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A Further Bridge Built Between Poland and Germany

The Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE is preparing together with partners from Opole and Wroclaw the "1st Polish-German Bridge Conference"

At the beginning of April 2016, when the "1st Polish-German Bridge Conference" takes place in Opole (Poland), the expertise of the Federal Cluster of Excellence "Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures" (MERGE) of the Technische Universität Chemnitz will be in high demand. Thus, the TU Chemnitz is very committed to the preparation and realisation of the conference. Against this background, a delegation of representatives of the Technical University of Opole and the City of Opole is arriving in Chemnitz on 26 January 2016 to learn more about the work and structure of the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE. "This is a clear indication that the TU Chemnitz is increasingly being recommended as a competent network and transfer partner abroad", says Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll, Head of the Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at the TU Chemnitz and coordinator of the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE. "I am currently experiencing in Poland a climate that shows the importance of the cooperation between Polish and German companies, between Polish and German universities and lastly between science and industry. Moreover, Polish universities and companies are oriented now more than ever in towards Europe - particularly in the context of research collaborations and in applying for funding", added the Professor, himself originally from Silesia and can therefore very well cooperate with partners in the neighbouring country.

Clusters such as the Chemnitz Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE serve as a role model for universities in Poland. "Thus, similar alliances have been and continue to be established between industry and research at the Technical University of Opole", said Kroll. The Rector of the TU Opole, Prof. Dr. Marek Tukiendorf, is therefore an active member of the Excellence Council of MERGE. In return, Prof. Kroll is providing support for the 1st Polish-German Bridge Conference to be held in Opole from 7 to 8 April, 2016, whose patronage the Saxon Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich and the Chairmen of the Voivodship Administrations of Opole and Wroclaw have taken over. The motto of the first conference day is “Politics and EU Strategies”, indicating the participation of numerous ministers and prime ministers of both countries. On the second day of the conference, renowned industry and research representatives will hold lectures on the topics of “Advanced Manufacturing Technologies” and “Advanced Materials and Systems”.

"The conference in Opole represents an important signaling effect, serving as a German-Polish bridge both between industry and research and between Saxony, Lower Silesia and Opole as well as a platform for the generation of joint projects - including at EU level," stated Kroll, who, as a scientist, not only works with bridges in lightweight construction but is also figuratively speaking a bridge-builder. This is evident for example in the Chemnitz Alliance Textile Lightweight Construction coordinated by Prof. Kroll, where university and non-university institutes cooperate closely with more than 350 small and medium enterprises. In the future such network structures will be developed even stronger than before in Poland; Prof. Kroll supports numerous partners in the neighbouring country - particularly in transnational projects. The internationalisation of the Cluster MERGE is mainly driven by the intensification and expansion of the existing close cooperation and contacts in the tri-border region formed by Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. With this concept, MERGE was successfully able to receive funding as one of only eleven chosen projects from a total of more than 100 submitted within the framework of the "Internationalisation of top-level clusters" funding measure of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. MERGE is also the only cluster of excellence (out of 43 in Germany) whose internationalisation is promoted in this way. "This will also strengthen the close cooperation of the TU Chemnitz to facilities in Poland, from joint research projects through student and scientist exchanges to conferences", concludes Kroll.

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll, Phone 0371 531-23120, E-mail and Dr. Jürgen Tröltzsch, Managing Director MERGE, Phone 0371 531-35665, E-mail

Mario Steinebach

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