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New Center for Central and Eastern Europe

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. : 10 September, 2006  (New Product)
Europe needs to gather its forces in a united effort to face up to global competition. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is bringing together science and industry in East and West with its newly founded Center for Central and Eastern Europe, MOEZ.
“Europe’s strength is its power of innovation. Our economic future depends on our ability to sustain and build out this strength”, stated Professor Hans-Jörg Bullinger, the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, at the inauguration of the Fraunhofer Center for Central and Eastern Europe MOEZ in Leipzig. “This new center will enable us to establish stronger two-way links between East and West and help to construct the new European Research Area.”

A great many Fraunhofer Institutes have been collaborating with research groups and industrial firms in the countries of central and eastern Europe for a long time, especially in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. “In the past, many of these cooperative ventures came into being more or less fortuitously and on the initiative of individual Fraunhofer Institutes: Through the MOEZ, we now intend to pursue these activities more systematically and more intensively”, Bullinger declared.

“Innovation doesn’t stop at national boundaries”, says Professor Rolf Hasse, acting director of the MOEZ. An economic scientist, he until now held posts as the director of the Centre for International Economic Relations and the Institute for Economic Policy at the University of Leipzig. In the initial phase, he and his ten-strong team will prepare an analysis of requirements relative to the current status, but also set to work on building up a network. “Intensified cooperation will create a win-win situation: companies and scientific institutions in central and eastern Europe will gain top-class research partners, while the western European research institutes will be able to win new customers and participate in the creation of the European innovation area.” The main topics to be addressed in the initial period are the construction industry, traffic logistics, and automotive engineering, areas in which, according to the initial assessment, the need for innovation in central and eastern Europe is particularly high.

The choice of Leipzig as a location is symbolic of the center’s mission: well-known for its trade fairs, the Saxon city has always been a hub for trade and cultural relations between East and West. Leipzig is also well placed in terms of transportation routes, and is embedded in a region offering a wide variety of industrial activities and scientific resources.
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