Argentina: Research Cooperation from the Andes to the South Atlantic Ocean

Germany and Argentina have been cooperating in education and research for more than 40 years, focusing on the use of natural resources and climate research. There are also collaborations between urban planners, economists and computer scientists.

Mount Fitz Roy
Mount Fitz Roy is a 3,406-metre granite peak in the Andes and a major attraction in the Los Glaciares national park. © Thinkstock

Berlin-Buenos Aires, Biberach-Tucumán, Göttingen-Rosario – these are but a few of the currently 12 partnerships between German and Argentinian universities funded by the German-Argentine Centre for Higher Education (DAHZ). Their joint study programmes cover a range of topics, for example business administration, energy management, molecular biology, natural hazards or astrophysics. The DAHZ was established in 2012 and receives funding from the German Federal Research Ministry, Argentina’s Ministries of Education and Science and the German-Argentinian Association for Science and Technology. There are two offices in Bonn and Buenos Aires respectively which coordinate the work. Today, more than 100 students are receiving funding by the DAHZ. They are not only enhancing their scientific skills but also gaining in-depth insights into the other country’s culture.

Research for an Innovative and Green Economy

Research for a modern and bio-based economy is at the heart of German-Argentinian cooperation. Argentina has many natural resources and great biological diversity and, last but not least, well-trained top-class scientists and researchers. The German Federal Research Ministry and its Argentinian partner ministry are providing funding to German and Argentinian research groups conducting joint research on such issues as how to ensure food security in the future. These groups are also developing methods for generating energy from plant residues and for a productive and organic farming without chemical fertilizers. Over 50 researchers from both countries discussed issues related to the global challenges of the 21st century and presented research findings to the public at a conference in Buenos Aires in May 2014.

Environmental Research in Antarctica

Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the Argentinian Antarctic Institute (IAA) inaugurated the first international research institute in Antarctica, the Dallmann Laboratory, in 1994.The laboratory was named after polar researcher Eduard Dallmann of Bremen who lead various expeditions by ship to the Arctic and Antarctica in the 19th century. Twelve researchers from Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands are now living and working in the Dallmann Laboratory. They are conducting research to find out how polar ecosystems adapt to global environmental changes. The research activities are in part funded by the Federal Research Ministry.

Argentina bought the German research vessel ‘Sonne’ in early 2015. From the mid-1970s until late 2014, the vessel had been navigating the oceans of the world on behalf of the Federal Government, facilitating the exploration of the seas and polar regions by German and international researchers. The ‘Sonne’ is now being converted and will be sailing the South Atlantic in the future. Argentinian and also international researchers will be working aboard the ship, exploring, for example, the Atlantic and Antarctica.