The Economic Development Department offers a wide range of services related to the topic of science through its Science Unit. Depending on the target group, various measures are implemented to strengthen and utilize the potential of universities and research institutions in a tailored manner.
Under the umbrella of the "Bonn Science Region", the business development agencies of the city of Bonn, the Rhein-Sieg district and the Ahrweiler district have been cooperating with science and research institutions and their offices for transfer, public relations and career services for over 25 years.
Offer a platform
Many service and networking offerings thrive on direct exchange and personal contacts, and this is also true of the Science Unit. For over 25 years, trade fair appearances, including at the Hanover Trade Fair, were part of the portfolio of services for research institutions and innovative companies. Due to the changed, also financial, conditions after the Corona pandemic and the associated necessity to adapt offers, new measures are being developed in a joint regional strategy process. The trade fair appearance at the Hannover Messe 2023 has therefore been suspended.
In the Sustainability Hub project, there is a focus on networking between sustainability-oriented start-ups, existing companies and representatives of science; the Sustainability Hub Bonn Region is therefore also an exchange platform for business, science and society. First events with participation of business and science have taken place since November 2022.
Numerous highly qualified young people are trained in the region. The Economic Development Agency is committed to bringing them into contact with local companies and informing them about regional labor market opportunities. It also provides advice to employers on recruiting young academic talent.
With the "Next Stop: Job" series, the Economic Development Agency brings students, graduates and doctoral candidates directly together with employers in the region. A large number of students took advantage of the virtual visits as well as on-site visits to companies to find out about career entry opportunities and make contacts. Additional digital workshops in German and English offer students the opportunity to prepare for the company visits and receive information on various career topics. Demand from companies is also still high, so the series of events will be continued. The Bonn Economic Development Agency cooperates closely on "Next Stop: Job" with the economic development agencies of the Rhine-Sieg district and the Ahrweiler district and the contact persons for career topics at the University of Bonn, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Alanus University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences (RheinAhrCampus) and IU International University of Applied Sciences in Bad Honnef.
The third round of the geo-mentoring program started at the end of 2022. The aim of the geo-mentoring is to support master students of geography and geodesy at the University of Bonn in their professional orientation and to provide insights into everyday professional life as well as regional networks. The mentors and mentees design their own exchange process. In addition, joint networking appointments and workshops are offered for the mentees. Company visits are also planned.
The Economic Development Agency is actively involved in networks, such as the Geoinitiative Region Bonn and the Cyber Security Cluster Bonn association. The University of Bonn offers the i-Start career program for refugee and international students as part of the DAAD funding program "NRWege Leuchttürme". The Economic Development Agency supports this project by providing further contacts and advice as well as a coordinated range of workshops. Science marketing and innovation promotion help companies and science institutions to transform knowledge, technology and know-how into marketable products and processes.
Reach the public
Every two years, the Bonn Science Night offers universities and research institutions in the region the opportunity to present their research to a broad public in a central location in downtown Bonn. The event communicates how scientific findings can be obtained and used. Nowadays, this is an integral part of Third Mission activities at universities and research institutes. In 2022, in line with the motto "nach(nachhaltig)geforscht" (sustainable research), they showed current research projects around the topic of sustainability, from peace research to artificial intelligence and agriculture to space research. For the first time, the event, characterized by hands-on stations, exhibits and personal exchange between science and society, was offered in the form of a tent city spread over three squares in the city center. As part of a social media campaign, the projects from the tent city were presented again in more detail under the hashtag "nachgeforscht" ("researched"), which picked up on the motto of 2022, and the development within one year was shown.
(Social) media are also used to disseminate contemporary science communication offerings from, to, and around the universities and research institutions in the region, whereby the Economic Development Agency sees itself primarily as a multiplier and platform in addition to its own offerings.
Through its role as a grant provider for the Deutsches Museum Bonn, the business development agency is intensively supporting its further development into a central experience location and forum for artificial intelligence (AI).
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