Future Perspectives of the Knowledge Region

Municipal council consults with UA Ruhr

© Stadt Bottrop
Pictured: UDE Rector Prof. Barbara Albert (4th from left), TU Dortmund University Rector Prof. Manfred Bayer (3rd from left), and RUB Rector Prof. Martin Paul (5th from left) with the members of the Local Council.

Top administration meets science: The council of municipalities in the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR) met for the first time with the management trio of the Ruhr University Alliance (UA) to discuss issues concerning the future and location of the region. The committee consists of eleven mayors, four district councils and regional director Karola Geiß-Netthöfel. The UA Ruhr rectors Prof. Barbara Albert (University of Duisburg-Essen), Prof. Martin Paul (Ruhr University Bochum) and Prof. Manfred Bayer (TU Dortmund University) took part in their discussions in Bottrop.

"Education and innovation are of central importance for a future-oriented transformation of the Metropole Ruhr into one of the leading knowledge locations in Germany. Knowledge is the new raw material of the Ruhr region," emphasized Bochum's Mayor Thomas Eiskirch, Chairman of the Municipal Council, after the meeting with the UA Ruhr. In the competition for the brightest minds, 17 colleges, five universities and more than 50 non-university institutes with more than 250,000 students make the Ruhr the metropolitan region in Germany with the most universities. Eiskirch continues: "We want to use this advantage. After all, it is not only the jobs of tomorrow that are created in the vicinity of the universities. Together with the Ruhr science landscape, we also want to provide impetus for innovative urban development."

In the Municipal Council, the rectors presented, among other things, how the cooperation of the three universities of Bochum, Dortmund and Duisburg-Essen under the umbrella of the UA Ruhr has been working since 2007. The type and scope of this cooperation is unique in Germany. Due to the intensive cooperation, the UA Ruhr recently convinced the Ruhr Conference with its concept of the Research Alliance Ruhr and received a corresponding state funding of 75 million euros. The four joint research centers and one college build on existing strengths. These will be further expanded through the appointment of up to 50 internationally renowned top scientists.

The three university leaders agree: "With the Research Alliance, we are strengthening the international visibility of our research. In addition, we are creating innovations and driving forward the transformation of the region. With our cooperation, we are among the pioneers of an increasingly coalescing Ruhr region that can hold its own in international competition."

Through the interplay of university education, research, business development and the development of urban neighborhoods, the Ruhr Area municipalities and the UA Ruhr also see great potential for new businesses and start-ups. More than 15,000 graduates per year provide the region's labor market with urgently needed talent and skilled workers.

Thomas Eiskirch, as chairman of the local council, announced: "We will also continue the dialogue started today in Bottrop with the other players in the Ruhr knowledge region, such as universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutions."