The University of Halle Founds the Institute for Structural Change and Biodiversity
Central Germany and, in particular, its coal-mining region is an area that is undergoing a period of transformation. This includes, not for the first time, a variety of economic, political, social and environmental processes of change. “Halle is the ideal place to carry out research into structural change within the region, throughout Germany and in comparable regions all over the world and to support and help shape this change,” said Prof. Dr. Christian Tietje, the president of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). He continued: “We are making this important move on behalf of the region and relying on resources from the federal and state governments.”
Klaus Papenburg, a member of the board of the Pro Halle association, emphasized the importance of research in the context of structural change: “Simply investing in the infrastructure is not enough. In the interests of the region, we need to strengthen its position as a location for research and develop solutions with the help of the universities that will help the economy to grow in the future.”
The Institute for Structural Change and Biodiversity is intended to be an interdisciplinary body that brings together expertise from a variety of disciplines and enables the practical transfer of knowledge. “The institute will be a forum for social exchanges and innovations. It will become one of the leading centers of competence in Europe,” said Christian Tietje. The MLU will link its existing research into structural change with the new institute. For example, research projects have been under way for several years at the Center for Interdisciplinary Regional Studies into the consequences of the phase-out of coal in eastern Germany and in Australia. In addition, the Research Center for Municipal Development and Public Services (FINKO) is investigating how business, politics and municipalities can work together to shape structural change productively. This work will now be given a new focus and moved onto a new level. For this reason, the legal, social, cultural and natural sciences will all be involved in the new institute. An initial research concept has already been drawn up by several faculties.