In addition, the Academies present opinions on topical issues, thereby supporting political decision-makers and the general public in their search for solutions to major challenges that are confronting our society.
One of their main tasks therefore involves implementing the Academies Programme, which will be funded with roughly 54.4 million euros in 2012 provided in equal shares by the Federal Government and the Länder. As the Academies of Sciences and Humanities are Länder institutions, their basic budget is, however, funded exclusively by the Land in which the individual Academy is located. The Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina in Halle was declared Germany's National Academy of Sciences in July 2008.
Furthermore, the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) was established in 2008. acatech is a working academy with roughly 330 members from science and industry. The Academy not only supports the dialogue between science, industry, politics and society, it also provides independent, balanced and scientifically substantiated advice and information about relevant topics of technology which are of central importance for Germany's future. acatech is not a member of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. The Federal Government (BMBF) and the Länder contribute equal shares to its basic funding. In addition, acatech receives funding from industry.
The Leopoldina is a transnational association of scientific and medical scholars which is funded by the Federal Government (BMBF) and the Land of Saxony-Anhalt at a ratio of 80:20. Established in 1652, it is the world's oldest scientific academy with an uninterrupted history. With a current membership of approximately 1,300 it is also Germany's largest scientific society. Its main tasks are the promotion of science and the interdisciplinary discussion and consideration of scientific findings as well as their dissemination. The Leopoldina is not a member of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities.
The Federal Government and the Länder decided to declare the Leopoldina Germany's National Academy of Sciences within the framework of the Joint Science Conference (GWK) in February 2008. The Leopoldina is expected to act as the mouthpiece of German scientists and scholars in international bodies (international representation) and at the same time to provide science-based advice for society and policy-makers. In this field it cooperates with the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and the Academies of the Länder and takes their expertise into account. A coordinating body involving the above-mentioned Academies agrees on the topics to be addressed when providing science-based advice for policy-makers and establishes working groups to present opinions on politically and socially relevant issues, incorporating the expertise of other scientists as appropriate.
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