Germany and the US: A Transatlantic Partnership

The United States of America are Germany’s most important industrialized partner in scientific and technological cooperation (STC). The government agreement on STC cooperation was signed in 2010 and serves as the framework of cooperation.

Joint Progress in Health Research

Cooperation with our US partners in health research is a central priority of bilateral cooperation. A joint German-American funding initiative on cooperation in computer-assisted neurosciences was launched in 2009. Since then, the Federal Research Ministry and the United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF) have been funding joint projects on a regular basis. The goal is to carry out joint research projects and strengthen and broaden existing collaborations between German and US researchers. Cooperation makes it possible to share data, software and other resources. The array of joint activities covers the entire spectrum, ranging from the theoretical, modelling and analysis to experimental neurosciences.

The Federal Research Ministry and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) concluded a cooperation agreement on regenerative medicine in 2009, which enables German innovators to participate in calls for proposals published by CIRM. The focus is on the translation of stem cell procedures and other methods of regenerative medicine into medical applications. New therapies are being brought to clinical application.

US a Very Attractive Location for German Research

Being present in the United States of America plays an important role for all German research and funding organizations as part of their efforts to internationalize research. Fraunhofer USA has been operating institutions in the US for over 25 years. The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and five other Max Planck Centers are the visible representatives of the Max Planck Society in the US. The Centres within the Helmholtz Association are also cooperating with partners in the US. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) are, for example, cooperating closely with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on solar energy. Three important German funding organizations are represented in the US, namely the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the German Research Association (DFG) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Many universities also have their own offices. German activities in the US are also pooled and made visible by the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH).

Providing Impetus for VET Based on the Dual System

Constructive cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) between the US and Germany has evolved based on a Declaration of Intent to cooperate on VET signed on 5 June 2015 by the Departments of Labor, Education and Commerce on the US side, and the Federal Ministries of Education and Research (BMBF), of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), and for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) on the German side. An executive committee which meets at regular intervals was established for the joint coordination of cooperation measures. Since the constituent meeting of the Executive Committee in April 2016, bilateral cooperation in VET has focused on the needs-oriented further development of existing apprenticeship models in the US and exchanges of trainees and VET teaching staff.