“We Hope to Create a Culture of Transfer”
Professor Breiter, how does the University of Bremen enrich the city and the surrounding region?
Andreas Breiter: The University of Bremen is an important player in the region in many regards. It is the largest employer in the academic sector and an international training center for highly qualified people. Furthermore, the university is not just the training center for teachers at schools in Bremen – many of our graduates work in numerous fields in the region. Our researchers are important consultants in the sectors of business, politics, administration, education, and culture – even across regions. Students enrich the cultural life of the city and get involved in a myriad of ways.
Our campus, with Technologiepark Bremen, is an attractive place that enables partnerships and exchange between academia and the business sector.
The university is working on a transfer strategy. What does that entail?
First, we collected information on all the activities taking place at the university geared towards the transfer of innovation, knowledge, technology, and the like. The sheer number and diversity are impressive. After that, external experts took stock of how we embody this concept and how it is organized. The responses were very positive. Then we started to develop a transfer strategy using a diverse team from the faculties, followed by successive discussions with many different participants.
With what goal?
We hope to create a transfer culture at our university – an understanding that, as a matter of course, transfer is a part of our work in research and teaching. That is the core of our transfer strategy. Models such as Science goes public and Science Slam are popular in Bremen and involve researchers giving lectures in bars. Does this make academia banal in any way? I don’t think so. I should be able to explain my complex research question as well in a bar as I could in an auditorium – although it surely is a challenge for some researchers. You need professional science communication to support your efforts. Lastly, quality transfer comes from outstanding science and research-oriented teaching. That is the foundation. We should publish the results on a wide scale – whether at conferences or in bars.