The question of a secure, but also sustainable energy supply has become the focus of social discussions more than ever. The core question, which has already been the subject of intense debate – how do we want to meet our energy needs in the future in a way that conserves resources? – has become even more explosive against the backdrop of the Ukraine war. Suddenly, Germany in particular has been made aware of its dependence on "purchased" energy on the one hand, while on the other hand the question of sustainable forms and systems of energy generation has been raised more acutely.
"The challenges in this sector are incredibly complex. The solutions can only be found across disciplines," says economics professor Jutta Günther, who has served on the steering committee of the new institute from the beginning and will become the new president of the University of Bremen in the fall. "This is no longer just a matter for resourceful experts from engineering or physics. Tomorrow's energy production and supply also entails a wide range of industrial mathematics, social sciences, economics, law, and cultural studies. In order to ultimately arrive at universally accepted solutions, the problem must be approached from many directions."
The new research centre therefore aims to establish the Energy Sciences Research and Transfer Network at the University of Bremen, to coordinate its activities, to promote intra-university cooperation and synergies in research and teaching, to develop contacts with commercial enterprises, and to make the network visible both nationally and internationally.
Motto: "Energy for Economy and Society"
"The facility is part of the still relatively new research and transfer focus on energy science in Bremen's Science Plan 2025," says Professor Johanna Myrzik, who heads BEST as spokesperson. The Science Plan sets the priorities for Bremen's science policy. Energy sciences are to be firmly anchored in it in the future.
"In the future, our new research centre aims to bring together the rich expertise of the University of Bremen and the state's non-university research institutes and higher education institutions to solve the future issues of energy systems and energy supply. The motto is 'Energy for Economy and Society.' Great importance is placed on the interdisciplinary approach in order to find answers to complex links between sustainability, security of supply, social acceptance, and competitiveness of energy systems," explains Johanna Myrzik. Existing research and laboratory infrastructures are to be shared and expanded into a holistic "transformation platform for energy science."
Bremen State will support the establishment of the research centre with start-up funding until 2025. It will be used to establish and bring together the scientific network, project coordination and project management, and public relations. "With its transdisciplinary approach, BEST is already a key player as a research partner in a number of regional and transregional projects. I am particularly pleased about BEST's fruitful cross-state collaboration with the energy research alliances of the other northern German states. This enables us to maximize the visibility of northern German energy research and demonstrate the enormous potential that northern Germany holds for the energy revolution," says Bremen's Senator for Science, Dr. Claudia Schilling.
At the University of Bremen, a wide range of competencies in the field of energy research can be found in various faculties and institutes. In addition, Bremen as a location generally has an important significance in the field of wind energy research. "The interplay of technical-economic with ecological and social processes is very complexly interlinked. Many researchers at the university, the non-university institutes, and other research establishments work very successfully, but also sometimes with a very strong focus on their own field of expertise. Bringing this knowledge together and linking it with other scientific disciplines is the only way to guarantee solutions that will also be accepted by society. And, of course, the energy systems of tomorrow must also be competitive," says Johanna Myrzik.
Broad Network Operates on the BEST Platform
In BEST, as a platform that ensures interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary cooperation, a broad network of around 20 professors and their scientific staff will work together in the future. At the moment, the faculties of Physics/Electrical Engineering, Mathematics/Computer Science, Production Engineering, Law, Business Studies & Economics, and Cultural Studies are cooperating. The joint work on energy systems is also to become a research and transfer network of the University of Bremen in the near future.
As a result of BEST, joint, interdepartmental project applications and various projects –
including hydrogen research – have already been initiated. These include the establishment of an interdisciplinary lecture series, the establishment of a doctoral colloquium, and the Bremen Campus Energy Laboratory project.
The new research centre is committed to intensifying cooperation with science and industry in Bremen and the region, especially to enable research transfer. For this purpose, future-oriented teaching offers are to be created for the qualification of young researchers.
The Bremen Research Centre for Energy Systems was opened with a scientific symposium on May 5, 2022, at the House of Science.
A comprehensive brochure with detailed descriptions of the research approaches in the four fields of sustainable energies, infrastructure, environment and society, as well as data and methods can be downloaded here: unihb.eu/BEST_Broschuere.
Dr. Tobias Wendler
BEST - Bremen Research Centre for Energy Systems
Phone: +49 421 218-66635
Prof. Dr. Johanna Myrzik
BEST - Bremen Research Centre for Energy Systems
Phone: +49 421 218-62442