Cooperation with the Russian Federation

Cooperation in education and research is an important pillar of German-Russian relations. The two countries reiterated their political willingness to intensify their cooperation in a wide range of research areas in 2005.

Universität Moskau
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The Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) of 1987 was amended on 16 July 2009. The aims of Germany’s cooperation with Russia as set out in the STC Agreement are the development of collaborative relations between universities, non-university research institutions and science organizations, the intensification of bilateral cooperation in the area of innovation-oriented applied research between German and Russian companies, cooperation in vocational education and training, the exchange of young researchers, and the promotion of joint research and innovation structures.

The government leaders of both countries signed the 'Joint Declaration on a German-Russian Strategic Partnership in Education, Research and Innovation' on 11 April 2005. This joint initiative is coordinated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and pools joint activities involving science, education, industry and public administration.

Highlights of Bilateral Cooperation

The German-Russian Year of Education, Research and Innovation 2011/12, which was held under the motto 'A Partnership of Ideas', showed the variety and excellence of German-Russian collaborations in the fields of education and research in both countries. It also provided important impetus for sustainable joint initiatives.

In the two years between March 2012 and March 2014, Germany presented itself in Russia with a campaign entitled 'Research in Germany – Land of Ideas'. The campaign, which was an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, showed Germany as an attractive partner in education, research and innovation. Priority themes were nanotechnology, environmental technology and energy efficiency, health, and optical technologies. Cooperation projects with partners in almost all the main urban centres, from St Petersburg and Moscow to Vladivostok, were successfully launched or intensified.

Key Areas of Cooperation

The common research interests of Germany, as derived from the High-Tech Strategy 2020 for Germany, and as set out in the Federal Target Programmes for 2014-2020 for Russia, are expressed in special sectoral agreements, which have been concluded since 1992 in key focal areas of cooperation.

These include:

  • Development and application of accelerator-based photon sources
  • Optical technologies
  • Marine and polar research
  • Innovation strategies and technologies for sustainable environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources
  • Biological research and biotechnology

The support of German-Russian collaborations in the area of applied, industry-related, innovative research and development plays a particularly important role against the background of the Strategic Partnership between Germany and Russia. The Russian Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) has been working together with the German Federal Research Ministry since 2008 to strengthen German-Russian cooperation in this area.

Multilateral Cooperation

In the multilateral context, special mention should be made of the Ministry's support for research cooperation with Russia under the ERA.Net RUS Plus strategic initiative 'Further linking Russia to the European Research Area: Coordination of EU Member State/Associated Country Science and Technology Programmes towards and with Russia'. The initiative aims to strengthen the coordination of national research funding programmes between partners in the EU and in Russia. Thirty funding agencies (including the German Federal Research Ministry and other ministries) will select and support multilateral research and innovation projects in the funding lines 'Innovation' (cross-cutting) and 'Science and Technology' (nanotechnology, environment/climate change, health, and social sciences and the humanities) between 2014 and 2018.

Common Space of Research, Education and Culture

A further EU project 'Enhancing the Bilateral S&T Partnership with the Russian Federation' (BILAT-RUS-Advanced), in which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is strongly involved, is contributing to the lasting realization of the common space of research, education and culture linking Europe and Russia and is aimed at strengthening Russia's participation in the programmes of the European Community. A working group on the pilot initiative with Russia has formed under the framework of the 'Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC)'. The group comprises representatives of the EU Member States who are also familiar with national activities concerning Russia.