"Climate change, water shortages, a loss of biodiversity, and a lack of raw materials - all urgent social challenges which the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research aims to draw to the attention of science, business, and politics in Germany in its second framework programme supporting "Research for sustainable development". Achieving sustainability, however, is a global undertaking. Programmes like Green Talents help to promote the cultural plurality and creativity which lead to the development of global solutions. That is why we intend to intensify global exchange between young researchers in the field of environmental and sustainability research," explained the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Thomas Rachel at the award ceremony in Berlin.
The year 2011 was the third time that the BMBF had organized the international competition which is aimed at exceptional young scientists active in the field of sustainable development. A total of 331 young researchers from 58 different countries entered. A jury made up of high-ranking German experts including Professor Dr Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Professor Dr Achim Bachem, Chairman of Forschungszentrum Jülich, and Professor Dr Jürgen Schmid, Director of the Fraunhofer IWES, selected the 20 prize winners. The jury sought out research projects that have the potential to address global social challenges such as global warming, energy shortages, and massive environmental contamination. These new Green Talents bring the number of young sustainability researchers in the BMBF's global network up to 55 award winners from 19 different countries.
Before the award ceremony in Berlin, the Green Talents were invited on a journey across Germany as part of a ten-day science forum hosted by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The Green Talents visited internationally important research facilities, universities, and companies, getting to know pioneering projects in various areas of technology and enjoying the opportunity to network with renowned German experts and other young scientists.
Over the coming year the prize winners will be able to stay in Germany for several months for research purposes, the intention being to deepen a global exchange in the field of sustainability research.
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