completed an apprenticeship as a baker before studying business administration and economic and business education in Braunschweig and Cologne. Prior to joining BIBB, he headed the Vocational Education and Training Department at the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) in Berlin. Prof. Esser is the author and editor of numerous scholarly publications involving skilled trades. His research and work focus on occupational and qualifications research, European vocational education and training, the German Qualifications Framework (GQF), the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), and entrepreneurship.

  • Research Museums: Prof. Dr. Albrecht Beutelspacher, Director of the Mathematikum

    Prof. Dr. Albrecht Beutelspacher
    Director of the Mathematikum
    Issue 24, Research Museums, March 2012

    Prof. Albrecht Beutelspacher, Professor for Discrete Mathematics and Geometry at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, created the Mathematikum, the world's first mathematical science center, in 2002.

    The idea for the Mathematikum was conceived during a geometric models seminar in 1993, where Prof. Beutelspacher's students constructed and described mathematical models. Since its foundation in 2002, more than 17,000 school classes and 150,000 annual visitors have come to explore and decipher the museum's 150 hands-on exhibits that include stunning puzzles, giant soap bubbles, deceiving mirrors, and mysterious bridges.

    Located in Giessen, Germany, the Mathematikum provides a variety of programs that fascinate young and old, such as number stories, mathematical mini shows, lectures for children and adults, a math academy, concerts, and art shows. In addition to his regular lecture series at the Mathematikum, Prof. Beutelspacher delivered ten special lectures as part of the institution's tenth anniversary celebration. Each of the lectures focused on a number between one and ten.

    Prof. Beutelspacher has received numerous awards and honors, including the Communicator Award, which was conferred by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2000. It is bestowed upon researchers who have communicated their scientific findings to the public with exceptional success, and Prof. Beutelspacher was the first recipient of this prestigious award.

  • Tech Campus and Regional Development: Prof. Dr. Ursula Gather, Rector TU Dortmund University

    Prof. Ursula Gather
    Rector, TU Dortmund University
    Issue 23, Universities as Catalysts and Drivers for Regional Development, February 2012

    In this GCRI interview, Prof. Ursula Gather discusses TU Dortmund's impact on regional development, creating a culture of innovation at her university, and the kinds of frameworks necessary to promote collaboration between academia and industry.

    When TU Dortmund University was founded in 1968, it was surrounded by coal and steel industries. Since then, the university has triggered the rise of more modern industrial branches in its region, the Ruhr area. Where there had once been a great meadow, there are now around 25,000 students, 300 professors and 3,400 staff members who shape the region's technical innovation potential. In 1985, the City of Dortmund established the Technology Center Dortmund, a technology park which currently houses 280 companies and provides 8,500 jobs.

    Prof. Gather has been a part of TU Dortmund since 1986, when she became chair for Mathematical Statistics and Industrial Applications at Dortmund's Faculty of Statistics. She held this position until she took office as rector in 2008. Throughout her career, various positions in research organizations have attested to her engagement in university, science, and research management: In 2011, the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) elected her vice president for teaching, studies and admission. One year before, she became Chairwoman of the State's Rectors' Conference for North Rhine-Westphalia and an appointed member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).

  • How We See the World: Dr. Udo Ernst

    Dr. Udo Ernst
    Bernstein Awardee 2010, University of Bremen
    Issue 22, Vision & The Brain, January 2012

    Udo Ernst is a theoretical physicist turned neuroscientist.His research focuses on how the brain processes visual information, for which he envisages possible applications in the visual typewriter or a novel cortical visual prosthesis. One type of visual typewriter is already used, for example, by paralyzed patients who can only communicate with their eyes. The typewriter allows them to form words by moving their eyes from letter to letter. Dr. Ernst's proposed model would instead be connected to a brain-computer interface (BCI), thereby significantly accelerating the process by reading the patient's brain signals. His research on a cortical visual prosthesis seeks to use signals from the visual system to interact with the environment, via e-mail, for example.

    In this GCRI Interview, Dr. Ernst, who received the 2010 Bernstein Award for Computational Neuroscience, explains how our brains analyze visual scenes to create representations of reality. He also discusses how factors, such as context, knowledge, and intention, influence our visual perception of reality and how we can learn to enhance this perceptual ability.

    Dr. Ernst currently works as a postdoctoral fellow and coordinator of the Bernstein Group for Computational Neuroscience Bremen at the University of Bremen, where he leads the "Feature Integration in Visual Cortex" project.



  • Winds of Change: Herrmann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association

    Herrmann Albers
    President of the German Wind Energy Association
    Issue 20, Wind Energy, November 2011

    The German Wind Energy Association (BWE - Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.) is one of the largest renewable energy associations in the world, with about 20,000 members. Its members include wind turbine manufacturers, operators and their shareholders, planning offices, financiers, scientists, engineers, technicians, and lawyers, making the BWE a premium discussion partner for politics, commerce, science, and the media.

    Herrmann Albers has been the President of the BWE since 2007. He also serves as Vice President of the German Renewable Energy Association. Born in 1960 in Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, Albers already planned his first wind farm in 1989. Around the same time, he became an active member of one of the first German wind energy associations, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Windergie. When the BWE was founded in 1996, Albers first became a board member and then in 1998, Vice President. Albers, who helped found the BZEE Education Center for Renewable Energies (BZEE - Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien), also manages several community windfarms.

    In this GCRI Interview, he explains why wind energy is considered Germany's most important source of clean energy and its potential in terms of export, innovation, and job creation.

  • Aging is a Lifelong Experience: Prof. Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger

    Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger
    Vice President of Jacobs University Bremen, Professor of Psychology, Academic Dean of the Jacobs Center of Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development, Vice President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
    Issue 19, Aging Brain, October 2011

    Ursula Staudinger thinks outside of the box. At the successful GCRI event on the Aging Brain (October 13, 2011), she offered fascinating insights on the continuous interaction between biological make-up and the socio-cultural context in which humans live.

    In this GCRI interview, Prof. Staudinger addresses the role of the environment in aging brain plasticity. She also discusses how female and male brains age differently and why physical activity benefits the aging brain more than computer games.

    Ursula Staudinger is Vice President of Jacobs University Bremen, Professor of Psychology, Academic Dean of the Jacobs Center of Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development as well as Vice President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. As a member of the Demography Advisory Group of the German Government, Prof. Staudinger represented Germany during the negotiations at the UN for a new World Action Plan on Aging. Adult development in the work context under conditions of demographic aging is one of her research foci; other areas include lifespan developmental psychology, plasticity of aging, and personality growth.

    Ursula Staudinger's work has been published in refereed journals, such as Psychology and Aging and American Psychologist. She served as President of the German Psychological Society from 2008 to 2010.

  • Cyber Security: Cryptography Expert Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann

    Prof. Johannes Buchmann
    Cryptography Expert, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Founder and Director of the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED)
    Issue 18, Cyber Security, September 2011

    In this GCRI interview, award-winning cryptography expert Johannes Buchmann discusses IT security, cloud computing, and how quantum computers affect cryptography.

    Professor Buchmann is the author of the textbook "Introduction to Cryptography," a standard work at many universities. A professor of computer science and mathematics at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Prof. Buchmann founded and heads the Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED), one of the largest European research networks for IT security and privacy.

    The recipient of the German Research Foundation's prestigious Leibniz Prize, the Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize and the German IT Security award, Prof. Buchmann is also one of the designated directors at the new BMBF-funded competency center, the European Center for Security and Privacy by Design (EC-SPRIDE). After discovering serious vulnerabilities of widespread WEP-W-LAN encryption and wireless DECT telephones, Prof. Buchmann's group assisted the German government in developing a secure new German ID card. Prof. Buchmann is a member of various scientific and editorial boards and a member inter alia of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), as well as the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech, where he coordinates a project on Internet privacy.

  • Gluten-Free Grains and Plant Health: Prof. Karl-Heinz Kogel

    Prof. Karl-Heinz Kogel
    Head of the Department of Phytopathology at the Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
    Issue 17, Biotechnology, August 2011

    Prof. Karl-Heinz Kogel is the Head of the Department of Phytopathology at the Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. His current research topics encompass plant biotechnology, hypoallergenic plants, as well as food safety research concerning contaminations with Fusarium toxins. Prof. Kogel co-authored an article entitled "Gluten-Free Wheat: New Hope for Celiac Patients?" and spent a sabbatical year at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, NY.

    On September 13, 2011, at the GCRI event "Better Living Through Science: Biotech, Food and the Future," he discussed plant biotechnology and its impact on nutrition and medicine, particularly efforts to develop gluten-free wheat that could have an enormous impact on the quality of life of those suffering from celiac disease.

    In the GCRI Interview, Prof. Kogel talks about gluten-free wheat as a hope for celiac disease sufferers and the key challenges in developing new gluten-free cultivars of wheat. He also addresses the achievements and role of plant biotechnology for human health and the connection between plant root diseases and climate change.

  • From Physicist to Astronaut: Reinhold Ewald

    Dr. Reinhold Ewald
    Astronaut, Operations Manager, Columbus Control Center, European Space Agency (ESA)
    Issue 16, Aerospace, July 2011

    Throughout his career, Reinhold Ewald has always reached for the stars: In 1997, he became the ninth German to travel into space. He spent 19 days aboard the Mir Space Station as a research cosmonaut. As a member of the second German-Russian mission, he performed experiments in biomedical and material science, and carried out operational tests in preparation for the International Space Station (ISS).

    Born in 1956, Ewald studied physics at the University of Cologne, where he also received his PhD in 1986. As a young research associate at the German Research Foundation (DFG), his work focused on the structure and dynamics of interstellar molecular clouds, which are thought to be the birthplace of new stars. He is currently the operations manager at the European Space Agency's Columbus Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

    In this GCRI Interview, Ewald discusses how research results obtained in space affect daily life on Earth and which technological innovations he wishes had existed 14 years ago. He also reflects on the end of the U.S. Space Shuttle era and shares his thoughts on space tourism.

  • Trends and Challenges in the Aviation Industry: Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member

    Prof. Rolf Henke
    Executive Board Member for Aeronautics, German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR)
    Issue 15, Air Travel, June 2011

    According to Rolf Henke, who joined the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) Executive Board in November 2010, the reduction of noise and pollutant emissions are central components of the activities of aviation research and industry trends in Germany.

    Prior to his current assignment at the DLR, where he is also responsible for space research and development, Professor Henke taught Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Technical University of Rhineland Westphalia in Aachen. At RWTH Aachen, he also became the director of the Institute of Aerospace Technology (Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrt, ILR). Before joining academia, Professor Henke held various positions at Airbus for more than 20 years, where his responsibilities included flight testing of the Airbus 320, working as Airbus Transnational Coordinator for the "Technology Area Aerodynamics", and heading Airbus High-Lift Technology in 2000. He continues to teach at RWTH Aachen through a special professorship.

    In this GCRI Interview, Professor Henke discusses upcoming trends and challenges in the aviation industry, the eco-efficient use of aircraft, and the benefits of cooperation between research institutions, universities, and industry.

  • E-Mobility: Ralph Griewing, Head of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Siemens Energy

    Ralph Griewing
    Head of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Siemens Energy
    Issue 14, E-Mobility, May 2011

    On March 31, 2011, the European Commission launched the Green eMotion Initiative to promote electromobility in Europe. Forty-two partners including industrial companies, automobile manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, universities, and technology and research institutions, will share their knowledge and expertise on e-mobility. As the lead company in the Green eMotion research consortium, Siemens will contribute to the development of software and infrastructure solutions, and to the establishment of industrial standards.

    The GCRI spoke with Ralph Griewing, Head of Electromobility Activities at Siemens Energy, about this new Green eMotion Initiative. In addition, Mr. Griewing speaks about the German government's goal of having one million e-cars on German streets by 2020; the role of smart grid in developing new infrastructures, and the differences between plug-in e-cars versus hybrids or hydrogen fuel vehicles.

    A graduate of theoretical electrical engineering at the University of Siegen and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Ralph Griewing started his career at Siemens AG in 1991 in the company's Communications Systems group. Since March 2010 he has been in charge of setting up global electromobility business at Siemens AG, where he has executive responsibility for planning, production, marketing & sales, and project planning in the U.S., China, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

  • From Politics to Academia: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
    former Minister for Innovation, Science, Research, and Technology and new Dean of Leipzig’s Graduate School of Management (HHL)
    Issue 13, Innovation / Entrepreneurship and Universities, April 2011

    Driven, energetic, and engaging: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart embodies the meeting point of science, business, and politics. The former Minister for Innovation, Science, Research and Technology as well as Deputy Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof. Pinkwart is the Dean and Academic Director of HHL - Leipzig Graduate School of Management. Sharpening the business school's innovative profile, Prof. Pinkwart also holds the university's new Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship.

    Before assuming his appointments at the HHL, Prof. Pinkwart was a Visiting Scholar at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University (AICGS), focusing his research on the roles of universities as drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. and Germany. On June 9, 2011, he shared his results at the AICGS-conference "The New Role of Universities in the Twenty-First Century: Universities as Engines of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Hubs" in Washington, DC.

    In his interview with the GCRI, Prof. Pinkwart discusses the necessity of ideas and innovations for a country to remain competitive in the global job market, the role of the university within this competition, and how he plans to enhance the entrepreneurial culture at HHL.

  • Reliable to the Nanometer: Prof. Dr. Bernd Michel

    Prof. Bernd Michel
    Head of Department of "Mechanical Reliability and Micro Materials," Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) Berlin
    Issue 12, Nanotechnology, March 2011

    For this issue's interview, the GCRI spoke with Prof. Dr. Bernd Michel about the impact and challenges of nanotechnology and his nanoreliability research.

    Prof. Michel, whose main areas of expertise are reliability, crack and fracture research in micro- and nanosystems, is the chair of several international conference series on material reliability in microsystem technology. He has published more than 400 papers on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and micro/nanosystem reliability and co-chaired the Micro and Nano Reliability Symposium at the June Microtech Conference & Expo 2011 in Boston, MA.

    A founding member of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS, Prof. Michel heads the Micro Material Center Chemnitz. He has been the president of the European Center for Micro- and Nanoreliability EUCEMAN since 2005. In addition to his research and review activities as a member of 40 scientific program committees in 18 countries, Prof. Michel is the editor in chief of the international journal Microsystem Technologies and editor of the Fraunhofer the series Micromaterials and Nanomaterials. Prof. Michel received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Packaging Award in 2000 and the Fraunhofer Award in 2005.

  • Sustainability as a Global Issue: Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer

    Prof. Klaus Töpfer
    Founding and Executive Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam
    Issue 11, Climate Change / Global Health, February 2011

    Klaus Töpfer's primary focus has been sustainability. In 2008, he received the German Sustainability Award for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the field of sustainability. He is the founding director and current Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). The Potsdam-based organization is a think tank devoted to promoting interdisciplinary science and research for global sustainability. Before taking the lead of IASS, Prof. Töpfer was the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (1998-2006). From 1987 until 1994 he served as German Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and from 1994 to 1998 he was the Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Housing and Urban Development.

    In his interview with the GCRI, Prof. Töpfer discusses how modern societies can become sustainable. He also reflects on the relationship between science and policy-making and how the IASS has been able to enhance this relationship. Sharing his insights on effective governance for sustainable development, Prof. Töpfer addresses a topic he presented at the May 9, 2011, GCRI event on "Science for Sustainable Societal Transformations: Towards Effective Governance."



  • Plasma Medicine: Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann

    Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann
    Director, Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology
    Issue 8, Plasma Medicine, November 2010

    At the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP Greifswald e.V.), research and application go hand in hand. INP Greifswald is the largest non-university institute in the area of low temperature plasmas in Europe. It focuses on basic research and technical applications. Current research priorities include environmental and energy engineering, surfaces and materials as well as interdisciplinary topics in biology and medicine, specially-designed plasma sources, plasma modelling and diagnostics.

    Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann has been the head of the INP Greifswald since 2003. On December 8, 2010, he spoke at the GCRI about "Plasma Medicine: Scientific Challenges and Technological Opportunities". In this GCRI-Interview, he discusses current developments, breakthroughs and opportunities in plasma medicine and about his collaboration with the U.S.

  • Mapping the Brain: German Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Bert Sakmann

    Dr. Bert Sakmann
    Nobel Prize Laureate and Inaugural Scientific Director of the Max Planck Florida Institute
    Issue 7, Mapping and Understanding the Brain, October 2010

    Dr. Bert Sakmann, with physicist Erwin Neher, was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for their discoveries on single channels in cells, enabled by their invention of the patch clamp technique. Their ground-breaking technique, that is now commonplace in laboratories around the world, allows researchers to measure electrical activity and chemical flow across cell membranes and single ion channels.

    Currently, the inaugural scientific director and research group leader of the digital neuroanatomy group at the Max Planck Florida Institute, Dr. Sakmann now focuses on a program dedicated to obtaining a three-dimensional map of the normal rodent brain.

    In this GCRI-Interview, Dr. Sakmann talks about the role of the touch system's digital anatomy in processing sensory information in the brain, neuroinformatics as an integral part of neuroscience, and how sensing, thinking, and learning affect the electrical signaling in the brain.

    Dr. Sakmann spoke about "Mapping the Brain: Reconstructing the Cerebral Cortex" at the GCRI on November 3, 2010.

  • Transatlantic Climate Bridge: German Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Klaus Scharioth

    Dr. Klaus Scharioth
    German Ambassador to the United States
    Issue 6, Renewable Energy, September 2010

    On September 30, 2008, the German government launched the Transatlantic Climate Bridge (TCB), an initiative to foster transatlantic cooperation and partnerships between Germany, the U.S. and Canada on climate and energy policies at the local, state, and federal levels. With the goal of tackling today's common climate change and energy security challenges, the TCB is a joint commitment to invest in newer, cleaner sources of energy that can create new jobs and world-class industries, clean up the environment and protect the climate, improve standards of living and enhance global security.

    On the occasion of the initiative's second anniversary, GCRI spoke with German Ambassador to the United States Dr. Klaus Scharioth, who together with the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan, opened the GCRI on February 19, 2010. In the interview, the Ambassador discusses the TCB's effect on the relationship between Germany and the U.S., how the TCB changed the science and technology dialogue, and its impact as a model for joint approaches appealing to the scientific and business communities.

  • Talking about the Super Grid: Dr. Gregor Czisch

    Dr. Gregor Czisch
    Head and Consultant, Transnational Renewables
    Issue 5, Smart Energy, August 2010

    The German scientist and energy expert Dr. Gregor Czisch has been researching scenarios and structures for a cost-optimized renewable energy supply since 1997. During his work in the R&D division Information and Energy Economy at the Institute for Solar Energy Supply Techniques (ISET) and at the Institute for Electrical Energy Technology/Rational Energy Conversion (IEE-RE) at the University of Kassel, he worked on potential analyses for renewable energies, simulating their production behaviour, conceptualizing energy transport systems and developing scenarios for a CO2-neutral electricity supply. This work resulted, among other things, in a dissertation entitled "Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply - Cost-Optimized Approaches to Supplying Europe and its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies."

    Since completing his doctorate, parallel to his research at the University of Kassel, Dr. Czisch has worked as a consultant to the Scientific Advisory Council on Environmental Change of the Federal German Government (WBGU) and was, among other things, invited as an expert to hearings in various ministries, parliaments and utilities.

    The GCRI spoke with Dr. Czisch about a North American super grid concept he was developing in 2010, and about the "Declaration of Support for an Efficient Renewable Energy Future," he drafted with Roy Morrison, director of the Office for Sustainability at Southern New Hampshire University.

  • Incubators, Innovation, and Growth: Dr. Dieter Spath

    Dr. Dieter Spath
    Vice President, acatech (National Academy of Science and Engineering) and Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO
    Issue 4, Academic Entrepreneurship, July 2010

    Under the project leadership of Professor Dr. Dieter Spath, the German academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) is conducting a study on the German incubator landscape in an international context.

    The GCRI interviewed Professor Spath, who is acatech's Vice President and also head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, and head of Stuttgart University's Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT, on the key characteristics of technology incubators in Germany.

    According to Spath, the German incubator landscape is distinctive, compared to other countries, because of the large number of non-university research facilities, such as Fraunhofer, the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz and the Leibniz Associations. He observed that research organizations foster intensive joint working relationships with industry, and technical innovations progress through the market launch stage.

  • Innovation as Key to Sustainability: Dr. Roland Schindler

    Dr. Roland Schindler
    Executive Director, Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
    Issue 3, Sustainability, June 2010

    Founded in 2008 and located within walking distance of the MIT campus, the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) offers a wide range of applied research services dedicated to the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The CSE focuses on photovoltaic (PV) modules, building energy efficiency, and the "TechBridge" commercialization program.

    GCRI spoke with Prof. Dr. Roland Schindler, Executive Director of the CSE, about the correlation between innovation and sustainability. Schindler, who is a 24-year veteran of Freiburg's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), has been a significant contributor to the PV industry for the last 30 years and is a world-renowned expert in silicon.

  • Talking about the Bilingual Brain: Prof. Jürgen M. Meisel & Prof. Michael Ullman

    Michael Ullman
    Director, Brain and Language Lab, Georgetown University
    Prof. Jürgen M. Meisel
    Professor emeritus of Romance Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Calgary
    Issue 2, Bilingual Brain, May 2010

    In this interview, the speakers of the June 3, 2010, science dinner, Professors Jürgen M. Meisel and Michael Ullman, share their insights on the physiological differences between learning a second language in youth and adulthood.

    In addition, Professor Meisel also discusses the importance of active engagement with children while they are learning a second language.

  • Directors' Talk: Dr. Sebastian Fohrbeck & Dr. Marion Müller

    Dr. Marion Müller
    Director, DFG Office North America
    Dr. Sebastian Fohrbeck
    Director, DAAD North America
    Issue 1, About the GCRI, April 2010

    GCRI's initial two executive directors, Dr. Sebastian Fohrbeck, also the director of the German Academic Exchange Service's (DAAD) New York office, and Dr. Marion Müller, director of the North American Office of the German Research Foundation (DFG), discuss the differences between the German and North American research landscapes, why the GCRI was created, and how it will enhance the interface between research and industry.