Knowledge Transfer and Public Relations

The main form of knowledge transfer of the CRC1080 is the publication of data in peer-reviewed articles and presentation of scientific conferences and workshops. The members of the CRC are fully supporting initiatives for public outreach, educational activities and knowledge transfer to the industry.

Knowledge transfer

The GU assures the intellectual property issues and technology transfer are via Innovectis (link). This agency provides an essential link between academia and industry. The JGU is very enthusiastically promoting the knowledge transfer to the industry and maintain several collaborations. UMC Mainz is a member and one of the strongest partners of the Patent Association Rhineland-Palatinate. This is not only reflected in the numerous submitted invention disclosures (ca. 20 invention disclosures per year) and the resulting patents, but also in the successful spin-offs (10 spin-offs in the last 10 years)

Educational measures and public relations

CRC 1080 makes a strong commitment to transmitting science to practitioners, politicians, and the public. Several routes of communication are followed:

The topic of neuronal homeostasis and the different research activities have been incorporated to the professionally designed homepages of the Interdisciplinary Center for Neuroscience Frankfurt (ICNF) in Frankfurt (link), the Focus Program Translational Neurosciences (FTN) in Mainz (link), and the Rhine-Main Neuroscience Network (rmn²) Rhine-Main (link).

We are active at national and international meetings, by, e.g., submitting and organizing symposia on this topic. We strive to discuss neuroscience in popular scientific journals and magazines. We communicate the theme via audio-visual presentations in the internet and in the science programs. We also divulgate our findings with press release in different media using a simplified language (link).

We participate in local events where scientific activities are presented to the public in Mainz and Frankfurt, e.g., the annual Mainzer Wissenschaftsmarkt (link) and the Night of Science in Frankfurt (link).

The rmn2 has organized an annual public and heavily attended rmn2 lecture starting in 2015.

2017 Prof. David Poeppel („Die Elementarteilchen der Sprache und ihre Verarbeitung im Gehirn“)

2018 Prof. Herta Flor (“Das plastische Gehirn: Wie Schmerz erlernt und verlernt wird“)

2019 Prof. Kristian Kersting („Die automatische Datenanalyse: Mensch und Maschine“)

In addition to those lectures offered directly by the rmn2, the rmn2 is also involved in promoting the following lectures and talks during the semester so that all students and academics interested in neuroscience have the opportunity to listen to their internationally renowned colleagues in Frankfurt, Mainz and Darmstadt. Meet-the-speaker events held before the presentations give students the chance to share scientific information directly with the speakers:

    • Lecture Series at the MPI for Brain Research (link)

    • Ernst Strüngmann Lectures (link)

    • Lectures at MPI for Empirical Aesthetics (link)

    • Lectures at the Centre for Cognitive Science at TU Darmstadt (link)

    • Seminar Series at the Focus Program Translational Neurosciences (FTN) (link)

    • Lectures at Interdisciplinary Center for Neuroscience Frankfurt (ICNF) (link)

To make neuroscientific information more accessible, the MPI for Brain Research organises the Bar of Science (link), to discuss scientific topics in an informal atmosphere. To date, the following talks have taken place:

    • Julio Perez ("A journey through the inner workings of a neuron")

    • Lorenz Fenk ("On the brain of sleeping dragons")

    • Nina Merkel ("Gewitter im Gehirn")

    • Christoph von der Malsburg ("Künstliche Intelligenz: Worum geht's?")

    • Martin Schmidt ("Ein Flug durch das Gehirn")

    • Sara Haddad ("What crabs and cuttlefish can teach us about neuronal circuit function")

    • Chao Sun ("The organised chaos of memory in our brain")

    • Iris Grothe (“Gehirn mit Taktgefühl”)

    • Lukas Anneser ("Können Fische einsam sein?")

We also are keen to encourage educational activities for young generations, such as school visits, or short workshops. Under the Max Planck Junior Scholars Program the MPI for Brain Research offers summer internships to excellent highschool students to gain research experience at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt am Main), the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics (Frankfurt am Main) or the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research (Bad Nauheim) and to become enthusiastic for a future career in the natural sciences. Students currently enrolled in grade 10 or 11 are eligible to apply, with applicants from abroad needing to be over 18. The Junior Scholars Program includes a summer internship in a host laboratory (minimum of two weeks), which can be followed by weekly visits to the lab (1-2 hours each) during the new school year. During these times the scholar works together with a mentor (either a research assistant, graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow) on a scientific project which can then be presented during a lab meeting or as a report. Several groups of the CRC1080 have hosted those junior scholars over the last years. Since the program began, the Junior Scholars Program has had 23 students. Anna Buskhrikidze and Maddie Dawson, two students from New York gave the following feedback: "Throughout our past experience with science classes in New York public schools, there were limitations to most of our experiments. We signed up for this course not knowing what to expect, but with the help of our mentor, Robert Naumann, we were able to explore subjects in science that we never thought we would touch on. For example, observing a perfusion on a lizard, calcium staining, and in situ hybridization. The Max Planck Institute members were very welcoming and very patient with us. They were kind enough to share their projects with us and in some cases allowed us to contribute. The Junior Scholar Program helped us gain a better perspective on our possible careers in the future and understand the field of science in a more detailed way."

At the Goethe University, so-called school laboratories offer a wide range of opportunities for didactic research and with studies showing that school laboratories in particular are capable of sustainably promoting interest and open-mindedness towards science and technology, SuFiS (Studieren und Forschen im Schülerlabor) was launched in 2009 by Didactics of Life Sciences, Didactics of Chemistry and the Centre for Teacher Training and Research on School and Instructional Science (ZLF). SuFiS aims to strengthen and improve teaching and research in subject didactics in the natural sciences and to create opportunities for students to take an integrative approach to the theory and practice of teaching and learning in the natural sciences. The Goethe-BioLab and Goethe Student Laboratory for Chemistry and Physics of the Goethe University serve as a teaching and learning environment. Both student laboratories offer students a wide range of opportunities to participate in the design of lessons, to test and evaluate the support of learning processes - teaching and learning becomes easier to observe and analyse under these conditions.

At the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) there is the NaT-Lab (Naturwissenschaft und Technik für Schülerinnen und Schüler), as Mainz recognised early that the skilled development of young potential begins with the early identification, promotion, and retention of talent. Back in 2000, the JGU created a coordination point for all science subjects at the university and developed a three-part strategy for the promotion of young scientists:

(1) Hands-on scientific experiences for newcomers: introductory programs such as children's university, Physics on Saturday morning. (2) More detailed science that enhances and reinforces school class visits: holiday events, experimental courses, PC laboratory, etc. (3) Learning for BISS careers and study information, early study. Every year, around 9,000 children and adolescents carry out around 200 NaT Lab projects from biology and other disciplines. The program offers various forms of teaching and learning that successfully spark and sustain long-term interest in science in schoolchildren and range from experimental courses for children and adolescents to projects for school classes to holiday academies and research days as well as crash courses for high school graduates - and study preparation.