Zeppelin University and Tognum AG enter cooperation agreement on European Center for Sustainability Research
Posted on May 18, 2011
Zeppelin University (ZU) and Tognum AG, the propulsion und power generation specialist, will join forces in the future: both have entered a cooperation agreement to establish a European Center for Sustainability Research (EZNaF).
"We regard sustainability as overall responsibility extending beyond the reaches of our company. By supporting the European Center for Sustainability Research, we are investing in a lasting future for our environment, society and also for our company", said Volker Heuer, CEO of Tognum AG, Friedrichshafen. Tognum will support the development financially and - on the basis of its practical experience - proactively contribute to the institute´s orientation as provider of ideas.
"Sustainability has been a big issue since forestry was invented; the related research, however, remains inadequate and is only rarely inter-disciplinary", said ZU President Professor Stephan A. Jansen who is pleased about the new cooperation. "We are glad and grateful that we can now build up an international research center which will deal with the great challenges of our time such as climate, energy, water or urbanization."
The aim of the EZNaF will be to establish even more strongly scientific thinking in the field of sustainability, and to help put current scientific knowledge into practice. In doing so, it is to become a platform for the exchange of ideas in science and practice. Annual symposiums with international scientists are also planned. Furthermore, the center is meant to give impulses as an institution for further training of management personnel: certification courses for corporate managers on the topic of sustainability are planned, which, after the foundation phase, are to be later established as a program for further education. Besides Tognum´s engagement, a long-term cooperation with a consortium of German companies will be sought. Scientific cooperation and exchange will also be ranking high on the future agenda.
In addition to an opening symposium, the elaboration and evaluation of future research topics and projects, the recruitment of scientific personnel and establishment of a scientific advisory board as well as the development of national and international networks for scientists and institutions involved in sustainability research will be on the agenda as early as 2011. An advisory committee for the center will also be established, the members of which will include, among others, the Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences 2009 - Professor Oliver E. Williamson from the University of California in Berkeley. In consultation with the sponsors, the elaboration of concrete scientific studies is to begin next year. The center´s build-up phase will be concluded in late 2013 by appointing renowned scholars to two endowed professorships which will be internationally advertised.
"Sustainability is not only a problem of the environment and development. Sustainability has become a question of the economic, demographic, political, cultural, technical, ecological and - last but not least - moral development of societies", explained Professor Nico Stehr, holding the Karl Mannheim Chair of Cultural Sciences at ZU and designated head of the EZNaF, the tasks of the new center. "This also means that sustainability in the upcoming years and decades will belong to the core business of companies, the capital market, technical innovation and certainly politics in everyday life."