Challenge innovation at the WCH

Basis for international cooperation with Uzbekistan established

The time suddenly seems to run faster once the last minute of the marshmallow challenge started. Nervous glances keep falling on the ticking clock. With hectic-looking hand movements, the five group tables are trying to stabilize the material. Then the acoustic signal sounds and all hands have to leave the five wobbly constructions of 20 hard spaghetti, 1 meter of thread and 1 meter of tape. Since most noodle towers, on which as high as possible a marshmallow should sit enthroned, tip over immediately, the winner team is fast detected, whose tower height measures 48 cm. After a short round of reflection, the participants have the chance to make a second attempt. And lo and behold, this time it works better. Another team wins with 66.5 cm tower height.

The mood is not only left to the winning groups, all participants have been taught by this special challenge to go into application and testing in innovative research as quickly as possible. This challenge was part of a comprehensive program around innovation in research on the occasion of the visit of an Uzbek delegation consisting of 13 junior scientists accompanied by staff from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the The mood is not only left to the winning groups, all participants have been taught this special challenge to go in the application and testing as quickly as possible in innovative research. This challenge was part of a comprehensive program around innovation in research on the occasion of the visit of an Uzbek delegation consisting of 13 junior scientists accompanied by staff from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Uzbek Ministry of innovative development on 14 October 2019 at the Science Campus Halle.

In addition to this marshmallow challenge in the method workshop "Creative Ideation" of the Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office of the Martin-Luther-University by Moritz Bradler and Dr. Andreas Lauenroth, Dr. Anne-Laure Tissier introduced the work of the ScienceCampus Halle. Also WCH Co-speaker Professor Ludger Wessjohann did not miss the opportunity to give those present helpful tips for innovative start-ups, since he himself has successfully founded six companies. He also presented his new Humboldt Research Fellow Dr. Nilufar Mamadalieva. Only recently, the Uzbek has expanded its research department of bioorganic chemistry at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB). Dr. Kai Kaufmann from the DENKweit GmbH also gave the Uzbek delegation a practical example of how to successfully start a business from research. DENKweit GmbH has been a Fraunhofer spin-off since September 2018 and combines innovative sensor technology with modern data analysis in the photovoltaic and automotive sector. At the final institute tour by Sylvia Pieplow and Dr. Antje Hellmuth offered further opportunities for exchange and contact mediation.

Afterwards, the WCH member Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transformation Economies (IAMO) as well as the Institute of Geology of the MLU were visited in Halle. At the end of the trip, the Uzbek participants were invited to present their findings at the InnoWeek, Uzbekistan's largest innovation fair.

The delegation had a total of two weeks with the BMBF to explore the German university and non-university research and innovation landscape e.g. in Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. The background of this trip is the intensification of contacts in the field of innovation and research between Germany and Uzbekistan, which should lead to a joint Scientific-Technological Cooperation (S&T cooperation) in 2020. Within the framework of STC agreements, the federal government is conducting calls for tenders for bilateral research projects with selected partner countries.

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